Intranet Portals: UX Design Experience from Real-Life Projects
A good intranet portal provides easy access to all enterprise information, resources and tools. Intranet portals can also effectively consolidate applications, connect information, drive governance, change communication, and reduce fragmentation.
Comprehensive case studies show how the portal team can deliver what the organization and its users (your employees) need to be successful. Some of the most-praised features of intranet portals turn out not to be needed in most companies. For example, role-based personalization usually works better than individual personalization. And some compelling advice isn’t about features at all, rather it’s about process and governance.
This 653-page report presents 174 best practices based on 83 case studies. Discussions and 397 screenshot illustrations supplement our findings.
This report focuses on the design, user interface, use, usability, and adoption of an enterprise portal — that is, the user experience of intranets that look, feel and act like portals.
- Portal characteristics
- Past and future portals
- Defining the portal
- Development best practices
- Governance models
- Department ownership and staffing
- Getting employees to use and like the portal
- Governance challenges
- Managing content
- The importance of the content management system (CMS)
- Centralized and decentralized ownership and authorship
- Templates, standards, and guidelines
- Communication and support
- User research, prototyping, card sorting, and focus groups
- The common portal homepage (or no homepage)
- Initial portal implementation strategy
- Department pages
- People pages
- Website design and structure
- Information architecture
- Moving from intranet IA to portal IA takes time
- Personalization and customization
- Application showcase
- Portal platforms
- Enterprise mobile
- Collaboration and social tools
- Security and single sign-on
- Search and filters
- Improving search
- Return on investment
- Methods and technologies used to realize the vision within an organization's framework
Full ToC and List of Participating Organizations
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Introduction to the 5th Edition
- Defining the Portal
- Managing Content
- Consulting the Users
- Site Design and Structure
- Personalization and Customization
- Homepage Gallery
- The Portal Platform
- Enterprise Mobile
- Collaboration and Social Tools
- Security and Single Sign-On
- Return On Investment
- About the Authors
Studied for this edition of this report:
- The Carle Foundation
- City of Olathe, Kansas
- Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- Department of Transport (Canada)
- FDC Solutions, Inc.
- Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
- Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute
- Municipal Design and Survey Unitary Enterprise “Minskinzhproekt”
- National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
- Northern Arizona University (NAU)
- Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners
- Persistent Systems Limited
- Resource Data, Inc.
- Think Mutual Bank
- Yara International ASA
Studied for previous editions of this report:
- Air France–KLM
- BEKK Consulting
- British Red Cross
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
- Burke Consortium
- Chevron Human Resources
- Cisco Systems
- City of Austin Fire Department
- City of New York
- Credit Suisse Financial Services
- The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS)
- Dell, Inc.
- Duke Energy
- Edens & Avant
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Erste Group Bank AG
- EZ-Filing, Inc.
- Idaho National Laboratory
- FIGG Engineering Group
- Fujitsu Siemens Computers
- Goodwin Procter, LLP
- Government of British Columbia Public Service Initiative
- HP Europe
- Huntington Bank
- Immaculata University
- Kadant Johnson Inc.
- KPMG UK
- Kaiser Permanente
- La Roche Ltd
- LM Glasfiber A/S
- Local PI and Riding and Sons Investigations
- Mars Symbioscience
- New Century Financial Corp.
- North Shore-LIJ Health System
- Northland Regional Council
- Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC)
- Pam Golding Properties
- Pearson Australia Group
- Piper Jaffray & Co.
- Point Loma Nazarene University
- Portland Public Schools
- Saint Elizabeth Health Care
- SanDisk Corporation
- SAP AG
- South African Breweries (SAB)
- Strategic Logistical Alliance (SLA)
- Towers Perrin
- University of California, Irvine
- Vale Soluções em Energia (VSE)
- Vertex, Inc.
- Weber Associates
- Windana: Drug and Alcohol Recovery
Intranet portals are being pushed heavily by technology vendors, but the experience reported by the many portal managers we contacted is that technology only accounted for about a third of the problems they struggled with while implementing their portals. The rest were organizational issues and company politics.
This report presents a unique perspective on intranet portals: not that of a vendor trying to push a specific solution, but instead the user-experience point of view. What do portals mean to your employees and how can the portal team deliver what the organization needs? To find out, we investigated 83 real portal projects, getting feedback from people who have managed the creation and updating of enterprise portals. Here they tell their stories about what works well.
Some of the most-touted features of intranet portals turn out not to be needed in most companies: for example, role-based personalization usually works better than individual personalization. Similarly, one of the world's five-largest law firms discovered that its clients needed much simpler dealrooms than those promoted by most vendors of extranet portals.
We are vendor neutral. Some other companies that charge much higher prices for their reports receive large amounts of money from vendors. In contrast, we don't work with any portal vendors, nor do we edit out any of the harsh comments about them. We also don't have anything against the vendors, nor are we trying to sour anyone’s perception of them just for the sake of doing so.