Content Formula

The importance of good graphic design – Planning your new intranet

In our sixth video, John explains four reaons why visual design is so important to intranet success and employee engagement (and trust). Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more.

John Scott, UX Director
+ 44 20 7471 8500 | [email protected] | LinkedIn

Boursin home page v2There are some successful intranets out there that are not particularly attractive, but they work, they do the job, they are fit for purpose. There are other intranets which are very pretty, but they’re not successful, they don’t achieve their objectives.

So does this mean that graphic design isn’t important on intranets? Actually we really think it is important, and sometimes it can even be a deciding factor.

Why is graphic design an important part of an intranet? There are four reasons:

1) Corporate identity – Even though the intranet is internal facing it should still feel part of the brand to employees. The company should be emitting its corporate values both internally and externally, otherwise the employees won’t identify with them.

2) Trust – When employees use the intranet, and the first thing they see is good design, then they are more likely to assume that other aspects of the intranet will meet the same standards. If however they see poor design, then they are more than likely to assume that the content, the functionality, and the usability of the intranet will be equally poor.

3) Clarity of message – Decorative but purposeless design can distract people from the message that’s being communicated. Instead there should be an emphasis on design that aids the communication of the core message. Design can be used to promote the importance of certain content but also to downplay others.

4) Usability – Just as unnecessary design can add noise to the communication, it can also adversely affect the usability of an intranet. As an example, using large scale graphics can dramatically increase page load times, this is a massive factor for usability on mobile devices. Often the quest for making things unique or different can also cause us to break usability conventions.

Jagua Land Rover mobile devicesThe graphic design is always a factor, even on the most functional of intranets. However, depending on the audience and the objectives of an intranet, it can be a decisive factor in its success.

But take a look at our recent designs to see the results we create for clients.

View Joe’s video: Out-of-the-box SharePoint and customisation.
View John’s previous video: prototype testing.
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