Involving users in intranet design

Duncan Stephen
Monday 8 December 2014

User involvement for user adoption: an intranet strategy

As we begin to investigate how an intranet here might work, this is a timely article from usability experts Nielsen Norman Group.

Even when a new, usable design replaces a previous, terrible design, users may not be excited for the change. However bad the previous design was, people knew how it worked (and how it didn’t work).  A new design is an unknown, and, even when it is an improvement over previous designs, requires time to learn.

Some intranet teams develop new sites on their own, with little or no employee input. The flipside of this approach is that the employees, the ones who will need to use the new site, tool or system, have little to no idea that a new design is coming soon.  They’ll be sure to complain when a familiar design is suddenly replaced by an unfamiliar one.

Change management is essential for launches of new or redesigned internal sites or tools. Informing employees about coming changes goes a long way to easing acceptance of new designs. Preparing users can be as simple as sharing early wireframes or previews of the new designs or keeping them up to date with intranet team’s progress. Even getting people familiar with the idea of change makes them less resistant to it.

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