Relying on SharePoint to create a site can make things easier for you. With the help of a SharePoint Team Site, you may collaborate more effectively with your team members by sharing ideas, synchronising content, and learning new things. However, there is still a slight learning curve that you need to overcome.
Due to its flexible and robust nature, over 200,000 businesses worldwide use SharePoint for document management and collaboration. This makes it all the more critical for you to know the best practices when designing a SharePoint site. After all, knowing the best approach to creating each website component is crucial for its effectiveness.
Based on our experience, here are 10 effective tips for creating an effective SharePoint Site.
1) Add structure to your SharePoint Site
Consider the top-level subsites and the organisation of the second and third-level sites as you start designing a SharePoint Site. You can discover the information you need more quickly if your homepage has links to all significant containers in a simple, understandable structure.
Some users disregard the organisation and rely solely on the clever search function. While this is a great idea, your end customers need to know the best keywords. They may have a general concept of libraries to search for materials. Therefore, you can improve your team’s productivity by having a well-organised structure.
2) Customising the site navigation
Add, remove or modify the site to suit your preferences and make it simpler for visitors to navigate through the website with the help of Edit Links on the top navigation bar and quick launch bar (as highlighted in the image below). To begin, select Edit Links from the list of options on the team site’s home page.
Note: If you don’t see an Edit Links option on your team’s homepage, you may not have the necessary rights to make changes, or your admin might have modified the site so that it doesn’t display the option. Before altering your team site, you must either be the site owner or have authorisation.
3) Keep cross-device usability in mind
Your team’s ability to view content from any device, at any time, with just an internet connection is another fantastic perk of using a SharePoint Team Site. However, you must optimise your SharePoint Team Site to be cross-device compatible to ensure that one can view it effortlessly on multiple devices.
Here are some pointers to ensure the site’s cross-device usability
- Ensure that the quick launch bar and top navigation bar are short enough so that they do not show up or fit on the device.
- Use device channels on your SharePoint Team Site (SharePoint’s publishing infrastructure allows you to style your content to myriad devices)
4) Highlight The Most Frequently Updated Pages On The Home Page
Think about it: what would you expect to see on the landing page if you used a team site for the first time? It would be good to check if a new employee can find information quickly.
Consider the pages that receive the most updated and draw the most visitors when creating your SharePoint Team Site. Some helpful pages list the most recent news, announcements, corporate events, job openings, daily polls, etc. Designing SharePoint pages and using webparts to display them on your home page ensures more straightforward access to the most critical content.
5) Always add visuals to the site
It’s a well-established fact that visuals communicate more effectively than text-based content. The visuals often create an engaging atmosphere and boost usage on the homepage of your SharePoint Site. A short slideshow with images of your employees is a valuable component to boost user engagement on your site
6) Choose practicality over bling
Now you know the importance of adding visuals to your site. However, you need to ensure that you don’t go overboard with the visuals or special effects to “spice things up” on your site. We have seen SharePoint sites with over-the-top custom branding, dazzling slideshows, and mouse-hover effects to make them more exciting. However, it is worth noting that SharePoint is a collaboration site used primarily by employees. It does not need to stand out or leave an impression because it is not an external, public-facing site. Always opt for long-term practicality rather than a one-time “wow” factor.
7) Add an introduction and tips for using the SharePoint site
One of the most crucial components that many users overlook is a greeting at the top of the home page with a brief introduction to the portal. We advise adding instructions on utilising the SharePoint site, maintaining library organisation, and using tags. Include a link to detailed instructions that your end consumers can download at the end of the introduction. This can also be self-training content while publishing a new site or hiring new team members.
8) Designing Sharepoint pages using a flat structure
Using metadata instead of folders to arrange your content is one of the things you can do while designing a SharePoint site. This is what you call a flat structure, and it depends on tagging your content in a certain way. Over the past few years, this “flat structure with tags” is gaining more and more traction.
The following are the three main advantages of using a flat structure:
- You can skip digging through many folders when trying to find the stuff you need the most.
- When using a flat structure method, there is no need to worry about mistakenly storing a piece of content in the wrong folder.
- It keeps your URL brief because there is a 400-character limit, and each folder increases the URL length.
If you choose a flat structure, be sure to carefully arrange end-user training and instruction on how to tag your content appropriately. The search results become overwhelming when using popular keywords, which is one drawback of the flat structure. It will take longer to identify the correct information/documents and may lead to information loss if your end users mistakenly tag your content. Because of this, proper planning and end-user training are vital for using a flat structure for the SharePoint team site.
9) Be flexible enough to make changes on the go.
SharePoint’s flexibility ensures you can customise it to meet your needs. Have a test programme while designing a SharePoint site to monitor how users use it. Collect feedback from your end users during the trial phase to make it your team site that matches your team’s needs. Make adjustments to improve the site.
You can become aware of your team’s needs and wants as they spend more and more time on the site. This helps you update various site aspects to evolve with time.
10) Connect Hub sites
If you are unfamiliar with SharePoint’s Hub Site feature, now is the time to familiarise yourself with it. By connecting sites based on departments and divisions, SharePoint Hub sites can assist you in meeting the company’s navigational structures. In this manner, generating a more user-friendly navigation to the various Hub Member Sites becomes relatively simple. Additionally, you can easily aggregate news from all websites and inherit branding and navigation.
Designing and developing a SharePoint site can require a monumental effort from your company’s internal team. At Neologix, we have a couple of committed SharePoint experts who can collaborate with your team to design and develop a SharePoint site that precisely suits your company’s requirements.
Get in touch with us immediately if you want to design a custom SharePoint Site or to maximise your current site’s potential. We can assist you in making the most of your SharePoint investment and ensure your organisation realises its maximum potential.