SharePoint User Experience Enhancements for February 2020

Microsoft continues to be busy with overall changes across Office 365.  If you aren’t familiar with where to see this changes, click here to check them out.  SharePoint Online is no exception.  The modern SharePoint user experience is excellent when it comes to creating rich, mobile friendly content that can be dynamic and tailored to each user.  Some of the more complex intricacies result when trying to convert a classic SharePoint user experience to a modern one.  Here are the SharePoint user experience enhancements for February 2020 that help bridge some of those gaps.

Create a Holistic SharePoint Home Site

Last year, Microsoft presented SharePoint Home Sites as a way of setting a centralized hub for your entire intranet.  The Home Site will automatically be a featured site which will make it more prominent in search.  It will set the branding for the overall SharePoint user experience.  Microsoft demoed the SharePoint Home Site using our partner Wizdom’s intranet styling. eSoftware routinely implements Wizdom.  If you have any questions on their product, let us know.

Additional Resources:

How to Setup a SharePoint Home Site

SharePoint Home Site Release Notes

Upgrading to SharePoint Modern UI

Convert Any SharePoint Site to a Communication Site

We have all been there.  You have existing SharePoint classic sites.  Now, you learned about a SharePoint Communication Site and want to use that styling.  Previously, it was difficult to convert to a SharePoint Communication Site, especially for a root site in a site collection.  Microsoft is now alleviating that.  A SharePoint Communication Site has a few features many landing pages desire that are not available in other SharePoint templates:

  • Full width imagery and hero web parts
  • Centered content
  • Hidden quick launch

Microsoft is releasing the ability to convert existing classic SharePoint sites to a SharePoint Communication Site.

Additional Resources:

Enable SharePoint Modern Communication Site Release Notes

SharePoint Modern UI Design Examples

PowerShell to Enable a SharePoint Modern Communication Site

 

SharePoint Modern UI Navigation Audience Targeting

One aspect of the SharePoint Modern User Experience that is lacking, is the ability to add security to navigation links.  This feature has been available in the classic experience for over a decade.  Missing this feature has caused many organizations to pause in converting from classic to modern.  Microsoft is taking steps to fix this.  Target audiences in SharePoint allow you to specify specific people or groups of people and who can see information.  This is being added to the top navigation within the SharePoint modern user interface.

Additional Resources:

What is a SharePoint Target Audience

Microsoft’s Announcement on Target Audiences

Modern UI Target Audience Release Notes

Order and Hide Fields in SharePoint Modern UI Forms

One of the great things about SharePoint, is being able to add qualitative information to documents and items.  You can build out very robust lists to gather and store information about business processes within your team and company.  Using the classic SharePoint interface, you can get fancier with these qualitative pieces of information by dictating the order and even hiding certain fields on the forms, without using a form designer.  This ability is now being added to the SharePoint Modern UI.  Currently, the only way to achieve this in the modern UI is to create a PowerApp.

Additional Resources:

How to Hide Columns in a SharePoint List or Library

Different Ways for Creating Columns in SharePoint

Hiding Fields in Modern UI Release Notes

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