The Stages of Intranet Design & Development: An Overview
Intranets have become an essential tool for organizations to improve communication, collaboration, and productivity among their employees. A well-designed and developed intranet can streamline processes, provide easy access to information, and enhance employee engagement. In this article, we will explore the stages involved in designing and developing an intranet, with a focus on SharePoint development.
Stage 1: Planning and Strategy
The first stage of intranet design and development is planning and strategy. This involves defining the goals and objectives of the intranet, identifying the target audience, and determining the features and functionalities required. It is important to involve key stakeholders from different departments to ensure that the intranet meets the needs of the entire organization. During this stage, it is also crucial to consider the technical requirements, such as whether to use SharePoint on-premise or SharePoint online.
Stage 2: Information Architecture
The next stage is information architecture, which involves organizing and structuring the content of the intranet. This includes creating a logical hierarchy, defining navigation menus, and designing the layout of the intranet. The goal is to make it easy for users to find the information they need quickly and efficiently. SharePoint provides various tools and features to help with information architecture, such as document libraries, lists, and metadata.
Stage 3: Design and Branding
Design and branding play a crucial role in the success of an intranet. The design should be visually appealing, user-friendly, and aligned with the organization’s brand identity. This stage involves creating wireframes and prototypes to visualize the layout and functionality of the intranet. SharePoint offers a range of customization options, allowing organizations to create a unique and personalized intranet that reflects their brand.
Stage 4: Development and Implementation
Once the planning, strategy, information architecture, and design are finalized, the next stage is development and implementation. This involves building the intranet using SharePoint development tools and features. Organizations can choose to outsource SharePoint development to a specialized agency or use in-house resources. The development process includes configuring site collections, creating custom workflows, integrating third-party applications, and ensuring security and permissions are properly set up.
Stage 5: Testing and Deployment
After the intranet is developed, it is important to thoroughly test its functionality and usability. This includes testing different user scenarios, checking for any bugs or errors, and ensuring compatibility across different devices and browsers. Once the testing phase is complete, the intranet can be deployed to the organization’s employees. It is important to provide training and support to ensure a smooth transition and adoption of the new intranet.
Designing and developing an intranet is a complex process that requires careful planning, strategy, and collaboration. SharePoint development offers a range of tools and features to create a customized and efficient intranet that meets the unique needs of each organization. Whether organizations choose to outsource SharePoint development or use in-house resources, the stages outlined in this article provide a framework for successful intranet design and development.