SharePoint Exchange Forum - 10 Worst Mistakes in SharePoint Branding

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  • 1. 10 Worst Mistakes inSharePoint Branding Presented by Marcy Kellar
  • 2. About Me: Marcy Kellar• Principal, SharePoint Soapbox – Co-author of Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010 (Wrox, October 2010) – Professor, Art Institute, Intro to User Centered Design” and “Usability Testing.”• Specialties include – User Experience Design (UX) – SharePoint Strategy and Solution Design – SharePoint Branding and UI customization – Information Architecture – Web content management – Usability testingTwitter: @marcykellarBlog: http://thesharepointmuse.comLinkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/marcykellar
  • 3. 10. Using Inline StylesWhat is it? – Inline styles are styles applied directly to HTML contentWhy is this a mistake? – Styles aren’t centrally managed – Pages can become inconsistent – Hard to maintain/troubleshoot
  • 4. 10. Using Inline StylesWhat is the impact or cost? – Maintenance Cost – Inconsistent Look and Feel – My PatienceAre there any exceptions? – During Development – Designer/Developer workflowWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already made themistake?​ – Remove styles from HTML and add to CSS style sheet – Add process steps to designer developer workflow
  • 5. 9. Don’t Let The Designer Get Carried AwayWhat is it? – Designers define and document a vision without considering implementation costs and/or feasibility in SharePointWhy is this a mistake? – Just because you can design it, doesn’t mean it will work in SharePoint – Potential compromise of functionality
  • 6. 9. Don’t Let The Designer Get Carried AwayWhat is the impact or cost? – Dissatisfied business customers – Inaccurate budget / timelineAre there any exceptions? – No. But SharePoint experts should be involved in part of the design process and/or should be used to provide guidance during designWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already made themistake?​ – Regroup meeting to set expectations – Work with designers /design firm that understands SharePoint
  • 7. Example
  • 8. 8. Applying Fixed Width to Collaboration Sites and System PagesWhat is it? – Designers define and document a vision without considering implementation costs and/or feasibility in SharePointWhy is this a mistake? ⁻ Limits space for collaboration ⁻ Users have to scroll ⁻ Content spillage
  • 9. Example: Fixed Width Publishing appliedto Collaboration Site
  • 10. Example: Content Spillage
  • 11. Example: Content “Spillage” on System Pages
  • 12. 8. Applying Fixed Width to Collaboration Sites and System PagesWhat is the impact or cost? – User Experience – UsabilityAre there any exceptions? – No.What is the fix or workaround if I’ve already made themistake?​ – Use % rather than set pixel value (Width:95%;display table ;margin:0 auto;) – Make system pages inherit default branding or branded without fixed width – Make inner scroll
  • 13. Example: Quick CSS Fix on Content Area
  • 14. Solution: Add 95% Width instead of Fixed
  • 15. 7. Using Too Many Master PagesWhat is it?Using Master Pages to manage variations and using too many.Why is this a mistake? – More assets to manage – More development work – Costly and /or complex Migration
  • 16. 7. Using Too Many Master PagesWhat is the impact or cost? – Migration and / or redesign cost and time – Consistency across sites – Hard to maintain/manage changesAre there any exceptions? – “Too Many” is relative to scenario – 1 master page per distinct design and templateWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already made the mistake?​ – Enforce governance/ remove permissions – Consolidate master pages. Manage variations with page layouts, alternate CSS or custom controls – Most of the reasons you think you need a new master page, you can use page layout or alternate CSS
  • 17. Example Scenario Master Pages 1 Master Page per distinct Site Template = 6 Master Pages Publishing Meeting Workspace Collaboration Minimal (Search)My Site Personal My Site Host (My Content) (Newsfeed, Profile)
  • 18. Base Branding Example Scenario sharepoint style.css Master Pages Publishing Meeting Workspace Pub.css mws.css Collaboration Minimal (Search) collab.css minimal.css My Site Personal My Site Host (My Content) (Newsfeed, Profile)mysitepersonal.c mysitehost.css ss
  • 19. 6. Removing QuickLaunch ContentPlaceholderWhat is it? Removing the Quick Launch Control because you don’t want left navigation on the home page.Why is this a mistake? – Lose the ability to use left navigation when removed from master page (“Throwing the baby out with the bathwater”) – May have a need to use left nav deeper in site
