Intranet website design

I was reading, in the CM Briefing area of steptwo site, about Intranet website designs.
The title of the article is Should the intranet look sexy?
I think that the three major stands of the short article are relevant to any site and are not really adding information to the table.
Every site should be usable, identifiable and branded.
I would like to broaden the view.
Since we are looking at users and thinking of their usage of the site my initial thought will be the need to create a usability to the website that will not be lesser than the internet site and at times better than the intranet since the clients of the intranet site are your asset that gains value to the organization. Taking that into a fact and you need to invest in a modern Web 2.0 interfaces to attract the users to information.
To achieve this I would take a look at iGoogle for example. a user should have the ability to customize the view he wants of the data. to all the control freaks in the organization you can limit this to a template based view or some basic elements that are not configurable.
To make it more attractive you can enable users to consume external news feeds and so forth and make this the page users will use most in their working environment.
This can also be a viewable by other people in the organization (based on security) for review and comparison by peers.
This is just one way to tackle the hurdle of information availability in the organization.
In the company i am with right now Vignette we have a portal implementation that allows you to create your own page. also we provide a content management with a similar implementation that allows you to view and customize your interface to match your needs and role.
I truly believe that the Intranet realm is under-developed and will need to be reconsidered by many organizations since they are neglecting their internal users that are their assets.

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