An important aspect of digital transformation at the MOJ is the adoption of an ‘inside out’ approach. This means that systems and ways of working are being improved internally as well as externally.
One of the ways we’ll be improving things on the inside is by rebuilding our intranet. Here’s what we’ve been working on so far...
Challenges and goals
Over time, the MOJ intranet has become complicated to navigate and dense with content, which has led to a sub-optimal user experience.
One of the main reasons for this is the number of organisational changes that have happened over recent years. As a result, the biggest challenge facing us is how to bring a number of intranet sites, currently housed on separate and outdated systems, onto a single platform.
These are the goals we’ll be working towards.
- update the look, feel and navigation of the main headquarters (HQ) intranet
- simplify all the content, giving users only what they need to know in order to perform tasks
- ensure that all information is up-to-date and clearly presented
- improve the search function
- offer a single platform on which the MOJ and all its affiliated organisations can host their content
- implement a new hosting solution, contributing towards estimated savings of up to £900,000 a year
- ensure the intranet becomes the gateway into all the MOJ’s internal digital services
- enable every employee across the MOJ to work more efficiently
Where to start?
Our first priority has been the users. Speaking to a large number of MOJ employees about how they use the intranet, and what they expect from it in the future, has provided us with valuable insights.
Analytics have played their part too, helping us understand which pages are the most visited, the search terms employees use and which documents are downloaded the most.
Choosing the tools
In order to give employees the best intranet experience, we need the best possible platform in place.
Given that our colleagues in other areas of government, such as the Department of Health and Department for Business Innovation & Skills, have successfully relaunched their intranets on the WordPress platform, this decision was an easy one.
Working with both these departments has proved very useful, allowing us to learn from their experiences within their respective projects.
We’ll also be improving the search function, and subsequently ensuring that search engine optimisation (SEO) is a top priority within the pages themselves. This means we’ll need to be meticulous about using the right words for titles, headings and on-page content, while also ensuring that metadata and URLs adhere to SEO best practice.
Look and feel
As well as making the design cleaner and signposting clearer, we’ll be laying out pages in the same easy-to-scan style as GOV.UK, providing users with only the information they need to perform a task.
This will result in a huge overhaul of the existing content, removing superfluous chunks of content and breaking down the remaining information, where possible, to a series of headings and bullets.
This is what the existing homepage looks like:
And here's how the new homepage will look:
The new intranet’s design will also be responsive, meaning it can be viewed on every type of device from desktops to smartphones.
On top of this, it will also be fully accessible to every kind of user by adhering to WCAG guidelines.
Launching the site
The initial HQ site launch will take place in March 2015. This first release will include:
- ‘Guidance and support’ section
Everything that helps MOJ employees perform everyday tasks, such as checking our policies, booking holiday or purchasing supplies
- ‘About us’ section
All the information about the MOJ as an organisation: who we are, what we do and how we do it
An improved HQ newsfeed and archive
Straight after launch, we'll begin to look at 3 things:
How and when to move all intranet sites owned by the MOJ's agencies and bodies onto the WordPress platform
How to give teams greater ownership of their site sections, allowing them to communicate directly with their audiences
How to provide a collaborative space which allows teams to work together
Watch this space...
So far, intranet users and stakeholders alike have been extremely positive about the changes we’re proposing to make. But we’ll only be able to truly gauge our success once the site has been launched.
All the lessons we learn from the launch of the HQ intranet will be taken on board and applied to later releases.
So, once the new intranet has been up and running for a few weeks, we’ll let you know exactly what these lessons have been. Check back here next summer to find out what we learned, what our successes have been and where we could have improved.