As part of our newly updated brand, we've launched a new version of our online staff portal - insite. This was partly so that insite could incorporate the visual elements of our brand and move to ID7, the new University-wide web standard, but it was also the perfect opportunity for us to:
- provide more space and flexibility to engage colleagues with what's happening at Warwick;
- ensure that the site works well on mobile phones and tablets for when you're not office-based;
- make it easier to find commonly requested information, and to navigate key areas of the wider intranet;
- manage the flow of content more effectively.
1. Space and flexibility
It's been four years since we last refreshed insite, and the way we communicate has changed in that time. We needed insite to be able to offer you more social media, photo and video content, and to be more interactive, enabling colleagues to engage in conversation. And we needed insite to be able to share more than just news; our 6,000 staff wanted more feature-length articles and people stories, and to be able to more easily find out about the range of activities and opportunities available to them. All of this was hard to achieve with the old insite format.
There's always a lot to share at Warwick, and we need to talk about lots of different things on insite, so we developed a more visual format that gave equal presence to our news, events, features, social media feeds, videos and imagery.
Old insite homepage
New insite homepage
2. Mobile accessibility
We also needed to address the fact that many of our colleagues aren't office based, and don't have regular access to a computer. Plus a large number of you travel, or are frequently away from your desks in meetings or off site. The old format wasn't well supported on mobile phones and tablets, and made navigating the site and accessing key information difficult. We needed to make sure that insite worked well for staff wherever and however they were accessing it. The brand redesign gave us the opportunity to make it easier for everyone to access the portal.
3. Easier navigation
We've revised our quick links to capture the most commonly searched for pages. In the new branding style, the quick links can be found at the top left of the banner - by clicking on the 'hamburger' icon.
Visitors to insite increasingly navigate through the search function, rather than by navigating through tabs and sub-sites, but we were aware through feedback that the search wasn't always giving out the best results. We worked closely with IT Services, and asked you to help us identify which searches weren't working so that ITS could make improvements. The search box is now more prominent, and search results are chronological and ordered more effectively, only returning more recent results. For simplicity, People Search is now integrated into the same search box.
The A-Z that used to sit on the old insite homepage has been replaced by the quick links and search, as it had become unwieldy, and links to pages elsewhere on the intranet or external site were constantly changing, making it hard to maintain. The most popular sections of the A-Z, such as departments and services listings are now in the quick links.
We've also created sections under Work for key information and services to support you in your job, Grow for personal and professional development opportunities, and Play to showcase all the social and informal events and activities available on campus for colleagues.
4. Manage flow of content
In the past four years, insite has become increasingly popular, with more people sending us stories and information to share with colleagues. This is fantastic - we love that you're so engaged with this channel! However, it has provided us with a number of challenges:
Volume of content - we frequently receive up to 100 requests per day for content to appear on insite. We'd love to be able to feature everything, but we equally don't want to drown staff with information. To keep the impact of the most important messages, we need to begin to prioritise our content much more, and the new insite will help us do this.
Variety of content - prioritising content isn't easy; after all one person's favourite is another person's spam. So, we've created a number of feature boxes on the homepage, so we can showcase a variety of topics. From now on, you'll find preview trailers from the upcoming Big Screen schedule alongside interviews with Warwick people; quirky stats and infographics next to the latest key news. This means there's something for everyone - and also highlights stories that otherwise wouldn't make it to the top of the pile...
Over-reliance on a single channel - As its popularity has grown, so has the demand for insite coverage. While insite does reach a wide audience, it's not the always the right channel - many stories sent to us could achieve greater impact through targeted communications, such as departmental website, enewsletters, digital signs, team briefings, cascades, or events. So, we've put together a guide to help you decide which channels and tools are best for you, dependent on what you're trying to achieve.
We'd like to know what you think of the new look insite, and if you have suggestions for ways we can make it even better, we'd love to hear from you. This is your site, and it will continue to evolve to meet your needs.
Please take a moment to fill in our feedback form
If you'd like to discuss anything further with us, drop us at line at internalcomms at warwick dot ac dot uk or call us on ext. 51700.
- You love the carousel
- You like quick links
- You enjoy people stories
- Search wasn't working
- There was too much content
- News turnover was too fast
- Kept a news carousel
- Developed the quick links
- Increased space for features
- Worked with ITS to improve the search function
- Prioritised university-wide news on the homepage
- Created space for faculty and service news feeds
- Launched a dedicated staff twitter account