Microsoft SharePoint offers seemingly unlimited useful functionality, but if you’ve spent any extended amount of time working with it you also know that SharePoint’s user experience is lacking. As users know and as Microsoft admits, the user experience simply isn’t as cohesive and seamless as it could be.
Because of this, it’s somewhat common to see companies that use the standard version of SharePoint with a custom UI built as an add on that allows employees that use SharePoint access content and interact with that content more easily.
Below we’ll discuss what it is that causes this, if it’s worth looking into, and what you can do about it.
Why is the SharePoint UX considered to be lacking?
SharePoint is a massive platform that has the capability to be infinitely complex. If you take a high level view of SharePoint, it seems like it was put together from several different departments of Microsoft independently of one another, thus leading to the disconnect we see today.
This application is also used for wide variety of purposes, so deciding if you should use the basic version of SharePoint or if you should augment it is a case-by-case decision.
Microsoft created SharePoint from the inflexible foundation of their own corporate portals. But SharePoint is supposed to be configurable for individual companies. Most companies try to force SharePoint into a central point of command and find that it simply isn’t as flexible as Microsoft’s envisioned it being.
Is it worth it to use basic SharePoint?
Although there are obvious drawbacks to SharePoint, we still find its functionality irreplaceable. This is also represented by the billions of dollars SharePoint license sales alone have made.
We find that while SharePoint may still be weak in some areas, if you use its document collaboration function heavily then you are already getting good value from your investment as that is the most efficient function is offers from our perspective.
How to Improve SharePoint’s User Experience
Due to the SharePoint’s base version being so hard to use at times, many decide to augment its existing abilities. Because every organization is different, the way in which you decide to augment its functions will be up to the different department heads that use SharePoint.
It’s also common to contact a SharePoint consulting organization and communicate your issues to them and have them build a mock-up to see what it could be like to augment your existing system. If this is the route you take it’s important to make sure the consulting company is completely dedicated to understanding the entire list of issues you’re facing.
But if you go at it alone, remember to be selective in the parts of SharePoint you decide to augment. Do only priority items in you first augmentation as developing a new UI is usually a costly endeavor. Don’t go into with a mindset of what would be a nice feature to have. Instead, consider the drivers that would actually push your company’s efficiency forward. Beginning with mission critical activities in mind and filtering down from there is the best mindset to have.
With thousands of companies trusting their SharePoint environments to us, maybe we can alleviate the frustrations SharePoint’s UX is giving you.
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