Why Your Content Should Behave More Like Tinder

These days, you’ve probably noticed that your employees aren’t reading content hosted on your corporate intranet. Instead, they’re gathering that information elsewhere, whether via emails, Google, or asking HR and their managers directly. In fact, “one-third of the searches on LinkedIn are by people looking for an expert on something within their own company,” estimates Peter Coffee, Vice President of Strategic Research at Salesforce.com. So what’s the problem with intranets? For most employees, the traditional intranet just isn’t an effective (or enjoyable) way to access your content.

On the flip side, compare abysmal intranet user numbers with Tinder, the notorious but wildly popular dating app, which sees more than 10 million active users each day. Tinder presents users with pictures of nearby singles and a simple choice: swipe left (“no, not interested”) or swipe right (“yes, I want to be matched”). Obviously, there’s a big difference between Tinder’s service and your corporate intranet, but we still think there’s something to be learned here. Tinder is popular not only because it’s a dating service (there are plenty of those) but also because of the specific and innovative experience that it offers to help users achieve their romantic goals.

Here’s what you can take away from Tinder’s design in order to give your employees a better content experience:

1. Go mobile. Now.

Let’s get the obvious answer out of the way first: mobile matters. 2014 was the first year that Americans spent more Internet time on their phones than their personal computers, and that trend shows no signs of slowing. Today’s employees expect easy access to important content, wherever they are.

However, it’s one thing to just give them access to your intranet through a mobile web browser, and another to design a content experience specifically for mobile. Just because your content is on a smartphone or tablet doesn’t mean that your employees will spend more time searching for it—in fact, they may even have less patience. Part of the reason that Tinder has been so successful is that they designed for mobile first, and only recently came out with a less popular desktop version. These days, all content starts on mobile and then goes to PCs.

2. Swipe right for better content.

In a traditional corporate intranet, your content lives in a set place and, in order to find it, your employees have to go looking. Not so with Tinder. Users are continually presented with a batch of singles, allowing them to decide who they like or don’t like with a simple swipe. And while we’re not advocating that exact same design for your content, we do think that it could benefit from the same mentality.

Your employees should be able to easily push and pull the content they need, curating their own content experience. To do this, consider adding in links that jump freely to different pages, or tap-and-reveal poptips that offer extra context, should your employees need it. Your employees can decide in the moment and in context what content they want or don’t want, instead of endlessly searching through your intranet.

3. Put everything in one place.

Some companies have turned to social media as the solution to the corporate intranet problem, with mixed reviews. But whether this approach works or not for your organization, it doesn’t allow you to keep all of your content in one place, accessible by you or your employees at any time.

Just like Tinder, we suggest using an app that puts everything in one place so that it’s easy for your employees to accomplish what they want. Of course, building an app from the ground up takes time and resources that you may not have. In order to get your new approach to mobile content off the ground quickly, consider investing in an “off-the-shelf” branded app that allows you to deploy your content securely to tablets and phones without needing a lot of technical or IT resources.

4. Make sure it’s always fresh and relevant.

Every time your employees take our their phone or tablet, they should have the latest and most relevant content waiting for them. They shouldn’t have to request an admin to update their app or worse, dig through their inbox for the most recent PDF. So, in order to make sure that your employees always have the content that you want them to have, consider adopting a solution that utilizes the cloud, allowing you to sync your changes across all devices.

5. Study your users’ behavior to learn what they want.

In order to continually improve upon their user experience, Tinder “conducted studies to try to glean more insight into users’ behaviors.” For example, they discovered that “men are nearly three times as likely to swipe ‘like’ as women,” reports The New York Times. While there certainly is a line between gathering helpful data and infringing upon privacy rights, under the right circumstances, these discoveries are helpful for both Tinder and its users.

In the same way, in order to continue providing a great content experience, you have to be tapped into how your employees use your content. With content analytics, you can understand what they’re reading, how often they’re coming back, or how long they stay on the page, and then have a better understanding of what should be edited, removed, or added. It’s a win-win for your content and your users.

The bottom line:

There may be some content that forever stays behind the locked doors of a corporate intranet, and that’s okay. But in order to give your employees an enjoyable content experience that helps them do their jobs better, consider rethinking what your content could look like and how it should be accessible on their phones or tablets. Drawing inspiration from your employees’ daily mobile behavior—even on Tinder—means that you’ll likely see users stick around longer and more often on the content that matters most.

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