Is your intranet providing a good user experience for non-desk employees? Those employees who aren’t sitting in front of a computer all day will likely access the intranet from their phones. With more than 50% of all online traffic traveling through mobile devices, even office workers use their phones as much as their computers. Yet many companies still think about their intranet primarily in terms of a desktop environment.
Here are four tips to make the mobile side of your intranet as appealing as possible:
1. Design the mobile version first
Designing for desktop feels like there are endless possibilities because there’s a lot of room. Plus, desktop offers some interactions that mobile doesn’t — like hovering, which you can’t do on a smartphone. To learn more about why you should start with the mobile design for any website, see this book by Luke Wroblewski, a Product Director at Google.
Designing with mobile boundaries in mind first helps elevate the mobile experience. Otherwise, you may find yourself designing things for the desktop version that just don’t translate to mobile or fit in the smaller area available.
2. Less is more
Using drop down menus, reducing the amount of text to only the most relevant information, and putting icon buttons instead of text will all help make the user experience more intuitive on the mobile version of your intranet. Think of ways to declutter text, images, buttons, and keep what’s really important. (For ideas on making it easier to provide more interesting content, you might like this Best Practices one-pager.)
3. Think about a user-friendly interface
Are buttons or links too small to tap? Is the font too small to read for users with reading difficulties? The human interaction with mobile websites is not only visual but also practical. If your employees typically handle their phones with only one hand, you want to keep the relevant buttons at the bottom corners of the phone, which are easier to get to than the upper corners. Think not only of how the mobile intranet is going to look but also how the employees will interact with it.
4. Don’t be scared of scrolling
The idea that people get tired of scrolling is an outdated one. Just think of all those hours people habitually spend scrolling through their Instagram and Facebook feeds, not to mention online shopping sites. Don’t be afraid to make pages long, but look for the appropriate place to move the user along to another page. Again, think about the purpose of the content and the user interaction.
Keep in mind that your intranet isn’t competing with other intranets. It’s competing with all the other websites your employees visit in their work and personal lives. Designing for a better user experience — on mobile as well as desktop — will pay off in increased traffic to your intranet.
Want to improve your intranet? Tribe can help.