Nielsen Norman Group best intranets 2013

As every year, the Nielsen Norman Group announces what they think is the top 10 of the worlds best intranets.


For this year, the winners are:

  • Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company (U.S.)
  • American International Group, Inc., an insurance organization that provides life insurance and retirement services to commercial, institutional, and individual customers in more than 130 countries (U.S.)
  • AT&T, a telecommunications company (U.S.)
  • Hager Group, a manufacturer in the electrical industry for residential and commercial buildings (Germany)
  • Luzerner Kantonalbank AG, one of Switzerland’s largest cantonal banks, focuses on basic banking services, mortgages, corporate financing, and wealth management advice, and offers integrated wealth advisory services in the private banking segment (Switzerland)
  • ONO, a telecommunications company (Spain)
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), a governmental agency that specializes in and is responsible for supporting and controlling tourism places and activities and antiquities that represent the history of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia)
  • Swiss Mobiliar Insurance & Pensions, an insurance company (Switzerland)
  • WorkSafeBC, the Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia (Canada)
  • XL Group plc, an insurance and reinsurance company servicing industrial, commercial, and professional firms throughout the world (Ireland)

For those working in the SharePoint business, you will be glad that business is still booming, with 70% of the winners used a heavily customised SharePoint solution!

Take aways from the report

Some other take aways that you can find in the 373 page report:

– it takes a lot of time to get a winning intranet: about 3.5 years

– smaller companies have it easier to create a good intranet. The average number in 2013 was 18.800 employees

– the teams that create the winning intranets are growing though. Averaging at 27 people in a team! (or 1.4 staff member per 1000 employees)

– 8 out of 10 companies used help of outside consultants

– The best intranet teams involve people from around the organization at the new intranet’s very inception, ensuring that employees from varied teams, offices, and cities describe their needs and way of working

Feature trends

Feature trends this year are:

  • feeds from twitter, facebook, linkedin and other social sites
  • filters and facets help the UI to get the right information to the right people
  • actionable links in the people search suggestions lets users call, email and bookmark
  • mega menu’s
  • video channels
  • beefed personal profile pages
  • personalized homepages and sections

– mobile optimisation is paused

SharePoint advice

Nielsen Norman Group also gives advice on SharePoint implementations if you want a winning intranet:

– use SharePoint features to tackle usability challenges

– plan for design customisation

– educate employees on team spaces

– implement your own branding can cost time

– keep permissions simple

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.