The most important factor when it comes to SharePoint intranet is the user experience, making sure that the UX is clean, simple and user intuitive is the easiest way to increase user adoption. It's also important that early on in the selection process that you include a representative from all the departments that are going to use this regularly e.g. HR, Marketing, Sales. These users need to have a say because there are specific function that may dissuade them form actively engaging with the solution. Enhancing the SharePoint user experience can be done in some simple ways sluggish and unfriendly intranet always results in users’ disengagement. Below are the three components that require your attention if you want to increase user adoption for SharePoint intranet.
As we’ve already mentioned, out-of-the-box isn’t enough to engage your employees. Luckily, the SharePoint UI is highly customizable, so the portal can follow modern web trends, contain the corporate identity and support your brand. Make sure your corporate intranet is balanced, meaning be sure that your solution is providing relevant features to help employees complete all their daily tasks, and support the important social aspects of the intranet.
Ideally, portal pages should be rendered in less than 3 seconds. Slow response can originate from server overloads, poorly designed pages along with many other possibilities. To bring the response time up to the standard, you need a comprehensive diagnosis of specific pages, servers and network connections, server hardware and software configuration. If your employees work out of the office quite often, make sure your intranet is capable of handling that demand, ensuring your intranet is mobile responsive is crucial or have a native app version in addition to the desktop. The mobile and tablet versions shouldn’t be inferior to the desktop one and should contain all the business-critical features. At the same time, your SharePoint intranet should be well adapted to the most popular mobile browsers such as Safari, Chrome, Edge, Samsung Internet, Android Browser.
As you can see, there are several steps you can take to improve your SharePoint intranet adoption. However, if you don’t present the improvements to employees and if you don’t explain to them how the intranet can foster their professional life, don’t expect positive changes. Regular training sessions and short presentations of newly delivered features will help employees understand the real value of their intranet. Training sessions are also helpful to prevent psychological rejection and to convince your employees that the new portal is not their enemy but a useful tool for them to be more efficient and productive.
Without a good understanding of how the platform works, people won't see the real value of using it. I'm not talking about the usual training telling them quickly how to use the platform for basic stuff they'll have to do, but training for power users describing the different features and how to use them. You don't have to get into the intricate details, but it has to be more complete than a quick click this and that talk. A great way to give a valuable SharePoint training without spending too much of your time, or someone else's, into it is to create short videos. Of course, creating those videos takes some time and energy, but once it's done, you can make sure every new user and existing ones understand perfectly the platform.
Good Architecture & Keeping it Clean
As a power user, I can tell you how important it is for the user experience. If your architecture is logical and makes it easier to use the platform and understand where the content is located, you can increase the positive emotions towards your environment. The opposite would create frustration and discourage your users to use SharePoint.
I know for a fact that when something isn't clean and organized, I tend to stop using it. This is also true for your SharePoint environment. When it gets very messy after a while, it creates a negative experience for your users which can lead to negative emotions towards SharePoint. It's very easy to lose control of your environment when there are many users downloading stuff and changing elements in your site collections. Make sure you keep an eye on what’s happening in your site collection; This way, you can act quickly if a mess is starting to grow in one or many of your lists and libraries. A great way to do this is Docks tagging feature that is used to quickly and neatly organize file based on how the document or file is tagged. By making sure everything is organized and clean, you take one step further towards making your users love SharePoint.
Written by Edwin Harrington
Edwin is a Marketing Content Developer and Strategist, who has 3 years of experience in creating and curating content for Brands form the US in many industries. He is an avid sports fan, movie buff, and trivia aficionado.