Creating an environment for a specific community to share information is no easy task. There is a wide range of issues that designers will need to consider. Doing so will ensure that the finished product is as efficient as possible and fit for its purpose.
The most important thing is that all relevant users will be able to log in and access the service. If the intranet ends up crashing because too many people access it at the same time, this is a major issue. Having a decent server system in place is essential. The designer will need to have a broad range of technical skills in order to solve the various problems that could be encountered.
Users must be able to search through the data and find specific elements. This should be done in a fast and efficient manner. Usually, an intranet will have its own search engine, as well as labels to make finding information pages that much easier. Part of the designer’s job is to ensure each label link takes the user to the desired destination.
Making sure the intranet is safe is also extremely important. If malicious third parties manage to gain access to the system, it can be disastrous. This is especially true if it contains confidential information. For this reason, the best shared information environments have very robust security systems in place. Users can only gain access by logging in with a username and password.
Sometimes, the system is not only meant for individuals to access data. Often, members of the community need to communicate with each other. For this reason, the designer may need to implement an intranet emailing system. Only members of the system can see and reply to these messages, unlike traditional email which allows you to forward messages to third parties.
Considering Internet Elements
Not all of these environments are completely closed off from the internet, however. Some have more of a hybrid intranet-internet nature, which can be a much more efficient system. But this also means that security systems will have to be even more formidable.
Considering the Specific Community
The designer will not just have to think about the system itself. The needs of community members will also play an important role. This will affect the content stored, the way data pathways are laid out, and many other issues. Awareness of the people who will use the system is critical.