Vol. 01: Intranet Research Overview and How to Run Your Own Studies

3rd Edition

Report PDF cover image

Part of the Intranet Usability Guidelines Series

Usable intranets increase employee productivity and involvement. Intranets with usability issues cause employees to waste time valuable time and can decrease employee satisfaction. Use the step-by-step procedures to conduct sound behavioral research on your intranet, and determine how to improve it. Compare the usability of your intranet with other intranets by using the data in this report.

This 127-page report summarizes the qualitative and quantitative findings from the whole report series. You will understand the strategic implications of our findings on how and why people use their intranet.

This report also identifies how we conducted our user research and generated the guidelines for this report series, including a summary of user demographics, how we briefed and interacted with users and the tasks administered.


  • Step-by-step instructions on how to conduct your own usability research
  • Quantitative measures
    • Success, time, and satisfaction measures
    • Success ratings
    • Task timings
    • Satisfaction ratings
    • Counting errors
    • Benchmarking productivity data
    • Comparing data from different studies
    • ROI from intranet usability
  • Qualitative observations
    • People do not spend much time using the intranet
    • Experience and environment affect intranet usage and usability
  • Intranet usability trends
    • Evolution of intranet design and organizational acceptance
    • Usability work is increasing
    • Expanding the types of usability activities
  • How to conduct your own usability studies
    • Can designers usability-test their own designs?
    • Tips for getting usability testing done
    • What to say (and what not to say) when participants arrive
    • When to do the tests
    • Involving stakeholders
    • Who should observe
    • Training and helping observers
    • Videotaping sessions
    • Where to conduct the study
    • Session logistics
    • Test procedure
    • Goals for qualitative sessions
    • Checklist
    • Facilitation notes
  • Recruiting participants
    • Determining the user profile
    • Job considerations
    • Years at the organization
    • Intranet experience
    • Web usage
    • Gender
  • Questionnaires
    • Pre-test questionnaire
    • Post-task questionnaire
  • Conducting field studies
    • Making observations and taking notes
  • Other usability activities
    • Frequently test iterations of new designs
    • Review usage log data and search log data
    • Analyze support desk calls and intranet feedback forms

Research Method

The information in these reports is based on three separate rounds of user research with company employees as participants. We used two different research methods:

  • One-on-one usability testing
  • Field studies, during which we observed employees as they went about their normal work

Hundreds of people tested 42 intranets. The studies took place in the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and China (Hong Kong).

Which License?


Purchase an individual license if the report or video will only be used by one person.

Customers who choose an individual license are not authorized to share the report or video with anyone else, or post it to any internal or external file server, website, or intranet. Individual License Terms


Purchase a group license if the report or video will be used by multiple people within your organization.

Customers who choose a group license are authorized to post the report or video on internal file servers or intranets and make it available to others within the organization. The group license does not grant permission to make the report/video available to people not employed by your organization, the general public, or to post it to a publicly accessible website or file server. Group License Terms


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