Sheffield Hallam is the 6th largest university in the UK, with 31,508 students (24,643 undergraduates and 6,865 postgraduates), 4,530 staff (including 2,161 academic staff), and a turnover of £257.7 million. And more students choose to study at Sheffield Business School than any other business school in the UK.
Rocca. was recently awarded the contract to overhaul Sheffield Hallam University’s Intranet.
Intranets are funny things. Some organisations can’t do without them – they serve as learning hub and shared document resource. And for others, they are another communication channel to look after, with no clear return on investment or sign of colleague buy-in. We were tasked with making the former a reality!
We prepared a simple five question user survey, to help us to get a feeling for what employees would consider useful. It emerged that, because content placed on the existing Intranet tended to be there for a long time (with the exception of an internal newsletter and meeting notes), users simply used it once and never returned. This meant that content piled up, and soon the SBS Intranet was a vast site, full of content that was seldom viewed.
Employees also found using the Intranet off-site frustrating, as the content could not be easily viewed by mobile devices.
Using the results of the survey, and the input from the senior team at SBS, we set about developing an Intranet which users would want to use on a daily basis – one which not only informed and provided storage for resources, but was also a pleasure to use.
The new SBS Intranet is much more than just a document repository. At its top level is a personalised user dashboard, which displays new articles and social media feeds, but importantly gives users access to:
• people search;
• upcoming events;
• time & weather;
• room booking; and
• the Dean’s Digest
We took the styles and navigational functionality from the Universities website – making it at once familiar and easy to use. The Intranet is now mostly responsive too – meaning that users can browse it on any device and from any location.
Most critical to the ongoing success of the Intranet is the ease of authoring. The site is managed internally by the SBS management team, and along with running training in the administration of the software, we provided an Intranet toolkit, so that users of all technical abilities can contribute to a central resource for the faculty.
Rocca. went above and beyond the brief in order to achieve the best possible outcome for our Intranet. They worked with us to overcome technical challenges and continue to support us while we build on the Intranet's success.