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Building A Truly Positive SharePoint Experience With 3 Key Components

In the age of Internet, review boards and comment threads have become a prime information source for users that are out of control of your business. Reading the comments, replying to the posts and more may be required. It’s best to leverage the chatter more and more to understand your users better besides building brand loyalty.

That definitely applies to SharePoint too. Given below are three areas where you need to collect information continuously from users in order to ensure that you are delivering a truly positive user experience.

Following are the components that can help you build a truly positive SharePoint experience.

Orientation

Orientation refers to the manner in which your information is effectively structured in order to respond to a specific user’s goal in the best manner.

What to Consider from User’s Perspective –

● What information I am looking for?
● How this information relates to all the things I already know?

What to Consider from Business Perspective –

● How am I organizing available information?
● How can I categorize components in a manner that is the most intuitive for my user?

Example – An intranet site includes a wide variety of information. You can make use of information silos in order to systematically categorize the way items are stored.

You may do whatever it takes to help your users associate the exact information they are looking for. This may include linking prefixes to effectively denote event invites/blog posts.

Best Practices – You need to keep it as simple as possible. Always bear in mind that orientation needs to come straight from slight visual clues and not from huge paragraphs of detailed explanations.

Within SharePoint – Content Types offer a simple way to collect different columns into a single template in order to ensure that they are consistently applied. This provides your user with the crucial training to associate values effectively with similar terms.

Building such templates for site columns simply implies that you can make use of them throughout your site collection. It also means providing a more uniform experience when gearing up for dealing with different types of information like events, announcements, blog postings, etc.

Route Finding

Route finding refers to the navigational elements that help you direct all your users throughout their experiences.

What to Consider from User’s Perspective:

● How can I best find the information I am looking for?
● Do I really recognize all terms that will serve as options for my decisions?
● Do all my options lead me straight towards my goal?

What to Consider from Business Perspective:

● Where would I place the information for my user?
● Are all the terms clearly defined?
● Are the different expectations & results for navigation options defined clearly?

Example: A shopper at the mall wants to know the location of a particular store to make a purchase. A map that lists stores in exact alphabetical order according to floor can work for this or categorizing stores by departments can be a good idea too.

The user is thus given full context about the fact that they are looking at specific location stores or may be stores that are focused on a particular department. Keeping the map close to entrances will attract their attention quite early..

Best Practices:

As per a popular limit rule, anything with more than 7 selections will simply lose all meaning to your existing audience.

Within SharePoint:

By cascading navigational elements, your user come to know what they are exactly looking for besides gaining an understanding of the way in which content is nested. These would surely enhance the experience with your SharePoint and so should contain hassle-free access to links that lead users to content.

Also, you can add in directions in content that appears much more tailored to particular teams. Providing link to a list does provide information. However, user experience can be enhanced much more by providing step-by-step instructions that makes the expectations pretty clear. You can even do following –

● Make use of numbers to suitably identify the precise order of steps
● Have thumbnails in place illustrating the step
● Have dynamic features on page that on blinking direct user throughout the process.

Closure

Closure provides evaluation of the efficiency of the flow of your user to the absolute completeness of the objective.

What to Consider from User’s Perspective:

● Have I got what I was exactly looking for?
● Did it really happen in the way I expected?

What to Consider from Business Perspective:

What all are the steps that must occur so that a user can accomplish the objective?

How is it possible for me to automate?

Example: A user buys a new coffee maker. While making coffee may not be a new process, design of the coffee maker is. It comprises numbered labels on the machine compartments in order to guide the user about the steps to add ingredients.

Best Practices: You need to identify a “happy path.” It would provide the expected result for the user.

Within SharePoint: Workflows offer a great way of confirming actions with users. You can do following –

● Add simple e-mails that confirm the user that a specific form was successfully submitted or some item was updated.
● Include links and participants on e-mail.
● Use the e-mail body to identify exactly why the user received the e-mail, then confirm the action taken and finally offer support resource for any questions that may arise.

It needs to be mentioned here that the UX Design process depends on your empathy towards your users in an endeavor to understand their feedback and requirements. If you do hear any negative things in regard to user experience related to your product/service, make sure to dig into the details more. A simple tweak to the navigation may make all the difference in case users have trouble searching any information.

Technology does provide business owners with a unique opportunity to accept suitable feedback from global users. Only the businesses that can take in user reviews in order to iterate more positive user experience would be capable to boost their overall sales.

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