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A FEW STEPS TO MAKE YOUR SHAREPOINT INTRANET MORE USER-FRIENDLY

A FEW STEPS TO MAKE YOUR SHAREPOINT INTRANET MORE USER-FRIENDLY

By: Aiza Gill

When a SharePoint intranet enters the life of the company, it has to achieve a number of goals: simplifying business processes, supporting employees in their daily routine and in collaboration, helping to implement company values.

However, it can happen that despite your best efforts, your employees do not show any interest in the new system, so it can remain unused for months. Based on our experience in providing SharePoint consulting services, we examine some possible reasons for user retention to find out how to deal with these reasons.

Why Are Users Rejecting Your Intranet Solution?

Implementing a new system creates several psychological barriers that can lead to software rejection. For example (here are just a few possible rejection scenarios):

  • Your employees are used to managing and completing their tasks with other tools (e.g. via e-mail, Skype, face-to-face meetings), so they only see the launch of a new intranet as management’s attempts to recognize new trends in the automation process follow, perceive.
  • Other employees may be hostile to the new system because they don’t want to learn it and see it as a new time waster.
  • Some employees cannot understand how the new system can help them in their everyday work. The official training must take place before the introduction of a new system in order to introduce the employees to the system with all its advantages and to increase user acceptance.
  • No attractive user interface (UI) of SharePoint intranet, poor navigation system, lack of fresh content – all of these can also lead to poor user adoption. Investing in SharePoint customization is an important requirement to get the most out of your SharePoint intranet.

It is difficult to foresee all the negative reactions. Fortunately, it’s still possible to win users’ favour when the intranet is already up and running. However, you should react correctly and quickly to the rejection.

Read More About: What Is A SharePoint Page? How To Create Pages On SharePoint

Why Should you React Immediately?

As soon as the first signs of rejection appear, you need to react as quickly as possible. There’s no time to reassure yourself that the portal at least serves to manage workflows or store documents while employees still work the way they want. The cooperation ensures the vitality of the portal. In its absence, the intranet is turned into a simple document store or, in the worst case, a browser bookmark.

Then don’t forget to pay enough attention to security issues. When employees aren’t collaborating on their intranet, they’re doing it somewhere else. If your employees continue to use third-party solutions, you cannot control what data crosses your organization’s borders, where it is stored, and who accesses it.

After all, the rejection of the portal means that you have lost the battle for the highest productivity and employees will have to continue to maintain their old style of work full of papers and meetings. In this case, you can hardly call the SharePoint intranet implementation a success.

Steps to an improved SharePoint intranet

There are several aspects that can be improved to ensure SharePoint user loyalty. Content is important for any SharePoint portal. The interesting content keeps your audience engaged. But there are two fundamental questions: what content needs to be published and how to get it?

  • You can always start with your company’s news. A well-designed newsfeed will help support company values, build a sense of community, and involve all employees in company life. At the same time, high-quality corporate blogs can serve as important sources of organizational knowledge and know-how.
  • The next step is to involve your employees in content generation. The portal must provide tools to enable them to share knowledge and spark the interest of their peers. And think about what must and can motivate your employees to participate in content generation. These must not only be material rewards, but also psychological aspects such as e.g. B. Increased personal influence, valuable feedback and recognition from colleagues can be gained as a result.
  • Regular updates should always be on the agenda to keep the portal current. You may also need additional help with this.

Planning your SharePoint intranet project

What about UX?

A  poor user experience greatly affects the acceptance of a SharePoint intranet. The portal with a slow response time and unfriendly design will give you little chance to gain users’ engagement. In this case, professionals who are providing SharePoint consulting services can help to improve SharePoint UX, working on the following components.

  • Attractive user interface (UI). We have to be honest, the “out-of-the-box” SharePoint interface isn’t enough to entice your employees. Luckily, the user interface of the SharePoint platform is highly customizable, so the portal can be designed in accordance with modern web trends and your needs.
  • Better response time. Ideally, your portal pages should load in less than a second. A slow response can be caused by a single server overload, slow network connection, or simply poorly designed and structured websites. SharePoint consulting services providers can be availed to improve response time.
  • Convenient SharePoint add-ins (apps). To extend the functionality of your SharePoint portal, you can use several add-ins. SharePoint Add-ins run on the SharePoint server without individual code and make it possible to solve specific business tasks (e.g. to easily handle workflows) or to provide useful information to your employees (e.g. birthdays of your colleagues, office plan, etc.).
  • User-friendly versions for smartphones and tablets. Your employees use their smartphones and tablets everywhere. And they will be disappointed if they don’t find the full functionality of the portal on their mobile devices. The versions for tablets and smartphones should not be inferior to the desktop version. The more feature-rich it is, the more chances there are that your portal will be used and appreciated. At the same time, your portal should be adapted to the most popular mobile browsers (Safari, Chrome Mobile, Android Browser, IE and Blackberry Browser) to allow employees to access the system regardless of which browser they use.

Conclusion

Implementing a SharePoint intranet can encounter unexpected difficulties. Personal approach and high-level customization of the portal with the help of professional SharePoint consulting services providers and developers such as Al Rafay Consulting can help you to overcome both psychological and technical barriers. With extra effort, your portal can be turned into a welcome tool that facilitates collaboration between departments, promotes internal communication, and streamlines business processes.

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