Re-engineering Your Intranet With User Friendly Architecture

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Presented at Ark Group's "Strategically Managing Intranet Developments" conference in Sydney, Australia on March 3rd 2009.

Presented at Ark Group's "Strategically Managing Intranet Developments" conference in Sydney, Australia on March 3rd 2009.

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    Slide 8: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html

    Slide 13: http://www.designcomics.org/slides/Galina-v1-0.odp

    Slide 18: http://www.uie.com/reports/field_study_handbook/
    http://www.vimeo.com/1269848
    http://www.gurtle.com/ppov/2009/01/23/intermediaries-in-user-research

    Slide 20: http://www.designcomics.org/slides/Miguel-v1-0.odp

    Slide 24: http://www.usabilitynet.org/tools/taskanalysis.htm
    http://www.gurtle.com/ppov/2007/11/14/website-analytics
    http://www.boxesandarrows.com/archives/web_traffic_analytics_and_user_experience.php
    http://www.uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000040.php
    http://www.sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/11/eye-tracking-ru.html

    Slide 31: http://www.gurtle.com/ppov/2009/02/10/17-usability-tips-to-make-your-cms-rock

    Slide 38: http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_canoncasestudy/

    Slide 40: http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/cmb_bestbets/
    http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_personalisation/

    Slide 45: http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/card_based_classification_evaluation
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  • 1. Re-engineering your intranet with user- friendly architecture Strategically Managing Intranet Developments Sydney, Australia 3rd March 2009
  • 2. “The customer is always right. Even when they’re wrong, they’re still right” Matt Moran, celebrity chef and restaurateur Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 2 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 3. Introduction  For your intranet, your customers are your users  In terms of knowing what they want, need and do, the customer (or the user) is always right  But you might need to translate between what is “right” and what they think is right  And you have to ask the right questions, you can’t just ask them what they want  Listening to your users is the recipe for user friendly intranets  Image credit  images.theage.com.au/ftage/ffximage/2008/10/30/wr_moran2.jpg Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 3 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 4. A bit about Patrick Kennedy  I’m a user experience architect  Which means I design user experiences by understanding users, predominantly for websites  I have a particular interest in user research  My experience includes time at Step Two Designs, where I consulted clients on intranet needs analysis and redesign  My background is in Computer Systems Engineering and web development Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 4 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 5. Re-engineering your intranet… Engineering is “the application of science and mathematics by which the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to people” (source: Webster’s) Requirements Analysis Design Implementation Verification Maintenance Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 5 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 6. Re-engineering your intranet…  Webster’s dictionary defines engineering as “the application of science and mathematics by which the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to people”  Some of the words might be a bit odd but I think this sounds very familiar to anyone who has redesigned an intranet  A typical engineering process involves: Requirements, Analysis, Design, Implementation, Verification and Maintenance  Which should also sound familiar Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 6 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 7. …with user-friendly architecture Learnable Efficient Memorable Satisfying Error-free Relevant Streamlined Personalised Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 7 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 8. …with user-friendly architecture  What is a user-friendly intranet architecture (UFIA)?  In this context I’m talking about “Information Architecture”  Usability consists of: [http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html]:  Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?  Efficiency: Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?  Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?  Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors?  Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the design?  Today I’m going to add “Relevant” and talk about how a relevant intranet is Streamlined and Personalised Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 8 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 9. How do we do this? Identify needs Analysing Streamlining behaviour processes Personalising Research Testing it! Design Validate Requirements Analysis Design Implementation Verification Maintenance Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 9 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 10. How do we do this?  Overlaying the engineering process with a generic user centred design (UCD) process we see how they can fit together  Research  Understand the goals, attitudes and behaviours of our audience  Assessing user psychology  Identifying needs  Analysing behaviours  Design  We translate this knowledge of our audience into a design solution  Streamlining processes to simplify work flow and usability  Personalising the intranet experience by creating user centred design  Validate  We test our design solution to ensure it suits our audience Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 10 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 11. When do we do this?  