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DWCNZ - Creating a Great User Experience in SharePoint
Building solutions in SharePoint isn’t simply about getting the functionality right based on the business requirements. Developers must think about the entire user experience. In this interactive class, we’ll discuss questions like: How should the user feel when they use this piece of functionality? Will they see it as saving them work or creating new work? How will it compare to what they see on the consumer Web? We’ll look at good and bad examples from SharePoint itself, as well as specific customisations.
Building solutions in SharePoint isn’t simply about
getting the functionality right based on the
Developers and designers must think about the
entire user experience.
‒ How should the user feel when they use this piece of functionality?
‒ Will they see it as saving them work or creating new work?
‒ How will it compare to what they see on the consumer Web?
We’ll look at good and bad examples from
SharePoint itself, as well as specific
Forrester Report on SharePoint Adoption
“Dissatisfaction is centered on several areas,
including adoption challenges, a dislike for
the SharePoint user experience, a
preference for other tools like email and
skepticism over its business value.”
“Business management’s dissatisfaction
with SharePoint and perception of its value is
hurt by uninspired user experiences.
Microsoft SharePoint faces a challenging future: Forrester | PCWorld
SharePoint Adoption Faces Three Barriers: Mobile, Social, Cloud
What’s the Solution?
Use SharePoint as an out-of-box application whenever possible - We
designed the new SharePoint UI to be clean, simple and fast and work
great out-of-box. We encourage you not to modify it which could add
complexity, performance and upgradeability and to focus your energy on
working with users and groups to understand how to use SharePoint to
improve productivity and collaboration and identifying and promoting
best practices in your organization.
Microsoft Doesn't Advise You Customize SharePoint 2013
User experience (UX or UE) involves a person's emotions
about using a particular product, system or service. User
experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful
and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and
How does the user feel when they are
finished with using SharePoint?
“User experience” from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_experience
The consumer Web is both a
source of inspiration and an
anathema for enterprise
Our users expect no less than
what they see on Facebook,
Dropbox, Google, etc.
It’s an expectations problem
Image from The Conversation Prism http://www.theconversationprism.com/
Form vs. Function
The Form v Function Ratio by Dan Antion http://www.aiim.org/community/blogs/expert/The-Form-v-Function-Ratio
A sound Information Architecture provides:
One version of the truth
List-based Site Columns
Image from “Explain IA Poster” http://userallusion.com/blog/2010/10/explain-ia-poster/
Be the User
Don’t think about what
SharePoint does or how it does
it. Think about what your users
Too many developers eschew
SharePoint as a collaboration
tool. Use what you build.
If it’s too slow or cumbersome
to you, guess what? It’s worse
for your users.
Sit with your users
Listen to what they are asking for
Repeat what they want
Iterate, iterate, iterate
Lather, rinse, repeat – It’s never “done”
Agile with a small “a” – roll with the punches
Don’t expect your users to
understand all functionality
Training can’t cover everything:
Be an internal consultant
“How can I help you to solve
Don’t Talk About Budget (Too Much)
Your end users don’t care about your
Figure out how to help them
Look for quick wins – they can help
fund the big changes
Decide if the workloads SharePoint
supports are important enough
Find executive support
Boston Globe, February 02, 2013: Instant gratification is making us perpetually impatient ow.ly/i8Pth
Ramesh Sitaraman, a computer
science professor at UMass
Amherst, examined the viewing
habits of 6.7 million Internet
users in a study released in
2012. How long were subjects
willing to be patient?
Do you think that’s gotten any longer?
Views should show the amount
of information required to
make decisions, no more
Carefully balance server side
and client side code
Large images can kill the UX
Lowest Common Denominator
Know your user base
Image from NetMarketShare – timeframe = Q1 2014
“It works on my machine”
doesn’t cut it.
Mind the Fold
If users have to scroll every
time they land on a page,
you’ve put things in the wrong
Eyes scan from upper left to
lower right, much as a TV
“paints” the screen
Image 2: F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content http://www.nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/
Use Real Estate Wisely
Decide on your design
‒Few dense pages vs. many
‒Graphics vs. text
‒Color vs. monochrome
Pet Peeve: Executive
images or senseless
Please, please, please NEVER:
“Contact your administrator”
Correlation IDs – Good idea,
horrible execution, especially
for SharePoint Online
Tell the user:
‒ What happened?
‒ What did I do to make it happen?
‒ How can I fix it?
Remove the developer from the
List-Based Settings vs. Property
Give users control – it’s their
Focus on important
Seek and Ye Shall Find…
Search is about finding, not searching
Search is not just a search box
Requires regular care and feeding
Use search to drive effects
Additional Thoughts and Contradictions
Consistency to a fault - Don’t be
constrained by what SharePoint
Yet, you’ve bought a box, don’t
stray too far out of it
Name it – it’s not SharePoint
Visual cues – not just text
It always comes back to “It Depends”