  • 20. 6. Removing QuickLaunch ContentPlaceholderWhat is the impact or cost? – Rework; Extended Development Time – Loss of FunctionalityAre there any exceptions?NoWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already madethe mistake?​ – Add it back to the master page
  • 21. 5. Not Designing Around Real ContentWhat is it? – A design that hasn’t considered real content; – Using non-representative filler/fake content – Using “Lorem Ipsum”Why is this a mistake? – Impacts layout, growth / stretching/ empty areas – Real content helps define patterns
  • 22. 5. Not Designing Around Real ContentWhat is the impact or cost? – Rework based on real content to support actual content once migrated or created.Are there any exceptions?Yes. Sites where design dictates content or that have copywritersWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already made the mistake?​ – Set expectations that rework will occur after content is introduced. – Go back to design phase. Make changes accordingly after real content is reviewed. Use representative content in Photoshop design – Try to anticipate areas where there could be issues by doing bounds testing. – Staging environment
  • 23. 4. Fixing the Width of the RibbonWhat is it? – Fixing the width of the ribbon to match the fixed width of the content area – Constraining the ribbon (a huge UX investment) to a width smaller than 100%
  • 24. Example: Fixed Width Ribbon
  • 25. 4. Fixing the Width of the RibbonWhy is this a mistake? – Not consistent throughout Office Products – Not consistent through organization – Administrative tools change size, icon, location
  • 26. 4. Fixing the Width of the RibbonWhat is the impact or cost? – Training -- especially 3rd partyAre there any exceptions? – If design is very important to your organizationWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already madethe mistake?​ – Update your implementation to expand Ribbon to full width. – Or create your own training materials to reflect the look of the custom ribbon
  • 27. 3. Using Content Editor Web Parts for Web ContentWhat is it? – Using a Content Editor Web Part instead of using the right tools for web contentWhy is this a mistake? – No versioning of content – Not best method for managing web content
  • 28. 3. Using Content Editor Web Parts for Web ContentWhat is the impact or cost? – No versioning – Publishing model / Approval – SearchAre there any exceptions? – Foundation Server only – You Tube VideosWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already made the mistake?​ – Plan to move most frequently changed content into RTE (PageContent Control) in page layouts – If default SharePoint page layouts don’t work, create custom page layouts with field controls. This is the right way to do it. – If you have a lot of web content, consider a standard or enterprise license. – In SP2010, use txt files to manage content;
  • 29. 2. Using Dreamweaver Directly with SharePointWhat is it? – Opening up SharePoint site using Dreamweaver and editing pages /contentWhy is this a mistake? – Destroys SharePoint functionality – Basically turns pages into static content only editable in an HTML editor
  • 30. 2. Using Dreamweaver Directly with SharePointWhat is the impact or cost? – Rework costsAre there any exceptions? – NoWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already madethe mistake?​ – There isn’t one. Sorry. – Start over
  • 31. 1. Modifying Default FilesWhat Is It?Making changes to default files onthe SharePoint Server (14 hive)A Violation of the #1 Rule ofSharePoint Branding Club
  • 32. 1. Modifying Default FilesWhy is this a mistake? – These files are the originals. You just don’t mess with the originals. – Changes may impact the entire farm. – Multiple WFE with load balancing mean changes need to be made in more than one place.
  • 33. 1. Modifying Default FilesWhat is the impact or cost? – Difficult to troubleshoot – Cumulative Updates – MigrationAre there any exceptions? – NoWhat is the fix or workaround if I’ve already made themistake?​ – Replace anything that has been modified with a clean copy of the original file (s) – Move your customizations out of the file and package into a feature
  • 34. Contact InformationMarcy KellarSharePoint Soapboxmkellar@sharepointsoapbox.com+1-317-902-8057twitter - @marcykellarLinkedIn - http://linkedin.com/in/marcykellarBlog – http://thesharepointmuse.comSharePoint Event Photography -http://marcykellarstudio.com