Intranet content tactics


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Wedge talks about how to write great content, and layout intranet pages for a good reading experience.

It’s part ‘micro-content strategy’ and part user experience.

Wedge covers:

Headlines – helping people choose what to click
Images – attracting attention and conveying meaning
Links – how to link to other pages, and to files
Layout – structuring content for easy reading
Content – writing for the audience, not your boss
Documents vs pages – the epic battle

Wedge also touches on engaging audiences and internal communities, channel management (because the intranet is not a single channel) and content for mobile devices.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Intranet content tactics

  1. 1. Text Content tactics executing your strategy on the page
  2. 2. @Wedge — Wedge Black UK Past intranet manager Currently consultant ClearBox Consulting, and Content Formula, and the WIC I like dogs, cats, books, plants (not flowers), and insects
  3. 3. Text Beyond the technical Beyond features
  4. 4. Creating intranet content Effective headlines Images Links Layout Search Writing Documents vs pages Engagement Channels Mobile
  5. 5. Creating intranet content Free guide to everyone who attends my workshop tomorrow
  6. 6. Content strategy “Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.”
 Kristina Halvorson “The main goal of content strategy is to use words and data to create unambiguous content that supports meaningful, interactive experiences. We have to be experts in all aspects of communication in order to do this effectively.”
 Rachel Lovinger
  7. 7. Content tactics Micro-content strategy Page-level / interaction-level content strategy UX + UI + ID + communications A matter of scale and focus
  8. 8. Effective headlines Help people choose what to read Short and clear Help people know what's relevant to them Summaries help convey further detail
  9. 9. Effective headlines Present tense Succinct Informative, detailing the who and what direct and to the point statements, not questions
  10. 10. Images Attract interest and conveying meaning Format images so they look consistent and pleasing alongside your content Chose your file-type and file-size carefully, to make sure the image loads quickly Put the image on the right-side of the content, unless the image is the main focus
  11. 11. Images Crop photos to focus on people or relevant detail Use photographs taken inside the organisation or by colleagues Avoid clip-art Permission from the owner, and preferably from anyone shown Use fresh images .jpg / .png Alt text
  12. 12. Links Embed links in meaningful text within your sentences Let people know if you're linking to a file Read navigation design using card sorting [PDF; 425KB] to assess if helpful. Never say 'click here'
  13. 13. Links for navigation Avoid using the term ‘Quick links’ Avoid ordering items by ‘importance’ Avoid alphabetising a long list of links Group lists of links by function
  14. 14. Layout Structure articles for scanability Opening paragraph should communicate the most important facts Use sub-headings throughout the article Respect that many people will not read the full article
  15. 15. Layout F-pattern Left Right
  16. 16. Layout In-page menu links (for long pages) – a topic menu at the top that links to content further down Lots of sub-headings to break up the content and define topics In-page links to return readers to the top of the page Bullet points – people love the simplicity and richness Multiple paragraphs Short sentences, in the active voice
  17. 17. Writing Write for your audience, not for your boss Get the formality level right for your company culture and the topic Use short, simple sentences and be as clear and direct as possible Avoid humour, metaphors, acronyms and jargon unless you know your audience very well
  18. 18. Text The equation for good comms
  19. 19. Documents vs. pages When to use PDF, Word, and other formats Use intranet pages rather than Office documents unless there's a specific reason not to Consider replacing policies and guides in PDF with a collection of intranet pages If linking to a PDF or Office file, let people know explicitly [Word; 300KB]
  20. 20. Documents vs. pages People prefer single-topic short pages that link to each other, except when an ‘official procedure’ Word document can be presented as a long web page instead. ! Such ‘official documents’ (like procedures, work instructions and policies) could be one comprehensive page, or published in sections over several intranet pages.
  21. 21. Engagement Writing to start a conversation Some content serves its purpose merely by being read, other content is only truly valuable if people engage with it in more active ways Comments, social sharing and the creation of new observations and ideas can unlock the knowledge within your organisation An informal tone can encourage feedback
  22. 22. Engagement Share progress, not just results Share ideas, not just results Blogs Discussion forums ESN
  23. 23. Channels The intranet is not an amorphous channel — it’s a city of sectors, communities, highways and byways. We should diversify our comms and stop simply publishing a single news story. ! Photo: Jaakko Hakulinen
  24. 24. Channels Don't only rely on the home page to get your content noticed Use different areas of the intranet in different ways Actively engage audiences by using the channels they already use Photo: Alex Brown
  25. 25. Creating intranet content Effective headlines Images Links Layout Search Writing Documents vs pages Engagement Channels Mobile
  26. 26. Text @Wedge — Thank you - Intranätverk, May 2014