At IBF I've just chaired our first member meeting in London of the new decade, and as usual with our established confidential community of intranet leaders there was much debate and discussion!
Our focus for the day was intranet Usability, one of IBF's core benchmarking areas. This short video clip from Louise Hewitt, one of IBF's usability benchmarking leads describes the key content for the day.
We had live links to intranets from member such as United Utilities, Scottish Government and a video tour from BT. When digging into persona use we heard about examples from BDO Stoy Hayward, Corus and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). We talked about the updated benchmarking model at IBF and members shared their good practices, as highlighted by the benchmarking, and of course, their challenges.
One of the many areas for deep discussion and debate was around persona use, in a session led by Benchmarking Lead, Sam Marshall. Members had mixed experiences in using persona's, although all seemed to agree they are a great tool in focusing developers and publishers on the user. We talked about the process of persona development, how it can be a long, detailed and in depth process, or actually how a simple in-house workshop can produce excellent learnings for an intranet team. The act of creating persona's as a team can reveal a lot about your users you didn't know or had maybe forgotten.
Debate occurred around the use of fictional personas vs real people personas, with one member advocating the use of real people as they'd had great success in this. Those people involved had become intranet ambassadors for a new intranet.
We wrapped up the 2 day event with a tour and dinner at the National Theatre and then a visit to Citi Group Centre in Canary Wharf. Citi gave us all a very open insight into their global intranet development plans, and gained lots of ideas and feedback from the membership group in return.
We're now busy planning our New York meeting in March, our Paris meeting in May and London meeting in June. If you're an IBF member we'll see you there – if not why not consider membership and get involved in this community of good practice sharing.