Is your intranet design in need of an overhaul? Are dry, information-overloaded and text-heavy intranet homepages killing off your user engagement? Look no further. These intranet design examples are guaranteed to wow.
Great design is a language everyone can understand.
Design has the power to capture our attention and spark our imagination. It can translate the complicated or mundane into something simple and engaging. It can move us to action, trigger emotion, alter our perspective.
However, it can also be one of the biggest challenges and debating points during any project.
When it comes to intranet design, the stakes are high. Well-executed design can mean the difference between a business-critical tool that users value and engage with…or one that sits on the proverbial digital shelf, doomed to die. It is the dividing line between adoption and abandonment.
With that pressure and the task of delivering a platform for hundreds, if not thousands of users, where do you even start? Given the subjective nature of design, how do you strike the right note? How do you reconcile different needs, opinions, or tastes?
These intranet design ideas each take a unique business sector, challenge, or need: and translate that into impactful intranet homepage designs that combine functionality, content, and aesthetics in perfect harmony.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade, touch-up or you’re on the market for a new intranet partner who can realize your vision, these intranet examples will get you inspired.
Manage your dispersed front-line staff: a retail intranet homepage design
Front-line staff are the face of your retail brand and responsible for delivering your customer experience. This means those in the retail industry face a unique challenge.
Over a third of retail employees in the US feel disengaged on the job: nearly 35%.
How do you manage and motivate employees who may be spread across the country or even the globe? How do you connect those in your distribution centers or out on the road, who may not have easy access to a computer? How do you ensure consistency in service and brand messaging, when your stores are cut off from HQ?
Perhaps it’s no wonder that retailers see one of the highest levels of staff turnover of any industry.
So, how can intranet design have an impact?
Here, we see a retail intranet design example that addresses the top challenges with a number of unique features:
- Company news banner: give staff a sense of connection to their organization with top, company-wide news. Regional-based and tailored content for their store or seniority level appear below for a more personalized experience.
- Quicklinks and tasks: design shouldn’t come at the cost of purpose or functionality. To deliver value for users and your business, it needs to support staff to do their jobs. These quick links to popular applications or tasks ensure the intranet software will be useful, and used.
- Two-way comms: one of the most powerful tools to boost engagement is to give your employees a voice. Pulse surveys, eNPS scoring, polls, forums, and feedback forms all enable frontline retail staff to be heard.
- O365 integration: using SharePoint for your document management, but unable to justify the cost of licenses for every member of frontline staff? With M365 integration that comes with in-line preview, staff can still view critical documents, policies and information: even without a licence.
- Mobile app: connecting staff without easy access to a desktop requires a mobile-first approach to development. A native Android and iOS app, alongside mobile-responsive design, ensures every staff member can connect from their own device: no matter where they are.
Retail intranet design in action: Mattress Firm
“BEDPost has dramatically improved our processes here at Mattress Firm. Our users find it much easier to navigate the site and access the information they are looking for, and they are much more engaged in the content being shared.
“The site has improved the lines of communication between our corporate office employees and our sales team out in the field, which has further strengthened our company’s amazing culture.” – Tammy Friedeck, Communications Manager at Mattress Firm.
Connecting to the cause: a non-profit intranet homepage design
Working in the third sector, whether as a paid worker or in a voluntary capacity, can be hugely rewarding and empowering.
The charitable sector is the third-largest workforce in the US, providing 11.4 million jobs and employing 10% of the nation’s population. There are also 63 million volunteers in the US alone.(Independent Sector)
However, it comes with its own set of unique challenges.
Causes can be emotive or difficult to work for, resulting in higher levels of staff stress, absenteeism, and turnover. With a focus on driving funds towards the cause, non-profit organizations will also face financial constraints and offer limited training, development, or benefits, compared to the private sector.
To overcome those burdens, it’s critical staff connect to the mission and cause they’re working for.
Almost half (48%) of people who volunteer for the charitable sector state ‘wanting to improve things/help people’ as their driver, followed closely by ‘the cause was really important to me’ (32%) (Source: NCVO). Sharing of stories and successes, alongside access to best practices, compliance and regulatory requirements, are all vital.
Here’s how an effective intranet design can help:
- Sharing stories: a high impact hero banner for news and the use of employee-generated content such as blogs all help staff and volunteers share experiences and get inspired by the cause they’re working for
- Rewards and recognition: the power and impact of employee recognition is huge. A rewards widget that enables staff to say thanks and recognize the impact and efforts of their peers boosts morale, sense of community, and engagement.
- Newsfeed of real-time updates: in today’s social media-driven world, cutting through the digital noise can be tough. Using permissions and built-in intelligence, personalized and tailored content can be pushed to users to keep them up-to-date and engaged.
- Strong branding: an internal brand that aligns with the mission and cause can inspire and create a sense of pride, ownership and connection to the organization
- Quicklinks and broadcasts: keeping staff and volunteers informed, safe and compliant is a priority for any non-profit. Easy quick access to policies, governance and information, alongside emergency broadcasts for critical updates, are all benefits offered by an effective intranet design.
Non-profit in action: Trafford Rape Crisis
“The overwhelming majority of our volunteers juggle their time at TRC alongside their full-time roles elsewhere, so it’s rare that we all get to meet in person. It can also be a difficult cause to work for.
