It is expected that the intranet review toolkit will be completed electronically, in the Word version. This allows the figures to be automatically calculated, as well as making it easy to fill in the notes section beside each heuristic.
If you have a printed copy (or other version), you can obtain the latest electronic version from the Intranet Review Toolkit website (www.IntranetReviewToolkit.org).
Start by filling in the name of the intranet on the titlepage of this document, along with the name of the person conducting the review and the date of the review.
After gaining a good overview of the intranet, work through each section of the template, assessing the intranet against each heuristic. For some heuristics, you may need to attempt additional tasks or check a number of pages.
Make notes against each point as you work through them (write these in the “Your Notes” column), then fill in the “Your score” column of the template. Note that the areas to be filled in by the reviewer are marked in yellow.
Once your figures have been entered, use Ctrl-A, F9 to then make the intranet review toolkit calculate a total for each category, as well as a percentage score. Note that no overall percentage score is provided for the intranet as a whole, as it is only meaningful to assess the site against each individual category.
Once the main Intranet Review Toolkit document has been completed, the summary version (provided in Excel) can be filled in. This provides an at-a-glance summary suitable for providing to others, and it can be downloaded from the Intranet Review Toolkit website (www.IntranetReviewToolkit.org).
For each heuristic, provide a score from 0-5. This provides an at-a-glance indication of the strengths and weaknesses of each element of the intranet. An overview of the scoring system is as follows:
Note: in the rationale, details have only been provided for scores of 0 and 5. This has been done to provide a balance of sufficient detail, without making this document either too proscriptive or unwieldy to easily use in practice.
The reviewer must therefore evaluate each aspect of the intranet against these two extremes, and assess what the most suitable score is.
For example, a heuristic that meets almost all of the criteria, but misses out some small elements, should be given a high score (such as 3 or 4). Conversely, an element that provides some very limited capabilities that are better than nothing should be given a low score (such as 1 or 2).
Where capabilities are not provided at all by the intranet, a score of 0 should be given. For example, if there is no search on the intranet, all of the heuristics in section 3 should be given a zero score.
Using the commentary
The Intranet Review Toolkit website (www.IntranetReviewToolkit.org) provides a commentary on a growing number of the heuristics. This gives more information and supporting details on the heuristics, as well as linking to relevant articles and resources.
Use the commentary when you are unclear about the reasoning behind the heuristics, or when you need clarifying information. The commentary can also be used to obtain supporting articles for intranet stakeholders, or to gain suggestions on how to implement best-practice solutions in each of the areas.
Using the results
The results of the intranet review may be used in a number of ways, depending on the stage of the project:
Identifying opportunities for incremental improvement
The intranet review will almost certainly identify areas where the design or implementation of the site does not meet best-practice standards. Many of these issues may be comparatively minor, or may be restricted to certain elements of the site. In these cases, incremental improvements can be scheduled for the intranet.
The intranet review can be valuable to identify areas which should be addressed as part of a broader and more comprehensive redesign. It will also highlight aspects that are working well, and should be retained.
Building a business case
The review can assist intranet teams in building a business case for an intranet redesign, by providing an independent set of criteria to judge the site by. In some cases, this will highlight the deficiencies of the site, further building an imperative for change.
The scoring of the intranet review facilitates benchmarking against other intranets, particularly with those in the same industry sector. This can give an indication of the comparative maturity of the site, as well as identifying good design elements that can be shared between organisations.
Ensuring balance in intranet efforts
It can be easy for intranet teams to focus very strongly on a few aspects of intranets, to the detriment of other elements required for a successful site. Use of the intranet review toolkit can be beneficial in highlighting overlooked or down-played intranet aspects.
Validating a new design
An intranet review can be conducted as part of the redesign process, to provide a ‘second opinion’ on the designs as they are being developed. In the later stages of a project, they can provide an opportunity to ensure that changes to the site do not introduce new issues.