SharePoint Wish List for 2014

Four Areas to Take Your SharePoint Branding and Design Projects to the Next Level

The fireworks have come and gone and the great crystal ball has dropped in Times Square. We now look to the New Year with a fierce anticipation of what is to come, and the resolutions and wishes that we have for the coming year. Join us as we share a few of our hopes from our SharePoint wish list for 2014.
1) Time to Consider Responsive Design
If you look around any public area or office, you will easily spot several different types of mobile devices ranging from laptops to tablets and smart phones. With the increased use of these devices in the workplace and the need for employees to be able to access content at any time through any device, it is still a wonder that many companies haven’t considered responsive design or mobility in their future considerations for their sites.
Our wish is for companies to consider responsive design and mobility as they update their versions of SharePoint and their websites. The need for users to access information easily is only going to increase as the market continues to release new devices with even more capabilities. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect with your users and clients.
2) Design Manager Makes Branding Easier
Design Manager was one of the major tools released with SharePoint 2013 to help with customizing the branding and design of SharePoint sites. It is a powerful tool that allows for automated creation of master pages and page layouts without the deeper knowledge of being a SharePoint developer. Our wish for the Design Manager is that it will become a more stable tool because it’s such a great addition to SharePoint 2013.
In previous versions of SharePoint, designers and developers needed to have an in-depth knowledge of how master pages and page layouts were created in order to create the functionality that was needed. The Design Manager makes this process easier, but as we have moved forward there has been debate among designers on whether to use Design Manager or to continue creating master pages and page layouts by hand as done in previous versions. There is no “wrong” or “right” way; however, Design Manager does offer the Snippet Gallery which does help with the creation of the SharePoint code and content placeholders that previous versions did not easily provide for.
3) A Good Move to Office 365 and SharePoint Online
There has been a major push to move to hybrid and cloud-based solutions in the past year. Moving forward our wish is to see more companies move their public-facing sites to O365 as well as see social features and search capabilities improve. This is a choice that provides for better Web Content Management (WCM). As social features improve through the use of Yammer integration, it will allow for additional collaboration opportunities for companies and the sharing of knowledge within an organization.
4) Higher Adoption Starts with the End User
In most organizations, those in management make decisions about what is needed in SharePoint, how it should be used and have the power to decide what is needed for end-users to fulfill their positions.
Our wish is for organizations to look more to the end-users to understand how SharePoint is used and what they need to perform their best while utilizing all that SharePoint has to offer. By listening to end-users, you create solutions that include them, which of course raises the engagement and productivity levels while still meeting your overall business goals.
As with any list of hopes and New Year’s resolutions, we will keep our eyes and ears open to the future. With the upcoming SharePoint Conference being held in Las Vegas, NV in March, the SharePoint Community will be on full alert for the anticipated changes and updates to be announced and how they will affect our goals moving forward in SharePoint.
Raise your glass with us to the New Year and the new opportunities to come in SharePoint. Cheers!

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