Intranets must support several different types of users

When looking at how you are going to design your intranet, a key thing to remember is that you have several different types of users of the intranet, and what works well for one of them may not necessarily be appropriate for the others.

The two main types of users of an intranet are producers and consumers. Common sense tells us that the design should be optimized for consumers of information, but obviously you want to make it as easy as possible for producers to publish their information as well.

Otherwise, you end up with something like e-mail: it looks good in the short (very short) term, but causes serious big-picture, long-term issues.

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