MODERN WEB DESIGN FOR THE SAME OLD INTRANET

If you think math is hard, try web design!

From its beginnings as green text on a dark screen, to HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, web design has evolved at a fast pace, continuously adapting to the needs of users. Today we are talking about the uprise of mobile and responsive design, as well the power of the visual. The idea is that the information is so complex and so rapidly changing nowadays that businesses have to be more agile, to remain competitive. In other words, the field of web design is very dynamic and sometimes challenging even for experienced professionals.

But then what’s left for people who don’t know how to code but are faced with the task of creating a web page? If you’re wondering how is it possible for someone to end up in a situation like this, think no further than the intranet of the company for which they work. Sometimes people in HR, Marketing or Communication might have to make a company announcement, publish a web page about an upcoming event, or a product or service article, and they need a smooth way of doing it, while the IT department focuses on aspects that are more critical for business.

If you think math is hard, try web design!

The quote belongs to Trish Parr, the Canadian web designer and Internet Marketing Specialist at Parr’s Publishing. However, it’s no longer valid. It might have been true a few years ago, but the solutions available nowadays, including ShortPoint, make web design accessible even to people from other business areas, who don’t necessarily have the time to go through tech training.

And this is especially important when it comes to creating internal web pages. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: if used to its full potential, the intranet is a powerful tool that can engage employees, increase collaboration and productivity, which ultimately generates innovation.

And while that is true, it’s also true that in some companies the intranet doesn’t offer a very friendly user interface. So an employee who wants to communicate something company-wide would rather call every single colleague than publish the news on the intranet. On the one hand, because it requires some technical skills, and on the contrary because no one would access the intranet to see it.

In other companies, the system looks great, and it’s highly functional, but you’d have to learn to code to use it.

Luckily, the solutions mentioned earlier allow employees to instantly create modern web pages in the company’s old intranet. Plus, it enables them to present data from other places online, thus creating a digital workspace.

Past, present and future trends

Like fashion design, web design also follows trends. To understand them better, let’s take a short walk through its history.

It all started with the static HTML pages in the early ‘90s, which were later improved through Flash animations. The switch to dynamic web pages though was made through the release of technologies such as PHP and .NET, in the mid and late ‘90s.

Shortly after that, the desire for a personal publishing system appeared, so WordPress was born. However, it wasn’t the WordPress we know today, but a simple blogging tool that only allowed the use of pre-set content blocks. So this led to the creation of content editors, which allowed users to customize the content before publishing it. It also resulted in the creation of Content Management Systems (CMS) and ready-made website templates (or themes).

Around five years ago, the users realized they needed to be able to customize more than just the content. They needed to customize the design itself, without coding, so Visual Composer for WordPress was launched as a tool to build the content of the websites and design them without coding.

Currently, we are at a point where users need a solution that allows them to create and customize both the content and the design of the web page, regardless of the platform they are using. And this is where ShortPoint comes in. It transforms any content publishing platform into a complete web design platform by adding one insert button to the traditional content editor.

Staying on top of trends

Back to designing the intranet, at ShortPoint we always embed global trends within the features of our product, so that our customers can enjoy a modern experience while maintaining functionality. But we also like to start trends ourselves. Just think about the copy-paste feature: the possibility to choose a modern design from a library wasn’t available until now.

Of course, in developing our product we also take into account the user experience improvements made to each platform we support. For example, this year Microsoft has added some new user experience / user interface features for SharePoint, to improve user engagement.

All in all, as we continue to develop our product, we’ll add new features and elements, while always keeping in mind how web design evolves. And we hope that this way more and more employees will look forward to creating modern pages for their company’s intranet.

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