SharePoint User Experience – HBR Blog: Don’t Confuse Engagement with User Experience

SharePoint user experience

With 5 versions under its belt, Microsoft has finally given its flagship collaboration platform a much needed bit of love and attention for the SharePoint user experience and importantly user engagement aspect of its product. More on this in future posts.

SharePoint user experience improvements

Fig1 On the left for those that don’t remember or who have not had the pleasure, SharePoint Portal Server 2001 and on the right is SharePoint 2013.

Harvard Business Review Logo

We did find this blog post over on the Harvard Business Review (HBR) siteby Michael Schrage brings an interesting correlation to many SharePoint projects out there, where sometimes too much focus has often shifted away from delivering business value and engagement, to making it ‘look nice’.

As this blog argues, the UI you put in place shouldn’t be at the expense of user engagement.

A key issue we think however is that SharePoint has suffered historically from little ‘engagement and usability focus’ when it built by Microsoft, up to and including the current SharePoint 2010 platform arguably. This has led to the platform not being intuitive to use and exploit for business value without a lot of hard work, often customisation and or a lot of end user training. The out of the box experience can feel a bit ‘clunky’ at times.

With SharePoint 2013, Microsoft have clearly started to address this with a much improved focus around the user experience and engagement.

For more information on the changes you can expect to see in SharePoint 2013, then do get in touch with the team here to discuss further.

By Andrew Walmsley

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