I'm embarking on a redesign of a corporate intranet. The project will likely result in a complete structural overhaul of the site. However, the project team will be relatively small.

This poses a challenge in terms of launching the site. We don't really have a team that can handle a big singular launch with a complete new structure and a robust user adoption strategy. However, if the current IA and the new IA are apples and oranges, we can't just replace one section of the site at a time and expect users to not be confused or content to not be lost or duplicated.

How should we approach the redesign and relaunch of the intranet?

  • Asking "what have you used" is considered not constructive here; however I think this can be reworked more to solicit a "how can you do X well" sort of answer instead of just "what did you do"; the problem with the latter is all answers are basically equally valid.
    – Ben Brocka
    Jul 23, 2012 at 21:52
  • I've attempted to refocus the question as I believe it could be useful. Do you think it needs to be improved further? Feb 27, 2013 at 10:05
  • I think the question is fine now. And it's a good one. I've voted to reopen it.
    – PhillipW
    Feb 27, 2013 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


Back in '97-98 I helped a major management consulting firm launch their first intranet. We did a lot of stuff wrong, but one thing we got right was the company directory. Each employee entry included a picture, phone number, email address, office location and area of expertise. We also allowed employees to edit their own profiles.

Regarding your situation of upgrading from the existing intranet to the new one with constrained resources, try to identify the core functionality and a minimum viable product. You could then release key sections of new functionality (like a company directory) piece by piece. If your resources really are constrained, you may have to live with the dissonance for a while.

Treat it like an extended series of beta releases, soliciting feedback from existing users as you go. Once you have the major pieces in place, under a restructured nav, you can market it to the company as a whole.


OK, so not strictly related to how to launch an intranet per se, but some of these recommendations will allow smooth transition and rapid uptake of the new intranet, which I think is tangentially relevant, yes?

from How do approaches for UX differ between intranets and normal websites?

there are a number of approaches or UX strategies you could employ, here's my thoughts from another question:

• Pay special attention to the intranet homepage; it is essential to attracting users and communicating information

• We need to gain a detailed understanding of internal workflows and processes so that we can presenting standard intranet information, including policies, forms, and procedures, much more-so than a standard website. Detailed user narratives will have to be build that define personas and test cases for use later in the project.

• There must be effective communication through the intranet: news, print publications, and email

• One needs to consider rules for writing news items for the intranet and what news items are likely to be most useful to staff

• The intranet will present information about the organization, individuals, and teams; allow user to find people

• The intranet will allow staff to Discover what people do and where they report; will be an effective employee directory

• They need to consider what to include in employee profiles, how to present team and project information

• According to the available research Nielsen Norman Group Report Series Intranet Usability Guidelines intranet search is a widely used and incredibly important feature

• The intranet should structure data by task rather than department

• The intranet must manage content and support users in multiple locations and using multiple languages.

• How will they manage the intranet? There must be content management roles, forms and processes which in turns means educating, managing, coordinating and training content contributors.

• Templates and standards will create a consistent experience

some of these things you will not have the resources for eg large scale, company-wide user research, and there is not much advice for how to implement or migrate staff to the new intranet, but these recommendations take little effort and can reap enormous rewards. Follow them and you will see that the new intranet will most likely be adopted by staff with minimal friction.

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