FREMONT, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--It’s always been a goal for new intranet designs to unify disparate systems, for example bringing together multiple intranets or breaking down silos in a single intranet. Although hardly an easy endeavor, each of this year’s winning intranets prioritized the consolidation of systems as a way to offer high-quality business applications in a single location for the benefit of all employees, according to usability expert Jakob Nielsen whose user-experience research firm Nielsen Norman Group today announced the winners of its 17th annual Intranet Design contest. This year’s winning intranet design teams and their intranets are featured in detail in Nielsen Norman Group’s new 483-page report Intranet Design Annual 2017: The Year’s 10 Best Intranets, which is now available on the company’s website.
“Intranet Design Annual 2017: The Year’s 10 Best Intranets”
“It’s often a challenge for intranet designers to determine what should be integrated into the intranet and what should simply be linked to from the intranet. There are advantages to each, and this year’s top intranet design teams dedicated significant resources to making these determinations, with one, IBM, developing a set of criteria to help drive its decisions,” said Nielsen, principal of Nielsen Norman Group.
The advantages of creating content and tools that are integrated into the intranet include giving intranet teams more control over what is offered and making it easier to provide a consistent user experience across all tasks and features. Having the intranet serve in some cases as a portal to other enterprise solutions offers the ongoing expertise of third-party vendors to maintain and iterate their tools, and enables the intranet to leverage solutions already in use by many employees.
Implementing these and other winning design strategies are the world’s 10 best intranets for 2017 (in alphabetical order):
- Bank of America, NA (US), a financial institution offering banking, investing, asset management, and financial and risk management products and services
- Encana Corporation (Canada), a leading North American energy producer
- Goldcorp, Inc. (Canada), one of the world's fastest-growing senior gold producers
- Goodwill Industries International, Inc. (US), a nonprofit social enterprise with a retail infrastructure that funds career services
- IBM Corporation (US), a technology, consulting, and research organization
- JetBlue (US), the fifth largest airline in the US
- Kerry Group plc (Ireland), provides taste and nutrition technologies and functional ingredients and actives for the global food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries
- Latvian Railway: State Joint Stock Company “Latvijas dzelzceļš” (Latvia), a holding company with six subsidiaries providing railway infrastructure, transportation, construction, repair, and security services
- Santander Group (Spain), a Spanish banking group that serves more than 100 million customers
- Tourism New Zealand (New Zealand), the organization responsible for marketing New Zealand to the world as a tourist destination
Six of the 10 winners are headquartered in North America with four from the U.S. and two from Canada; three are from Europe and one is from New Zealand. The winning intranets supported an average of 100,700 employees. Bank of America and IBM are both two-time winners, having been recognized respectively in NN/g’s 2008 and 2006 Intranet Design Annual reports.
Other trends and information included in this year’s NN/g Design Annual include:
Truly Responsive, Finally — Most intranet teams have been slow to go truly responsive with their designs, in part because of security and technology reasons. In fact, most companies still don’t even allow employees to access the intranet remotely on a computer, much less a mobile device. This year’s winning intranets succeeded in bringing the importance of mobile to the fore, overcoming barriers from IT, management and design to make their organizations’ content available on mobile for all employees.
Graphic-First Approach — Images and illustrations are used in a restrained way on this year’s best intranets. Whereas in the past, images might have been liberally used to fill blank spaces, now they seem to drive the page content. Designers and content authors are taking a thoughtful, disciplined -- perhaps even “graphic first” -- approach to using graphics.
Personalized Elements Are Still Strong — All of this year’s best intranets provide a homepage or dashboard-like page that is personalized to each employee, and which the employee can customize if they want. These pages are like control centers that employees can scan to find everything from their tasks to news they want to read.
Nielsen Norman Group's "Intranet Design Annual 2017: The Year’s 10 Best Intranets,” co-authored by Kara Pernice, Amy Schade and Patty Caya is available to download for $248 from the Nielsen Norman Group website at http://www.nngroup.com/reports/intranet-design-annual/
About Nielsen Norman Group
Nielsen Norman Group (http://www.nngroup.com) in an evidence-based user experience research, training and consulting firm that advises companies on how to improve the bottom line through human-centered design of products and services. NN/g principals Jakob Nielsen, Don Norman and Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini are world-renowned user experience experts who were advocating human-centered design and usability long before it became popular to do so. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, NN/g evaluates interfaces of all kinds and guides the critical design decisions that make websites, applications, intranets and products achieve their full potential for businesses and their users.