During this Intranet Lunch in Auckland we were lucky enough for Auckland University to share one of their intranet home pages with us. They also shared a search page with us.
Both pages were delivered by a SharePoint system and google search appliance. They provide value across the organisation. Faculties and departments in some cases have their own intranets.
There is a personalisation project underway
Frazer Orr gave us a commentary on the background and development of the pages up to this point. The following is my summary of our discussions.
University of Auckland intranet home page
- News and events are at the top
- News is already being created, and the owner is the communications manager so reuse and adaptation for the intranet has been well received.
- News performs well. Measured by views multiplied by average time on page. Thus a bigger number indicates more time reading news.
Reporting on news can be broken down by news categories and viewing groups e.g. researchers. Generally there is interest in reporting for the reach associated with specific campaigns. This allows senior staff to answer the question “are we meeting our obligations”.
News has improved year on year. Being able to show this has been key to ongoing support from senior staff.
The menu on the left of the home page is persistent across the entire site.
The right banner on the home page provides real estate that can be traded when required. Particularly useful are the several buttons in the right column just above the fold.
The home page has set conventions for page elements and this are very useful when requests come in for things to be changed.
About 30 news items are posted each month, and 60 events highlighted.
Video news items are of interest to users of the site but done when required. Sometimes these are hosted on organisation servers and at other times YouTube is embeded in the news item. There are some issues with this as not all staff devices have speakers or headphones, and some staff don’t have PCs at all.
University of Auckland intranet below the fold
There are six sections below the fold on the home page, each with three descriptive links to give the user information scent about the contents of that section.
University of Auckland intranet Service center
Frazer let us know about this relatively new way they are providing access to the university knowledge base, which has existed for five plus years. Prior to this point students have been encouraged to use it, now staff content/information is there staff are being encouraged to use it. By adding staff value already available to students is leveraged for staff.
The goal is to get staff to visit the intranet service center first and then telephone the service center in person. Currently there is information relating to HR, IT and property services available for staff.
University of Auckland intranet other activities
Enterprise search is on the radar. Once implemented this will raise other issues.
University of Auckland search results page
Search is provided by a Google search appliance. Search seems to be good with anecdotes that it isn’t not translating into specific items that can be addressed. [Dorje comment : this is true of many many intranet search results pages].
Intranet home and search page conclusion
Many thanks to Frazer for sharing his home and search results pages from the University of Auckland staff intranet.
By sharing these two key elements of his intranet we were and are able to pick up on specific solutions to issues faced by intranet and digital workplace professionals in every organisation around the world. How to solve the directive “this must be on the home page”, how to decide what goes above and below the fold, ways of indicating to new and existing users what each section holds.
Let us know where you’ve shared your intranet home page and or search results page.
At the next Intranet Lunch (On March 16th 2015) in Auckland we’re taking a look at measuring your intranet, how you can, why you would and the value in doing it.