Hubify: Create Hub Sites in SharePoint Online to 5 Steps to Improve Usability Series

The new site hubs already need to be demistified.  Much of the way people speak about hub sites is already incorrect understanding.  Hub sites are not a new template, but are simply an existing Team or Communication site or taking an existing site and enabling it.  Many don’t realize the Hubs have rolled out.  This is not a new template, this is a feature that can be enabled via powershell with new association UI coming soon.  You can read more about the release and information on Hub sites by Mark Kashman.

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Hubs can improve your global navigation, rollup activities and provide search scopes…

The easiest way of verifying you’re ready to go is by running in powershell:

Get-SPOHubSite
This will lists hub sites or hub site information.

  1. Scoped Search – If you search within the hub site, it will automatically provide results from all the associated sites.
  2. Activity Webpart rollup of associated sites (This is a good way to determine if the hub was setup properly.)
  3. News Webpart rollup of News from associated site (Now you know another reason why I suggest communication site)
  4. Hub Navigation – Cross Navigation in the top nav bar to associated sites
  5. Consistent Logo and information across all associated sites
  6. Consistent look across all associated sites.  The simple “Change the look” option is what is used.

Personally I’ll be prescriptive for you and help you understand why.  While you can take an exisiting site and turn it into a hub site, it’s better to start with a new communication site… Why?  A new team site is a group and contains a lot more than you’d need for a hub.  You likely won’t need a planner, inbox, calendar, and other group items.  A communication site, focuses on the new modern interface with a simplified, but focused site.  An old classic site doesn’t have modern pages and also doesn’t have the new updated webparts.  While you can take an old site through the steps to get updated there are a few examples of reasons why.  Classic sites don’t have the new webparts like activity, and they don’t have the new pages which the new webparts should be listed on them.

1. Create a new Communication site.  Doesn’t matter which type, a Topic or Showcase is fine.

2. Add Activity Feed

3. Open powershell and add the Site as a hub.  There is currently no other way to do this other than in powershell for setting up the initial parent hub sites.

Register-SPOHubSite https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/Marketing

Note: You should not copy and paste powershell commands from the browser.  It’s often messed up due to the dashes not coming across properly.

4. Either Add News or make sure it is displayed.

5. On the child sites (If the UI is showing up) you can Click Settings (gear icon) > Site information > hub site association and select the desired hub.  You’ll only see the hubs you have permission to associate to. And then click Save. You will see the hub navigation appear above. The site itself will inherit the hub theme, and news and activities will begin to flow up to the hub site home page – along with a search crawl of content for any site associated to the hub site.In powershell associate a Site to the new hubsite.  Or you can do it in powershell.

Add-SPOHubSiteAssociation https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/Research  -HubSite https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/Marketing


NOTE: You can currently only add 50 Hubsites per tenant, but no maximum number of sites associated with any given hub.  A site can only have one parent hub site.

6. Gear/Settings – Change Look and Feel on parent – Once the hub site has been established, you’ll then want to further set it up and refine it for that organization –a preferred theme, so the hub site carries the right name and logo

7. Navigation – You should see the HubNav show up after some time.  Some may decide to call it sites or subsites, in a single label. You may need to move sites to subnavigation as you add sites. the preferred navigation elements, and the desired layout for news, sites and highlighted content. The navigation is NOT a webpart.  You won’t see how to configure that as it isn’t as intuitive.  Note there is a fix coming to add the nav to the hamburger menu when on smaller screens.

Note: Sites can only belong to one Hub. For example a site in Europe cannot belong to both the EU hub and the HR Hub.

8. Mobile – SharePoint hub sites have now been rolled out to 100% to all tenants worldwide in Office 365, including enterprise, education and government customers. Also, the SharePoint mobile apps have been updated in the production versions to fully support them

Troubleshooting: Once you’ve setup your associations it can take a couple of hours  or more after proper indexing to get the scoped search, navigation, and rollups working.  Don’t fret.  Search is used for rolling up News, Activities, and more.

Now that you’ve got lots of Hub Sites, you should plan on an Office 365 Home site… the parent of all HUBS.  We’ll talk about this one more later.

Key Powershell commands for setting up hubsites:

Register-SPOHubSite
Enables the hub site feature on a site to make it a hub site.

Register-SPOHubSite https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/Marketing

Add-SPOHubSiteAssociation
Adds a new association between a site and a hub site.

