Best Intranet of 2001
October 23, 2001 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Best Intranet of 2001 awarded by the NN Group User Experience Conference. This is a huge event for a small local company - but will it actually make an impact on their business? Does anyone have any previous experience with this kind of recognition and the changes it can bring to a company or product?
posted by hannahkitty (9 comments total)
Honestly enough, it bothers me there is even such a prize. Not to say the winning company didn't do a good job, but surely someone has done better?

It's like creating a- and praising that false standard.

Anyway, there's a demo for you to play with.
posted by sans at 8:46 AM on October 23, 2001

ColdFu$ion. DHTML. Most likely proprietary IE functions. Frames (yeah, I saw the earmark function, so now I have BOOKmarks and EARmarks). Give me JetSpeed instead.

What I really liked was finding out there is a World Potato Congress (or is that potatoe?). They are "creating links of communication and information sharing throughout the world potato community."

I question if they would asscociate with Mr. Potatohead.
posted by mmarcos at 8:53 AM on October 23, 2001

A much more enlightening headline would have been "Jakob Neilsen says: Best Intranet of 2001".

I gave my annual award to the one I develop. Who got yours?
posted by jpoulos at 9:25 AM on October 23, 2001

Ouch! Peace and love people!

I work and silverorange and was involved in developing the silverorange intranet.

There will be more info on why the award was granted to silverange in a report that Nielsen will be releasing soon.

mmarcos, please keep in mind that the silverorange intranet was developed for internal groups with controlled baselines in terms of browsers, screen size, etc.
posted by stevengarrity at 10:04 AM on October 23, 2001

Also, mmarcos, while you are correct in suggesting that we did taylor the silverorange intranet, it is accessible with the other major browers (read: it works in Netscape 4).

You'll also notice that on our other public sites (non-intranet), we stear clear of browser specific features.
posted by stevengarrity at 10:11 AM on October 23, 2001

stevengarrity, so your product is not wedded to any particular technology? Is SilverOrange more of a design outfit than a product vendor?

I like browser neutral products, among other things, including compatilbity with Opera. I congratulate you that you've got such backward compatibility with Netscape 4, much more than most are willing to do. The sidebar does not work with Opera on either Win or Mac (the frames do), which won't matter to your market anyway so the point is moot. My favorite file format is text!

I have problems with the frames and resolving the frame bookmarking issue with earmarks. It's not obvious to non-Geek Joe why bookmarks *and* earmarks nor is it obvious how to email someone an earmark. But this is a design issue anyway.

The demo is nice. Why no technical information like backend integration, RSS, XML and such? Or did I miss something on the site?
posted by mmarcos at 2:46 PM on October 23, 2001

silverorange is a web development firm. Most of our projects are traditional ecommerce ( - I bet that works in Opera).

It's written on silverorange's proprietary in-house development platform in ColdFusion and runs off a MSSQL database.

The intranet itself was developed by ourselves - for ourselves. As our company was starting a few years ago, several of our developers were working out of New Zealand while the rest of us where here in Prince Edward Island, Canada. We needed a way to keep in touch. What started as a simple message board and task list soon grew as we saw the need for more features.

We eventually added layers of security and access and invited our clients to use it when communicating with us. Anyone who's ever worked on a web project can appreciate how nice it is to have all communications back and forth with a client archived in a searchable database.

If you check our portfolio, you'll see that we've never used frames on any of our public sites and I think you'll find that for the most part we are quite accommodating to alternative browsers.

While the frames and DHTML may turn some off (it would me), please keep in mind that this was built by it's users, our development team. There is a completely different set of rules when building intranets when compared to public websites. Sometimes it's liberating (knowing the screen size, browser, and experience of you users) and other times is limiting (a site you visit 30 times a day has to work well or it gets annoying fast). For example, while I generally avoid frames, in this case the left frame loads with all the navigation and information necessary for most sessions and needn't reload with the DHTML menus. This way, the right frame - the content pages - have much less to load and far fewer database calls and are therefor good for frequent reloading.

Earlier in the year our firm moved our development platform from ColdFusion on Win2k to PHP on Linux. We're very pleased with the shift and have plans to build the next version of the silverorange intranet in PHP (the new look & feel has already been designed - but we are booked solid with other projects for the time being).

So to answer your question, yes we are a web development firm first. We are not a product vendor. However, with this recent attention, we are looking to commercialize the next PHP-based upgrade to our intranet.
posted by stevengarrity at 3:13 PM on October 23, 2001

The demo won't let me log in with demo/demo. :(
posted by rushmc at 3:42 PM on October 23, 2001

posted by mmarcos at 3:57 PM on October 23, 2001

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