The Art of Corporate Intranet Design: A Guide
In today’s digital age, a well-designed and functional corporate intranet is essential for effective communication and collaboration within an organization. A corporate intranet serves as a centralized hub for employees to access important information, documents, and tools, improving productivity and efficiency. In this guide, we will explore the art of corporate intranet design and development, with a focus on using SharePoint as a platform for intranet development.
Benefits of SharePoint for Intranet Development
SharePoint is a powerful platform developed by Microsoft that offers a wide range of features and capabilities for intranet development. Some of the key benefits of using SharePoint for intranet development include:
- Centralized Content Management: SharePoint allows for easy creation, organization, and management of content, ensuring that the right information is available to the right people at the right time.
- Collaboration and Communication: SharePoint provides tools for team collaboration, document sharing, and communication, enabling employees to work together more efficiently.
- Customization and Personalization: SharePoint allows for customization and personalization of the intranet interface, ensuring that it aligns with the organization’s branding and meets the specific needs of different teams and departments.
- Integration with Other Systems: SharePoint can be integrated with other systems and applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, CRM systems, and third-party tools, enhancing productivity and streamlining workflows.
- Security and Permissions: SharePoint offers robust security features, allowing organizations to control access to sensitive information and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.
Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Developing a corporate intranet using SharePoint requires technical expertise and knowledge of the platform. Many organizations choose to outsource SharePoint development to a specialized agency that has experience and expertise in SharePoint development. Outsourcing SharePoint development offers several advantages, including:
- Expertise and Experience: SharePoint development agencies have a team of experienced developers who are well-versed in SharePoint development best practices and can deliver high-quality solutions.
- Cost Savings: Outsourcing SharePoint development can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house team, as it eliminates the need for additional resources and infrastructure.
- Time Savings: SharePoint development agencies have streamlined processes and can deliver projects within shorter timeframes, allowing organizations to launch their intranets quickly.
- Support and Maintenance: SharePoint development agencies provide ongoing support and maintenance services, ensuring that the intranet remains up-to-date and secure.
The Art of Intranet Design
Designing a corporate intranet involves more than just creating an aesthetically pleasing interface. It requires careful planning and consideration of the needs and preferences of the end-users. Here are some key principles to keep in mind when designing an intranet:
- User-Centric Design: The intranet should be designed with the end-users in mind, taking into account their roles, tasks, and preferences. User research and usability testing can help identify user needs and inform the design process.
- Clear Navigation: The intranet should have a clear and intuitive navigation structure, allowing users to easily find the information and tools they need. A well-organized information architecture and consistent labeling can help improve navigation.
- Responsive Design: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it is important to design the intranet to be responsive and accessible on different screen sizes. Responsive design ensures that the intranet is usable and visually appealing on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Branding and Visual Identity: The intranet should reflect the organization’s branding and visual identity, creating a sense of familiarity and reinforcing the corporate culture. Consistent use of colors, fonts, and imagery can help establish a strong visual identity.
- Engaging and Interactive Elements: To encourage user engagement, the intranet can include interactive elements such as discussion forums, social features, and gamification. These elements can promote collaboration, knowledge sharing, and employee engagement.
Custom SharePoint Development
While SharePoint offers a range of out-of-the-box features, organizations may have unique requirements that cannot be met by the default functionality. Custom SharePoint development allows organizations to extend the capabilities of SharePoint and tailor it to their specific needs. Some examples of custom SharePoint development include:
- Custom Workflows: Organizations can create custom workflows to automate business processes and streamline workflows. Custom workflows can be designed to match the organization’s specific requirements and integrate with other systems.
- Integration with Third-Party Systems: SharePoint can be integrated with third-party systems and applications, such as CRM systems, ERP systems, and project management tools, to provide a seamless user experience and improve productivity.
- Custom Web Parts: Organizations can develop custom web parts to add new functionality to SharePoint. Custom web parts can be used to display data from external sources, create interactive dashboards, or provide custom forms.
- Custom Branding: Organizations can customize the look and feel of SharePoint to match their branding and visual identity. Custom branding can include custom themes, layouts, and master pages.
Managed SharePoint Services
Once the corporate intranet is developed and launched, it is important to ensure that it remains secure, up-to-date, and well-maintained. Managed SharePoint services provide ongoing support and maintenance for the intranet, allowing organizations to focus on their core business activities. Some key services offered by managed SharePoint service providers include:
- Security Monitoring and Updates: Managed SharePoint service providers monitor the intranet for security vulnerabilities and apply necessary updates and patches to keep it secure.
- Performance Optimization: Managed SharePoint service providers optimize the performance of the intranet by monitoring resource usage, identifying bottlenecks, and implementing performance improvements.
- Backup and Disaster Recovery: Managed SharePoint service providers ensure that regular backups of the intranet are taken and provide disaster recovery services in case of data loss or system failure.
- User Support and Training: Managed SharePoint service providers offer user support services, helping employees troubleshoot issues and providing training to ensure that they can effectively use the intranet.
Designing and developing a corporate intranet requires careful planning, consideration of user needs, and technical expertise. SharePoint offers a powerful platform for intranet development, with a wide range of features and customization options. Outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency can help organizations leverage the expertise and experience of professionals, while managed SharePoint services ensure that the intranet remains secure and well-maintained. By following the principles of user-centric design and incorporating custom development where necessary, organizations can create a corporate intranet that enhances communication, collaboration, and productivity.