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Why I hate my intranet: Survey results

3 min read

Why I hate my intranet: Survey results

Surprise, people don't like their intranets very much. See what 30 people said they hated about theirs. Usability, content and some more, uh, colorful replies.

I put out a little survey. One question. “Why do you hate your intranet?”

The answers mostly fell into two main buckets. 1) usability (lack thereof) and 2) irrelevance. The “irrelevance” bucket includes complaints about content: stale and/or useless.

Other things people hate? The lack of management support, prioritization and participation. The pain of having too many systems, so that none of them mattered. We also heard from some people who are responsible for this much reviled content – it's an overwhelming job that should be split amongst people around the organization, acknowledged as a meaningful contribution to the business, and be simple to do. Their intranets fail that test. A few despised their intranet to the point that they wanted them abolished.

To us, “usable” means usable whether you’re checking news or publishing it. We think it should be easy to respond and get into a discussion, and it should be easy to see what’s resonating with everyone. We think it should be easy to filter out the noise as a reader, and to target certain people (or types of people) as a writer.

What follows, bucketed up for your enjoyment, are verbatim quotes from 30 respondents. The survey was entirely anonymous, so people didn’t exactly hold back.

Survey says: Intranet usability stinks.

  • Not updated. No interaction.
  • Lack of adoption (driven by lack of awareness). Driven by weak OOTB UI/UX.
  • not enough resources(designer, SP developer) -low user friendliness -low staff IT knowledge -resistant to change that certain functionalities might bring on to daily staff processes -lack of management support-migration to SP 2013 version.
  • I cant find the way to get balance between information and tools. Users want new info everyday, but they need Intranet to finish a specific task!
  • People have stopped talking to people and blurt everything on the net then complain when someone tells someone else what they put out there.
  • The fact that there has been no investment in it for about 8 years. The CMS and design are all outdated.
  • Not being able to find anything.
  • Just communication, no collaboration.
  • That we have no corporate level administration. Administration is split between a member or our IT team who handles the technical aspects and an employee in our largest dept. (me) who manages content/design/enhancements/etc. Both have full-time duties outside of intranet management. As a result, our intranet does not have the level of corporate sponsorship that it should and many employees view it as a tool that is not beneficial to their role.
  • Search.
  • Apart from the clunky CMS and poor search engine, I hate the fact that its not intuitive or collaborative. The platform we currently use is Umbraco.
  • The sheer profusion of not just sites, but intranets, platforms and technologies.
  • The fact that colleagues in the IT and comms team think an intranet is necessary at all.
  • Its damn static. unresponsive. One way communication.
  • In Independence Day, the president of the U.S. asks the captured alien, "What is it you want us to do?" The alien answers: "DIE!" That's how I feel about intranets. And I'd be willing to wage intergalactic warfare for the cause.

Survey says: irrelevant content

  • The lack of "staying power". Though it's a very content-heavy intranet, the corporate news stories rarely are of interest to me and I don't have much need to explore past the home page unless it's benefits enrollment season when I need to try to make sense of all the changes coming for the following year.
  • That we have four intranets and not one.
  • Old uninspiring boring.
  • Its very slow and has too much irrelevant information in it.
  • It's boring, outdated and not supported by management.
  • All content is static and I need to go to other websites for information I want.
  • Love our intranet except for the fact that our content contributors don't have their publishing role recognized as part of their job descriptions, so content is not kept nearly as current (or even accurate!) as it needs to be.
  • No one else has a sense of ownership over it. It all falls on me to push and drive and write and post. Exhausting.
  • That the information is unreliable, outdated, and hard to understand.
  • That it's not an intranet! It's old stale information that never gets updated.
  • Cluttered with things the business believe are useful for me but really they don't help me do my job.
  • Out of date content.

Complaints we can only describe as “Other”

  • The smell.
  • Not enough mullet photos.

If your intranet is suffering from a lack of mullet photos, or something else. Tell me about it. [If you want to see what a gorgeous intranet looks like – check our product page.]

Deb Lavoy

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