Searching and sharing: Keys to a terrific intranet

Keep employees coming back for more with fresh content, easy-to-find features.

Keep employees coming back for more with fresh content, easy-to-find features

What makes an intranet worthy of inclusion on a “top 10” list? According to the Nielsen Norman Group, which names 10 corporate intranets to its “best” list in its annual design report, the key is usability and design. You might be gathering the hottest, most fascinating company information behind that intranet firewall, but if users can’t find it, it’s lost in the woods.

However, intranets that made Nielsen Norman Group’s “10 Best Intranets of 2010” list have presumably figured out how to push away the clutter and present a streamlined navigating and searching experience, while continuously adding features to draw visitors. Amy Schade, co-author of the group’s Intranet Design Annual, in which the top 10 intranets appear, says the best organizational intranets keep coming up with new ways to connect people to one another and to their projects.

For instance, just as social networking has morphed into a business tool on the Internet, it’s also become a way to share and connect within the confines of the intranet. These features can help workers support one another, explains Schade, or they can offer social networking for individuals that want to share content with others.

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