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SharePoint Site Usability and Design Tips for Non Designers by @SharePointWendy


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This session was presented at SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities on November 3, 2012. To get the full context and see the slide notes, please download the slides.

Accompanying video demos are on YouTube:

Session Abstract:
So your IT department has handed you a SharePoint site to administer for your team or project, but now what? How do you configure it? What types of content should you store there? How do you change the boring standard interface to something with a little more zing without involving a designer? How should your navigation be structured and what exactly do you put on the home page to draw traffic to your site? This class will walk through the basic steps that anyone constructing a website, regardless of platform, should take into consideration and how these concepts fit into the SharePoint world. Basic usability concepts will be introduced, along with some quick and easy branding tips that will make a big difference in the look and feel of your site, and you don't need to have any design or coding skills to implement them. Whether you've been given a blank slate or inherited a site from someone else, you'll come away with several ideas you can apply right away to improve the layout and design of your site, thus helping to increase user adoption. Many of the concepts in this class apply to any version of SharePoint, however all demos will be done in SharePoint 2010.

Published in: Technology

SharePoint Site Usability and Design Tips for Non Designers by @SharePointWendy

  1. SHAREPOINT SITE USABILITY ANDDESIGN TIPS FOR NON DESIGNERS Wendy Neal SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities November 3, 2012
  2. WENDY NEAL SharePoint Architect/Developer for GreatAmerica Financial Services Blog: E-mail: Twitter: @SharePointWendy Contributing Author for and Passionate about all things SharePoint: Branding, evangelism, governance, training, user adoption, user empowerment
  3. TODAY’S OVERVIEW 1 • Website Usability 101 • Planning your SharePoint 2 Site • Design Tips for Non 3 Designers 4 • User Adoption Tips • Case Study with Demos 5 Throughout
  4. WEBSITE USABILITY 101 “The main thing is that everything become simple, easy enough for a child to understand.” - Albert Camus
  5. RULE #1: DON’T MAKE ME THINKWebsites should be:• Self-evident• Obvious• Self-explanatory If you remember nothing else about usability, remember this rule!
  6. TYPES OF NAVIGATION • Navigation by browsing – Primary navigation – Secondary navigation – Utilities links • Navigation by Searching
  7. NAVIGATION BEST PRACTICES• Concise and consistent primary navigation – Identical no matter where you are – Max 9 links• Secondary links relative to where you’re at YOU ARE• Active links highlighted HERE• Page titles match link names• Breadcrumbs
  8. SHAREPOINT NAVIGATION AREAS Page Title Search Global NavigationQuickLaunch UtilitiesBreadcrumbs
  9. HOME PAGE DESIGN • Attract attention • Good balance of images and text • Answer these questions: 1. What is this? 2. What can I do here? 3. Why should I be here? • Place important content “above the fold”
  10. HOME PAGE DESIGN (CONT.)• Omit needless words “Get rid of half the words – Don’t write a book; on each page, then get people won’t read it rid of half of what’s left.” anyway – Steve Krug – Provide short blurbs and links instead to wordy content• Keep content succinct and uncluttered
  11. DESIGN FOR DIFFERENT SCREEN SIZES • Typical minimum screen size is 1024 x 768 – Test your site on different screen resolutions – You want to avoid left/right scrolling at all costs! – The “fold” will be in different places depending on screen resolution
  12. HYPERLINK ETIQUETTE• To open in a new window or not, that is the question New Same Are you linking to… Window Window A site other than yours? Someplace within your site?
  13. SHAREPOINT 2010 USABILITY REPORT CARD Element A B C D F Primary navigation Secondary navigation Breadcrumbs Page titles Search Screen size compatibility
  15. REMEMBER…• Anything that confuses or frustrates users, or makes them think too hard, will not reflect well on you or your site
  16. PLANNING YOURSHAREPOINT SITE "Failing to plan is planning to fail" - Benjamin Franklin
  17. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE? Yourself? Your team? Your department? Entire company? Partners?