Add-SPOHubSiteAssociation https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/Research  -HubSite https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/Marketing

Bonus Related Powershell:

Remove-SPOHubSiteAssociation
Removes an association between a site and a hub site.

Set-SPOHubSite
Sets the hub site information such as name, logo, and description.

Get-SPOHubSite
Lists hub sites or hub site information.

Grant-SPOHubSiteRights
Grants rights to users or security groups to access the hub site.  You can do normal permissions.

Revoke-SPOHubSiteRights
Revokes rights for specified principals to a hub site.

Unregister-SPOHubSite
Disables the hub site feature on a site.

Office 365 SharePoint, Teams, Groups 20x big storage quota increase is game changer!

I am very excited to see the new massive increase in base storage for the Office 365 tenant.  At an organization with 5000 people this means we go from a simple 3.5 TB tenant base storage to an impressive 51 TB.  This will not only instill confidence that we can store a lot more, but now departments that have a couple of TB of storage, we no longer need to divide up workloads.  It means a more simplified migration. 

Aaron Rimmer posted on Friday about the massive Office 365 storage increase to go in effect July 2018. 

“Today we are announcing a 20x increase in the SharePoint Online per user license storage allocation. This will increase to 1 TB plus 10 GB per user license purchased, up from 1 TB plus .5 GB per user license purchased. Note this does not include SharePoint Online kiosk plans including Office 365 F1 and Microsoft 365 F1.”

Those rolling out Teams, Groups, and Yammer can feel much better about their ability to scale.  I’ve heard people concerned over max tenant sizes.  This should help alleviate those concerns.  25TB site collections are now within reach without a lot of extra cost.  Teams moving large PSDs, images, drawings and raw video can now include more of the files and the experience is better with the hundreds of preview capabilities that Microsoft has been adding.

I’ve been thinking about what this would mean in an on premise SharePoint environment to 20x to go from 2TB to 40TB as an example.  That would be like going from a small database cluster to a large SAN environment.  This would be a huge deal.  Those who have been paying for the storage will appreciate this, but also those migrating content will be happy to see real PB environments becoming a reality overnight.

Personally I’m now thinking about those conversations of departments that were concerned about 2-3 TB file storage environments that may have been going to other solutions now seriously look at consolidating in a scalable environment that looks like it can support a much larger scale than previously thought.  When it was hitting the pocketbook at around 2.5TB to now have it be closer to 50TB is a big deal.  Thanks to those that made this happen.  Let’s keep it going in this direction.  We like it when what was a perceived limit is pushed up in a significant way.

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5 Simple Steps to Maximize SharePoint Usability – “Modernify” Your Classic SharePoint Sites

Have you been just living with the classic SharePoint UI and waiting for the right moment to change?  Maybe you have switched your site, but many of the others you are using have been switched.  The Modern UI/UX has been out for some time, but it’s confusing where some lists are classic and others modern… Let’s stop the madness…  It’s time.  It’s taken more than a year to be embraced fully, and has gone through a TON of A/B testing by Microsoft by simply allowing users to willy nilly turn it on for themselves.  There are a half dozen ways users can turn on a list or turn off a list, but imagine you’re now ready to go.  Let’s do it!

 

Why Stay Classic?

1. More flexibility in master pages and custom look and feel including custom UI/UX

2. Embedding of custom actions in the ribbon of your SharePoint site and alternate CSS on publishing sites.

3. Content in Modern webparts is not reusable

Why Go Modern?

1. Modern SharePoint Development in SharePoint Framework – SPFx

2. Drag and Drop Documents with the cool modern libraries

3. Drag and Drop Metadata and groupings

4. Pinning and the new Property and search tabs

Note: Personally I’m recommending if you are planning on sticking with a simple out of the box experience for your sites that are ok with basic look and feel, you should switch to Modern.  As well, Ideally if you are going to change.  You should change for everything except for maybe your Intranet or Publishing type sites.

During an upgrade or migration where you’re moving out of custom look and feel into something built on Modern UI, you shouldn’t be worried, but if the site already looks really custom and is already in O365 you should be more cautious.

 

Modernify SharePoint

 

 

Enable Modern Lists for all Lists and Libraries in the UI.

