From Concept to Completion: A Journey through Intranet Design & Development
In today’s digital age, having an efficient and user-friendly intranet is crucial for businesses to streamline their internal communication and collaboration processes. SharePoint, a web-based platform developed by Microsoft, offers a comprehensive solution for intranet design and development. This article will take you through the journey of creating an intranet from concept to completion, highlighting the key steps and considerations along the way.
1. Defining the Objectives
The first step in intranet design and development is to clearly define the objectives of the project. This involves understanding the specific needs and requirements of the organization, such as improving internal communication, enhancing document management, or facilitating team collaboration. By identifying these objectives, you can ensure that the intranet is tailored to meet the unique needs of your organization.
2. Planning and Information Architecture
Once the objectives are defined, the next step is to plan the structure and layout of the intranet. This involves creating an information architecture that organizes the content and functionality of the intranet in a logical and intuitive manner. Considerations include the hierarchy of site collections, subsites, and document libraries, as well as the navigation and search functionalities. It is important to involve key stakeholders and end-users in this process to ensure that the intranet meets their needs and expectations.
3. Design and Branding
The design and branding of the intranet play a crucial role in creating a visually appealing and engaging user experience. This involves selecting a theme or template that aligns with the organization’s brand identity and customizing it to reflect the desired look and feel. SharePoint offers a range of design options, including pre-built templates and the ability to create custom designs using HTML and CSS. It is important to ensure that the design is responsive and accessible across different devices and browsers.
4. Development and Configuration
Once the design is finalized, the next step is to develop and configure the intranet. This involves setting up the necessary site collections, subsites, and document libraries, as well as configuring the navigation, search, and security settings. SharePoint provides a wide range of out-of-the-box features and functionalities, such as document management, workflow automation, and social collaboration tools. However, custom development may be required to meet specific business requirements. In such cases, it is advisable to engage a SharePoint development agency with expertise in custom SharePoint development.
5. Testing and Deployment
Before deploying the intranet to the production environment, it is important to thoroughly test its functionality and performance. This involves conducting user acceptance testing (UAT) to ensure that the intranet meets the needs and expectations of the end-users. It is also important to test the intranet across different devices and browsers to ensure compatibility. Once the testing is complete, the intranet can be deployed to the production environment, and end-users can start using it for their daily tasks.
Creating an intranet from concept to completion involves a series of steps, from defining the objectives and planning the information architecture to designing, developing, and deploying the intranet. By following these steps and considering the key factors discussed in this article, businesses can create an efficient and user-friendly intranet using SharePoint. Whether it is a SharePoint on-premise or SharePoint online solution, outsourcing SharePoint development to a reputable agency can ensure a successful intranet design and development project.