Good UX design is essential for providing positive experiences across your SharePoint intranet and employee communications.
Visuals, page structure, and content all impact how your employees engage with your intranet and connect to your organisational values. So the way you present employee-facing tools, like your intranet, through SharePoint, Viva and Teams is vital.
The good news is Microsoft 365 is already designed with user needs as a priority.
Microsoft call this ‘the intelligent intranet’ and, naturally, SharePoint has a wide range of tools and templates to support you. But, it can still daunting to undertake an intranet design and be confident that you can create a great UX.
Here are some of the key intranet design principles that we follow here at Silicon Reef. Sticking to these principles will help guide you through but, should you need more support, we’re always here to help.
SharePoint Design Tip 1: Keep it Clean
The purpose of your site should be easy for employees to understand the instant they land on it.
Visually self-explanatory interfaces make it easier, faster, and more efficient for employees to become competent in using your site. Your intranet should display useful, user-relevant content and include timely information in an easily digestible format.
Templates in Modern SharePoint can help facilitate this design and help make landing pages fresh and relevant. Templates can also make it easy to create well designed event, brand, or function sites outside of your main intranet.
Your site navigation should intuitively guide employees to the content they need. There should be clear paths and decision points, a well-functioning search, and obvious methods to save or share important content.
It should go without saying that multi-device access is vital. Any intranet design needs to be created with the mobile interface front of mind, and be conscious of accessibility.
Fortunately, accessible design principals are built into SharePoint so employees can securely access your intranet on any device.
SharePoint Design Tip 2: Create Simple Routes to Information
It should be easy for employees to achieve their objective. People should always know where they are, and what they need to do to get to their destination.
The purpose of UX design in intranets is to bridge the gap between your employees and the information you want to share with them, the tools they need to do their jobs, and the support they need to succeed.
A well-designed intranet should remove friction from employees’ daily tasks and make work-life balance easier to achieve.
SharePoint web parts can help here.
These might include links to most frequently updated pages, quick links to important content, or last document worked on. These targeted tools mean that each employee’s experience will be personal. Weaving these into your intranet design ensures employees can access key information wherever they are.
Features like audience targeting, news, the Highlighted Content web part, and the My Feed web part all make it easy to dynamically display personalised, targeted content.
SharePoint Design Tip 3: Make it Memorable
For employees to use your intranet daily and stay engaged with your business messages, strategies, and values, the experience needs to be memorable.
It must be easy for people to recall the interface functionality and where everything is located.
Good SharePoint design means employees should remember the workflow of information and the different ways in which they can access content. Structures shouldn’t change too much. Although, it’s always good to make small enhancements based on how employees are interacting with your site.
Content is the life blood of your user experience.
You can have the best templates, engaging graphics, and first-class personalisation, but if it’s not supported by memorable content, the experience could still be poor.
Great experiences can elevate a good intranet to greatness.
Microsoft Viva Engage was designed to help people and teams to be their best, have a voice, and feel included in the workplace.
Built on the foundation of Yammer, Viva Engage enables your people to create communities across your organisation. With built in features like storyline and stories, Best Answers, @mentions, and topics Viva Engage makes content memorable, drives participation and builds relationships amongst co-workers.