You know the classic templates for an intranet? Home page, one or two versions of Nav page, Content page, and News page. In Region Skåne, we are splitting the content page into two different templates—”the service page”, and “the inspiration page”. Right now, we will use them in the special section for managers. Later, on the whole intranet.
a) The service page template
This page is all about explaining a routine, a process, a transaction. The purpouse is to answer the question “How do I..?” in a 1-2-3 way, with great UX writing.
Primary content (what you must know in order to get your answer and complete the transaction) will be on the top half. Dominant is the “How do I..?” box, giving a straight answer (how to book a meeting room, register an invoice, apply for leave etc).
Secondary content (additional info you might need in some cases) will be on the second half, in accordions and as “Read more” boxes with links, perhaps leadning out to documents in the DMS, or a national web site with general law info. This is also the place for contact info (to the one who can help you if the info on the page is not enough.
At the bottom we have the option to show the present step in the process, if it is a complex process we are explaining. We also have “cards” leading to related “inspiration”, and “Did this page help you?” function.
b) The inspiration page template
This page is about providing additional inspirational content for end-users. The format is more a feature, telling a story. Lots of pictures, pull quotes, longer texts. In the bottom we have cards leading to the related service page and other related inspiration.
There are at least four different uses for this template:
- Additional support for a routine. While the service page describes the exact steps for e.g. how you as manager conduct an employee performance appraisal, the corresponding inspiration page could be “Five tips when you as manager lead the performance appraisal meeting”, or “Anna found a new way to handle her difficult employee”.
- Inspiration boosting business goals. E.g. “How to lead change in your unit”, or “How to maximize business outcome”.
- Longreads. Timeless interviews, stories about the organization and the people in it. (On many intranets this is stored in the “news” section.)
- Topic X 101. When using a complex routin, process, transaction for the first time, sometimes you need a crash course telling you the absolute basics about the topic. You will not need this information the following 99 times, therefore it’s perfect as a inspiration page related to the service page.
Many organizations try to fit all this on the same page template, often leadning to infighting about disposition as well as end-user TL;DR.
The benefits of splitting it are:
- Better focus on “How do I..?”, and action, without distractions. (Something the intranet must always excel at.)
- Also better focus on more soft support and background when needed, “How should I think about this?”, and “Why do we have this routin in the organization?”. (Something internal stakeholders often wish to convey, and end-users need when a topic is complex.)
- Separating longreads from the news feeds, making the news feeds more here and now—and creating the possibility for other stories to exist a whole year. (Something the newsroom team is keen on.)
- Search filters and SEO. Dividing one big answer into smaller ones with different focus could result in better search. (Benefiting the end-user.)
- Better support for org culture. Inspiraion pages can tell me things that add to the bigger picture, why the organization exists and with what philosophy we approach the job at hand.
My bet is that service pages (“How do I” pages) will take 80-90 per cent of the traffic, and inspiration pages (“Gain a deeper understanding” pages) 10-20 per cent, since the basic intranet need is always “How do I..?”. Time will tell.