Avoiding blah blah blah content the Interact way

Australian intranet author James Robertson recommends the Interact approach to web design and usability

Earlier this year, British American Tobacco hosted a meeting of the Intranetters community of practice for intranet managers. As well as demonstrations of Interact and EDF’s intranet, Australian intranet author and consultant James Robertson of Step Two spoke about the winners of the 2009 Intranet Innovation Awards.

James was so impressed by Interact that he included several screenshots in his recently published book “Designing Intranets – Creating Sites That Work“.

The latest article in his KM column uses Interact‘s My Employment page as an example of  Creating effective intranet “shop windows”, calling for content managers to ditch “blah blah blah” content and help intranet users to find what they are looking for.

“The design of these ‘shop window’ spaces,” says James, “is critical. If they are well-designed, staff can quickly and easily find what they need. If they are filled with ‘blah blah’ content, they clutter the intranet with irrelevant content that gets in the way of completing tasks.”

He goes on: “‘Shop windows’ should therefore focus on:

  • Providing links to common and useful information needed by visitors to the section.
  • Surfacing key tools needed by staff, whether as links or directly as applications.
  • Grouping information into categories, escaping the usability problems of long lists of items.
  • Using clear names and links, matching how staff think, not the internal structure and practices of the business unit.”

(Read the article and find out more about “Designing Intranets.”).