Thursday, March 25, 2010

Intranet Search is Overrated

You should not rely on your intranet's search capabilities to ensure your users find the tools, content and collaboration that they need. Many intranets appear to cede the battle of providing proper and useful organisation and navigation under the premise that their search capability can quickly find the content their users can or should find value in. I believe that intranet search has value but is inherently limited, both functionally and technologically. Search can be improved, but is only one of many solutions for connecting your users with content, tools and collaboration opportunities that form the basis of intranet business value.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Litmus Test for Intranets: Do your users use Bookmarks?

I have a working hypothesis about intranets. If your employees and users create and maintain bookmarks to revisit portions of it, your intranet is not working to it's potential. It is likely difficult to navigate and because of this you may be missing out on the intangible but valuable benefits of the intranet enabled enterprise.

Recently I was working on a job at a large organisation and I had over the course of a few months the opportunity to work with their Microsoft SharePoint-driven intranet. This was a large intranet, stuffed full of content, documents, team pages, project sites and links through to other tools and web applications. I would have been completely lost, but a helpful coworker shared their Internet Explorer favorites (bookmarks) folder structure, and I knew at least what parts of the intranet were important to her and the team.