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What's So Great About a Card UI In The Enterprise?

You may have heard that cards are taking app and website UIs by storm – just look at Facebook or Pinterest. And although there are some pitfalls, the potential for Card UIs to create better, more personalized experiences is great.

That's also counts for Intranets. Let me walk you back from a contemporary Intranet Portal UI to a Card-based UI. And we'll see if you agree with me.

From Portal to Stream

Phase I: Your current Intranet

Any Intranet that was created in the last decade has these "widgets" that are like the building block for each page. Some call them Portlets, Web Parts or maybe even Components – but essentially they all fulfil the same need. Show this very specific piece of information in this very specific place.

And that's the problem!

Most Intranet homepages have some news, then some links, then some other more specific news, maybe a feed about people. And the position never changes!

Even if you've read the CEO's blog post three times already, your current Intranet has absolutely no way of knowing this isn't relevant to you anymore. As an Intranet aficionado you may have just accepted that as the norm. But here's a secret: It isn't.

You don't wanna see the same stuff all the time; if Facebook did that, no one would feel compelled to return. So why should it be any different for an Intranet?

Static Portal page

Phase II: Personal Card dashboard

So you may come around to the idea of breaking information free of all these "buckets" or "zones" it is always tied to. Just let the user decide if they want their news on the left or the right, with big or with small images. This allows them to create a highly personal dashboard of everything they want to see at all times.

Most Intranets offer some modest capability to create personalized spaces that users can arrange however they like, at least within certain boundaries. But it is essentially an incremental improvement, not a radical overhaul, thus really just a stopgap on the way to Phase III.

Phase III: An intelligent Card Stream

Enter the ultimate revolution – a Card Stream. Get updates as Cards, work them off and when you're done, enjoy your empty screen (the equivalent of Inbox Zero, but easier to obtain).

Take a second to embrace this new paradigm: You're not hunting for the stuff you're needing anymore – instead it comes to you.

So in a nutshell, you don't have to use any other page or app to know what's on your task list for the day. Just go to your Card Stream and look at what's relevant to you. And deciding what is relevant is going to be an increasingly intelligent process. At the start you just see a chronological stream; with the newest or soonest due stuff coming in on top.

But this is going to be a prime use case for AI and machine learning to step in and really tailor the experience to the individual. Increasingly algorithms will comb through the many updates that come in throughout the day and prioritize them, aggregate them into longer lists, give you an early heads up or decide when to inform you based on your current activities, location, device, etc.

Dynamic Card Stream

A new UI for a new Intranet

This is just a quick explanation of how UI is enterprise applications is changing. From a traditional, contemporary Portal approach towards a personalized, mobile-friendly, intelligent stream of relevant updates. Check out Now Assistant to get started with your Card Stream today!

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