Let’s be clear here; they may well be the best intranets, but there are going to be hundreds of brilliant intranets that just don’t make it on to Jakob’s list, just because so many people don’t know Jakob Nielsen, don’t have time to submit their intranet, or can’t get approval to submit their details.
I was ‘this‘ close to sending in our intranet a few years ago; I had permission and was putting together all the screenshots and explanations necessary, when I got pulled into some crisis communications and all ‘non-critical’ work went out the window.
But anyway, Jakob has some fantastic summaries to help you better position your intranet within your company and within your communications eco-system. Just remember that you don’t need the 14 people or the larger budgets demonstrated in the report to make improvements – you can follow best practices in design and writing yourself without any delay.
“Good user experience doesn’t require size or humongous budgets; it requires talent and emphasis on meeting the users’ needs.”
“Today, the predominant approach to running intranet design projects is to engage one or more consultants and external agencies to contribute parts – and only parts – of the design, while keeping overall control inside the company itself.” (my emphasis)
“While it’s appropriate to be inspired by popular social networking websites, your actual user interface and features must be freshly designed specifically for the intranet. Internal blogs – whether by employees, department heads, or company leaders – were also thicker on the ground than in previous years.”
You can expect “about 1 comment for every 250 employee viewings of the CEO blog, a level that’s consistent with other research on user participation in online communities. You can use this level as a rough benchmark to assess whether your own CEO blog is sufficiently inviting of employee participation.”
See Jakob’s summary report – 10 Best Intranets of 2009 (do you think he means 2008?)