Klick Health

Designing a killer intranet

VP, User Experience

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At Klick Health, our intranet, Genome, drives everything we do. Genome prioritizes and tracks project-level tasks, helps us communicate and acts as an extension of our unique Klick Health culture. Under the hood, however, Genome is an organizational coach, housing a rich set of data which management draws upon to make more informed day-to-day decisions.

So how do you build a “Killer” intranet? The answer to that question is complicated and largely depends on individual business needs. However, to get you started, here are five not-so-obvious tips on how to build an effective corporate Intranet.

Invest in Effective Discovery

Designing a Killer Intranet begins with a strong foundation of understanding the business.  What challenges exist day to day? What are the employees’ pain points with respect to communication and processes? At the same time, discovery should also focus on corporate culture – why is the company so special? What motivates employees to get out of bed every morning? Digging in on these topics will allow you to identify opportunities to bring that uniqueness to life through your Intranet design and infuse some “functional fun,” driving engagement and adoption.

Discovery activities should include interviews with employees that represent a wide variety of perspectives – from executives to entry-level employees, from long-term company loyalists to new hires, from employees in head office to remote workers. Casting a wide net during discovery will provide a rich set of findings that will go a long way towards informing Intranet functionality and their respective priorities.

Embrace the Social Web


Chatter Genome social

Social networking has had a profound effect on how the world communicates. Organizations should be taking full advantage of this capability, especially those with a geographically diverse workforce. Social features empower employees but especially those outside of head office who would otherwise not interact very often with centrally located colleagues, strengthening the bonds among staffers, and producing a more cohesive team that can solve problems more quickly.

A good example of a social feature done right is here at Klick Health on our Intranet, Genome. “Chatter” is a Facebook newsfeed-inspired platform that allows employees to communicate in real time by uploading text-based posts and photos (from mobile devices, too!). Chatter also supports granting “Kudos,” allowing instant “internal public” recognition among employees. Chatter has been massively successful from an adoption and employee engagement perspective, strengthening our corporate culture, encouraging more cross-pollination of knowledge and accelerating problem solving.

Come up with a Data Plan

In the aggregate, clicks on your Intranet tell a story. At Klick Health, Genome allows us to improve project outcomes by tracking task-level activity through “tickets.” Reporting on the correct ticket activity can help management identify tripping points in our delivery process, allowing us to pro-actively correct how we do things in order to prevent the same issues from cropping up again.  This intelligence doesn’t happen overnight – it takes effort to carefully plan out what activities (or clicks) constitute meaning, which to tag (or record), and which to report on. The philosophy should be “tag the iceberg, report on the tip.”

Dial-Up Feature Awareness

Genome tutorial

Genome tutorial

At Klick, we don’t keep the best ideas to ourselves, we also use them on client projects. Klick built the award-winning intranet for Acorda, called Synapse.

The Klick Health UX team put a lot of time and thought into the features built into Acorda Therapeutic’s Intranet, Synapse. After a few months of observation, however, it became apparent that some features weren’t getting the expected levels of uptake.

Digging further, it became apparent that users simply weren’t aware specific features existed. The takeaway? Spend time spotlighting valuable features directly in the interface – whether it’s a call-out “bubble” or a news post that reminds users about specific features. Emphasize the benefits the feature provides in addition to how to find and use

Get Content Creators Involved, Early

A consistent content publishing model is what breathes life into an Intranet. Stale content is the kiss of death for any digital property, Intranet or otherwise. To prevent this, Intranet designers need to be prepared to reach out to internal content creators very early on in the design lifecycle. Remember, content creation takes time. Employees are busy and don’t want to feel pressured if at all possible. Employees that have a voice in shaping their Intranet, especially early on, are more likely to contribute down the road by becoming Intranet advocates, a critical rallying voice on the ground to elevate excitement and the likelihood of positive adoption.

Is your company having issues communicating? Finding yourself spending hours locating documents on your Intranet? Get in touch with us and see what’s possible by unlocking the power and intelligence of a modern Intranet.


More About the Author

Michael Melnick

Michael Melnick has been with Klick Health for over 13 years and heads up the User Experience practice. His passion for designing customer-centric experiences has manifested itself in numerous industry awards from Nielsen-Norman Group, MM&M, and UX Awards.

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