Intranet Web Design
Intranet Design vs. Internet Design

Intranet Design vs. Internet Design


1. How is Designing for an Intranet Different?

2. Examples of Good Intranets / Good Intranet Uses  
3. Common Problems with Intranets and Possible Solutions  

Examples of Good Intranets / Good Intranet Uses

According to Nielsen, intranets should be complete "information structures" for a corporation. And, the list of intranet capabilities is growing every day.

An intranet can be used to:

  • support job functions
  • provide primary modes of communication between employees and management
  • make information necessary to do one's job readily available
  • ensure that departments within the company are connected
  • reduce duplication of efforts
  • provide information about recent decisions, upcoming changes, or the company's mission, vision, and goals

I. Hewlett-Packard/Compaq Merger: In May of 2001, two large technology companies, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, merged to form one company. As many companies have learned in the last decade, mergers are becoming more and more complex. Two sets of leadership, two workforces, two sets of buildings and locations all had to be combined--including their two intranets.

How did they do it? It takes a lot of time and hard work to make ONE intranet effective, much less two intranets. They began by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each separate intranet. Then, they decided that HP's intranet should be the core of the new intranet, because it had more advanced capabilities, better functionality, more streamlined content management capabilities, and cleaner navigation. Once the core intranet was set up, all of the content from Compaq's intranet was moved over to the combined intranet.

The "new" intranet of the combined company played a large part in helping employees and management stay informed throughout the entire merger. In fact, online merger communications played a large part in easing the two cultures through a major change. Before the merger began, the intranet featured Q & A resources, informative presentations, interviews with senior leaders, and recent news clips. These resources were constantly updated and developed throughout the merger. Then, as the merger ended, employees were able to fill out online forms outlining their questions and concerns. These forms were then submitted to the "merger integration team," which then responded.

All of the questions and concerns that the team received were tracked so that they could file them into various categories. Simple reports were conducted to find out if there were trends that needed to be addressed company-wide. Sometimes, the merger integration team was able to spot a trend in one geographical location and then give a "heads-up" to other locations.

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