Intranet portals have long been popular with large organizations, like universities and major corporations. The basic idea is simple. An intranet portal provides a centralized, easily accessible location where your employees can access applications, critical information, and any other digital tools they need to increase productivity, all in real-time. Portals are especially popular in industries like sales, which rely on a team dynamic and require constant connectivity.
These days, you don’t need to be a multinational corporation to have your own portal. With improved technology and more affordable pricing, many small and mid-size businesses now opt for portals to improve team productivity. So, how do you build an effective portal for your small business? Start by choosing the right tools for your team’s needs, and ensuring that your portal works well on the many different devices your team will use to access it.
Building a Portal Your Team Will Love
The difference between intranet and internet is that your intranet is a closed system, accessible only by your employees and others to whom you grant permission. For practical purposes, though, it functions much like the worldwide web to which you’re accustomed. One advantage to building an intranet is that it’s not an external marketing tool. Responsiveness, fast loading times, and functionality are far more important than eye-catching design features.
- Simple, clean page design is the way to go. Try to avoid bright colors, fancy fonts, auto-play videos, flash features, and unnecessary images.
- That’s not to say you should avoid all photo and video features. If the media feature in question has educational or productivity-enhancing benefits, then it’s perfectly fine to include.
- When choosing which productivity apps to offer, be sure to take input from your employees. Employee buy-in plays a huge role in the success of your portal, so it’s important to offer the tools they need most.
- Your portal isn’t just a place for education, information, and app-based productivity. It’s also a powerful communication tool. You can incorporate email, instant messaging, or videoconferencing, depending on the needs of your employees.
- You’ll also want to include an in-depth employee directory. If your employees aren’t communicating directly through your portal, they can still use it as a time-saving tool to find the contact information of the person they need to reach.
- Be sure to include a space for company news and important announcements. It’s a simple way to spread important information, and gives your employees another incentive to log into your portal regularly.
- If you’re in the sales industry, you might also consider a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It works much like a portal, and allows you to keep track of key customer information and interactions.
Responsiveness and Effective Navigation for Your Portal
Valuable apps, robust communication options, and clean design are a great start, but you’ll need a bit more to keep your employees coming back to your portal. Your employees need to be able to access your portal on their smartphones and tablets, especially when working in the field. Responsiveness and sensible navigation are the best ways to make sure your portal works well, no matter the device used to access it.
- Responsive design allows your portal to scale to the size of any device, without sacrificing functionality. Responsiveness is a vital part of effective web design for your portal, and the website of your Calgary business.
- Simple navigation is absolutely crucial to the success of your portal. In most cases, you’ll want to keep the navigation bar at the top of the page. Sidebar navigation can clutter the page, and most employees will instinctively look for navigation links at the top of the page, anyway.
- Make sure to include an effective search function, as well. If your employees can’t quickly find the information they need, they’ll be less likely to use your portal.
The truth is that not every small or mid-size business needs an intranet portal. However, for the businesses that do need it, there’s no substitute for an effective, well-designed portal. Emphasize Design is happy to help you determine if an intranet portal is the right solution for your business. And if not, we can still help with everything from email marketing to social media and online stores!
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