Summary: 4 effective tips to better leverage your intranet solution for finding important information.
We all know how frustrating it can be when we can’t find something. Whether it’s a lost phone, a misplaced card, or important notes buried under desk clutter, the letdown of a fruitless search is something anyone can relate to.
Just like material items, digital content can also elude us. If users can’t find what they’re looking for, they may circumvent your intranet solution, or give up, which wastes time. While we can’t help find lost phones, we do have some helpful tips on resolving the “I can’t find anything on my intranet” complaint.
Before we begin, there are two basic scenarios that must be considered. The first involves a user under a time crunch who needs something specific, such as a form or a link. The second involves a user browsing for unspecific content with more time to spare. This user could be new, surfing recently-added content, or just wanting more familiarity with their intranet solution. Now let’s break down the best ways to find content on the intranet, and how they can be leveraged to help in both these situations.
There’s no better way of finding online content than the search tool. Intranet Connections provides powerful search capabilities with the Enterprise Search feature. The user in a rush is likely to first try the search function, avoiding having to wade through navigation menus and folder structures.
Be sure to include Quick Search on every page so that it’s always accessible. Also make good use of Content Tags. Tags can be added to almost anything, from photos and blog posts, to policy documents and forms. Choose tag names that are common keywords in your organization.
Tip: It’s a good idea to test your search to ensure that content appears correctly. If you are experiencing an issue, you might be able to resolve it by re-indexing your global search index. You can do this by going to admin > Site Settings > Site Search > and clicking the Re-Index My Site Data button.
Another way of helping users find content on your intranet solution is with a widget. This will most benefit the user who is browsing for less specific content with more time. Whether it’s a new job posting or a photo gallery, alerting employees to important content in a central location is a great way to grab attention and direct them to what matters most. There are several widget types, such as the My Bookmarks & Links widget, which can be used to provide links to both internal and external sources, and the What’s New Feed widget, which displays a feed of advertised items.
It goes without saying that you need to have effective navigation menus. There are several types of navigation menus at your disposal, from the side hamburger-style vertical menus, to top horizontal mega menus. While our time-pressed user likely won’t be interested in wading through navigation structure, our browsing user will find this of great benefit. For more information, check out our other resources on the subject:
One of the great features on your intranet is View Security, which can be used to limit group and individual users’ access to document folders, pages and even entire sites. But this isn’t just for security. It can also be used to cater content to specific users and groups. By limiting information that isn’t relevant to everyone, employees will better be able to find the content most applicable to them.
This benefits users in both our use cases. For the user in a rush, search will return only results on the sites relevant to them. This means they won’t have to wade through irrelevant results from other departments. For the browsing user, this means they will only be exposed to content related to them.
By understanding how to leverage these features to address your users’ needs, you can help make finding content on your intranet solution easier, and resolve the “I can’t find anything on my intranet” complaint. Happy searching!