Design and Branding in a SharePoint Environment
From branding to deciding how your users will work with the solution, SharePoint Design is critical to make your users’ experience a good one. First impressions say a lot and without branding or making sure your solution is user friendly how can you expect your project to be a success? Here at Evoke IT we use high quality design to make sure your site looks and feels like it should to maximise its potential. (Using custom SharePoint where necessary.)
Because Microsoft SharePoint offers a solution for thousands of user scenarios, it has to be inoffensive to cover as many situations as possible. Then it is up to the project team to make that base system come to life with your brand, logo and slogans. You can make your solution WOW or make people think, either way the team at Evoke IT can design the appearance you need.
Microsoft provides several tools to help with consistency and customisation. These come in the form of master pages, themes and CSS. Master pages give structure and layout to the content pages so they all look the same, for example if the navigation is on the left hand side for one content page, it is for them all. The themes give you the colours and images and CSS is the code behind both of these that retains the style information.
It does not matter if your site is public facing or internal, design is key to make sure people can find what they need, in an appropriate time, with attractive visuals to look at. The better the design, the easy it is to navigate and the more memorable the exercise.
How can design help a SharePoint implementation?
- It is easy to give someone a system that solves their problem
- It is hard to get users to use a system that solves their problem if it’s hard to use
- It’s easy to give someone a system that looks great
- It’s hard to get users to use an inefficient system
- Users will be keen to use a system that looks great, is easy to use and solves their problems, you won’t need to encourage them to use it - they will want to
It’s design that makes the difference. A developer can make the best system in the world but if the front end SharePoint design is unusable or clunky the users will resist the change. The design is the key to make sure the users actively use the system without much pressure from management.