Okay, I said earlier, in part 3, that Search represents the most significant change to information architecture design in forever. I still stand by that statement but one of the most transformative elements of modern Intranets is a new approach to SharePoint customizations. It used to be your I.T. department would tweak the Intranet to include anything from tailor font styles to omelet making apps. But administrators and business managers became reluctant to implement these customizations because they made upgrades and maintenance cumbersome and weren’t focused on productivity.
Taking cues from Apple the current Intranet takes an App approach to application delivery. Using simple apps, customizations can be deployed in a way that exist in isolation in order to allow for seamless upgrades. Using the app model for customization delivery means an improved and more customizable user experience and less administrative overhead for administrators. Understanding how apps fit into new Intranets is critical to ensuring the long term stability of your platform.
Takeaway: Customization isn't a naughty word in Intranet Design anymore. Consider using Apps to deliver a tailored User Interface.