Intranets are highly flexible, scalable and valuable. They support a wide variety of use cases and processes and have multiple areas of value, including supporting communications, productivity, task completion, engagement and knowledge sharing. Inevitably different organisations will have different needs and priorities and the role of the intranet and its homepage often reflects this; an intranet for a global tax consultancy might look quite different to a small media company, for example. One size does not fit all.
The good news is that SharePoint intranets (and their homepages) are extremely flexible so organisations can invariably build an intranet that reflects their particular needs. One of the reasons for this is the sheer number of web parts that are available within SharePoint Online, straight out of the box.
Web parts are essentially building blocks with different functionality and features that can be combined together into multiple ways to build an intranet homepage. However, SharePoint does not have enough web parts to meet all modern intranet needs, which is why we built Lightspeed365, a set of additional web parts and features that enable you to build an even richer experience and wider variety of different homepages. You can achieve the intranet that your organisation needs, and that your users want.
We’re often asked about the kind of SharePoint intranet homepage experiences that be built using both SharePoint Online web parts and Lightspeed365. With so many different possibilities, there are a very wide variety of intranets to suit every need. In this post we’re going to show you ten real world examples of very different SharePoint homepages that we have built and have a particular function or focus. You can use this post to help you get thinking about what your perfect homepage might look like.
Here’s ten SharePoint intranet homepages that use both web parts and Lightspeed365 features.
1. The all-rounder intranet homepage
Intranets perform a variety of different functions and support multiple processes. An all-rounder intranet homepage provides a balance between multiple activities with a variety of different web parts and features – supporting internal communications, improving productivity, driving collaboration and helping employees complete tasks. Large, global and complex businesses tend to adopt an all-rounder homepage, supporting a highly diverse workforce.
In this example:
- The news is displayed prominently to support internal communications, with an alert at the top for immediate operational or urgent messages.
- The My Apps area provides a personalised launch pad to key apps and tools, to help employees complete their day-to-day work.
- Personalised tasks are highlighted in the dashboard section to help employees get things done.
- A middle panel presents key performance data to employees relating to company values, while also encouraging feedback.
- A “My news” area presents personalised news relevant to the individual, which is important for intranet adoption and value in highly diverse workforces.
- Collaboration, discussion and dialogue is supported by the “Engage” panel which highlights activity within Viva Engage groups.
- Other information such as the latest share price is also presented.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: Alerts, Welcome bar, App launcher, Newsfeed, People search, Share price, Branding customiser.
2. The knowledge base intranet homepage
Intranets are often a key channel in supporting knowledge management and can act as an effective knowledge base for corporate or organisational knowledge, as well as encouraging knowledge sharing. Typically, this kind of approach might be adopted by a professional services, consulting or engineering firm. A knowledge base intranet homepage encourages findability through search and also uses personalisation to drive a valuable and relevant experience for users.
In this example:
- A prominent search box allows and encourages users to search for documents and through knowledge collections, with the ability to filter items on areas such as project type and country, using metadata based on the company’s taxonomy.
- A significant proportion of the homepage is dedicated to personalised access to knowledge, including favourite documents, documents owned by the user and also bookmarked collections of resources.
- News is still part of the intranet but this is pared down with no imagery so it is less significant.
Lightspeed365 webparts in this example include: Newsfeed, Policy management, Card links, Branding customiser.
3. The dashboard intranet homepage
Intranets can act as a central point for employees to keep on top of all the things they need to know and do. A dashboard intranet can act as an excellent hub for real-time information and source of what employees need to do as a priority, with information even coming from multiple sources. A dashboard intranet is a dynamic channel that supports productivity and helps employees keep on top of their work.
In this example:
- The homepage features high levels of personalisation, including a welcome bar that names the user so the experience feels more tailored to the individual.
- Search is a strong component helping people find what they need, with searches for people and “How Do I” guidance.
- There is also the ability to search for factory parts, a specific function of this organisation.
- A milestones dashboard indicates the status of different organisational priorities.
- A personalised task list also provides a highly convenient mini “to do” list for each individual employee, also presented with other relevant information.
- However, more traditional features such as news and quick links are still included.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: Newsfeed, App launcher, People search, Card links, Welcome bar, Branding customiser.
4. The community hub intranet homepage
Some intranets are highly focused on supporting community and connection, helping employees to have conversations and to work out loud, and driving engagement and encouraging collaboration. A community hub homepage brings both internal and external conversations to the fore highlighting updates, discussions and events. Typically, this approach is used in businesses such as media and marketing companies, or where employee engagement is very high up the agenda.
In this example:
- News is presented in an eye-catching and attractive way, allowing for the use of imagery to showcase the company’s brand and products, as well as key initiatives.
- Internal conversations from Viva Engage, the company’s social collaboration platform of choice, are highlighted within the “Conversations” section.
- Updates from the company’s external social channels are also relayed, providing information on how the organisation goes to market and interacts with customers.
- Note that a share price widget is integrated into the news section so as not to constrain the overall look and feel.
- Events are also prominently displayed, in this case using the standard SharePoint events feed feature, but using playful iconography and bright colour to draw attention.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: Section+, Newsfeed, Branding customiser, Social feeds.
