06_Site Design Tips and Tricks
Site Architecture Tips
Once you have your entire sitemap planned, you’re ready to start building your digital destination. Mapping out your site structure (sitemap) in advance makes the process of building your digital destination faster and easier.
When designing your digital workplace, the first place to start is researching what your organization needs and wants from their digital workplace, then translating those into your site structure. The best way to do this is to map out your design through a paper and pen exercise, or Excel spreadsheet. This provides you a base to build in your Site Manager.
When you get down to adding content and Widgets to your Pages, you must consider what content needs to go where and why. Keep in mind the end users' experience and journey throughout your digital workplace.
Here are some user experience facts to help you populate your Pages and Spaces in a way that is valuable to your member base:
- Prime real estate areas are near the top of the page, above the fold.
- Don't overload a page with content; achieve 3 to 4 goals on each page.
- Avoid overloading one column.
- Add content to understand what a user will be seeing.
- Use various widget layouts that align best with the column you are working in.
Check out the Playbook for resources to help you plan and implement your digital workplace.
Using Widgets on a Homepage
Below are some helpful tips for using Widgets on your digital workplace homepage.
Slideshow or Banner
Do you have interesting news that you want to highlight, or do you want to provide your members with a welcome message?
Tip: Use the slideshow to keep content fresh by selecting a Blog Channel with frequent posts to feed into the Widget.
Using a Members Widget on your homepage to display the members of your community brings people to people and allows users to get a quick glance at some of their colleagues. Users can hover over the profile pictures to see co-workers’ names and titles. They can also click to read more profile information.
Tip: Introduce your newest employees to the community by setting the Members Widget in descending order so that new members are displayed first. You can also choose the number of members you wish to display so that only your newest members appear.
A Links Widget can be used as an additional navigation item to help guide users directly to the content they need, whether it is internal or external from the intranet. There are a few ways to frame the Links Widget. It can be framed as Secondary (Contextual) Navigation, “I want to…”, as Quick Links to specific documents or areas, or as External Links to other important resources that employees commonly use outside of your digital destination.
Tip: Group similar links into different Links Widgets. For example, put all external links together and all action-based items together using separate Links Widgets.
Bring a social feed like the Microblog into your community for members to have quick conversations. It’s a place where they can share everything from birthdays and best wishes, to informal announcements and minor company wins.
Tip: Use a Microblog as corporate chatter to keep content fresh on a daily basis. Users will appreciate seeing something new.
News comes in the form of blogs where users receive top-down information. News can come from the corporate level, individual departments, featured employees or a selected influencer. Users can create conversation around the topics by commenting on the articles.
Tip: Aggregate a few Blog Channels into the news Blog Widget to give users a preview of the latest articles in one spot. By bringing several channels in, you will always have up-to-date information available on the homepage.
Call to Action
Call to Actions give you the opportunity to point out new items to community members in a more specific and visual way and allows you to bring your culture into the community.
Tip: Create an image to insert in the community and using the HTML Widget, insert the image and hyperlink it to an area you want to highlight.
Use calendar views to display upcoming events within the community. You can choose to pull in more than one event source such as out of office calendars, corporate events, and social events. This is a great way for community members to get a daily sneak peak of who is around and upcoming corporate events.
Tip: For a full overview as to what is going on, use two Calendar Widgets – one showing the full monthly calendar at a glance, and the other displaying only the upcoming events. You can color code each Calendar Channel in settings so that members can easily filter through the events.
The Recent Activity Widget provides you with a summary of activities within the community and it can provide members with a quick glimpse of recently added material or changes to items that are relevant to them.
Tip: By putting careful thought into permission settings within your community, the recent activity view will appear customized for each member as your members will only see information intended for them.