Jakob Nielson has just released his 10 Best Intranets of 2012 Report. This yearly report lists what Jakob and his highly regarded team believe are the ten best intranets of the year from submitted entries.

While the report is very useful in many respects, particularly the large number of screen shots, it doesn’t cover what I believe is the most important quality of an intranet: What do the intranet users think of it? 

For example, do they use it? Do they think it’s valuable? Does it meet their business needs? How easy do they think it is to find information? Do pages load quickly?

The Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC) provides this critical information. The WIC is a web based survey completed by actual intranet end users who give feedback about their organization’s intranet. So far over 25,000 people from over 80+ organizations have completed the survey.

It is the most comprehensive study of intranet end users available.

The following charts show the average response to some key survey questions that comprise the WIC. You can use these charts:

  • As a rough guide to compare how your own intranet is tracking
  • To gain a deeper understanding about what intranet users think about intranets, and
  • As a way of identifying the areas where your intranet may need to be improved.

1. Rate the following statements about finding information

2. Rate the following statements about the look of the intranet

3. How often do you use the intranet to

4. Rate the effectiveness of the intranet in providing

5. Rate the following statements about intranet maintenance

6. Rate the following statements about intranet performance


Some interesting observations about the charts above include:

  • It would be fair to say that the average responses to most questions have considerable room for improvement. Only the response about the page load speed question could be considered acceptable.
  • Questions about intranet interactivity -- such as publishing content -- all rate at the lower end of the scale with the average response to these questions well below "2-3 times a month." This is despite the fact that the tools to facilitate interactivity are widely available within many organizations.
  • Staff find menu navigation more effective than using search.
  • Personalization has not yet been widely implemented.

Benchmark Your Intranet

If you are interested in benchmarking your intranet by also participating in the WIC research, there is a simple registration process and no cost.

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