Web 2.0 Trends Appear on the Intranet

Well-known usability guru Jakob Nielsen has just published his Intranet Design Annual for 2007. In the report Nielsen picks his top 10 intranets of the year and surveys a wide range of intranet trends from submissions around the world. Nielsen’s summary:

This year’s winners emphasized an editorial approach to news on the homepage. They also took a pragmatic approach to many hyped “Web 2.0” techniques. While page design is getting more standardized, there’s no agreement on CMS or technology platforms for good intranet design.

For followers of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 techniques and methods, it is interesting to see Nielsen talk about the adoption of tools like internal weblogs, use of AJAX in the user interface, and wikis. He also mentions the use of star ratings and user comments, both features we’ve implemented and had positive feedback on from users of ThoughtFarmer.

Finally, it was interesting to see the breakdown of corporate ownership for the intranet (35% communications, 27% IT, and 19% HR) and the inability of many organizations to get a grasp on their intranet’s ROI. Nielsen writes, “The ultimate imperative for usability is to ‘show me the money.’ What’s the benefit to the business of improving the user experience? Sadly, most intranet teams continue to have weak data on their work’s monetary value.”

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