Intranet Usability Guidelines: Findings from User Testing of 42 Intranets Vol. 07: Navigation and Page Layout

3rd Edition

Part of Series:Intranet Usability Guidelines: Findings from User Testing of 42 Intranets

Part of theIntranet Usability Guidelines Series

Navigational elements are crucial building blocks in intranet design because navigation and page layout make people aware that information exists, and helps them to find what they need. Menu design significantly impacts employee performance and success on intranets. The content must be organized such that the categories, hierarchy, and terms make sense to people.

Once users find the page they need, they don’t want to spend time wading through pages of text, especially if they’re not sure their efforts will produce the answers they need. Poorly organized pages can make it impossible for users to find what they’re looking for.

This220-pagereport contains100 design recommendationsbased on our usability research. Discussions and174 screenshot illustrationssupplement the findings.


  • Intranet navigation overview
    • 行为表明,内部网的navigation needs work
    • Internal users are not intranet experts
    • Understanding how users explore and use the intranet
    • Implementing an IA and use terminology that works best for employees
  • Intranet navigation and layout
    • Designing simple intranet navigation
    • Motivating employees with easy navigation
    • Designing simple intranet navigation
    • Indicators of a poor navigation scheme
  • Intranet strategies
    • Organization-related issues
    • Design-related issues
  • Information architecture (IA)
    • IA based on department, topic, tasks, and needs
    • Starting point for task-based primary navigation
    • IA based on alphabetic list
    • Evaluation framework for your IA
  • Navigation elements
    • Terminology for menus and links
    • Consistency and persistence
    • Opening new browser windows
  • Intranet content
    • Writing for the web
    • Text and page layout
    • Tone and style
    • Acronyms and initials
    • Images
    • Help and tips

Research Method

The information in these reports is based on three separate rounds of user research with company employees as participants. We used two different research methods:

  • One-on-one usability testing
  • Field studies, during which we observed employees as they went about their normal work

Hundreds of people tested 42 intranets. The studies took place in the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and China (Hong Kong).