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Breaking News – Members of our Marketing team were yesterday granted a temporary leave pass to escape the office for a few hours.
While the hectic weeks leading up to a significant release usually see staff bid farewell to their loved ones, surrender keys to any fast-moving mode of transport and substitute sunlight with high potency Vitamin D tablets, an exception was made in this case.
Never fear, before war cries of ‘release the hounds!’ start getting thrown around you should all know – it was an educational venture.
They attended the book tour for James Robertson’s newly released ‘Designing Intranets – A Guide to Creating Sites that Work’. James is the Managing Director of Step Two Designs, who provide consulting and mentoring services around intranets, among a variety of other things.
James shared some really interesting insights around what he feels goes into making a great intranet design. We won’t spoil the book for you – you can get your hands on a copy here – but it’s definitely worth a read, and would be a great resource for any budding re-designers out there looking for a little inspiration.
There really aren’t a great deal of resources out there giving intranet teams real-world insights into what makes a good intranet, great. As James pointed out yesterday, there seems to be a cone of silence when it comes to intranets; we’re all a bit afraid to get nosey.
Having never been fans of silence and as huge advocates for nosiness, we are with James – the more of us that get talking, the better our intranets will be. At the risk of ripping off what may have been a tag line for a United Colors of Benetton commercial – together we do better.
So get talking…what do you think goes into a great intranet?
Australia Council for the Arts (ACA) has stepped up to the social media mark and integrated micro-blogging phenomenons Twitter and Yammer into their iD intranet.
NB: We were forced to exclude Yammer from the headline, not for want of trying but simply because the verb associated with using it evades us at this point. ‘Yamming’? ‘Yammering’? Either way, we simply could not afford a faux pas here.
ACA is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body, responsible for the allocation of over $158 million annually in funding to arts organizations and individual artists across the country.
In the only known parallel drawn between them and the National Rugby League (NRL) – other than the matching sized acronyms – they have both recently upgraded to iD 3 and are doing some very exciting things with the new functionality available in the latest version of iD (see Friday’s blog post).
A client since 2008, ACA recently enlisted the help of the iD team to do a complete redesign of their intranet to coincide with their upgrade. They wanted to re-vamp the site’s look and feel, with the goal of pulling more people to the intranet, engaging them in an interactive experience and ultimately keep them coming back.
Having previously struggled with employee uptake of the intranet, ACA saw the release of iD 3 as the perfect opportunity to turn things around create a brand-spanking new site their employees would actually want to visit.
Click on the image below to see the new design for yourself.
Big thank you to ACA for allowing us to use this screen shot.
They say first impressions last. If so, the National Rugby League has put themselves in good stead for the future, with an all new login screen for their iD extranet. A client since 2008, the NRL has worked with the iD team from the get-go to create a unique look and feel for their sponsorship portal – reflecting their corporate branding and reinforcing the ‘personality’ of the organization for users.
They recently upgraded to the latest version of iD and naturally wanted to re-launch it looking better than ever. That’s where we came in. The iD Design Team was enlisted as official style counsel, with a whole host of new styling options at their disposal in the latest version of iD.
The extranet re-design started with their login page. While for most, the login screen may seem like little more than a stepping stone to the central system, in the case of an extranet it is the mandatory first stop for all users. Put simply – branding begins here.
Stay tuned for more details and screen shots of the NRL’s new extranet.
A big thank you to the NRL for the screen shot below.
Disclaimer – This article in no way suggests you turn your ‘eback’ on traditional textual content for your intranet. Words included in this article such as ‘carousel’ may encourage a fun theme park notion, leading the more impressionable among us to seek a ‘higher level of interaction’ and communicate to users through a series of brightly colored pictures only. While ultimately hilarious, this is not a wise idea. Think of it this way – just because your liturgical dance skills would put a mute Olympic ribbon-twirler to shame does not mean you should stop talking.
So to reiterate – great content is always going to be one of the most important factors in keeping intranet users engaged. That said, including exciting visuals and interactive functionality is another great way to enhance the overall user experience and push previously underrated intranet pages into the spotlight.
To set the scene – your boss has returned victorious from a phenomenally successful sales expo with a series of high resolution images so majestic and thought-provoking you will be fielding head-hunter calls from The National Geographic for months to come. They would like you to share them on the intranet, and have visualized them sliding smoothly/gracefully onto the screen.
With iD CMS, available in the latest version of iD, this is one request you can fulfill with ease using iD CMS’ HTML component.
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Note: This is one for the CSS-savvy (cascading style sheet) among us.
As any truly stylish individual will tell you – if you can catch them between latte’s, sample sales and Davidoff Slim’s – variety is the spice of life. Sure you have your basics – dependable, crowd-pleasing items that go with everything, but a truly fabulous wardrobe is one with much more than just black; it needs at least a few unique, standout show-stoppers.
iD CMS’s Formatted Text component is one such wardrobe.
The Formatted Text component enables authorized users to create page content using a WYSIWYG rich text editor. The WYSIWYG editor comes with a predefined set of styles and formatting options that authorized users can quickly and easily apply to their text. Cue a fabulous coat thrown over an otherwise dull outfit.
What you might not know is that this set of styles can be further customized and expanded to suit your particular needs – enter some highly sought after tailor. Text styles are all defined in the ‘Theme Style Sheet’; for now we’ll use one of our default themes – the lovely ‘Classic 3’ – to demonstrate how to make changes.
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We can all agree there are few things more frustrating than getting lost. The fact that most of those things will actually only happen to you after you find yourself lost is even more incentive to stay on the straight and narrow.
Thankfully we live in the age of the GPS, and can have our route mapped out and even narrated to us by a gender of our choosing, in a soothing international accent. Your intranet users are not so lucky – they face navigating the online world without the help of their trusty Tom Tom.
Before this terrifying thought has you running back to a paper-based office, there are a number of easy ways to guide your users around your intranet with ease. Navigation comes in a number of forms such as Search, Bread Crumbs Bars, Quick Links, Navigation Bars, the list goes on…
For now let’s focus on Navigation Bars.
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One of iD’s US resellers, Viviant Solutions, has been working with the new range of customizations available with iD 3 . Below are some impressive examples of new login screens that they have produced for FEDI (Front End Design Integration) clients recently.
Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.
*As seen on CMS Wire
CMS Wire has declared Intranet DASHBOARD (iD) the temporary victor in our long-running David and Goliath battle with Microsoft SharePoint. After coming away with not one, but two Intranet Journal Product of the year awards, we didn’t think life could get much sweeter and yet here we are. See below for the full article.
‘It’s not often that Microsoft gets beat in the intranet and collaboration game — what with its market leading SharePoint (MOSS) flying off the shelves and garnering much recent media attention.
The other day, however, Intranet Journal announced that Melbourne, Australia-based Intranet DASHBOARD had won, not one, but two awards in its first reader judged Product of the Year Awards. They went home the winner for both Best Intranet Design Software and Best Hosted Intranet Solution.’ Read more »
Intranet DASHBOARD would like to congratulate two of our clients, Shell and Lloyd’s TSB for winning Best Intranet Design and Best Intranet Content respectively, at the 2006 International Benchmarking Forum Intranet of the Year Awards in London.
Based on the IBF’s ongoing work to evaluate members’ intranets, the top 10 intranets were shortlisted in each of the award categories. These intranets were then put in front of a panel of judges made up of IBF members and IBF staff.
Paul Miller IBF founder and Chairman said, ‘We are publicly acknowledging the hard work and vision of our members. These high-performing intranets are indicative of a maturing in the intranet and portal field.’
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