I was at a client site the other day, helping to set up a strategic
plan for developing an intranet portal when we got on the topic of
navigation and the different 'sections' of the intranet that may/may
not be available to users.
I was explaining some of the shortcomings of going with
department-based navigation options (arguing that they may have a
place in the overall structure, but they shouldn't be the primary
navigation mechanism), when someone on the client team said, "well,
can't we just use whatever the default navigation sections are as a
We talked through the fact that there likely aren't "default" ones
that apply globally, since different organizations have different
needs, etc., etc. but the conversation has stuck with me and got me
thinking if there wasn't - in fact - a small subset of things that
might be applicable to most organizations.
Things such as "Projects/Initiatives and Employee Resources" may all
be valid top level navigation sections, independent of the
organization you're in. Then within each, there may even be some
basics that are pretty standard, as well. For example, under Employee
Resources, you could likely have "Vacation Requests, Retirement Plans,
Health Information, etc."
Any thoughts on this? I'm not entirely sure the idea is as far
fetched as I originally thought it was, but I thought I'd get other
perspectives on it.