Inspired by the simplity of implementing a menu of options that completes the sentence ‘I need to…’, we worked in partnership with our client to introduce this simple and intuitive tool to their intranet architecture as part of their wider internal communications strategy.
One of the intranets that we maintain has an immense products section, upon which material relating to a broad product portfolio is available at all times, and constantly growing!
As part of the organisation’s internal communications strategy, a few of the products are given the spotlight on the intranet at any given time, for instance when a product launch or rebrand is looming. The aim here is to use information architecture to ensure that the audience can access details on those products simply and easily, preferably with just one click.
When looking for simple and intuitive means of doing this I was inspired by a marketing consultant’s site, which featured main site navigation options something like “Get a quote”, “Find out more”, “Contact Dominic” and the like. Not that unusual: those little chunks make perfectly usable labels on their own, while also completing the sentence “I need to…”
We worked with the client and looked at site usage metrics to populate “I need to” menu options for the spotlight products. We captured the three product sections that employees are accessing myriad times each day leading up to the launch event, as well as common tasks we earmarked as oft-used and made them available across the site, available from a pull out menu. Examples include ‘Get launch materials’, ‘Learn product benefits’ and ‘Publish my sales figures’.
This is separate from the site’s main navigation, which of course is the common practice “Our Company”, “Products”, “Events” etc.
The point with an ‘I need to’ navigation is a focus on common tasks, keeping the information structure similar to that which is an employee is used to, that is, one that reflects the organisations structure and workflows.
We have noticed that a greater number of employees are accessing and engaging with the information with the use of the ‘I need to’ menu. The next step is to figure out how we can let the users either customise the menu for themselves, or have the menu automatically show links to the sections, and tools they routinely access.
How could you improve your users’ experience by simply bringing common tasks to centre stage? Have you implemented any simple but wondrous feature on your intranet to drive interaction? Let us know in comments.