The Problem with Email
Why do “traditional” intranets fail?
• They’re not easy/intuitive to use
• They’re not integrated well into daily
workflows of all staff
• They don’t contain useful/relevant/timely
• They are not collaborative spaces
– Communication is unidirectional
– Editorial bottlenecks stifle open communication
• Web 2.0 tools have the potential to help
overcome these hurdles
• Platforms are simpler to use (i.e., blogs, wikis)
for people without web development skills
• Environments can be more open and
collaborative, especially if history of content is
• However, 2.0 tools do not guarantee success
Gathering Input: User Survey
• What do you like about our current intranet?
– Or: if we had one, what would you like to have?
• What do you go there to find?
– Or: what would you want to find on an intranet?
• What would you like to be able to do?
• Present them with potential features/content
• Design aesthetic: Google or NYTimes.com
• Make survey results public, but anonymous
Auraria Survey Example, 1 of 2
• Questions 1 and 2 asked respondents to view two
academic library intranets and rate:
• What do you currently go to the intranet to find?
– Examples: blank forms, newsletter, statistics, reports,
minutes, policies, department information
Auraria Survey Example, 2 of 2
• If provided, which of the following would you
– Internal news, warnings/alerts, draft material for
cttees, conference reports, presentations, calendar,
room scheduler, budget, other
• What other information would you like to find or
what task would you like to perform?
• What do you like/dislike about current
procedures for posting to the intranet?
• Any other feedback?
Other Information Gathering Methods
• Observe your colleagues at work (with
– What tools to they use?
– What types of documents/data do they produce?
– Where do they store these documents/data?
• Visit department/team/committee meetings
– Discuss work that members perform as a team
– Are there opportunities for tech-enabled
communication and collaboration?
Framing the Project
• Who will do the work?
• What software/platform will be used?
• What types of content will we include?
• Where will this new creation live?
• When? What is our timeline?
• How do we pay for it?
Who Will Do the Work?
• Do you have web skills in-house?
– Does that person/those people have time to take
on a very large project?
– Can you budget the human resources?
– Team approach recommended
• Should you hire a developer?
– Can you budget the $?
– How will maintenance be handled post-launch?
– Who will work with the developer?
Where Will This New Creation Live?
• Where is your web server currently?
• Do you have a high enough level of access to
create a new site, or will you have to negotiate
with your IT support?
• If you don’t have an appropriate environment,
investigate options such as:
– Purchasing commercial web space
– Using a free hosted service, i.e., PBWorks
– Consider how to secure sensitive information
What Software/Platform Will Be Used?
• Content Management Systems
– Microsoft SharePoint
– An intranet is a great way to introduce a CMS into
your organization because it is low risk
What content areas to include?
• Communication venues
• Professional resources
• Personal profiles
– Professional details
– Personal details (fun & optional)
• Photos arranged in galleries
• Birthdays! Yes!
• Contact lists
• Minutes, policies, forms?
• Conference reports? Presentations given to the
library? Professional resources?
• Department, committee, group info?
• Procedures, documentation?
• Online workflow?
– Examples: purchase and travel request forms, tech
• Admin/Management Staff
• Staff Admin/Management
• Staff Staff
• Between members of work groups
• RSS feeds from publications
– LibraryJournal feeds, etc.
• RSS feed from LEO (Library Education
• Conference calendar
• Internal job openings
• Local resources specific to your library
Sample project goals, BPL
• Facilitate communication between staff
members, departments & branches and
contribute to the sense of a BPL Community.
• Effectively support the work of BPL Public
• Provide BPL staff with a reliable source of
information concerning logistical aspects of
working for the Boulder Public Library.
• Introduce BPL staff to the concepts and practices
involved in web content management.
Auraria Project Planning
• In 2006, Intranet Redesign Task Group was
• Survey conducted revealed great
dissatisfaction with legacy SharePoint intranet
• Aging server threatened stability of intranet
• Decision was made for static web site to
moved content to stable environment ASAP
• Work turned over to Web Librarian for
• What can be moved as-is?
– very little…
• What needs revision?
– and by whom?
– what is critical prior to launch?
• What can be left off the new intranet?
– can it be forgotten forever?
– should it be archived?
• “As easy as a light switch.”
• Looking over users’ shoulders
• Task focused
• Streamline user experience
– What are people getting hung up on?
– What could make tasks more efficient?
– Are your design decisions in line with the reality of
Drupal (Boulder) vs.
• Open Source/Free
• Fully customizable
• Steep backend learning
• More user-friendly to end
• Overall, more feature
• More theme (look and
feel) options for Drupal
• Permissions can be
defined more granularly
• Open Source/Free
• Much quicker to
• Automatically has
• Backend learning curve
• Does not handle
document files well
• Doesn’t manage
• Launch Beta site
– Group training (workshops)
– Training tree
– Screencasts (point-of-need help)
– Help documentation
– Task focused weekly campaign approach
Auraria Roll-out Examples
• Adoption by Shared Leadership Team
• Minutes procedures (documentation page)
• Group training
– Covered the basics of wikitext (links, lists)
– Individual wiki page as sandboxes
• User Satisfaction
– Usability isn’t just for the library’s home page
– Re-administer survey
– Individual features and content areas
• Metrics/quantitative evidence
– Survey results
• Compare to “environmental scan” results
– Web statistics
Auraria Assessment 2010
• Email poll: what should be on the intranet’s
• Survey responses to four questions:
– How often do you refer to the intranet
– How often do you add, edit, or change content?
– What do you like best?
– What could be improved?
• Wiki statistics
Survey Results: What’s Good
• Uses network login
• Easy to create, edit, and store content
• Freedom and flexibility to add content
• Good for documentation
• Good for collaboration
• Gets information out of our email, off of our
hard drives, and into a centralized location
What Could be Better
• Login clunky (even though it’s network)
• Formatting wiki pages
• Search feature and results
• Linking to non-wiki documents (i.e., shared
• Easy to lose content (no auto save)
• Integration with Excel and PowerPoint