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It Makes Sense to Plan SharePoint Features for Otherwise Uninterested End Users

SharePoint stakeholders should plan features for an end user largely uninterested in the computing platform. This approach will successfully balance a need to provide end users with very specific objectives, computing procedures, and the tools they will require to succeed, along with an attractive user interface.

Our VisualSP help system can be successfully used to achieve the objectives I’ve just mentioned.

I don’t think stakeholders will realize the same benefit from other systems built for an end user more involved with SharePoint, as a true computing experience. It’s not likely a typical end user will want to take the time required to select video tutorials to review. Nor is it likely this same individual will want to configure a separate user interface, to optimize when, and how, training content and related artifacts will be displayed.

In contrast, all of our content is completely accessible from the native SharePoint user interface — the SharePoint 2010 or 2013 ribbon. A click on the ribbon to do some work with the components of a share library will, at the same time, provide an end user with direct access to all of the training content and related artifacts stakeholders have decided to expose for use by the community of SharePoint users.

SharePoint is a complex product with a matching user interface. There is little need, if any, to add to the complexity with a separate “viewer”, regardless of whether this separate viewer can be exposed in-context, or not. To reiterate, end users busy with other, more pressing tasks, will likely have little energy, if any at all, to work with yet another set of user controls.

Perhaps it’s useful to note, here, the substantial importance of the user interface to a successful computing experience for any users of computer applications, including SharePoint. So, one can argue, SharePoint stakeholders can’t spend too much time on the topic.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved