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4 insider secrets to designing the best mobile intranet experience

Being mobile-friendly isn’t enough in the new world of work. As your people disperse and the pace of change continues to accelerate, a mobile-first approach is the only way to connect your entire workforce. But what does it take to create the best mobile experience that will engage your employees?

Employee using their intranet on mobile

Mobile comes to the forefront in the new world of work

Whether your teams were working on the frontlines or transitioning to their home offices, the COVID-19 pandemic made workforces more mobile than ever before. Consequently, it’s no surprise that leaders are prioritizing mobile accessibility as they prepare their digital infrastructure for the future of work.

The rise in mobile usage shows no signs of slowing down. On average, Americans spend 3.6 hours a day on their phones and app usage in 2020 climbed 25% when compared to the year prior. Instead of spending all of their time on Instagram and TikTok, mobile users are increasingly adding workplace apps to their download list. In fact, more than 11% of all apps downloaded in the Apple App Store were business-related in 2020, showing that employees are increasingly leveraging their mobile devices to complete professional tasks.

Designing the best mobile intranet - taking mobile experience to the next level

While mobile accessibility has become a universal priority, all mobile experiences aren’t created equally. Design needs to be a top consideration if you want to create a mobile intranet that your people will actually use. In fact, more than 50% of users have cited poor aesthetics as a reason to avoid returning to an app.

When it comes to designing your workforce’s ideal mobile experience, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all-model. Your employees will want different things from their mobile app, depending on the tools and systems they rely on and the nature of the work they do.

4 mobile intranet design tips from our own community

What does a compelling mobile experience really look like in 2021? Although there’s no all-encompassing formula for success, there’s a lot that can be learned from studying the enterprises who are leading the way in mobile design.

We are lucky to count two such organizations as part of our own customer community. Both Commonwealth Care Alliance and Cathay Pacific have been recognized by the User Experience experts at Nielsen Norman as creators of some of the world’s best intranets. In addition to their winning status, the enterprises have something else in common: both employ workforces that are predominantly deskless.

As a result, Commonwealth Care Alliance and Cathay Pacific have both mastered the art of mobile intranet design. Some of their best practices include:

'Commonwealth Care Alliance: Launching an award-winning healthcare intranet' case study flat pages

Case Studies

Commonwealth Care Alliance: Launching an award-winning healthcare intranet

Learn how Commonwealth Care Alliance launched a mobile-first intranet that has earned them top honors at Nielsen Norman's awards.

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#1. Let existing pain points inform future innovations

When it comes to designing your new mobile experience, strive to create a solution that will help your employees overcome existing pain points. Leading airline Cathay Pacific did just that by quickly identifying a common challenge for their cabin crew: the inability to view shift changes and modify schedules remotely.

To overcome this obstacle, Cathay Pacific’s new intranet includes an integration with their roster system, making it easy for employees to review their schedule for the week straight from the homepage. With the mobile app, cabin crew employees can receive notifications when there are changes to the schedule, which they can then view and accept.

Cathay Pacific roster on their mobile intranet

#2. Ensure that key knowledge is easily accessible

Your employees don’t have time to search through their emails and documents for crucial information, especially when they’re on the go. Instead, deskless teams need streamlined access to the resources their jobs depend on, which is exactly what Commonwealth Care Alliance’s new mobile intranet provides.

With nearly two thirds of their workforce comprised of clinicians treating patients in the field, the not-for-profit healthcare organization wanted to ensure that key knowledge was never more than a few clicks (or taps) away. To achieve this, they created an easily searchable Knowledge Hub that includes all clinical document libraries, which can be accessed via an employee’s mobile device for answers on-demand.

Commonwealth Care Alliance's mobile intranet knowledge hub

#3. Lean into push notifications

How do you get through to busy employees who are always on the move? Instead of flooding their inbox with emails they may not have a chance to see, use mobile push notifications to get the word out fast.

In addition to enhancing the efficiency of your communications, push notifications boost app engagement by 88% and can increase retention rates by 3-10x. Cathay Pacific takes full advantage of mobile push notifications to keep their cabin crew updated on crucial news and schedule changes.

Mobile intranet notifications

#4. Make it easy for everyone to chime in

60% of frontline workers believe that their ideas often go unheard. Instead of creating a silent audience, use your mobile intranet to empower deskless team members to contribute to the conversation.

When it comes to messaging channels, your mobile teams may have different needs and priorities than their desk-bound colleagues. To spark conversation amongst their entire workforce, including frontline teams, Cathay Pacific’s mobile intranet includes Footprints, a travel blog comprised of user-generated content. More than 50% of the posts on Footprints are created by frontline teams, who are encouraged to share stories of their latest journeys and enter photo competitions, all of which can be done easily from their mobile device.

'Cathay Pacific: Launching an award-winning mobile intranet' case study flat pages

Case Studies

Cathay Pacific: Launching an award-winning mobile intranet

Built on a passion for flight and a commitment to achieving the unthinkable, Cathay Pacific has secured its status as a leading airline for more than 75 years. To connect its workforce of 26k+ employees who are mobile by design, Cathay Pacific launched a redesigned employee experience platform that has earned a spot among Nielsen Norman Group's best intranets.

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Are you ready to launch a mobile-first intranet?

In the new world of work, a mobile intranet isn’t a luxury or something that’s nice to have. Instead, it’s a requirement. If you’re looking to launch a mobile-first employee experience platform to engage your workforce, get in touch with our digital workplace experts.

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