National Geographic's CMS Intranet Wins Nielsen Norman Award for World's 10 Best Intranets

McLEAN, VA — Celerity's Web and Mobile team has helped National Geographic win a Nielsen Norman Award for Best Intranet. During a year-long project engagement, Celerity helped build "ngconnect," a highly visual, social and content-relevant CMS intranet experience that has made employee self service and collaboration easy and exciting.

With this new internal communications platform, the company’s 2,000 employees can interact with one another using real-time information exchanges and social collaboration tools.

“Our employees are now interacting and engaging in entirely new—and more relevant—ways," said Keelin Vaccaro, Director of Internal Communications at National Geographic. "Celerity’s problem-solving techniques and collaborative partnering strategy helped us make informed project decisions each step of the way.”

To make the new system intuitive, Celerity’s user experience (UX) designers focused on best-of-breed social enterprise components that allow employees to have open, real-time conversations, follow/like one another’s customizable profiles, and build common circles. Integration tools with LinkedIn allow employees to automatically load contact and background information, and add directory information like skills, interests, and languages.

Employees can collaborate using a micro-blogging tool or by sharing and promoting posts, pictures and videos. Search features allow employees to target and connect with colleagues based on profile information.

Built on Ektron’s CMS platform (Celerity is an Ektron Partner), the site also boasts distributed content capabilities so users can easily generate and maintain relevant content. Employees can provide feedback and ideas on defined topics using online forms, and access curated content on their home page through an external news feed. And thanks to Celerity’s site administrator enhancements, everything from background images to promotional banners and organizational charts can be managed via the Intranet CMS portal.

"Connections are key on the National Geographic Society website. The intranet team built a custom social tool, ng+, to encourage communication and collaboration across the organization. It also paid attention to details throughout the site to make engagement and participation easy. An emphasis on visuals takes advantage of and reflects the organization’s rich history," said usability expert Jakob Nielsen, principal of Nielsen Norman Group.

Even the HR section is engaging and customized. An interactive employee lifecycle infographic tracks an employee’s career experience and provides access to support resources, and a custom events module offers user-friendly registration and RSVP capabilities for limited learning management functionality.

This CMS Intranet project reflects a growing trend in the corporate world of using social media technology to build more productive, networked employee enterprises. To learn more about Celerity's work on this project, read our blog post about developing engaging CMS intranets.

About Celerity
Celerity is a business acceleration consultancy for the digital economy. We deliver integrated solutions that help customers close gaps between business strategy, technology integration, and experience design needs. With $84m in revenue in 2014, Celerity has over 500 employees in 9 regional offices.

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