Often UCD is a fixed component at the start (or end) of a project  But is valuable throughout the development cycle  As user advocates, we can assist with strategy and planning before thinking of a specific product  Similarly, we can ensure design and build “stick to the plan” Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 11 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 12. This is Galina, senior account manager  Office based  50 major clients  18 mths at company  Mostly phone/email  And lots of offline and paper usage  Little need for collaboration  Rarely uses intranet  “Time is money” Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 12 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 13. This is Galina, senior account manager  Galina…  Based in HQ office, occasionally some travel  Responsible for 50 medium and large customers  Some sales and biz dev  Been with the company 18 months  She finds it hard to know who to talk to about specific things  Easier to just pick up the phone, lots of tacit knowledge in her role  In fact she uses email and her phone more than anything else  Also uses a lot of hard-copy manuals, procedures, rate cards  Quite autonomous, little need for collaboration  Doesn’t use the intranet much, doesn’t offer her anything  Uses it for ESS/HR stuff and some forms, every once in a way  She is time poor and a bit of a control freak  Wants information in her hands quickly, the long term is not important  Image credit  Based on illustrations & concepts from Sun Microsystems, Inc. designcomics.org/slides/Galina-v1-0.odp Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 13 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 14. Identifying needs Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 14 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 15. Identifying needs  The first step is to work out what is needed  And find out who your users are  Assessing user psychology, if you will  Questions we want to ask (perhaps not directly) are  What do users need from the intranet?  What are their goals and attitudes?  How can we provide something useful for them? Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 15 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 16. User research for identifying needs  Many different ways to learn about your users  Interviews, proxy interviews and contextual inquiry  Diary studies and cultural probes  Competitor analysis, expert review, heuristic review  Surveys, focus groups and other market research techniques  Card sorting (to discover terminology and info relationships)  Ethnography is becoming more widely used  Get into the field, live the life of your subjects and take their point of view during analysis and decision making  Image credits  (top) Workplace observation. Source: Step Two Designs  (bottom left) Interview. Source: News Digital Media  (bottom right) Focus group Source: www.mosman.nsw.gov.au/planningreview/images/24.jpg Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 16 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 17. Interviews  One method in particular is the interview  It is the “pack horse” of the intranet user researcher  There are several different ways of doing interviews:  One-on-one with users  Proxy (speaking to someone who can tell you about your users)  Contextual inquiry  (as part of) Usability testing  Paired interviews • Interview two participants at the same time • Eg people from different regions/departments doing similar jobs • Participants validate each others opinions and processes  Convergent interviews • Conduct two separate interviews simultaneously then compare similarities and differences Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 17 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 18. Further reading  Visocky O'Grady, J. and Visocky O'Grady, K. (2006) A Designer's Research Manual: Succeed in Design by Knowing Your Clients and What They Really Need. Rockport Publishers.  Gomol, K. and Church, E. and Bond, E. (2007) The Field Study Handbook: A common sense approach to discovering user needs. User Interface Engineering. Available online at: www.uie.com/reports/field_study_handbook/  Mulder, S. with Yaar, Z. (2007). The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web. New Riders.  Kuniavsky, M. (2003). Observing the User Experience: A practitioner’s guide to user research. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.  Biller, G. and Scovel, K. (2008). Getting people to talk [video]. Available online at: www.vimeo.com/1269848  Kennedy, P. (2009) Intermediaries in user research. Available one at: www.gurtle.com/ppov/2009/01/23/intermediaries-in-user-research Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 18 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 19. This is Miguel, field service technician  Works on the road  Servicing equipment  Needs access to tech knowledge base  Needs to consult and collaborate with team  Uses intranet in frequent short bursts  8 years at company  Has extensive network  “Is this the latest info?” Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 19 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 20. This is Miguel, field service technician  Miguel… Works on the road, rarely in office Services equipment for all customers in his area Accessing lots of technical info, it’s part of his “intranet” Some email but lots of face-to-face and phone collaboration with other technicians (how do you fix this? What do you do to handle that?)  Not a lot of hard-copy, everything online  Can’t always access, so needs to connect and synch often  Makes reference to info frequently but not for long  Been with the company 8 years  Knows everyone and has a big personal network, who who to contact  Having accurate and up-to-date information is vital  Hates wasting time chasing information about a particular machine and its history  Image credit  Based on illustrations & concepts from Sun Microsystems, Inc. designcomics.org/slides/Miguel-v1-0.odp Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 20 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 21. Analysing behaviour Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 21 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 22. Analysing behaviour  In addition to identifying and understanding our users needs we also need to analyse their behaviour  How do they use the intranet?  When? Why? Why not?  Which features or content are used the most? Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 22 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 23. User research for analysing behaviour  Similar to identifying needs, and usually done at same time  But particular methods for analysing behaviour include:  Task analysis workshop  Search analytics (search engine logs)  Web analytics (including path analysis tools eg Clicktale.com)  Tech support service logs  Observation (including usability testing and eye tracking)  CRM and sales data analysis  Image credits  (bottom left) Web analytics. Source: Google Analytics  (top right) Contextual inquiry, also known as a “site visit” Source: www.hillaryelmore.com/images/contextualinquiry.jpg  (top left) Eye-tracking. Source: www.intranetjournal.com/articles/200503/Heatmap.jpg  (bottom right) Workshop. Source: www.dwp.gov.uk/pensionsreform/forum/photos/collection7/coll7-5.jpg Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 23 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 24. Further reading  Everything listed on slide 18, plus…  Unknown (2006) Task analysis methods. UsabilityNet. Available online at: http://www.usabilitynet.org/tools/taskanalysis.htm  Kennedy, P. (2007) Website analytics. Available online at: http://www.gurtle.com/ppov/2007/11/14/website-analytics  Diamond, F. (2003) Web traffic analytics and user experience. Boxes and Arrows. Available online at: www.boxesandarrows.com/archives/web_traffic_analytics_and_user_experience.php  Hackos, JoAnn & Redish, Janice C. (1998) User and Task Analysis for Interface Design. John Wiley & Sons.  Rubin, J. (1994) Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests. Wiley.  Penzo, M. (2005) Introduction to Eyetracking: Seeing Through Your Users’ Eyes. UXmatters. Available online at: uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000040.php  Godin, S. (2007) Eye-tracking rules. Available online at: www.sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/11/eye-tracking-ru.html Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 24 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 25. Relevancy is the key to moving forward  You’ve done research but how do you create your user-friendly intranet architecture?  How do you move from research into design?  The key is that extra attribute of intranet usability we introduced before: “relevant”  You take what you have learnt from your research: identifying needs and analysing behaviour  And you use this to determine what is relevant  Two ways this often manifests are:  Streamlining  Personalisation Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 25 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 26. Streamlining  Streamlining processes to simplify work flow and usability  Automating to remove choices/steps  Simplifying  Stick to usability conventions  Use your users’ language  The user interface should provide good translation between the system model and users’ mental model  Two examples are:  Employee self-service (ESS) leave form  CMS user interface Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 26 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 27. Streamlining by simplifying path to ESS NEED In main nav In sub nav I just want to check my ESS ESS login holidays! Click here to Login form Login to ESS ACTION Only thing on page Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 27 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 28. Streamlining by simplifying path to ESS  Here is an example of the navigation path to the ESS (Employee Self Service) section of a large intranet  Galina’s “need” is to check her holidays  The necessary “action” is to use ESS  But between the two are a lot of unnecessary steps  ESS is often the most highly used part of a corporate intranet  If nothing else is of value to staff, then why on earth would you make it this hard to get to it?  Sure it’s a third-party web application, but integration could be better than this  You could further stream line by including ESS in ‘single sign-on’ so the login form is also removed  Image credit  Based on illustrations & concepts from Sun Microsystems, Inc. designcomics.org/slides/Galina-v1-0.odp Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 28 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 29. Streamlining by automation of CMS tasks NEED Creates article asset I just want to put this Create Write article article up! page asset Assign article Publish page to page ACTION Publishes both assets Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 29 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 30. Streamlining by automation of CMS tasks  Here is an example of how a Content Management System (CMS) is in desperate need of some automation  Miguel’s “need” is to publish a technical article on the intranet  The necessary “action” is to publish the article using the CMS  In between are unnecessary steps, requiring Miguel to understand and interact with the internal “asset model” of the CMS  If articles are always on a page, then you can automate the creation of the page asset and linking of the two assets  Image credit  Based on illustrations & concepts from Sun Microsystems, Inc. designcomics.org/slides/Miguel-v1-0.odp Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 30 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 31. An aside: why does this happen?  Especially when it comes to a CMS interface…  Developers don’t understand users, nor think like them  Poor specifications/requirements fail to capture real context of use  Team is too close to the technical details  No usability testing  Trying to be everything rather than a system to suit a specific purpose  Edge cases and “what if” scenarios are not prioritised realistically  Further reading  Kennedy, P. (2009) 17 usability tips to make your CMS rock. Available online at: www.gurtle.com/ppov/2009/02/10/17-usability-tips-to-make-your-cms-rock Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 31 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 32. What are your examples? Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 32 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 33. What are your examples?  The best examples of streamlining processes and interfaces to make intranets more user-friendly are likely to be found right in this very room!  