Avoid a Cluttered Intranet: What Makes a Good Intranet Home Page?

There is a long-running debate about what makes a good intranet home page. The home page is often the first place companies look when they consider how to improve their intranets — and for good reason. Your home page is the first thing employees see when they log in, so it’s important to get it right.

So what is the answer?

There are three key elements: news, navigation and widgets. Read on to find out how each of these elements influences your users’ experience of your intranet system and how you can use them to create a well-designed intranet home page.

1. News

When you want to get important news out to your employees, one of the best ways to do it is to put the news on your intranet home page. It’s the first place employees go when they log into the intranet system, which many employees use every day.

Display your news segment prominently on the home page and choose a design that stands out, so that users quickly notice when fresh news is posted. Include headlines with links that employees can follow to find out more. Using your news feed in this way can reduce the challenge of keeping your workforce up to date.

2. Navigation

The core purpose of your home page is to allow employees to navigate to the resources they need. Your home page should provide clear links to key resources, such as news, frequently used content, and collaboration workspaces.

Make the most frequently used links display most prominently, so that people can quickly access the resources they need to use every day. Make menus easy to access and try to minimize the number of clicks users need to make to access important resources.

3. Widgets

Organizations should be able to configure their own home pages to work for them and keep them fresh. One good way to help organizations customize a home page is to allow users to add widgets to their page. For example, users could add shortcuts to the workspaces they use most often. Other useful widgets include personalized event calendars, which allow employees to organize their schedules.

Some employees may also find it helpful to have widgets that show trending content, such as popular videos, people, activity and documents. By allowing organizations to configure and update their own home pages, you ensure that every employee gets a home page that’s tailored to their needs.

Final Thought

Your intranet home page is the display window of your intranet. Get the design right, and users will get an amazing first impression of what’s under the hood. Get the design wrong, and users could feel confused and overwhelmed by the excess of clutter. Although you will almost certainly want to add some widgets, news and other helpful links to your home page, you should also check that you’re not overwhelming users with too much content. Allow users to remove widgets they don’t need to keep their home page design clean.

If you haven’t updated your home page for a long time, now might be the perfect time for a revamp. Regularly renewing your home page to keep it fresh gives users the impression that your intranet is constantly evolving. Keep them interested by changing the layout from time to time to encourage them to check out new features.

Topics: Corporate Intranet Tips
Daniel Cohen-Dumani

Daniel Cohen-Dumani a Partner and Market Leader of Microsoft Solutions and Services at Withum. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of computer science and software development. He is a frequent speaker at SharePoint conferences and user groups, and a recognized SharePoint and Office 365 subject matter expert.