Martyn Green 14 October 2011 2 min read

Testing your intranets usability with user journeys

A user journey tests how easy your site structure is to navigate. Using a persona to take a user journey will enable you to assess how easily relevant information is located and identify if there are any flaws in your user journeys.

A persona is a representation of one or several job roles to reflect the needs of a typical intranet user. The purpose of the user journey is to perform tasks that would be undertaken as part of a persona’s job role. You will have collected information to create personas from stakeholders as part of the requirements gathering process.

The user journey would work as follows:

First, select a persona to focus on. For this example we have used an HR Manager persona.

Next, you look at the tasks that your persona would do on a daily basis and the type of information they would need.

These could be:

  • Training
  • Finding people (eg, people trained for a first aider role)
  • Staffing

You then perform a task that is relevant to the HR Manager’s role. This could be performing a people search to find all staff with first aid qualifications.

By performing tasks with specific user needs in mind you can see the site from the point of view of your intranet audience.

This enables you to assess:

  • How easily information is found
  • If the navigation structure is logical to users
  • Whether changes need to be made

Performing journeys using personas will enable you to create an intranet structure that is both user friendly and relevant to the roles within your organisation. An intranet that meets the specific needs of your audience is more likely to be used. Once you have tested your structure, you can focus on the design.