Employees Walk Away the Winners in This Intranet Contest

By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|January 6, 2011

If you’re looking to develop or improve a successful intranet for your start-up or business, you might want to take a look at the common themes identified among the winners of this year’s Intranet Design Contest put on by the Nielsen Norman Group.

Not familiar with this international competition? NNG is a Freemont, Calif.-based website usability research firm. The group co-founded by Jakob Nielson is known as the world’s leading authority on website usability, and this year’s Intranet Design Contest marks the 11th time NNG has ranked the leading intranets on the planet.

Unlike public-facing websites, company-wide and department-specific intranets are private sites protected by company firewalls and accessible by employees only, usually from within the company’s office building or via VPN connectivity from an approved computer or smart device.

The advantage of intranets is the ability for companies to post updated versions of policies, procedures and guidelines, as well as the ability for employees to interact and collaborate in an environment safe from outsiders. Successfully implemented intranets include staff directories, workflow collaboration tools and company messages and notifications — all hidden from public view. Managing these intranets usually falls to the folks in human resources or corporate communications, or a combination of both.

NNG’s contest has the intent of recognizing the best company intranets — those that are not only easy to use, but actually provide useful information and interaction with employees and lead to an increase in productivity. Companies interested in competing were asked to submit screenshots of their intranet, detailed descriptions on how it works, information about the design process and the goals of the company.

The 10 winners of this year’s contest are headquartered in eight countries and have an average of 37,900 employees. So who won this year’s top honors?

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