It's been 3 years since ourlast assessment of intranet portal usability。更新时间。这次，我们收集了案例研究23 companies and organizations。The new data supplements the information from the 25 companies in the report's 2 previous editions. Our current intranet portal recommendations are therefore based on the collective experience of48公司自从我们开始以来的5年来组织our initial portal usability research。
The first new finding is that所有62个以前的调查结果继续持有。Although much has changed — and we have many new findings (for a total of 117 best practices in the new report) — things don't change much in terms of best practices for user experience. The technology changes and vendors produce ever-more dot-releases, butusability issues move much more slowly因为它们是基于人类特征。
For example, we again found thatrole-based personalizationis the way to go. People very rarely use corporate portal自定义, however much they ask for them. (Yet another great example of why you不应该听什么用户说。)
An interesting exception here is with university portals, where many users do engage with customization features. Why? Possibly because university staff has a tendency to tinker and to value exploration for its own sake.
Growing Portal Maturity, But Many Newcomers
As in previous years, no portal product has all the answers; I therefore remain vendor-neutral. Regardless, an intranet portal's quality depends more on how it's set up and run than on the technology platform — which only provides a user-experience sketch that the team needs to fill in.
Despite my vendor-neutrality, I can't resist quoting portal vendor BEA, which stated that the portals market is "positively popping" and projected an estimated $1.4 billion in annual sales in 2011. While I can't speak to the sales prediction, I can confirm that we saw significant growth in portals uptake.
我们首先在5年前研究了Intranet Portals，而这个想法肯定比这更老。即便如此，许多公司内联网现在只能充分成熟，球队可以开始将它们转变为全功能的门户网站。我们学习的一些更大和更多的门户网站已经达到了非常令人印象深刻的水平，但这些公司仍然是continuing to evolve他们试图达到单点登录Nirvana（见下文）并添加新的协作功能。
Our knowledge of intranet portals has expanded along with their increasing maturity over the years. Using the report thickness as a primitive metric for the amount of information we've collected, the page count has grown from 104 pages five years ago to 343 pages now. That's anannualized growth rate of 27%了解Intranet Portals及其可用性。
One big change from our earlier research is that the report's first two editions were dominated by stories about草皮战争，个人departments refusing to submitto the portal's need for consistency in intranet content. Now, we're seeing fewer turf wars and more recognition of the portal's benefits as a cross-company initiative.
Most companies have embraced交叉功能teams or steering committees as a way to ensure buy-in across departments. This softer approach to portal governance is much more successful than having a (seemingly) arrogant intranet group in the IT department ram a portal down the other departments' collective throat.
特别重要的是意识到Intranet门户不是一旦它发布完成的一次性项目。负责门户的人需要留在工作after launch, or the intranet will sufferportal decay。Ongoing, dedicated resources are required both to integrate new features and maintain the quality of existing features such as search. It's amazing how quickly search quality degrades if there's not a continued push for good headlines andgood intranet IA practices。
Single Sign-On: Still Elusive
Our second round of research confirmed single sign-on's potential — and its elusiveness.
True single sign-on (SSO) was and is extraordinarily rare, as our third round of research shows. We can only conclude that it's very difficult to achieve, despite its promise. That said, we're starting to see an interesting, pragmatic approach to what Kaiser Permanente calls "reduced sign-on." Work as hard as you can to reduce the number of authentication requests users encounter each day, even if you can't get it down to 1. You can also reduce frustration by informing users about the impending login requestbeforethey click the link that activates the demand.
To drive portal use, several companies are now addingcollaboration tools, often in the form of "Web 2.0.“博客和维基等特征。我们所学习的公司在我们在公开互联网上看到了一些关于这些工具的治理立场：有些人接受了相同的开放程度（和混乱风险）;其他人采取更严格的方法。
我们的案例研究而不是被时尚的Web 2.0趋势摇摆，而不是被时尚的Web 2.0趋势表明需要为“Enterprise 2.0”功能制定业务案例。许多这样的功能实际上在内部网上比在开放的互联网上更有用。但是，您必须先确保您有治理结构和规则，并且您知道任何计划功能的真正业务价值。如果您无法识别业务案例，您将更好地关注您已经拥有的旧功能的进一步改进。
大多数门户团队都基于某种形式的用户研究的设计工作。用户测试，调查和card sortingare all frequently used, along with several other usability methods.
问题是，团队经常使用调查（记录人民说）超过测试（这显示了人们的实际做). Teams that have tried user testing for their portal projects have become strong advocates for the method and report high value from their tests. Sadly, becoming convinced about user testing's value typically requires a team to actually conduct a test. Having me say that it's important is nowhere as good a motivator as personal experience watching users. Although this is obviously a bit chicken-and-egg, we are seeing more and more intranet portals being subjected to user testing.
Few portal teams collect solid numbers to estimate their project's return on investment. The one honorable exception this time was Dell, which computed annual productivity gains of $36 million from its portal. Dell's ROI number comes from its standard process improvement methodology, which is based on Six Sigma.
While smaller companies are likely to realize smaller savings, they should still estimate ROI. They can do this at any desired level of rigor; as good as it is, we don't want to hold up Six Sigma as the standard everyone should conform to. It's perfectly feasible to estimate portal productivity improvements using the simpler method we applied to our跨内网可用性研究：
- Define a number of core employee tasks.
- Find out how frequently people perform these tasks.
- 观察时间和人执行定义d tasks with your current design. For timing, a simple stopwatch will suffice; you don't need special equipment or a fancy usability lab. Indeed, we often collect benchmark metrics for clients by testing in a small conference room.
- Multiply the following numbers: time on task, each task's frequency, the employees' hourly rate, and the number of intranet users. The result is how much it costs the company to have employees accomplish the tasks using the current design.
Repeat this process again after launching your new design. The new cost estimate will usually be much lower; the difference between the two numbers is the productivity gain caused by your new design. Next, simply subtract the project costs, and you have the ROI.
Well, this is what I想you to do. With the exception of Dell, the teams we studied justified their portal projects through softer means, such as improved user satisfaction and increased usage.
Next-generation portals increasingly emphasize collaboration features, and measuring community activity forms another argument that features are being appreciated across the company. Many organizations also view improved information access as a key goal. While it's certainly possible to measure changes in employee awareness of corporate information, portal teams currently tend to take a qualitative approach to assessing knowledge dissemination as well.
事实上,许多团队认为他们的门户obvious improvement over the disorganized intranet that preceded it that measuring formal ROI seems like a waste of time. The good news? They're often right. We've seen some failed portals projects — and there are definitely many pitfalls to avoid — but a good intranet portal adds very clear value.