Design Standards

Intranet Corporate Design Standards

There has always been a discussion on how corporate should an Intranet site be?

My first major experience of a corporate Intranet site was fascinating. It was the thread of a large national organisation of 25,000 employees.

Business units, executive units and teams had developed sites to promote their presence to the organisation. It was a useful tool in understanding the organisation. The organisation provided an alphabetical listing to find what you were looking for a long with proprietary search engine.

It’s front face to the Intranet had a common look and feel, as you got to the smaller business units it didn’t exist. My, weren’t the themes exciting! There were natural art themes, geographical themes, bad colored themes, nautical themes, etc.

The most exciting them was the Buccaneer theme. Behind the text lay pictures of swashbuckling adventures, of pirates and galleons, canons and swords, eh me arties, it was a site to behold, a thing of beauty, however totally out of context for managing Nan and Pop entitlements!

There was only one challenge; the backdrop was so fascinating that you forgot why you came to site. As you can imagine it wasn’t long till the ‘web Nazis’ (at the time we thought they were) said “enough is enough”.

A corporate standard was introduced and everyone hated it. The Web Nazi’s who adopt standards also promote the Borg delivery model of ‘resistance is futile’. (Star Trek idioms)

Well, after a couple of years of promoting the standard, information became more accessible to the reader. Information became more meaningful and the standard did allow for some variations within the theme.

The moral of the story is, corporate standards are not a bad thing. If you’re a small organization looking to grow, start standardising some of your templates; your internet site and intranet site. The value comes down the track as you absorb more information. It will be:

  • Easy to find
  • Easy for the search engine to find
  • More readable


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Chris Mundy