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Do-It-Yourself Intranet Usability Test

How usable is your intranet? Can your employees find the information they need quickly and easily? Intranet usability is all about relevance and finding the content that matters - content that you and your team need to make connections, make decisions, and make a difference.

Try this simple usability test on your own intranet. Starting from your home page, can you find the following information within five minutes before resorting to search?

  • Find a biography of the company CEO
  • Find the sick leave policy
  • Find directions to your company’s office
  • Find your company's fax number
  • Find out how many vacation days you have left
  • Find a declaration of your company’s goals and objectives
  • Find the latest company press release
  • Make a request for tech support
  • Find the latest marketing PowerPoint presentation
  • Find and sign up for a training course
  • Find the email address of the payroll manager
  • Find this year’s company benefits enrollment form
  • Find the phone number for the V.P. of Sales
  • Find your company’s expense report form
  • Find the list of company holidays

Test this out with a few employees and measure the results to find out how long it really takes them to accomplish these tasks.

Now multiply your results by the total number of employees in your organization who need to find 10-20 similar pieces of information in a given day. Then mix that in with the number of intranet-specific tasks that need to be performed between teams. How much does this time cost your organization? How much should it cost? The difference is the cost of poor usability.

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