For many years we have been talking about Intranets as a place to quickly find information. There has been much discussion about technology improvements and the latest design ideas. We talk about how to organize (taxonomy) and access (in Outlook or web browser) information. We have even involved attorneys in the design process with the hope that by so doing, we will build a better Intranet. We keep thinking that if we get it right, the attorneys will start using it. But, with few exceptions, Intranets are little more than administrative clearing houses of static information.
We need to do build Intranets that reflect the interests of the reader. A site needs to be able to look and feel different for each user to address each user’s unique perspective.
An effective Intranet needs to blur the lines of personal and professional, because most of today’s workers do not have clear cut delineations between work and play. For those few who still want the delineation, a well designed site will accommodate their wishes too. Intranets need to embrace social media, both external and internal. They need to foster a sense of community and quickly adapt to changing times.