We always refer to users being at the center of Intranets and Intranet managers prime focus being to answer user and business needs. Two recent quotes re-emphasize this and provide great analogies:
1. “Google focuses on being helpful, being useful, and saving time. […] It’s focused on helping you find what you’re looking for as quickly as possible. […] Traditional marketing looks at the customer and asks: What can you do for me? Web marketing looks at the customer and asks: What can I do for you? Traditional advertising models are in decline because they focus first and foremost on the needs of the organization, not the needs of the customer.”
(Gerry McGovern: http://giraffeforum.com/wordpress/2011/10/23/the-customer-spring-empowered-customers-rise-up/)
2. “Market/user research will not trigger the fundamental shift intranets need. Intranets need to become the iPhone of the workforce: an extension of me and what I need to do. […] Skilled IA (information architecture) and UX (user experience) experts can create concepts without doing specific research on “user needs”. Great IA and UX people can create and satisfy user desires that even the users would not know how to formulate. That’s pure Steve Jobs.”
(Jane McConnell: http://netjmc.com/future-intranet/way-of-working/four-ways-steve-jobs-influenced-intranets)
Intranet managers, let’s free oursleves and be innovative to deliver Intranets that let users and the business do what they need to. Let’s start by using our web marketing, IA and UX skills to make the entry door to the Digital Workplace as intuitive as Google or an Apple product.
Has anyone started this process?