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Replacing Parliament's intranet

A person viewing ParliNet homepage on a laptop screen.
ParliNet homepage

Parliament is a busy workplace, and our intranet has information about everything we need to know, from important news stories and events happening on the parliamentary estate, to health and wellbeing resources, or the practical information every workplace needs to share.

These stats show that from September 2022 to September 2023 Parliament’s intranet had:

  • Over 50,000 users
  • 1,251,444 visits
  • 5,042,558 total page views

Among our most visited news articles on the old intranet was information about Lying-in-State, the five-day period where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin rested on public display prior to the State Funeral and burial.

What is an intranet?

An intranet is a private network that lets us share information and resources, a bit like a private website that’s only accessible to everyone who works at Parliament, including Members of both Houses and their staff. You probably use an intranet in your workplace, school, or university. It’s really important that an intranet acts as a place where colleagues can go to find timely, trusted and relevant information that helps everyone carry out their work.

So when our old intranet needed to be replaced, we brought together colleagues from PDS and the House of Commons and House of Lords to form the Intranet Replacement project, with the aim of jointly delivering a new intranet: ParliNet.

We decided we needed to build ParliNet from the ground up to ensure that it supports all of us here in Parliament, from MPs and Peers to HR managers and security officers, to carry out their parliamentary duties to the best of their abilities.

Keeping us better connected

ParliNet has been designed based on user research and input from colleagues across Parliament at every stage of its development. From back when we were pulling together our list of requirements for what we wanted a new intranet to do, right through to testing the completed product right before we launched, we made sure our users fed into all our work.

ParliNet’s new structure has been created to help people who work for Parliament find the most relevant pages first and with the least amount of fuss. The simple structure and improved search function means that it’s much easier to find relevant information, with new tagging and filtering features and a completely redesigned information architecture (the skeleton that holds the site together).

All of the content on ParliNet has been audited to make sure it’s up to date, with our Content Designers going out to every team in Parliament ahead of them building their pages to ensure that the information on ParliNet is accurate and relevant for our users. We didn’t just want to copy across what was on our current intranet in case anything is no longer needed or had changed.

Someone looking at ParliNet on a phone
ParliNet on mobile

Our new design has a modern look and feel and meets accessibility standards. This was particularly key for us, as whilst a new look and feel makes the site much more interesting for all our users, it was really important that our users with accessibility requirements such as screen readers were able to use ParliNet and benefit from it.

ParliNet is mobile friendly which means it can be used almost anywhere our colleagues might be working and on any device. For example, if your MP is working in their constituency office on their mobile phone they’ll be able to check ParliNet just as easily as the Clerk of the House of Commons will when working in their office on the parliamentary estate.

Future-proofing ParliNet

One of the bigguest issues with our previous intranet was that it was hosted on an aging platform and contained some out-of-date information. To ensure that ParliNet continues to be useful for many years into the future, we’ve got lots of colleagues looking after the site. Our Software Engineering, Content, and Design teams will be making sure the technology stays up to date, while people like our Content Trainer directly supports editors across Parliament as they continue to grow and maintain their own content.

Our ParliNet Steering Group, the governance team that looks after ParliNet now that it’s live, will be gathering new ideas about how to continuously improve ParliNet. We’ll also be regularly measuring how the site is performing to make sure that its content stays up to date and accurate. We want to ensure that everyone in Parliament can always make the most of it, wherever they work and whatever role they do.

A very big thank you

We’re really pleased with ParliNet, and couldn’t be more thankful to the hundreds of colleagues who’ve contributed to it in some way. From those who took part in our surveys to all our editors who built our pages, to our technical experts who did the complicated work behind the scenes. ParliNet was very much a team effort, and the end result is one we think is going to really improve the lives of everyone who works here.

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