10 best intranets of 2014 announced

Winners demonstrate importance of responsive design and shorter timeframes in the design successful intranets.

The ten best-designed intranets of 2014 have been revealed by usability experts the Nielsen Norman Group (NNG). Winners include Air New Zealand, Allianz Australia, the International Monetary Fund, National Geographic, and Dutch communications agency triptic. Only one winner this year comes from Europe, while five winners come from the USA, three from Australia and New Zealand, and one from Qatar.

Trends for the year include the fact that timeframes for creating new intranets are shrinking: this year’s winning teams took 1.4 years on average to create their intranets, compared to an average of 2.2 years for 2013’s winners, and 4 years for the 2012 winners.

The average intranet team among this year’s winners was 16 members, showing a gradual growth pattern over the years that the competition has taken place.

The winning intranets indicate that responsive design is gaining traction as mobile optimisation becomes increasingly important. NNG note that time spent designing a responsive site can have the effect of saving development time, since there is no need to develop separate codebases for multiple devices, and also makes maintenance easier as time goes on.

Intranet features trending this year include carousels (which have the benefit of fitting more content onto the home page and also avoiding political disputes about whose content should have greater prominence); local search, which gives users the ability to search within a particular intranet area; and prominent social media tools which are well integrated into content areas.

Communication with the wider organisation was critical to the effective introduction of new intranets. This year’s winning teams were particularly effective at involving colleagues to define user needs and encourage adoption as new intranets were rolled out.

More information here.

Designing for usability, and helping users improve their search techniques, will be among the topics discussed at this year’s Enterprise Search Europe (London, 29-30 April 2014). 

Image courtesy of Sam_Churchill via Flickr.