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Applying the AIDA principles to an intranet portal homepage

1 February 2011

Shlomit Amichi

In this article, we'll discuss how we can design a portal homepage that implements the principles laid out by the AIDA model. AIDA stands for -Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, four stages defining the process of consumers buying behavior according to E. St. Elmo Lewis. The AIDA model is an established marketing model which dates back to 1898. AIDA can be applied to different situations which involve selling products or services, but in this article, we'll focus on how we can achieve each stage through portal homepage design.


  • A - Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer.

  • I - Interest: Raise customer interest by demonstrating the features, advantages, and benefits.

  • D - Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.

  • A - Action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.


Nowadays some have added another letter extending the form to AIDAS-S - Satisfaction - satisfy customers, so they become repeating customers.


An intranet portal site is designed to allow information to be quickly distributed to employees, to make internal business processes more efficient and to provide a sense of community within an organization. The homepage is different from all other Web site pages, is the starting place which has several roles:

  1. Promote the organization’s goals - make content relevant and easily accessible to all employees.

  2.  Encourage the employees - improve relevance use homepage to pull out newsworthy items from across the organization and highlight them in one area, to keep all employees in the know.

  3. Keep employees engaged - offer a variety of news about what is happening within the organization: holiday schedules, newsletter stories, and promotions, significant changes to policies and procedures; organizational communities with collaborative features like blogs and forums.

Employees tend to use intranets to get corporate information and tools as needed. Information, therefore, needs to relate to employees work and must be easily accessible. We don’t necessarily want them spending a lot of time on the intranet, but we want them to be familiar with it and to return to it. Intranet users want useful information that is reliable, relevant, and organized in a logical, intuitive manner. Focus on everyday work that employees need to complete by providing an organized arrangement of information to accomplish the task quickly and not only.


Therefore, it would be interesting to examine an organization’s portal homepage with AIDA principles:


Attention - It is critical to ensure that the homepage has all of the features expected of a homepage and looks like a website homepage for a user. A organization's website should communicate the site's purpose, and show all primary options available on the website. The page layout should help users find and use the most important information and should appear higher on the page so that users can locate it quickly. Information should be presented in the order that is most useful to users. Well-written and visually highlight headings are an essential tool for helping users scan and find information quickly.

Interest - The representation of information in varying formats enables users to understand the nature of the site’s organizational relationships. A bright, logical structure will reduce the chances of users becoming bored, disinterested, or frustrated.

Desire & Action - If the employee sees the benefits of engaging with the intranet, they will be willing to come back and see what else the intranet has in store for them.A “Call to Action” elements, usually in the form of buttons or hyperlink, invite the user to take some specified action. A call to action is typically written as a command, such as “Read more articles,” “Sign-up for our newsletter.”


Employee Satisfaction is not only important but also beneficial. One of the secrets of an effective intranet is having an understanding of the information needs of your employees. What sort of information do they need to carry out their roles and key tasks? How do they currently use your intranet? What do they think of it? Knowing the answers to these questions will help to align the intranet to user needs and make relevant improvements.

Knowing the theory behind AIDA principles and how to execute each step through information design can be valuable knowledge for creating useful and goal-orientated homepage.

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