The Gatehouse Blog

Guru names world’s best intranet sites

Jakob Nielsen, the global authority on internet and intranet usability, has just published his annual league table of the world’s best intranet sites.

The top ten includes six US organisations, one form India and three from Europe. Here in the UK, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) was singled out for praise.

The free summary is well worth a read. You might even be tempted to shell out a reasonable $174 for the full report.

Here’s what jumped out for me:

  • Social media tools are beginning to break through, albeit slowly. A small number of the winning sites featured blogs and one featured a wiki. But these tools are being used in a highly pragmatic way. I just love National Geographic’s ‘Lingo Wiki’ – an interactive glossary covering the acronyms and specialist jargon used by employees.
  • According to Nielsen, just one award winning intranet in three is owned by corporate communications (35%). I’d have expected the figure to have been higher. IT is responsible for 27%, HR 19% and the remainder are spread across various functions, from marketing to corporate affairs.
  • We’re seeing more interactive features – I’m a big fan of reader’s star ratings and comments.
  • Multimedia is booming – more sites are featuring videos, photos and webcam feeds.
  • Only 60% of intranets are branded (i.e. have their own name and identity).
  • Like so many other areas of internal communication, very few intranets are underpinned by strong research and evaluation. Hardly any of the award winners are able to quantify their return on investment.