“BESS has enabled us to come together in a virtual space to share experiences, to celebrate successes, to gain support and to connect as an organization. We’ve built an entire culture around this virtual workspace. It’s dramatically helped with morale and volunteer attrition.” – Fiaza Mansoor, Center Manager at Trafford Rape Crisis.
Better experiences for front-line staff, better patient care: a healthcare intranet homepage example
The healthcare sector faces a wide range of challenges, spanning an aging population and the rise of chronic health conditions through to demands for increased productivity and efficiency, resource constraints, and a call for digital transformation.
Staff are often diverse in terms of role and location, including administrative staff to clinicians, and hospital-based workers to community carers.
This healthcare intranet design sets out to connect hard-to-reach workers, promote a patient-led approach to quality care, and push vital information to support every staff member in their role.
- Task-led design gives staff quick access to essential systems such as HR, Payroll, or the rota; centralizing all their digital tools and applications, with single sign-on making for a more streamlined and efficient process
- Pulse survey widgets give grass-roots staff a voice, helping management to gauge and measure employee engagement
- Forums enable the sharing of ideas and best practice, collaborative problem solving, and for staff to connect outside of their departmental siloes
- Signposting design: the intranet is designed to serve as the ‘hub’ or gateway into the organizations’ wider digital workplace. Here, HTML widgets push staff to other services and the current campaign.
Healthcare intranet design in action: Piedmont Healthcare
“We challenged ourselves to find the right intranet platform that would deliver the unique destination our employees wanted.
“Since the launch of The Village, there has been a significant increase in the number of employees who agree or strongly agree that they receive adequate communication about changes happening at Piedmont and the company’s future plans and directions. Based on the results, we hit the mark.” – Kelli Newman, Director of Internal Comms at Piedmont Healthcare
Capturing the power of the visual: a media intranet homepage design
Today’s world is dominated by digital noise.
Thanks to the advances in social media, smartphones and technology in general, we are constantly inundated with information, updates, notifications. Cutting through that noise and capturing – then holding! – the attention of our employees is a tremendous challenge.
80% of readers only skim online content. However, colorful visuals increase desire to read content by 80% and our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
For those operating in a creative industry in particular, text-heavy and document-loaded intranets aren’t going to cut it. Engaging with these employees requires speaking in a language they’ll understand: harnessing the power of the visual to capture attention, share ideas, and inspire.
This media intranet homepage design delivers impact through:
- A high-impact, full-width hero banner that uses the entire space above the fold to immediately ‘wow’ and grab attention
- Bold use of color in the branding and quicklinks
- A minimalist approach to the overall design; the homepage has a limited amount of written content, with preference given to images as an alternative
- Mixed media including video, images, and HTML widgets to visually promote key content rather than text links
- Signposting: with links to the different areas of the business in the footer, the quick links, the HTML widgets and more, the homepage very much serves as a ‘gateway’ to pull users in before they journey through the rest of the intranet software.
Media intranet design in action: Sony Interactive Entertainment
“Center Stage has dramatically simplified our work lives by providing a single source of information for employees in a format consistent with our branding.
“Available securely via mobile phone and completely searchable, Center Stage allows us to quickly locate contact information for global colleagues, access company policies and information, and stay on top of company news and events, whether in the office or on the road. It’s an essential resource for both new and existing team members.” – Connie Booth, VP of Game Development at Playstation
Keep it compliant: a financial services intranet homepage design
At the mercy of regulatory requirements, compliance, continual changes in the market and the complexities posed by international trading, the financial sector has a difficult path to navigate,
Keeping staff informed, therefore, is a top-ranking priority.
Intranet design in this environment should focus on connecting staff to the information and tools they need, enabling them to perform their roles to the best of their ability. By contrast to the media design, it will need to present more content upfront, and looks shouldn’t trump purpose.
This still isn’t an excuse to revert to the text-heavy, information-overloaded link lists of the 1990s, however. Here’s how to navigate the fine line between looks and function:
- A modular widget approach to push multiple important news items to users as soon as they open the homepage
- Use of the mandatory read function to ensure important compliance documents are read and acknowledged
- Quicklinks to third-party systems to allow for quick and seamless navigation to information
- HTML widgets pull in external content; in this instance, a dashboard for real-time stock and share rates
- A mixture of content types including blogs, news, quicklinks, and video, to present information without it becoming too text-heavy
Financial services intranet design in action: Travelex
“The Lounge is relied on for everything we do now. It’s easy for staff to access policies, forms, and information that directly affects them. They’re now better informed, and the time saved not relying so much on email we can now devote to customers.
“The Lounge has drastically reduced workloads for staff as email communications are reduced, forms are more efficient for managing processes, and colleagues are able to independently find information and tools to do their day job by searching on The Lounge and finding what they need in a matter of seconds.” – Tricia Scott, Global Intranet Manager, Travelex
The power of possibility
As these diverse intranet design examples show, the potential and flexibility of design is, in theory, unlimited.
The same industry sector or even the same brand can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways, depending on the culture and needs of the organization. It can be practical and useful. It can be striking and awe-inspiring. It can – and should! – be utterly unique.
Design is the sum of a multitude of elements, spanning everything from fonts and colors to the features, widgets, layout, menu, content and more.
When these come together and unite in a considered, strategic way, the result can be remarkable: not only by inspiring and engaging our employees, but delivering a tangible return on the investment of your intranet project.