John talks about the importance of getting end users involved with the design process in our fifth video of our series. A working prototype helps stakeholders and employees guide the final design. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more.
Many intranets fail because they are designed and launched without ever being tested on real users.
It’s important to involve users in the design through workshops and interviews, but it’s even more important they help you test the site early on.
Fortunately, you don’t even have to wait until the site is built. We use wire framing software that allows us to create clickable, interactive prototypes. We can use these to simulate content, information architecture, page layouts, and even the functionality of a real intranet.
These interactive wire frames are useful for getting feedback from business stakeholders, however you can also put them in front of employees and ask them to complete a set of typical tasks, such as completing an expense claim or finding an internal vacancy in another country.
We invite around twenty employees to take part in our wireframe testing sessions, it’s best if they’re from different departments, countries, and levels of seniority. One by one we ask them to complete a set of around fifteen tasks using our interactive prototypes. We ask people to think out loud and tell us what they’re thinking as they make decisions and click through the pages.
It’s really interesting to run these sessions because it can be surprising what people struggle with. It gives us an opportunity to revise our wireframes and make sure we fix problems before we move into the build phase. This all saves precious time and money, and helps us to deliver an intranet which is already validated by employees.