measuring experience and engagement with intranets

The Intranet Now event is on the horizon. It's an excellent event that seeks to celebate and showcase some of the best work in the field. As one of its organisers says, user experience is of growing importance. 

by Wedge Black and Brian Lamb

The clearest indicator of a successful intranet is that people can use it to get things done: finding a person; booking time off; checking a part number; reading the latest news. Can they do these things? How easily? What percentage of people trying to do them are successful? To discover these success indicators, you have to do some form of usability testing.

The ‘user experience’ is of growing importance as the workplace becomes more and more the digital workplace.

At the Intranet Now conference Luke Mepham, from Intranetizen and Aviva, will take a look at why user experience is becoming a critical consideration in the design and delivery of enterprise tools, and what this means for intranet teams.

Getting started and building support

For smaller organisations and teams, usability can seem expensive and out of reach but you can do a lot with a low cost approach. Carolyne Mitchell, from South Lanarkshire Council, will talk about how usability on a budget can have big effects, especially in creating momentum for change and getting senior manager support.

Getting that buy-in from your organisation can be hard, but support beyond your small team is essential if you the results of any usability study are going support changes. Francis Rowland talks about how you can get your organisation to adopt user experience as a standard approach, especially by involving people who are not ‘designers’ in the design process.

What about engagement?

Measuring usability is clearly important but how does it help with reporting against the other big factor that intranets are judged against – engagement. Traditionally, it’s been much harder to measure; after all, just what is the experience of engagement?

Engagement is generally taken to be about the attitude and intentions of employees toward the organisation. Things like, job satisfaction, intention to stay, and commitment to organisation goals. Fine things indeed, but how do you measure the intranet’s impact on these factors? Kevin Cody, from SmallWorlders, has tried to answer this question by incorporating theories from social sciences and learnings from calculating the intranet engagement scores of participating companies in his research. At Intranet Now, he will explain how you can measure engagement and how to make this part of building a successful intranet.

Intranet Now, an intranet conference by practitioners, for practitioners: Tuesday, 13th October 2015, London. Join your peers in discussion; refresh your approach to intranet management and design. See the agenda now.

Brian Lamb and Wedge Black are intranet consultants and co-organisers of the Intranet Now event.