Friday, December 15, 2006

Intranet teams need usability skills

James Robertson has written an article 'Usability and IA are core skills for intranet teams' .

Surprisingly I have come across few dedicated intranet professionals with good skills in these areas to-date with them either being heavily technology or IT focused or at the other end and heavily internal/corporate comms focused.

James says:
The primary focus of usability and information architecture activities is
normally on the major redesign of the intranet. Taking many months, this
redesign should (and often does) follow best-practice user-centred design

Beyond this major piece of work however, it is not as widely
recognised that there is an ongoing need for usability and IA expertise relating
to the intranet.

If nothing else, once the consultants have finished
their work, it is left to the intranet team to actually put the designs into
practice. Since there is a limit to what the delivered designs can cover every
issue, there will be many small (and sometimes large) decisions yet to make.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Intranet IA

Toby Ward has published a post on card sorting with a link to another article published through his consultancy.

"Firstly, build a full intranet plan or blueprint – including strategic directives such as a mission and goals – and then have a professional craft the first draft of an information architecture based upon that plan (and the preceding intranet assessment). Once you’ve made your first attempt at an IA, and then take the IA to working sessions with your key stakeholders to focus on their areas (e.g. HR for the human resources section or site). It is at this point, when you’re engaging stakeholder groups that it is most valuable to undertake a card sorting exercise."

As usual some good ideas to consider and put into practice.

While you are there also check out his post on Intranet ROI.

"How does understanding employee requirements relate to ROI? The intranet has to deliver value for employees to use it. If you build it... and employees don't see value in using the intranet, they will not come. If they don't come, you won't get the ROI."

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Using method acting for personas

Zef Fugaz has published an article, 'Bring your personas to life' , which describes using method acting techniques to help use personas within a user-centred design environment. He talks about how his team have adopted the approaches with good results.

Not not sure if it would work with a lot of teams but the idea ia an interesting one and worth considering to beef up your use of personas.

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