More broadly than the design of the intranet, there must be a clear strategy for the site, to ensure that it meets broader staff (and organisational) needs. Appropriate resources must also be allocated to the management of the site, along with clearly-defined policies and processes.
Note: this can only be assessed by the intranet team, or through discussions with the intranet team (and other key stakeholders). This cannot be evaluated based on a visual examination of the site, and is therefore marked as optional.
If staff cannot distinguish the intranet home page from other pages on the site it can impact on their understanding of the breadth of content offered by the site, and their ability to navigate to content.
The intranet may also compete with other platforms and sites that also offer a gateway to corporate resources, introducing considerable confusion for staff.
0: There are a number of pages that could easily be mistaken for the intranet home page. Alternatively, staff may be presented with a number of systems competing to provide the main ‘home page’.
5: The intranet home page is clearly distinguished from all other pages on the site. There is a clear distinction between the intranet home page and other corporate systems.
The home page clearly presents the corporate image and ‘brand identity’ for the intranet
The intranet home page should represent the corporate image and communicate the key organisational values. The intranet itself should also have a clear ‘identity’ of its own, to allow it to be easily distinguished from the public website and other information sources.
5: The corporate image and intranet identity clearly established on the home page. The intranet identity is clearly distinguished from the corporate image, but is in keeping with the corporate brand.
The homepage is professional and attractive in appearance
The home page should present a professional and attractive image that is in keeping with current expectations of modern web design. This is necessary to build staff trust and confidence in the intranet, which is influenced by their emotional response to the intranet design and presentation.
The appearance of the home page is also a usability issue, to ensure that staff can easily understand what is being presented.
0: The home page has a very unattractive appearance. The page is cluttered, or uses dated techniques such as animated images, scrolling banners, etc.
5: The home page is professional and attractive in design, matching good design practices on the broader web.
The home page enables staff to quickly and confidently access the information they require
The home page should highlight the breadth of content available on the intranet so staff can quickly and confidently find the content they require.
Content from all top-level categories should be included on the home page. This helps staff understand what content to expect in each section of the intranet and can speed up task completion.
For example, within the HR section, key links could be displayed such as “leave form”, “online pay slip” and “employment conditions”.
0: The home page does not display content from all sections of the site. Navigation to intranet content is not clear or well-designed.
5: Key content from each section of the site is surfaced on the home page and presented in the context of the area of the site in which it appears. Navigation to intranet content is clear and usable.
The home page contains useful content
The intranet homepage is valuable ‘real estate’ and should provide content that is of value to staff, beyond just providing access other information.
Content and features that staff use most often should be easily available from the intranet home page. They may be represented as links on the home page or as interactive features, such as a staff directory search.
It is important that only the key features are included on the home page, and that the inclusion of those selected can be justified.
0: The home page features no useful content, or is so cluttered that staff find it difficult to find the specific information they require.
5: The home page features the most commonly accessed content on the intranet, with a clear design and structure.
Scrolling is minimised on the home page
Staff are less likely to scroll on the home page compared to other pages. They may miss content or features that are not shown above-the-fold (i.e. the visible areas of the screen).
0: Key information is not visible on the home page or requires scrolling on the organisational standard screen resolution. Alternatively, too large an amount of content is presented on the home page, filling many page-lengths.
5: All key information is visible on the home page without scrolling.
The home page is likely to be the most commonly accessed page on the site. As a gateway to the site, the page weight (size in kb) should be kept to a minimum to enable all staff to quickly and easily get to the content they require irrespective of the quality of their intranet connection.
Note that specific sizes in kb have not been specified, as the acceptable page weight is dependent on the typical access speeds available to staff throughout the organisations. An assessment should be made against the slowest available speeds, such as those staff located in remote or regional locations.
0: The home page typically takes 10 or more seconds to load on a standard connection.
5: The home page consistently loads in less than 3 seconds on a standard connection.
The home page is scalable to enable new features and content areas to be manageably added to the site
The design and structure of the intranet home page should be flexible enough to allow new features and content areas to be added in a manageable way. Additional items should not require substantial design effort or reliance on including new content in ‘quick links’ dropdown menus.
For example, it should be possible to add a new section of the site without having to substantially rework the overall design of the home page. There should also be a mechanism for adding highlighted or featured elements to the page within the standard page layout.
0: Featuring new content requires a substantial redesign of the home page, or it is only possible to feature new content in ‘quick links’ dropdown menus.
5: New features and content can be highlighted on the home page without design effort or compromising commonly used content.
Intranet home page (percentage score)
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