Marking the 20th anniversary of its annual intranet design contest, user-experience research firm Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) today announced the 2020 world’s 10 best intranets and shared design trends that make building community a top priority.
NN/g created its Intranet Design Annual contest 20 years ago as a way to get inside walled-off corporate intranets—then in their nascent days—to find out what mattered, what worked, why companies were building intranets, and to start establishing best practices for intranet design.
“In the early days, intranets were all about news and the employee directory. As new capabilities such as social were introduced, companies began to discover that intranets can really help teams bond within the organization and operate as a cohesive unit. As a result, building community is now top among the goals for intranets,” said Kara Pernice, senior vice president, Nielsen Norman Group, who launched the user-experience research and consulting firm’s Intranet Design Annual in 2000 and has since studied hundreds of intranets.
To illustrate this year’s drive to support community, the 10 best intranets are featured in detail in NN/g’s 536-page report Intranet Design Annual 2020: The Year’s 10 Best Intranets. In alphabetical order, the 2020 winning intranets are:
- Angelini Holding SpA (Italy), international group leader in the health and well-being area of the pharmaceutical and mass-market sectors
- Bank Spoldzielczy we Wschowie (Poland), cooperative bank serving three Polish provinces
- Barclays (UK), financial institution that moves, lends, invests, and protects money for customers and clients worldwide
- Consolidated Edison, Inc. (US), one of the Unites States’ largest investor-owned energy-delivery companies, providing a range of energy-related products and services
- Dynacare (Canada), one of Canada’s largest health solutions companies, offering services that include medical testing, insurance solutions, corporate wellness programs, advanced genetic testing, and digital health solutions
- Husky Energy (Canada), integrated energy company with 30 office locations across Canada, the US, and Asia-Pacific
- Korn Ferry (US), global organizational consulting firm, helping companies design their organization’s structure, roles, responsibilities, compensation, and development
- Loblaw Companies Limited (Canada), Canada’s largest retailer, providing grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services, and wireless mobile products and services
- United Nations (US), international organization that takes action on the challenges confronting humanity in the 21st century and offers a forum for countries to come together to tackle challenging issues
- Wellcome Trust (UK), a health organization that supports researchers, campaigns for better science, and exists to improve health
Six of the 10 winning teams are headquartered in North America (three in Canada and three in the US), two in the UK, and one each in Italy and Poland. The company size ranged from 250 employees at Bank Spoldzielczy we Wschowie to 200,000 at Loblaw.
Some common themes among this year’s winning intranets include:
Center of the Digital Workplace
Building upon last year’s main trend, this year’s winning teams took responsibility for inventorying the many tools that make up their organizations’ digital workplace and making it possible for users to find and access them on the intranet. Most of the winning designs included a tools menu, launching point, or other means to access various applications.
To make a great intranet, development-team members had to work together as a strong unit. The goals they set were instrumental in their ability to do this effectively and efficiently. Whether the intranet’s goals were related to unifying an organization’s individuals and teams or related to totally different areas, having written intranet goals helped everyone on the team know what they were aiming for and enabled them to work closely together to get there.
Content Management Advancements
Understanding that content is the most critical part of any intranet, the teams went beyond the usual and tried different strategies to audit, create, and maintain content, such as placing a link in the footer of every page to contact the news editor and another link to encourage employees to provide input on articles, pages, or the overall intranet.
Nielsen Norman Group’s Intranet Design Annual 2020: The Year’s 10 Best Intranets, co-authored by Kara Pernice, Patty Caya, Maria Rosala, and Anna Kaley is available to download for $248 (group license $488) from the NN/g 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.