Friday, January 26, 2007

Intranet Procedures and Guidelines

Web Site Considerations

Authoring Guidelines

Suggested Software Tools

Suggested Training for Authors

Forum Administration Guidelines

Web Site Considerations

Several issues to consider before you begin constructing a department web site:

  • The site should bring value to your function. Design and content should do one or more of the following:

Improve Service to your internal customers

Increase Accuracy of the information

Increase Speed with which people can access the information

Reduce Cost and Effort of providing/publishing this information

  • Determine who will design and build your site. For a basic site (non-application type pages), someone in your department/group can build the site or you can have the internal web vendor or an external vendor build your site.
  • Updating information is crucial and maintenance of sites will be the responsibility of the department who "owns" the information (Information Technology can recommend training for the person who will be maintaining the site, see below).
  • Determine who is the audience for the information and consider what they will be able to accomplish by using your site.
  • Contact the Webmaster to determine if there are similar efforts underway and to discuss the best ways to accomplish your objectives.

Authoring Guidelines

Authorization and access to web server libraries is controlled by the Webmaster. Contact the Webmaster (ext. XXXX) to obtain access to your file library for web site creation and update purposes.

Naming Conventions and File Locations

Each business will have its own subdirectory and departments within that business will have their own sub-directory beneath the business level. All business' and departments' main home pages must be named index.htm or index.html.

Practice Good File Management for your site. That means, files of the same type should be stored in sub-directories below the main directory. For example, a sub-directory named images is suggested for all graphic elements associated with a department's home page. Also, be mindful of your filenames and the length of filenames. Avoid spaces whenever possible (use "-"," _", etc.) as it makes things cleaner, and keep filenames to a reasonable length (the "lovely little presentation my boss gave me to post.ppt" is not a great idea as a filename).

Keeping content and links up to date is the responsibility of the publishing department (the department who has ownership of the information). After a document and its links have been tested, it can be moved to the web server by placing the files in the proper subdirectory using FTP software (see FTP Procedures for details on using the WS-FTP Pro Software). All documents are automatically moved to production 4 times a day.

Design Considerations

There are several important design and format details to keep in mind when creating an Intranet site. These considerations and standards are not meant to be restrictive but are presented to help ensure the overall consistency, success, and optimum performance of the Intranet.

  • Keep in mind a global audience when choosing labels and graphics
  • Break up the information being delivered so that it will take up no more than 2-3 pages ("screens")
  • Choose graphics that will enhance the presentation of the information
  • Keep in mind that graphics can also slow down the performance of the page
  • Remember that all users do not have access to external links; therefore, label any external links as "Internet access required" or something comparable
  • Label any links to secured areas (where confidential content is secured by userid and passwords) as "restricted access/password required" as a courtesy to all Intranet users
  • Practice good Usability. For example, avoid underlining words in your formatting as much as possible since underlined (particularly blue and underlined) words connote links.