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User Adoption of SharePoint Intranet Portal

User Adoption of SharePoint Intranet Portal

Is user adoption of SharePoint Intranet Portal low in your organisation? Then this is the article for you.

With several goals in mind, you bring the SharePoint intranet portal. After putting in all the hard work you realise that user adoption of the SharePoint portal is low.

Third-party tools with attractive features are readily available in the market. To encourage users to choose the intranet portal over third-party, it is essential to develop your portal as absorbing as third-party tools.

User Adoption of SharePoint Intranet Portal

Why user adoption of SharePoint Intranet is low? 

Once you publish your intranet portal. You see small signs of the portal being rejected. 

The technical team argues about the psychological barriers of users, but the user defends themselves concerning uncomfortable UX / UI faults.

In the end, it’s necessary to know the cause of rejection. Knowing the cause leads to swift action to resolve. Here is our experience about why your SharePoint portal may get rejected by your employees.

  • The mindset of a user plays a crucial role in accepting a portal. They could be using their previous tools or applications for collaboration, and shifting their mindset is difficult. 
  • Employees who train themselves to use various third-party tools find it tough to work on a single portal. It takes time to get them accustomed to the new portal. 
  • Organizations having a creative outlook might not get attracted to the portal. Your users might be expecting the latest social widgets like selecting their avatars or audio and video conferencing. 
  • The performance of an intranet portal is a big reason why users reject the portal. Slow intranet, hanging of the applications, download issues, or issues that could consume time instead of helping them collaborate.
  • Finally, if your intranet portal is not clean, simple, and intuitive then it’s a good reason for the user to reject. 

One of the factors that make user adoption of the SharePoint portal easy is the user experience (UX). 

It’s not the question of having out-of-box solutions or overloading your site with the latest features, but it’s about ease of using the portal. Also it’s about providing useful information for them.

Based on our experience in implementing Intranet Portals, I share a pragmatic approach to improve user adoption of SharePoint intranet portal.  

Know your users:

Intranet projects are unsuccessful because, users of the portal are not considered as one of the key stakeholders in the project.

The first step of portal creation is requirements.  But before that, it is necessary to know your users. Knowing users means, how your user could use your portal, collecting the valuable input from the head of the departments, like Sales, HR, Marketing, etc. to know the best way they like to see this platform.

It’s always best to use a table like below to identify what people want to get done

As an…I need to…So that…I know this is successful when…
EmployeeKeep a tab on my remaining vacation leavesSo that I can plan my off days at the officeWhen I don’t have to go to HR for my vacations/leaves related information
EmployeeHave a self-service portal apply for leaves and other HR activitiesI can get approvals and inform people of my unavailability with easeI don’t have to move between HR and reporting officer for leave approvals.
HR employeePromote the use of the self-service benefits portalI can spend more time working with employees on unique benefits questions and scenariosAll of my employee interactions are about individual critical scenarios

Adding relevant features:

Activities like sending meeting mails after setting up the calendar, sharing files, creating announcements, approvals, or even recurring tasks are carried within the SharePoint portal.

It is necessary to automate the user’s routine tasks and free them for creative activities. 

For you to understand what the tasks are, it is best to get the list of such activities and know their workflow.

Don’t overload the site with features instead keep the relevant and required features. Little is more in this case. 

Content Management Strategy:

Do you start your day with daily news? If Yes, then you are like most of the population. 

Content management is an important aspect of the SharePoint intranet portal. Know to attract your users, try getting quality and organization-specific content, news, blogs, or newsfeed that could interest your users, and stay updated with the latest changes.

For example, your IT users can view newsfeeds or blogs of relevant technology they work with. Such activities engage the users, improves expertise, promote corporate values, and strengthens the community.

Keeping your portal up-to-date is challenging, it’s necessary to change the content regularly with the help of content moderators representing your users.

User Adoption of SharePoint Intranet Portal

UX/UI experience:

Millennials are tech-savvy, working on smartphones, social networking. Online presence keeps them updated and they use the latest gadgets, tools, and devices. 

Engaging them on your intranet platform is not easy.

Focus on your UX/UI experience, Simple UI, and intuitive features, improve the user experience. Keep your design flexible, ask users to design their page, or discarding the features that are not necessary, like an update from a team he no longer works for.

Getting user’s involved, as he creates his custom pages, makes your portal interesting to use.

Keep a note of good and bad UX designs. Avoid using UX designs or features with which users are not comfortable. Appropriate pages are loaded for your users, and manage lag in page response time adds in UX.

You can run UI/UX specific surveys to get their feedback.

Adapt to devices:

The Digital revolution has lead users to work from any location and device.  Adapt your internal site to the latest devices. Test your site with these devices often.

Feedbacks and training:

Digital generation is quick to adapt to digital changes, take this as an advantage. Be vocal about the features, their usage, bugs, and additions.

Regular training sessions, working on feedbacks, coordinated and continuous technical support helps in preventing psychological rejections.

Simple and clean Architecture 

Not only the UI design is responsible for UX, but also the simple, logical, and clear architecture. 

Keeping your architecture simple and clean allows your team to focus on solving issues rather than rattling with the contents.

Changing site collections, navigation and site layouts often, creates confusion. Try not to overload your employees. 

Analyze the changes quickly act over it before it gets messy.

Recruit key executive:

Finally recruit a key executive sponsor, who influences the users to adapt themselves to the SharePoint intranet platform.

Conclusion

Evangelizing, building awareness, understanding, and engaging with employees throughout is necessary to make your users adopt your portal.

User adoption of your SharePoint Intranet portal can work wonders for the efficiency of your organisation. Contact us if you need to create a SharePoint intranet portal that is liked by your employees.

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