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The Excellent Intranet Cost Analyzer
Not finding information can be expensive.
There is a cost to not finding information. Although it's impossible to measure the exact cost of employees not finding information on a company's intranet, the tool below will give a ballpark figure.

1. Enter the number of a company's employees.
2. Enter the average number of intranet pages each employee visits per day.
3. Enter the average number of seconds of confusion per page a company's intranet users will experience. That is, the number of seconds a user says "This isn't what I'm looking for." or "Dammit! I'm lost." A typical range is between 5 and 20 seconds.
4. Enter the average employee's annual salary.
5. Push the Calculate button.
6. Results appear in the box below.
1. # of Employees:
2. # of Page Visits per Day per Employee:
3. "Confusion Seconds" per Page:
4. Average Employee Annual Salary: $

Annual Cost of a Poorly Designed Intranet:
What the cost analyzer is doing is simple. It (i.) calculates the total number of seconds per year a company's employees waste looking for information on a poorly designed intranet; (ii.) calculates a company's per-second cost of employing an average employee*; and then (iii.) multiplies the two numbers. Granted, it's rough, but it does shed some light on the cost of not finding information.

* The cost analyzer asks for the average employee's salary, but then doubles that amount to reflect the fully-loaded cost of an employee.

intranet usability projects pay off
Bay Networks (now Nortel) spent $3 million building a state-of-the-art intranet and claims to have saved $10 million dollars per year in employees' time spent looking for information.

Web Usability Guru™ Jakob Neilsen says it is very common to achieve this 10-to-3 payoff ratio (or better) in intranet usability projects.

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