Image credit  http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdutile/3289061063/ Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 33 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 34. Personalisation vs Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 34 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 35. Personalisation  Personalising the intranet experience by creating user centred design  This is a way of catering for vastly different users  And seemingly contradictory behaviours/needs  For example:  Business unit centric home pages  Location-based tools and content  Image credits  (left) http://designcomics.org/slides/Miguel-v1-0.odp  (right) http://designcomics.org/slides/Galina-v1-0.odp Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 35 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 36. Personalised intranet home page Just what I need! Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 36 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 37. Personalised intranet home page And just what I need! Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 37 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 38. Personalised intranet home page  Tailor at least the home page to the specific staff groups that exist with your organisation  Galina needs quick access to “local” details, and the occasional procedure and form  Miguel and his team need collaboration tools and access to technical knowledge-base content  Further reading  Kennedy, P. (2007) Intranet redesign for Canon Australia. Available online at: www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_canoncasestudy/  Image credit  Based on illustrations & concepts from Sun Microsystems, Inc. designcomics.org/slides/Galina-v1-0.odp and http://designcomics.org/slides/Miguel-v1-0.odp Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 38 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 39. Location-based personalisation TrueLocal.com.au is a business directory similar to YellowPages Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 39 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 40. Location-based personalisation  Personalisation might also include tailoring content to the geographic location of the user  For example, weather module and TrueLocal.com.au module give info relevant for the specific city/office the user is in  Small but crucial elements that increase users’ perception of the intranet as a useful tool  Further reading on personalisation  Robertson, J. (2005) Search engine ‘best bets’. Step Two Designs. Available online at: www.steptwo.com.au/papers/cmb_bestbets/  Grenfell, C. (2007) Do staff make use of personalisation features?. Step Two Designs. Available online at: www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_personalisation/  Image credit  Based on illustrations & concepts from Sun Microsystems, Inc. designcomics.org/slides/Miguel-v1-0.odp Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 40 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 41. What are your examples? Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 41 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 42. What are your examples?  The best examples of personalisation to make intranets more user- friendly are likely to be found right in this very room!  Image credit  http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdutile/3289061063/ Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 42 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 43. The importance of validation Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 43 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 44. The importance of validation  You probably won’t get your UFIA right the first time, so it’s important to validate your design (ie usability testing)  This usability testing comes in many forms  It doesn’t have to be big, expensive testing in a lab  The key is that users are involved in the validation  And that realistic tasks are used for testing  Further reading: see the last three references on slide 24  Image credits  (top right) Typical lab-based usability testing Source: www.xperienceconsulting.com/eng/img/interior/labs-3.jpg  (bottom right) Paper prototyping for testing Source:www.nngroup.com/reports/prototyping/prototype_tabs.jpg  (left) Card Based Classificaton Evaluation Source: Step Two Designs Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 44 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 45. Card Based Classification Evaluation  A simple technique to test the usability of the IA  Tests the raw site structure without page layout or content distracting  You map out your IA onto cards  Then ask participants where they would “go”  Evolved from closed card sorting  Similar to another technique called “tree testing”  From this you might move on to paper prototyping your design  Further reading  Maurer, D. (2003) Card-based classification evaluation. Boxes and Arrows. Available online at: www.boxesandarrows.com/view/card_based_classification_evaluation Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 45 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 46. In summary  Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture first requires you to identify and understand your customers’ needs  And then analyse their behaviour  Because the user is always right, even when they’re not “right”  You can then translate this into an intranet architecture that is, in addition to generic usability attributes, relevant  And hence more user-friendly and more useful  Among other things, making it relevant means the intranet should be streamlined and personalised  There are a number of simple methods available to help us with each step of this re-engineering process, including validating that we have been successful Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 46 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com
  • 47. Any questions?  My contact details are: Patrick Kennedy pat@gurtle.com www.gurtle.com/ppov/  I will place these slides on line at www.slideshare.net/patrickkennedy  Feel free to email me any questions you have later Re-engineering your intranet with user-friendly architecture — slide 47 Gurtle Digital Solutions www.gurtle.com