In a project I’m participating in we are in a crucial crossroad. We’re discussing whether it’s better to fill an intranet with information, even if it’s not directly targeted at this particular user, or stand at the risk of having an empty site with no information since the targeted information is very sparse.

The pro of having more information than necessary, is that the intranet will always be alive, change information and news feed every other day. Users will go there to find news, even if it isn’t directly in field of interest its still company news. The con is that the information given isn’t all that relevant to the user, and the user might get bored since its only Company news and not news targeted for the user.

The pro of having less information, which updates twice a month is that given news and information is always relevant to me as a user. However, if the content seldom changes the user might forget that the intranet exist and news feed reaches no one.

What should we do? Less frequent but relevant information more seldom or More frequent but less relevant information more often?

2 Answers 2


Information stagnation, low visitor count and user boredom is the death knell to any website, public or private, as it fails to achieve any useful objective.

An intranet does not work alone. Success depends on people talking to each other (one of the side benefits of an intranet is it targets people in the same organisation who talk to each other): Have you seen X on the intranet? There's a new version of Y available on the intranet this morning. Everyone please make sure they're up to date with Z - you can find it on the intranet.

The more people you can engage, the greater the success.

But you must take care to heed the following.

  • Regular updates - don't start with the more information option and tail off over six months or you'll end up on the other stream and stagnation occurs anyway.

  • Less relevant is not irrelevant - make sure the information is always at least useful to someone and try to identify to whom it is relevant so that the stream of 'more information' can be filtered easily

  • The intranet is not a bottomless pit - archive older or time sensitive information that is no longer relevant.

  • Intranets still need a search box - Just because it's an internal site doesn't mean everyone knows exactly where to find information easily.

  • Regular visitors like to know what's changed - For frequent updates, provide summaries of updates so that visitors can see what's new in what areas, especially if something is 'relevant to all'.

  • Engage, engage, engage.

  • Thanx Roger! Reading to your bullited list, I see that we do just that. Have search, archives, cooperation sites, tasks, calendars and so on. But what struck me was the fact that we do not show what has really changed since the users last visit. I think we need to show some kind of notification or indicator rather, what has really changed. Sep 10, 2012 at 9:25
  • @BennySkogberg - yes, you have a captive audience with a 'higher than normal' level of repeat visitors so it's key to make sure that repeat visitors do not have to keep trawling the site to find a) what's new and b) whether it's relevant to them. Sep 10, 2012 at 9:32

I would, by default, show all content to all users and then give them the option to filter it to focus on content that they are interested in. Once a user has filtered content according to their preferences, I would probably show a separate feed of other ‘general content’ alongside it that, while perhaps not directly relevant to them, would be updated frequently and expose them to wider company news.

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