Best intranets of 2019.

There's a lot of talk nowadays about what the best apps are, the best intranets and the best browsers. Therefore, I was interested to read another article from Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) on the best intranets,

10 Best Intranets of 2019 by Kara Pernice and Patty Caya on January 6, 2019 Topics:

Summary: Winners are from large and medium-sized organizations from around the world; they had short development time and small teams who relied on both internal resources and external help.

This year's Nielsen Norman Group Intranet Design Annual contest and report showcases winners and offers an abundance of sound advice and scores of creative design examples that advance their users' digital workplace. Following are the organizations with the 10 best-designed intranets for 2019:

  • 3M (US), a global science company
  • Anthem, Inc., (US), the largest for-profit managed health care company in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
  • BHP Billiton Limited (Australia), a leading global resources company
  • Duke Energy (US), one of the largest electric power holding companies in the US, supplying and delivering electricity to approximately 7.4 million US customers
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) (UK), an international, multilateral development bank that provides financial instruments and advisory services that strengthen economies on three continents
  • Flight Centre Travel Group (Australia), the world's largest independent travel company, specializing in vacations, tours, and corporate travel
  • The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) (US), an American multinational technology company
  • Lamprell Energy Limited (United Arab Emirates), a leading provider of fabrication, engineering, and contracting services to the offshore and onshore oil, gas, and renewable energy industries
  • Messer Construction Co. (US), an employee-owned commercial construction company
  • Norwegian Government Security and Service Organization (Norway), a shared services organization within the central government of Norway
The United States Continues to Supply the Most Winners

Of the 10 winning teams, 5 hail from the US (which is likely because Nielsen Norman Group is based in the US). For the first time in years, Canada has no winners this year. Of the remaining 5 winners, Australia has 2, and Dubai, Norway, and the UK each have one.

Utilities and Government Have the Strongest Showing This Year

We broaden the definition of "utilities" to include mining and other natural resources; given that, utilities remain the most winning industry, with 31 winners (17%) since the start of this contest. This year, three utilities companies are among the winners.

Two government agencies—the Norwegian Government Security and Service Organization and EBRD—are among this year's winners. (EBRD also qualifies as a financial institution.)

Technology and finance continue to be strongly represented industries, and each has one winner this year. While certainly good, the representation of tech and finance is less than we saw in the first decade of this award and indicates that a broader range of industries are now taking intranet design and UX seriously.

Rapid Intranet Development

From 2001 to the present, the overall average development time is 33.1 months (2.8 years). But the more interesting story is the consistent and significant drop in this average starting in 2014. From 2001 to 2013, the average was 23.5 months (2.0 years), while the average from 2014 forward was just 15.9 months (1.3 years). Last year, the average winning intranets' development time dropped even further, to 14 months (1.2 years), and it held at 14 months again this year.

The approach that teams take to an intranet "redesign" has also changed. Today's redesign may include restructuring the IA, auditing content, revamping search, and changing the look and feel. However, Agile development has removed the sense of finality of a released design. Teams still plan major components, but they deliver them in waves, often after the big redesign goes live. Thus, the great intranets are always improving. In consequence, the redesign time measured doesn't include all of the design work on the intranet. It simply can't, because redesign is an ongoing project.

Further, good intranet-creation tools can expedite development. For example, two of this year's winners used intranet solutions that let them go live in just seven and nine months, respectively.

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Wednesday, 24 July 2019