5. The media hub intranet homepage
Intranets are not just about text-based content, but also house videos, podcasts and more. The media hub intranet tries to evoke a modern media experience more akin to a streaming platform like Netflix rather than what is usually associated with a more traditional intranet. It intelligently presents content that it thinks will be of interest based on your profile, role and preferences.
In this example:
- Multimedia content is presented in attractive carousel area, with major items curated by the communications team, and linking through to text but also embedded video and audio.
- Different content is then presented in tiles that is based on preferences, covering a range of different content formats and types.
- A noticeboard feature aggregates updates rolling in from across the organisation.
- “See more” buttons allow the user to view more content, ensuring the initial homepage experience remains focused and uncluttered.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: App launcher, Branding customiser, Subscriptions, Newsfeed.
6. The taskmaster intranet homepage
A key function of a good intranet is to help employees get things done efficiently and in the right way, supporting productivity and saving time. The taskmaster intranet homepage focuses on task completion, making the intranet the go-to place for getting things done.
In this example:
- A welcome bar at the top includes a link to an intranet tour which automatically loads when an employee first visits the intranet, and walks users through the main intranet features and the information that can be found.
- The homepage leverages the Viva Connections dashboard to deliver a common tasks panel to highlight common tasks such as logging an IT ticket, and to highlight key activity; integrations with common enterprise systems often means that employees don’t actually need to visit these applications if just needed to view data or perform simple transactions.
- A searchable database of “How Do I” information provides succinct information on how to get things done across a wide variety of topics, helping to streamline and standardise processes and supporting productivity.
- “How Do I” information is also targeted based on an employee’s profile, so for example a person sees the right process information based on their location.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: Welcome bar, Handbook, Viva integrations, People search, Share price, App launcher, Branding customiser.
7. The field worker intranet homepage
Some organisations have many frontline employees who are working out in the field. Retail, manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, engineering, hospitality & leisure, construction and transport are all examples of industries with a high proportion of field workers. In companies within these sectors, employees are often accessing the intranet on a tablet or smartphone. A “field worker” intranet makes it easier for employees to access all the content they need from any location, particularly when they do not have access to a desk during the working day.
In this example:
- An icon-based app launcher dominates the homepage, making it easier for employees to reach all the apps they need; a search feature also means they can find the right tool or site quickly.
- Apps represented by icons are targeted to employees by their role, helping drive value and relevance.
- Employees are able to customise their experience and add their own personal links to the most commonly used apps, just as they are able to configure the screen of their mobile device.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: Navigation, App launcher, Branding customiser, Newsfeed, People search.
8. The newsroom intranet homepage
Supporting internal communications is a key function of most intranets. The newsroom intranet homepage keeps employees informed by providing news updates from right across the organisation. It’s often most relevant to large global businesses with multiple locations and diverse workforces.
In this example:
- The header shows a weather and local time across all the key locations – the local time is particularly useful for anyone contacting colleagues across timezones.
- The major news feed includes all news and events, avoiding key items being lost in a news carousel. Engagement data such as views, comments and reactions indicates the most popular items.
- All content is tagged with the appropriate channel such as “People” or “Science & Innovation”, allowing users to click through to see more updates from that channel.
- Quick operational announcements are also showed under the news.
- More task-related content such as “How Do I” information is surfaced in the lower half of the page.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: Share price, Branding customiser.
9. The hyper-focused intranet
Sometimes an intranet is dedicated to a particular area of operations or activity. We’ve called this a “hyper-focused” intranet as it specifically focuses on a particular operational aspect. Sometimes it may actually be part of a wider intranet. In the example below, the intranet is focused on the theme of project delivery, but it could be another area of operations.
In this example:
- A personalised notification feed delivers any outstanding tasks, key reminders and required actions, such as approving requests.
- A minimalist “status dashboard” provides a good overview of the level of overall project activity which can be quickly digested.
- Displaying recent project documents provides a convenient access point for employees to carry on working with key files relating to active projects.
- News, policies and guidance can also be accessed, but only via the navigation, ensuring the page remains clear and focused on its purpose – avoiding clutter and reducing the risk of overwhelming the user.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: Branding customiser.
10. The noticeboard intranet homepage
The “noticeboard” intranet homepage also focuses on a particular facet of organisational life, this time acting as an aggregated place for multiple updates across different business functions, support functions, groups and work initiatives. Here the publishing model tends to be more decentralised, supporting peer-to-peer communication, and even the ability for any employee to be a publisher. However, it also ensures central communications are supported too.
In this example:
- Updates from the central communications team are displayed in the carousel.
- The rest of the homepage is dedicated to updates from multiple different groups and departments, with content presented via attractive cards in a social media style; items are given parity in how they are presented, however those with a higher engagement score are displayed higher in the page.
- Other areas of content are reachable via the navigation, ensuring that the homepage does not get too cluttered.
Lightspeed365 Features in this example include: Floating search, Newsfeed, Branding customiser.
Building the right intranet homepage for you
We hope these examples have given you a bit of inspiration! The combination of SharePoint web parts available out of the box and additional Lightspeed365 web parts means that you can build the right homepage that meets your organisational needs and culture, and highlights the main functions of your intranet.
If you’d like to discuss your intranet project or how Lightspeed365 intranet could add value to your intranet, then get in touch!