On two separate occasions within the past month, I’ve been approached by long-time policyIQ clients asking about ways to make their implementation of policyIQ just a little more friendly for their read-only users.
Thank you for asking! I know it makes me a geek, but I love to have the opportunity to (virtually) sit with a client and problem solve. In both cases, the organizations are using policyIQ as the portal to provide all policies, procedures, forms and reference materials to their employees. (In one case, the portal is also publically available, as this non-profit organization must make their policies accessible to potential donors.) The result is a lot of information – and the need to optimize how a user searches and retrieves the relevant content!
In this blog post, I thought I would share with you the top three issues that I discussed with these clients – and a few of the solutions that we proposed to solve them.
Issue: There are a small number of critical pages that our employees are always looking for – and they find having to search or navigate every time they need to access the page to be time consuming.
Users who are getting into policyIQ with read-only access do not have the advantage of being able to use “Favorite Pages” – so organizations need to be more creative in order to make the most common items easy to get to. There are a number of ways to go about solving for this:
Solution 1: Link directly to a policyIQ page from your internal portal.
It surprises me to find that a lot of our policyIQ clients still don’t know that you can link directly to a policyIQ page – including the pass-thru key that allows a read-only user to access the content without having to log into policyIQ. Using these direct pass-thru links are invaluable if you want to give employees quick access to the most critical content, such as a Code of Conduct Policy.
Solution 2: Create a Folder at the top level of your hierarchy for “Commonly Accessed Pages”.
Your read-only users don’t have access to Favorites, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a “Favorites” Folder for them. If you know that there are ten pages every user wants to access quickly, create a Folder at the very top of your hierarchy and make those items available.
Solution 3: Use the Read-Only Dashboard to link directly to the most commonly accessed items! You can link directly to pages – so why not add a few direct hyperlinks to the most commonly accessed items right on the read-only Dashboard? No searching, no navigation, no problem!
Issue: We have policies where the official language might refer to “Travel Reimbursement” – but the search terms are more often something along the lines of “Travel Expenses”. How can we make sure this still appears near the top of the search results?
It’s not uncommon for the “official language” used in a policy to be a little bit different than what your average user might be searching for. The key is making sure that you still have those more common terms in a searchable field.
Solution: Create a Rich Text (HTML) field on your Template for “Common Search Terms”. You have the option of making this field invisible to your end users by de-selecting the “View in Home” option when creating the field. Whether it is visible or not, use this field to add common search terms that will help your users to find the page – even if the words wouldn’t specifically appear within the other text of the page. (Tip – Make this field “Editable While Published” so that you can easily make updates even while the page stays published!)
Issue: When someone searches, they get a lot of results returned that may not really be relevant to their department. How can we narrow down their search results?
Read-only access is a great way to grant all employees access to organizational content – but if your users are searching for information, they may finding a lot of results that are just not very relevant.
Solution 1: Use the Read Only Dashboard to illustrate to the user how they can narrow down their search results by choosing only Folders in which the relevant information might reside. When searching in policyIQ, any user can choose to narrow down the search results by the Folder or the Template from which the content is created. If you are looking for an accounting-related policy, for example, you can immediately narrow down your results to just those in the Accounting Folders. IT content isn’t likely to be very useful. Add this tip to the Read-Only Dashboard, so that your users know how to go this extra level in the search results.
Solution 2: Create multiple read-only pass thru links to your policyIQ application – and limit the viewers on pages.
For example, if I enter policyIQ as an “Accounting Staff Person”, the results of my search will already be limited to only those items that are relevant to someone on the accounting staff. In order to do this, you’ll need to have multiple pass-thru links into policyIQ – and if you have an internal website where these links are located, you want to be clear about which link someone should click on. (Tip – this is useful if you have just a few categories of users, but more than 3 or 4 and just figuring out which pass thru link to click on becomes a burden!)
Do you need more information on how to implement any of the recommendations above? Do you have a different issue that you’d like some help to resolve? Reach out and we’ll be happy to help you make the policyIQ experience as smooth as possible for your users.