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Add to the Value of SharePoint 2013 Search by Customizing How Query Results are Displayed to Users

The Search Service in SharePoint 2013 represents a substantial change from its SharePoint 2010 predecessor. Fast Search has been built into the new service. At the same time, the new SharePoint 2013 Master Pages and Page Layouts feature can be used to create custom templates for enhancing how search results are displayed to users.

In an article on TechNet titled SharePoint 2013: Design Manager – Use of Display Templates, Benoit Jester, a SharePoint MVP who is affiliated with a Microsoft Partner, Asipe, explains how the new Master Pages and Layouts feature of SharePoint 2013 can be used to create custom templates for the display of search results.

Mr. Jester’s presentation was awarded the silver medal for the SharePoint: TechNet Wiki Guru Awards for December 2013. SharePoint administrators, developers, designers, may want to read Mr. Jester’s presentation. After all, the SharePoint 2013 Search Service is a very important feature of the computing platform for any effort to either hasten user adoption of SharePoint 2013, or to reinforce it, once it has been achieved.

Why are custom display templates for search results particularly important? The SharePoint 2013 Graphical User Interface (GUI) now includes Hover, which is, effectively, a version of the Peek feature of Windows Vista/7/8. By enhancing the attractiveness of how search results are branded, when users inevitably start to use the hover feature, users are likely to use SharePoint search more frequently, while, in all likelihood, obtaining more useful results from the queries they make of the content index powering the search service.

SharePoint-Videos offers a set of training on the topic of SharePoint 2013 Branding. Our set of training content is led by Yaroslav Pentsarskyy, a widely acknowledged subject matter expert on SharePoint branding. The title of our set is SharePoint 2013: Branding. Yaroslav looks at the Master Pages and Layouts feature as well. This course of study is available to any subscriber to SharePoint-Videos and can also be purchased as a set of training for local use.

The primary skill required for building the custom display templates Mr. Jester discusses in his award-winning article is HTML. As he notes, SharePoint server will automatically translate the HTML page, which constitutes the Master Page Template, as JavaScript, without any requirement for developer interaction.

Ira Michael Blonder

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