Intranet Design Examples and Tips to Improve Your Internal Communications
July 26, 2021
Intranet sites are helpful tools to keep people connected—and they’re not just for businesses. Schools, associations, community groups, nonprofits, and other organizations are also using intranets to communicate effectively and ensure that their members are in the loop.
Intranet sites offer groups of all kinds the opportunity to communicate important information, share relevant and actionable content, cultivate relationships, and provide easy access to internal documentation.
Despite the advantages, some internet sites are poorly designed, difficult to navigate, or not regularly updated. Given these missteps, it’s unsurprising that intranet design is often overlooked or misunderstood.
Some people believe that intranets are only for big corporations, or that intranet website technology is irrelevant in our mobile-first world. If that’s you, we want to offer you a fresh perspective on intranet design and demonstrate the effectiveness of intranet sites in multiple contexts.
This post on intranet design will address the basics of intranet sites, answer common questions, offer best practices, and provide design inspiration from real-life intranet examples from clients we’ve served.
What is an Intranet Page?
An intranet page keeps people connected to the mission, vision, and vital information of a business or an organization by creating a centralized location for employees or members to access information.
Intranets are used to share announcements, documents, resources, tools, and other information with members of the same group. Access is usually restricted only to employees or members of the group.
Typically, intranet sites are used by companies, but other organizations such as schools, associations, community groups, and nonprofits can use intranets to share information and improve internal communication.
Any group with a need for internal communications can make effective use of an intranet page.
What Does an Intranet Do?
An intranet is a central repository for tools, forms, training materials, and any other information that needs to be shared and accessed consistently by all employees or members.
For example, a company intranet may include onboarding and training documentation, as well as an employee directory to help facilitate relationships among staff.
A group or association with a membership base can also use an intranet to share important documents, rules, instructions, and contact information with its members.
Because intranets are web-based, they are often able to be accessed from any place with an internet connection. Some intranets are only accessible while logging into a computer on a specific network while others are available online behind a password-protected firewall.
Intranets are easy to manage and maintain using a Content Management System (CMS) just like you would update a regular website.
Types of Intranets
Just as there are different groups that use intranets, there are varying types of intranet design styles and functionality. Document management and collaboration technology such as Microsoft’s SharePoint typically offer the functionality to build a company intranet within their platform. Smaller organizations may prefer to use Google Sites to build an intranet page.
At Cross & Crown, custom intranet design is a service we offer our customers. Off-the-shelf intranet builders often cannot accomplish everything a business or organization needs to make the best use of an intranet. Customized intranet solutions allow groups the flexibility to zero in on the aspects of the technology that matter most to their organization.
Real Life Intranet Examples
Some people may worry that intranets are not mobile-friendly. Many off-the-shelf intranet solutions are only accessible within the company’s network. This is a reason why many groups choose the custom route for their employee intranet.
We design intranet sites that are adaptable to the client’s brand, fully responsive and completely functional on smartphones and tablets, and secure through password-protected access from anywhere with an internet connection.
Cross & Crown custom intranet sites are designed to give your teams a collaborative space to work together, share files and documents, get answers to frequently asked questions, and strengthen corporate culture.
One of the most helpful features of the intranet sites we build is the ability for users to customize their experience and select which kinds of news they want to see first. This keeps the content both current and easy to navigate for the user.
Furthermore, menu options such as an employee directory, human resources, marketing, and new hires give employees access to the content they need to perform their work with excellence.
Here are a few examples of intranet designs we’ve created for our clients:
North American Properties Intranet Example
North American Properties is a multi-city commercial development corporation with over 22 million square feet of commercial space and 19,000 residential units in 15 states and 67 cities.
Their internal communications needs were met with a custom intranet design that keeps their employees connected. The content is presented in a clean and clear site navigation that is easy to use and eliminates confusion and frustration.
Because the intranet needed to unify staff across multiple job functions, we used employee personas to capture the diversity and varying employee positions to project how they would interact with the intranet site. These exercises helped us understand the people who would actually be using the intranet site and ensure that our solution would make sense to the end-user.
Menno Haven Retirement Community Intranet Example
Menno Haven is a retirement community in south-central Pennsylvania serving residents on three campuses. This is a great example of an organization using intranet design to effectively communicate with members. Menno Haven needed a central location for residents to access important information such as news and events, current menus, maintenance requests, and general community announcements.
The intranet design we built for Menno Haven is searchable, secure, and simple to navigate. Another benefit of custom intranets is the integration of third-party apps used by the community. This added functionality is helping the retirement community operations run smoothly. For example, a resident can log into the portal to submit a maintenance request that is sent directly to the ticketing system Menno Haven uses to manage this process.
Residents also enjoy the employee directory as this feature helps users easily identify staff members they may have not yet met in person.
As with the corporate intranet sites we create, the Menno Haven portal included the ability to customize content and sort activities based on resident type, from independent living to managed care.
David H. Martin Excavating, Inc. Intranet Example
David H. Martin Excavating, Inc. is a client we’ve worked with on several projects throughout the years including their website, brand video production, and this example of a company intranet.
As the company and service area expanded, so did their need for an intranet system to keep them connected and equipped. In response to this need, we built a secure, employee-focused intranet platform to help strengthen their internal communications.
This innovative intranet design provides employees with access to the company directory, job site database, resources, and a powerful integrated search to quickly find the information they need.
Great Intranet Design Doesn’t Need to Be Complicated
Intranet design may seem like something complicated that only big businesses need. However, we hope that these employee portal design examples have helped you imagine how an intranet site can help facilitate internal communications within your organization.
Businesses and organizations big and small can benefit from having a centralized location for important news and information. Just be sure that your intranet design has clear navigation with a robust search engine to help your people find what they need quickly and easily.
Remember to be intentional with your intranet content and have a plan in place for regularly updating and adding new information. We can help you design an interactive intranet that people look forward to using.
If you have questions about intranet design or would like to learn more about the custom intranet solutions we build for our clients, please schedule a meeting with us today. We look forward to discussing your needs and helping you find solutions that work!