  18. WHAT CONTENT SHOULD YOU PUT(AND NOT PUT) ON YOUR SITE?What to put in SharePoint What NOT to put in SharePoint• Documents where versioning is • Blocked file types (.exe, .bat, .dll, .msi, required .com, & others)• Collaborative documents • Very large files• Electronic forms • Large media files• List items such as calendars, links lists, • Log and backup files discussion boards, etc. • Transactional applications or files• Blogs and wikis which require locks• Picture libraries • Server side scripts
  19. • Human Resources site for medium-sized company• Audience is entire company; also want private area• Content to display: – Self-service forms – HR Policies – Holiday and events calendar – Benefits information – Job postings – Online training• Assumptions: – We are using the “Team Site” SharePoint template – There will be no custom branding done
  20. DETERMINE THE SCOPE • Define your criteria of success • What will you include and not include? – Quick wins – Remember the 80/20 rule • Use an iterative approach
  21. • Use all out of the box functionality; no customizations – HR Policies – Holiday and events calendar – Benefits information• Self-service forms – Forms will email HR staff to update in the current system• Job postings and online training will be links to current systems – Perhaps phase 2 initiative to move into SharePoint• Criteria of success – HR will manage their own documents, forms, and site content – Company will have central place to find HR-related information – HR has private workspace where they can collaborate
  22. PLAN YOUR PERMISSIONS• Determine permissions levels needed• Keep permissions as simple as possible• Utilize SharePoint and/or Active Directory groups – Try not to put individuals directly in the site/library/list level
  23. • Team Site Owners – Full control (create sub sites, manage features & permissions) – 1 or 2 HR members• Team Site Members – Contribute content (add/edit/delete documents & list items) – Entire HR team (AD group)• Team Site Visitors – Read-only access – Company
  24. SUB SITES VS. PAGESHow they affect navigationSub sites: Pages:• Hierarchical global • Global navigation hierarchy navigation automatically must be manually created cascades down• Use sub sites when: – You need several supporting lists and libraries – You have separate permissions needs – You don’t want to manually create/manage top navigation links
  25. Requirement SolutionSelf-service forms • Sub site • OOB list utilizing content types and alertsHR Policies • Document library with versioning and check in/check outHoliday and events • Out of the box calendarcalendarBenefits information • Document library for documents • Contact lists for benefit contact informationJob postings • Link to existing systemOnline training • Link to existing system
  26. CREATE A SITE MOCKUP • A mockup is your site’s blueprint • Paper sketch is fine • Mockup tools: – Balsamiq – Visio – Excel
  27. DESIGN TIPS FORNON DESIGNERS"Design is easy. All youdo is stare at the screenuntil drops of bloodform on your forehead"- Marty Neumier
  28. FINDING INSPIRATION • Browse other sites you like for ideas • Start with a photo or image – Choose color scheme based on that • Use an online color scheme tool
  30. FINDING IMAGES FOR YOUR SITE• Free images and icons – – – really-incredible-free-icon-sets/ – useful-icon-sets-for-web-designers-and-developers/• Stock images (not free) – $1 per image! –• Google or Bing image search – Be careful of copyright infringements
  31. WORKING WITH IMAGES• Download Paint.Net – FREE image and photo editing software – Similar to PhotoShop
  32. CROPPING IMAGES• Draws attention to details
  33. RESIZING LARGE IMAGES • Large images take longer to download • Be sure to “Maintain aspect ratio” so you don’t distort the image
  34. DETERMINING IMAGE COLORS• Find hex code of image
  35. RECOLORING IMAGES• To match your site colors
  36. APPLYING TRANSPARENT BACKGROUNDS• Remember to save as a .gif or .png! Before After
  38. • Create site structure• Set permissions• Add content• Change site image and theme• Add home page web parts• Change quick launch (left nav) linksDON’T FORGET!• Remove the “Getting Started” links• Test the solution!
  43. USER ADOPTION TIPS “If you make it easier to use than not to use, it will get used.” – Kerri Abraham
  44. IF YOU BUILD IT…• You’ve built a great site, but now what?
  45. FREQUENT UPDATES TO CONTENT • Announcements • Did You Know? • What’s New? • Quote of the Week • Team Member Spotlight
  46. PROMOTE YOUR SITE• Lunch and learns• Contests• Set up user alerts• Bulletin boards• Company newsletter
  47. GIVE THEM INSTRUCTIONS• Never leave them wondering “What do I do now?” – excerpt from article by Kerri Abraham
  48. ADOPTION COMES BACK TO USABILITY,PLANNING, AND DESIGN Ensure that your site is: Easy to use Planned properly Well-designed
  49. REVIEW 1 • Website Usability 101 • Planning your SharePoint 2 Site • Design Tips for Non 3 Designers 4 • User Adoption Tips • Case Study with Demos 5 Throughout