Structuring a lot of pages with little mess
November 15, 2010 2:51 PM   Subscribe

New intranet, new information architecture. How to represent and publish an entire organisational structure without resorting to a massive branching tree of pages?

Working on a new intranet for a large-ish organisation (2000+ people), and we need pages for each business group, starting from 6 major divisions and going right down to teams of a few people.

These will be landing pages that say what the group does, take you through to the appropriate contacts section, and link to the policies and resources the people in that group want to have handy.

While we could just structure the pages equivalent to the organisational layout itself, that's a lot of layers for people to click through, and we would end up with a very cluttered and messy sidebar navigation. There's also the concern that any pages below the first couple of layers will be considered unimportant and could be ignored by people who might need to see them. The organisation is structured in such a way that one group six layers down may be (so to speak) equal to one three or four layers down.

What are some examples/possible solutions to making a large number of pages accessible while retaining a sense of reporting lines and navigability?

We're building it in drupal, but there's not a lot of room for a technical solution - that's pretty much done, so it's down to creative IA. Also, I'm content guy, not technical guy, so I probably wouldn't be able to implement techy ideas anyway. :)
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Self-link, but you've seen Open Atrium, right? It kind of has the whole intranet / landing page deal pretty well concepted, and indeed has group level organization and project level organization within groups, and customizable dashboards.
posted by tmcw at 3:20 PM on November 15, 2010


Best answer: 'reflecting the organisational structure' is something that almost every intranet does but it's almost always a pointless exercise.

When structuring an intranet you need to give people what they are looking for, and the chances of that neatly matching the organisational structure are slim to none.

So don't stress about structure, by all means create pages for every group but don't try and link them together in some multi-level heirarchy, no-one cares and by the time you have built it the company will probably restructure anyway.

If there are so many pages they don't all fit at the top level. Then just group them alphabetically A-Z.
posted by Lanark at 12:43 PM on November 16, 2010


Response by poster: Well, this question is resolved by virtue of the decision being taken out of my hands. (What do you know, it's a hierarchy!) Still, we're going to have a go at parallel search-driven navigation, so the taxonomy will be strong and may be the basis of further work down the line.

Will take a look at that open atrium idea though, might come in useful later. Thanks!
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y at 7:22 PM on November 16, 2010


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