Our Thoughts

Posted on 3rd March 2015 by Rebecca Dearden in Our Thoughts, Internal communication

Clear the clutter and make digital simple

Rebecca Dearden

Let’s imagine you have a healthy budget, a great tech team and bags of time. And now you want to transform how you communicate internally. The way to go is obvious, isn’t it? Create your own mini version of Facebook – instantly recognisable as a social network, cool-looking, and people already understand how to use it.

 

But stop there. While it’s clear that social media technologies can improve internal communication and collaboration by up to 35%, McKinsey have found that less than half of executive officers say their spend on digital communication is paying off.*

 

The problem, it seems, is over-complication and rigidity. While elaborately designed portals and networks may look the business, they can actually hinder smooth communication and are hard to adapt as communication needs change.

 

Your starting point needs to be what your users need and want, rather than what flashy tools the technology promises. It shouldn’t be any surprise that finding the best way for your people to communicate starts with…communication.

 

The right UX – or user experience – is the key to digital channels that are engaging and achieve what you want them to achieve. And to understand what makes a good UX, you need to ask the users. You might use focus groups, questionnaires, detailed audience analysis…but whatever your methods, you're aiming for a view not just of needs (from an individual and business point of view), but of personal goals and motivations.

 

When you have this information as your foundation, you can design user-centric rather than company-centric content and navigation. And you’ll also understand more about how to maximise the value of personalisation – a customisable home page, for example, and a personal news feed.

 

Taking the ‘it’s got to be like Facebook’ route means you have to shoehorn in the features you need and it becomes harder to ensure the system reflects your business, your employees and the way you work.

 

Writing in Forbes recently, Avi Dan suggested Chief Marketing Officers would become Chief Simplifier Officers, as companies started to fight complexity, think holistically and optimise engagement. Nowhere is this more important than in internal communications. After all, if your own workforce is fragmented, unengaged, unsure of what they’re a part of, how on earth are your customers going to get the right message.

 

 * Source: International Data Corporation (IDC), McKinsey Global Institute analysis 

Let’s imagine you have a h

Let’s imagine you have a healthy budget, a great tech team and bags of time. And now you want to transform how you communicate internally. The way to go is obvious, isn’t it? Create your own mini version of Facebook – instantly recognisable as a social network, cool-looking, and people already understand how to use it.

But stop there. While it’s clear that social media technologies can improve internal communication and collaboration by up to 35% , McKinsey have found that less than half of executive officers say their spend on digital communication is paying off.

The problem, it seems, is over-complication and rigidity. While elaborately designed portals and networks may look the business, they can actually hinder smooth communication and are hard to adapt as communication needs change.

Your starting point needs to be what your users need and want, rather than what flashy tools the technology promises. It shouldn’t be any surprise that finding the best way for your people to communicate starts with…communication.

The right UX – or user experience – is the key to digital channels that are engaging and achieve what you want them to achieve. And to understand what makes a good UX, you need to ask the users. You might use focus groups, questionnaires, detailed audience analysis…but whatever your methods, you're aiming for a view not just of needs (from an individual and business point of view), but of personal goals and motivations.

When you have this information as your foundation, you can design user-centric rather than company-centric content and navigation. And you’ll also understand more about how to maximise the value of personalisation – a customisable home page, for example, and a personal news feed.

Taking the ‘it’s got to be like Facebook’ route means you have to shoehorn in the features you need and it becomes harder to ensure the system reflects your business, your employees and the way you work.

Writing in Forbes recently, Avi Dan suggested Chief Marketing Officers would become Chief Simplifier Officers, as companies started to fight complexity, think holistically and optimise engagement. Nowhere is this more important than in internal communications. After all, if your own workforce is fragmented, unengaged, unsure of what they’re a part of, how on earth are your customers going to get the right message.

ealthy budget, a great tech team and bags of time. And now you want to transform how you communicate internally. The way to go is obvious, isn’t it? Create your own mini version of Facebook – instantly recognisable as a social network, cool-looking, and people already understand how to use it.
 
But stop there. While it’s clear that social media technologies can improve internal communication and collaboration by up to 35% , McKinsey have found that less than half of executive officers say their spend on digital communication is paying off.
 
The problem, it seems, is over-complication and rigidity. While elaborately designed portals and networks may look the business, they can actually hinder smooth communication and are hard to adapt as communication needs change.
 
Your starting point needs to be what your users need and want, rather than what flashy tools the technology promises. It shouldn’t be any surprise that finding the best way for your people to communicate starts with…communication.
 
The right UX – or user experience – is the key to digital channels that are engaging and achieve what you want them to achieve. And to understand what makes a good UX, you need to ask the users. You might use focus groups, questionnaires, detailed audience analysis…but whatever your methods, you're aiming for a view not just of needs (from an individual and business point of view), but of personal goals and motivations.
 
When you have this information as your foundation, you can design user-centric rather than company-centric content and navigation. And you’ll also understand more about how to maximise the value of personalisation – a customisable home page, for example, and a personal news feed.
 
Taking the ‘it’s got to be like Facebook’ route means you have to shoehorn in the features you need and it becomes harder to ensure the system reflects your business, your employees and the way you work.
 
Writing in Forbes recently, Avi Dan suggested Chief Marketing Officers would become Chief Simplifier Officers, as companies started to fight complexity, think holistically and optimise engagement. Nowhere is this more important than in internal communications. After all, if your own workforce is fragmented, unengaged, unsure of what they’re a part of, how on earth are your customers going to get the right message.
 
[ends]
 


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