Technology

Daily Buzz: Design Your Way Into a Better Remote Experience

By / Aug 3, 2020 (Vertigo3d/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Good intranet design matters to workers more than you might realize. Also: a way to mimic the spontaneity of in-person events.

As organizations scramble to make remote work more efficient, Dan Hawtrey at CMSWire points out an easily overlooked factor in digital employee experience: intranet design.

“On more than one occasion I’ve seen teams launch a really great feature on their intranet only for it to go ignored,” Hawtrey says. “Then the homepage gets a redesign and lo, everyone starts raving about the new feature, which has been there for months.”

Hawtrey names several benefits of paying close attention to intranet design, including deepened engagement from stakeholders, consistency, potential for repurposing elements of the design, ability to customize, ease of user adoption, and—unsurprisingly—usability. He also stresses the importance of making accessibility a core design principle, as opposed to a factor that’s separate from usability and design.

The content of the site itself can be another benefit. “A good design can help ensure content quality,” Hawtrey says. “[A] significant link between good design and good content can be found from the business perspective.” And if the design supports company culture with strategic corporate branding? All the better.

Orchestrated Serendipity

If you miss the chance conversations that flow easily at in-person meetings and events, consider creating some planned spontaneity.

That’s what linguist Gretchen McCulloch, author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, is attempting with her “virtual hallway coffee chat experiment.” The idea is simple: She’s asking people to sign up for 10- to 15-minute slots for video chats that center on a specific topic that participants have mutually agreed upon.

Orchestrated serendipity was a trend identified by the Professional Convention Management Association last year—well before anyone knew that COVID-19 meant that conference serendipity would need to be orchestrated to exist at all. That makes McCulloch’s experiment seem like a template for bringing the vibrancy of gatherings into the moment. After all, as she puts it, chance run-ins are “the best part of a conference.”

Other Links of Note

Nonprofit funding might require a ground-up rethinking to survive today’s challenges, says Adele Peters at Fast Company.

Job hunting doesn’t stop, even for a global pandemic. Kiki L’Italien at Association Chat helps you do it better.

Virtual event planning has become a primary skill. Does it make sense for you to become a certified virtual planner? WBT Systems helps you navigate the question.

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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