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Making the UX Happier with SharePoint 2019

Jason Wong | | March 12, 2019

If you have the chance, fire up an old computer and try to access today’s web pages and applications through those legacy programs. If you’re not able to do that, then you’ve discovered why Microsoft decided to ‘modernize’ its SharePoint offering through SharePoint 19. While what was old is definitely new again, the revised SharePoint is totally updated to provide its users with the reliable speed, depth, and computing capacities they’ve always loved through a thoroughly 2019 program.

 

“User-Friendly” Meets “UX Design”

 

Updating quality software always makes sense. Regardless of when they were introduced, many of today’s foundational computing programs are subsequent iterations of successful past programs that have been modified as demands changed. At their heart, they still provide a fundamental service that doesn’t need replacing.

The same reality applies to SharePoint’s user interface. First released in 2002, the classic user engagement layer remains the foundation of several subsequent upgrades. However, while various functions and capacities have been added in the interim, the basic user experience remained the same: clunky third-party apps were needed to customize pages. Additionally, despite the utility of the program, the technology driving it was also changing and older versions of SharePoint didn’t mesh well with incoming digital tools.

Ergo, Microsoft elected to refresh the entire SharePoint program to embrace today’s “modern UX” mandate while retaining (and improving on) the tools and capacities that continue to entice millions of users to engage with it.

 

Same Style, New Tools

 

The new SharePoint 19 provides the same high-quality computing opportunities as its predecessor, but they are much easier to manage and share:

Customizable pages

Standardized page templates now make it easier to create customized pages that can be used uniformly across sub-sites, maintaining the uniform look while facilitating customized information on each page. And setting a theme for interrelated publications is now as easy as choosing one from newly available options and applying it to the new SharePoint modern page layout. Microsoft’s theme generator (introduced in 2017) further enhances the page’s format and can be used to create a uniform UX across multiple Office 365 portals.

An Easier Navigation Bar

On previous SharePoint versions, the navigation bar was fixed, and any modification of its functioning needed a third-party component. The new version permits the addition of backgrounds and transparent logos to the navigation bar and includes dynamic drop-down menus for more control. It’s also no longer stuck to the top of the page, either; users can now set the placement of the navigation bar according to their personal preference.

An added bonus is the new megamenu layout for site and hub navigation. Megamenus give users the ability to better showcase and organize your site’s navigation that allows for multiple levels of hierarchy at once.

Customizable footers

Too often, site visitors must scroll to the footer to find valuable information, an unavailable option in previous SharePoint iterations because the SP footer was fixed. The new SharePoint finally gives users the opportunity to connect with those visitors by allowing the addition of links, social media connections, legal documents, and other relevant data at the bottom of the page.

Mobile friendly

Perhaps most importantly, the new SharePoint is designed to operate flawlessly with mobile devices as well as fixed machines, so the type size on any given page doesn’t reduce to minuscule when viewed on a tablet or phone. Users can now access and view their data and projects as easily on their devices as they can while at their desks.

 

SharePoint Spaces

 

SharePoint Spaces offers not an upgrade but a whole new immersive opportunity. With Spaces, users can interact with 3D-formatted content viewed through a specialized headset. Users “experience” their data as they explore its capacities and can make virtual modifications as the data suggests. The technology offers immersive training, learning and development opportunities at the cost of the Space equipment and software.

Yesterday’s computers can’t match the capacities or sophistication of today’s powerful technologies. The reimagined SharePoint 19 brings beloved programming into the 21st Century in a modernized format that connects its always high value with today’s best computing options.

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