Microsoft recommends branding SharePoint Online, Office 365 with themes, alternate CSS and other CSOM methods rather than creating custom master pages

In a video tutorial available to the public on MSDN’s Channel 9, Microsoft presents an argument for branding SharePoint Online, Office 365 sites with themes and other CSOM methods. The title of this video tutorial is Transform SharePoint Customizations to SharePoint App Model: (02) Controlling Branding in SharePoint Using App Model. The tutorial is included in the Microsoft Virtual Academy Jump Start collection and is led by Steve Walker and Vesa Juvonen, who are both Senior Program Managers with Microsoft. One recommendation is repeated over and over again throughout this tutorial, which comprises about one hour of video: don’t create…
Read more →

Exploring How SharePoint Online, Office 365 Might Impact the Future of SharePoint Branding

Correct branding is a mission critical feature of, arguably, most, if not any successful implementation of SharePoint. In turn, adding an effective brand to SharePoint components — sites, libraries, lists, even newsfeeds — supports and hastens user adoption of the computing platform. So getting a glimpse of the likely future of best of breed branding methods for SharePoint and SharePoint Online, Office 365 makes sense. SharePoint-Videos has published sets of specialized training content on branding for SharePoint 2010 and 2013. These sets have been led by Yaroslav Pentsarskyy, an acknowledged subject matter expert on the topic, published author, SharePoint MVP…
Read more →

Function trumps form when SharePoint stakeholders consider how best to provision technical training content to end users

Branding should be an important consideration for SharePoint functionality wherever possible. A voluminous quantity of usability research has demonstrated the comparatively greater usefulness of technical features branded to appeal to end users. But for end users in need of technical training content to help them successfully complete work in a SharePoint computing environment, it may make more sense to eschew branding in lieu of greater functionality. Our VisualSP™ help system for SharePoint is a case in point. Out-of-the-box, the in-context access system of our product amounts to the tab it creates in a SharePoint 2010, 2013, or Online ribbon. But…
Read more →

Consolidated Looks, Color Pallets, and Master Pages are Design Assets of SharePoint Online, Office 365

SharePoint Online, Office 365, like its on premises sibling, offers users an opportunity to create a custom look for branding sites. A quick way to build a custom look, as Yaroslav Pentsarskyy demonstrates in an exclusive video tutorial available on SharePoint-Videos titled Creating a custom look for SharePoint Online sites, is to edit one of the “Composed Looks” included with any SharePoint Online site. The set of “Composed Looks” actually appears as a SharePoint list and is accessible from the Site Settings page. By the way, this list is accessed whenever a user clicks on the “Change the Look” button…
Read more →

Building a Tool Set to Brand SharePoint Online, Office 365 Sites

SharePoint Designer 2013, a free product, is the primary branding tool for SharePoint Online, Office 365. As Yaroslav Pentsarskyy sums it up in a video tutorial titled SharePoint Online sites branding tools, “it’s essential that you have SharePoint Designer”. Another very useful tool, this time for debugging challenging issues, is a “developer toolbar” for each of the browsers users are likely to use to connect to SharePoint Online sites with custom branding. Browsers can perform in radically dissimilar fashion to customizations applied to these sites. If an anomaly appears with Internet Explorer 11, then the IE Developer Toolbar will provide…
Read more →

Some Characteristics of the User Experience of Public Sites in SharePoint Online Office 365

Public sites in SharePoint Online, Office 365 are also referred to as Publishing Sites. With SharePoint Online, a public website is generated once a subscription is activated and has the the domain extension “-public.sharepoint.com” (Office 365 tenants can replace the site name with one incorporating what Microsoft refers to as a “custom domain”, meaning a company’s domain name, if one has been registered for it. Tenants on the public version of SharePoint Online, Office 365 are limited to one public site. Therefore, a click on the “New” button on the left hand edge of the “Site Collections” ribbon for the…
Read more →

Learn How to Brand SharePoint Online, Office 365 Sites with a New Course from SharePoint-Videos

Office 365 is the fastest growing Microsoft product of all time. Now any organization can learn some of the most useful tools and techniques required to brand these sites via a new course from SharePoint-Videos: SP13-315 SharePoint 2013: SharePoint Online (Office 365) Branding. This course is led by Yaroslav Pentsarskyy, a SharePoint MVP, published author and widely respected authority on these topics. Better yet, Yaroslav is a member of our core team of curriculum developers, having produced sets, for SharePoint-Videos on branding for SharePoint 2010, and SharePoint 2013 on premises. He has also produced training content on the new SharePoint…
Read more →

Branding SharePoint Sites Is a High Value Method of Encouraging End User Adoption of the Platform

Branding SharePoint sites to meet the unique custom requirement of a specific organization, is, arguably, the most accessible method of driving end user adoption for SharePoint stakeholders. With SharePoint 2013, its development model, and the new Office Cloud App model, the most important methods of branding sites — HTML and JavaScript — are even more useful than was the case for SharePoint Server 2010, or 2007. These two scripting languages can now be used to create a rich set of processes, as well. We provide a set of video tutorials on branding SharePoint 2013 sites. The series is authored by…
Read more →

Build a Custom “Composed Look” for a SharePoint Online, Office 365 Team Site

SharePoint Online, Office 365, 2013 has been equipped with an entirely new theming engine. Custom themes built for SharePoint Server 2010 won’t work. But the theming engine is, nevertheless, highly flexible. One method of customizing the look of an out of the box team site is to build a custom “Composed Look”, and apply it to the site. As noted in Themes Overview for SharePoint 2013, A “composed look, or design, is the color palette, font scheme, background image, and master page that determine the look and feel of a site. Design and theme can be used interchangeably to describe…
Read more →

Using the Gallery Feature of the Design Manager, SharePoint Online in a Windows 7 Local Environment

In the last post to this blog we introduced the Design Manager feature of SharePoint Online, Office 365, 2013. In this post we will discuss some of the obstacles to using the Design Manager feature to access design components, in HTML, for automatic conversion to master pages for publishing sites in SharePoint Online. In a technical document available on MSDN, Overview of Design Manager in SharePoint 2013 Microsoft introduces the Design Manager feature. The document discusses site “designs” and defines them as ” . . . simply a group of files that implement the visual design of your site, most…
Read more →