Over the years there has been quite a lot of discussion about whether the Intranet Design Annual from the Nielsen Norman Group actually represents the top 10 intranets. The short answers are that it doesn’t, it doesn’t claim to and the task is impossible. Nevertheless it is a very important resource for any intranet manager. The Annual describes in great detail the best 10 intranets of those submitted. The level of detail is extraordinary, and must have taken Kara Pernice, Amy Schade, and Patty Caya (the lead team members) and the NNGroup team an equally extraordinary number of hours to compile. Imagine how long it would take you to write a similar description of your own intranet! Come to think of it that might be a good exercise!
The organisations profiled in the Intranet Design Annual 2016 are
• American Cancer Society (US)
• Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP (US)
• The Co-operators Group Limited (Canada)
• dorma+kaba (Germany)
• Enbridge Inc. (Canada)
• Intermountain Healthcare (US),
• NAV Canada (Canada)
• Repsol S.A. (Spain)
• Salini Impregilo SpA (Italy)
• The Swedish Parliament (Sweden),
There is much more to the Annual than the project descriptions and screen shots, an approach that has been consistent since the first Annual was published in 2001.The report starts with an overall assessment of the intranet development and implementation trends, and comes up with a quite complex formula that relates intranet team size to total employee numbers. There are also observations on the speed of the development process and the scale of the use of external contractors. At the end of the report is a summary of the reasons why other intranets that were submitted did not make the final selection.
You can of course read the report from cover to cover. However I think the best use is not even just to look at organisations that are close to your own but across all of the intranets for elements of vision, strategy and design that could enhance your own intranet. I’ve already had three of my clients comment about the value they have gained from the Annual, which in one case was just an idea for the layout of the employee profile pages. So much intranet good practice is transferable good practice. You will pay $248 for 500 pages and 166 screen shots. Doesn’t your intranet (and its users) deserve that level of investment in cash and team time? The 2016 winners have been added to our list of intranet case studies, bringing the total to 168.