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Nielsen Norman Group Announces 2009 Best Intranets List

Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group posted his 2009 picks for the best-designed intranets in his Alertbox column earlier this week, and while there are no earth-shattering surprises, the list and his views on the state of intranets in general is always an interesting read.
Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group posted his 2009 picks for the best-designed intranets in his Alertbox column earlier this week, and while there are no earth-shattering surprises, the list and his views on the state of intranets in general is always an interesting read.As he summarizes:

Intranets are getting more strategic, with increased collaboration support. Team size is growing by 12% per year, and platforms are becoming integrated, with a strong showing for SharePoint. Improving usability increased use by 106% on average.

The Nielsen Norman Group has been compiling this top 10 list since 2001, although in 2004 they focused on government intranets. Each year's list is accompanied by a sizable report with details on each site, and this year's report, the biggest ever, weighs in at 473 pages and features more than 200 screenshots.

Here are Nielsen's picks for the 10 best intranets of 2009:

-Altran -Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) -BASF SE -COWI Group A/S -Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) -Environmental Resource Management (ERM) -HSBC Bank Brazil -Kaupthing Bank -L.L.Bean -McKesson Corporation

Nielsen's main focus always has been site usability, and this year is no exception. Almost to a fault, it seems that he prefers simplicity over flashiness and has eschewed much of the hype surrounding Web 2.0-driven designs.

That said, there's a notable appreciation in this year's list of collaboration and social networking features as valuable tools in many of the leading sites. I'm glad to see that Nielsen's warming up to these new technologies and I'm certainly not the only one.

Nielsen is a bit of a lovable curmudgeon, but he really knows his stuff. For that, his thoughts are always worth reading.

Editor's Choice
Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer