The design of your online intranet's home page plays a major role in both the adoption and use of your online intranet by your intended users. You have a long list of issues to consider when building and managing your intranet, just make sure that you pay the proper level of attention to your home page design.
What makes for an effective intranet home page is highly subjective. Some users will prefer a visually attractive home page. Other users will focus on the practicality of the home page and the ease of navigation. Whether you are in the planning stages of your online intranet or you are looking to give it a makeover, here are a few tips to help you with your home page design.
Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm
Never dive in head first and commit to one design. Also, don't assume that your online intranet needs to look exactly like your corporate website. Your intranet management or design team must spend time brainstorming the design. Feel free to be as creative as possible. Then, once the team has developed lots of design concepts it's time to choose the best concept and move forward.
Take a Look at the Home Page of Other Companies
Looking at the home pages of other companies will give you a great idea of what is possible. It's very likely that you have colleagues in your industry and other industries whose companies have online intranets. Ask them for a tour of their intranet to get ideas. Also, you can search the Internet for articles discussing effective online Intranet home page designs.
Simplicity is Paramount
The importance of your home page being simple cannot be overstated. The reason is that it must be extremely clear to users how they can get to where they need to go to get the information they need or to accomplish a task. If the home page of your online intranet is complicated or users find it difficult to navigate, you risk a slow and low adoption rate. And many employees may not use your intranet at all.
Great Design Matters
Never underestimate the power of a great design. Certainly design must be functional, but great visual design matters. The design concepts of symmetry and balance are important. If your online intranet's home page has one huge central graphic, it draws attention from other information and navigation elements. Smaller and simpler design elements encourage users to view the entire screen rather than the largest image or the brightest color.
Use Color Effectively
Color is really a design issue. How you use color on your online intranet home page has a subconscious effect on the user. Using vibrant colors is fine, but they must complement each other. Choosing to go with your corporate color scheme is effective, but consider adding colors that support the ease of navigation. For instance, if you have 6 major destinations that your users can reach from your home page, make all of the buttons or selection areas different colors. When it comes to ease of navigation, using colors is much better than using words.
When designing or redesigning your online intranet's home page, don't be afraid to be creative. But also don't forget to maximize ease of use. Try Vauzo's intranet sfotware today for free to see just how beautiful your intranet can be!