Sharepoint & UX- Education Resources

15 Aug 2009 - 8:29pm
7 years ago
5 replies
1501 reads
Nicole Furi

I am looking at a potential project which deals a lot with Sharepoint.
I know very little about this tool, or the user experience design of
sites that use it (I believe it involves a lot of customization of
modules). Does anyone have any tips on things I should know, and can
you point me towards good resources for learning more?


17 Aug 2009 - 12:46pm
17 Aug 2009 - 12:55pm
Mike Myles

Tip #1: Run Away!!!

I work with SP quite a bit - it's absolutely horrendous.

Very difficult to figure out, things that should be simple to do are hard, lots of "web parts" to choose from - many with overlapping functionality (so hard to know what to use), and all have different interfaces.

If you are used to doing traditional web design & development, you can forget most everything you know - SP is totally different. It does a terrible job at staging and rolling out changes. It has a versioning mechanism, but it's quite confusing to use, and easy to set wrong so it stores far too much history (eating up lots of disk space). Setting up security groups is also not simple, and approval workflows (if you use them) are even worse.

It has many personalization tools built in - like the My Site feature - but at least in my experience few people know about them, and even fewer can figure out how to customize content.

If you take on this project, the number one thing to remember with SP is to plan ahead. It's a very unforgiving tool. Some simple things like page URLs and layouts are very hard if not impossible to change after the fact. Because of this you must have a very good idea of the final design before implementation begins, otherwise you may find yourself having to throw out work and start over if a change is needed.

You'll also need some training in using SP. It absolutely does not lend itself to learning as you go. Anyone that takes that path will soon regret it - believe me, I'm speaking from personal experience on that.

I'd estimate whatever time you'd expect to spend developing a site in dhtml, php, jsp, etc. and triple it to do the same in SP.

17 Aug 2009 - 12:53pm
Nicole Furi

Thank you for the tips... would you suggest I fork out the cash for a
course on Sharepoint?

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17 Aug 2009 - 2:27pm
Kevin T. Stein

I've run into exactly this same situation, where I was told to do
some Sharepoint work without knowing much about. It's a horrendous
beast, and there is no working with it casually. The team I was on
looked at other solutions like Joomla! and it, too, sucked.

Mr. Myles' comments are quite accurate.


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18 Aug 2009 - 10:24am
Marc Truitt

SharePoint can be a beast, because it does so much, it is difficult
for developers/designers to get a handle on. It also has a lot of
capabilities and low cost for educational organizations and
non-profits. I have listed some links below related to SharePoint &
Education. SharePoint is different if you are not familiar with
Master Pages and Page Layouts I would recommend some training first,
especially if you are new to SharePoint, it will lessen the
pain....there still will be pain but not as much. (Basic Training - to get an understanding of the framework
and terminology)

Education Resources SharePoint

Microsoft Site Education

SharePoint Learning Kit

Learning Gateway

SharePoint Web Parts for Moodle

CKS:School Edition (Demo:

Vendor software For SharePoint focusing on education

Of course no educational list would be complete without Moodle

Hope the links help

Marc Truitt

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