Personalization does not end with the news and highlights in LINCHPIN. Why not taking it even further and giving everyone their personalized navigation. This removes clutter and enables more efficient navigation through the system. Similar to the approach we have taken with the news, LINCHPIN allows you to configure a menu bar that adjusts its content based on the user's profile. Before we can configure this, though, we need some structure (i.e. spaces and pages) to navigate to.
At this point it is important to think about your desired structure in the Intranet. Often, this will somehow resemble the strcture in you company. For example, you may have spaces for each department or team, or you may have spaces for covering specific business areas or topics. Creating the right structure is not a easy task and it often helps to design this with the help of expericenced (external) consultants. The rather objective view of an external often helps to overcome the organizational blindness that naturally hits everyone if one only works in an environment for long enough. Perhaps have a look at the workshop offerings at //SEIBERT/MEDIA, our Structure Workshop is specifically designed for the task of creating an Intranet structure for Enterprises.
For now, let's assume you have five different teams working in two different locations:
- Public Relations (Frankfurt)
- Human Resources (Frankfurt)
- Finance (Frankfurt)
- Research & Development (Hamburg)
- Systems (Hamburg)
Let's also use the Research & Development Space from above and create the remaining four spaces quickly now. Let's also assume you have different users, some with Hamburg and some with Frankfurt as the location set in their profiles. Once these spaces and users exist, we can configure our menu. In the administration area, navigate to "Menu Editor", located under "Look and Feel". In the "Settings" section, enter location as the first attribute we want to use for controlling the menu items. We can use up to three but let's stick with one for now, we can add more later:
Best leave the rest of the settings as they are for now and click "Save attributes". At the top, click "Structure" to switch to the "Structure" section where we define our menu contents. Start with adding a category item, as shown below:
Category items are top-level menu item which hold further submenu items that link to specific pages. We define a "Departments" category item and put all departments - as discussed above - underneath it as submenu items. Enter a specific page (probably the home page for each space) as the link target for each submenu item. The search-as-you-type function helps you finding these. There are also sub-submenu items but we'll leave that for you to try out later. You can freely move around and re-order the menu items by dragging and dropping them with the crossed-arrow symbol. Hover over all the symbols to read a short description in the tooltips. Once you are done editing the menu structure, click "Save menu and continue". We're close but not quite done yet.
Next, we assign the menu our profile attributes and criteria to the individual menu and submenu items in order to define who gets to see what. This is the step which customizes the menu for specific users and user groups. After you have saved the menu structure, click on the "Assign menu" button, you should see something like this:
This shows our menu structure along with all available profile attribute fields. We can now enter our criteria into each of the fields. This will cause that the respective item will only be displayed if the current user matches the criteria in the respective profile attribute. You may also enter combined criteria using logical operators (OR, AND). In our - very simple - example, we just assign the two locations we have come up with above to each of the submenu items. The field for the category item empty, as this shall be shown to all users. Once you're done, click either "Save menu and continue" (if you want to stay in the editor) or "Save menu and quit" to jump back to the "Settings" section.
In the "Structure" section, notice the field "Preview save menu". This allows you to preview and check you menu structure and attribute assignment before messing with user profiles. For example, in our case, enter "Frankfurt" in the Location Field and click the "Preview saved menu" button. A dialog will open that shows a version of the menu in case a user with the value "Frankfurt" in the Location attribute is logged in. If we have done everything correctly, our custom menu should look like this for a user with Location "Frankfurt":
... and like this for a user with Location "Hamburg":
You get the idea? Feel free to play around with this more and try all the features like hierarchical menus, submenus, and sub-submenus. Or add up to three dimensions as filter criteria. We're sure you will be excited by the potential of the navigation menu editor once you unleash all features. Have fun creating!
Here's another feature that you will love once you start playing around with your menu editor: All changes are saved in a history, similar to the page history in Confluence. If you have made a change to the menu and saved it, but want to roll-back to an earlier version, click on History, select the version you want from the list and click "Apply" to roll back to that version.
So, nothing gets lost. When you roll back, newer versions also remain available and you can switch back and forth between versions easily to test them.
This page shows how a sample Intranet navigation could look like: Ideas for the perfect intranet navigation - templates, samples, structure