Originally published as a guest blog for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce
This week we are fresh back from the European SharePoint Conference. This year it was held it in Vienna. It was a fantastic opportunity for us, we met new customers and also made a few new friends. There was plenty of buzz around “Motivate Everyone“, our new gamification platform for SharePoint. We ran a competition every day of the expo. Individuals could take one of our pedometers and by the end of the day, the highest step count would win. Of course we encouraged people to tweet photos and step counts throughout the day. We had set up an automatic process to track people’s tweets and add them to our leader board. But we got the most attention for our hand-out on what makes a good Intranet. Do you have an Intranet at work? If you have to work with colleagues on documents, chances are you do. Do you love it? Do you hate it? If you love your Intranet, then you might recognise some of these design tips.
Intranets are different from web sites. Work happens – users build documents, collaborate and publish. They drive business processes and disseminate news. Connections develop between people and between systems.
Traditional Intranets disseminate internal communications and company news, they let users filter and opt-in to relevant topics. News should be personal, but an intranet is also a surface for dashboarding and information presentation. It is also a portal for collaboration and document management by showing users their recent documents and those of their team.
Context is important to users therefore focus should be on user context. What are their daily tasks? Strip away the irrelevant without making things hard to find. The user experience should be relevant to the audience, relevant to what they want to achieve, when they want to achieve it. Use dashboards and search portals to help users get at the information they need, fast.
CRM, HR, accounts, payroll, employee benefits, an enterprise can have dozens of disparate systems. An Intranet should bring them together, identify definitive data sources, automate data transport and avoid slow and inaccurate rekeying. Lots of Intranet platforms come with a workflow engine – make sure you use it. You can maximise Return on Investment with appropriate integration between your systems.
You are able to count user journeys, not just page loads. There are several possible paths through each task you can take; measuring each journey, observing user behaviours, measuring the use of different tools and also measuring efficiency, participation and engagement. Common metrics include:
- Visit count
- Post count
- Documents contributed
- Share count
- Use of metadata
- User journey
- Task completion
Two kinds of reward motivate people: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic rewards come through task completion. Extrinsic rewards are those that get awarded by management or the Intranet itself. Balancing these two kinds of reward is tricky. Consider the use of challenges, games and difficulty levels, successful Intranets involve levelling-up to get harder challenges. Also consider mechanisms for users to garner praise from co-workers.
Could your Intranet use some sprucing up? Is it as engaging as it should be? Our Motivate Everyone Intranet Gamification Platform delivers a bespoke SharePoint Intranet user experience. If you have systems to hook together then our Automate Everything team is here to assist. JFDI helps you achieve the broadest possible motivation, user reach, device compatibility and integration.
Joel is Technical Director at JFDI. He’s a full stack cloud architect, a SharePoint and Office 365 Consultant, Microsoft Certified Trainer, subject matter expert and developer for SharePoint 2019, Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft .NET Platform.