Thursday, July 10, 2008

How do you judge if a government intranet is a success?

I regularly struggle with how to best evaluate the success of my agency's intranet.

In generaly there are six different sets of metrics I use, grouped into 'hard' and 'soft' as follows:

Hard (numerical)
  • Statistics - traffic (visits/pageviews),
  • Content (age/timeliness/findability),

Soft (subjective)

  • Design - usability/accessibility/attraction (task completion, screen reading),
  • Development - standards (code validation)
  • User satisfaction (what do staff, contributors and managers tell us formally?),
  • Word-of-mouth (what do staff, contributors and managers say informally?)

Overall I'm happy with our intranet's performance.

However I don't have a consolidated measure that combines these measures into a single number I can track over time as an Intranet Success Index.

How do you go about rating your intranet's success?


  1. Craig -

    We've been answering these kinds of questions at the IBF for around 6 years now. About 20% of the intranets we evaluate are UK government. Our approach is a combination of an expert review and usability testing.

    On the expert review side, we look at 6 'core' metrics: content, visual design, navigation, consistency, engagement and accessibility. We also separately evaluate people search, content search and readability. On the usability side, our members decide what tasks we test with although we provide guidance on difficulty so that they are broadly comparable across members.

    The net result is a set of figures that we can compare across different members and sectors. Interestingly, in the UK at least, the only big difference between government and commercial intranets is in accessiblity. The reason being that most companies are unaware of accessibility as an issue while the government departments have been told that they must comply with WCAG guidelines.

    We are now benchmarking in Asia-Pacific if you're interested. Even if you don't join we run free webinars from time to time. Visit for more information.


    William Hudson
    Director of User Experience
    Intranet Benchmarking forum

  2. Hi William,

    I'm very interested and will contact you when I'm back in the office next week.