 

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Using Powershell Enable Modern Lists

If you want to enable it on specific Sites, you can use powershell.  Build your own powershell based on the instructions include a sample of doing it for one, but you can loop through or pull from a list.   “Switch the default experience for lists or document libraries from new or classic”

 

Troubleshooting

If you are having problems with the list experience not showing the way it should, you can clear your cookies which may be forcing the classic experience otherwise indicates to use the new experience UI. The article states to clear all cookies, but I found I only needed to clear the cookies related to my SharePoint site. I was not able to figure out which cookie specifically needs to be cleared.  The name of the cookie is “spInu” with a value of 0. Deleting that one will restore the modern UI without having to clear all cookies.  As an example if it works in one browser and not the other… this could be why.

 

More info on why.

 

Now let’s make the pages Modern

First your lists should be made modern using either the powershell or admin UI to switch the list experience.

The Site Pages Library must be in the “New Experience” then create a “new page,” make it the way you want it like a Communication Site or Team site with the Hero Webpart or Activity Web part then select the page and from the top menu options click on the 3 dots and select “Make homepage”.

5 Powerful Steps to Maximize Office 365 & SharePoint UX

5 Simple Steps to Maximize Office 365 and SharePoint Usability

 

I am humbled to have been selected as a Microsoft Regional Director, which made me realize it’s been a little while since I’ve posted.  I intend to correct that.  I’m excited to announce a new blog series on how to drive maximum usability in Office 365 in SharePoint Online, Office 365 Groups and beyond.  In my experience at Blizzard I’ve found simply migrating our data to SharePoint Online won’t accomplish the most important updates in the past year.

 

5 Steps to Maximize Office 365 & SharePoint Usability

Classify – Both Sites and Groups support classification in Office 365.  Being able to take action such as not listing a group or site in a directory, or using a flow to approve a site based on the need to support external guests can allow one to have a much better handle on HR data vs Finance or Legal data as an example.  It can also lend itself to support putting sites in Hubs based on department, division or location.

Hubify – Hubs are a new type of site, but really they simply roll up the documents and provide search scopes.  It’s running a Windows Powershell that makes a site into a hub site.  In this post we’ll dig into the how and why with samples.

Groupify – Groups is all the buzz.  Groups gives you all storts of stuff you never asked for, but the approach does have some merits especially in relation to adoption.  Much of the new tools will never be used until people experience them.  Teams and Groups expose these new tools.  The Group OneDrive and Group Inbox and Group Calendar are fantastic as is Planner for a team.

Modernify – The Modern UI is out, but there’s no one big switch to take your classic site all the way to a Modern SharePoint Site, but you can do it in 3 pretty basic steps.

CulturifyHow are you going to handle branding and incorporating company culture? We’ll look at the best approaches available today the answer is slightly different in Modern and Classic sites.

How do I get a list of all the files I’ve shared in OneDrive for Business?

In traditional OneDrive user interface this was a simple click to see the shared files and even today in OneDrive personal it’s easy to click between those that have been shared with me and those that I have shared.  In basic governance and compliance, being able to manage file sharing and controlling the sharing is of paramount importance.  If you have all your files in a single view you can see visually what has been shared and look at each file to see that beyond the fact it’s been shared you can see who it’s been shared with.

If you an admin in Office 365 you can go into the Usage Reports to see the activity and usage reports.  View Activity by Files or by Users.  Like what you see?  You can export either report into Excel and interrogate it even further.

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In this report you can see what’s been shared, viewed, synced, internal and external sharing counts and by file or by user.  It’s quite useful and I think many have no idea it exists.  You can read more about the reporting portal in this blog post from the Office team.  The SharePoint, Exchange and OneDrive Activity report can be really quite powerful in understanding activity, usage and adoption including things like… what are people sharing externally? 

In addition the Unified Audit Log has a lot of options that you can look at including uploaded, accessed, viewed files or deleted files:

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What about for users who aren’t admins?

Good news.  The feature has been announced and was detailed at the recent SharePoint Saturday San Diego event.  A few cool features were announced in San Diego including a new point in time file recovery and rollback for OneDrive to recover from malware and corruption of your files.

Roadmap?  Yep.  The Shared by Me view in OneDrive is coming in Q1 according to the roadmap.office.com.  Simply search by OneDrive and scroll down to In Development to find the feature.

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There is more coming to OneDrive including a new personalized list of the files I’ve shared internally and externally as well as time limited compliance options for external sharing and brand new recovery options.

I highly recommend this very recent keynote address by Stephen Rose Senior Product Manager from OneDrive.  He went into detail about the new sharing features as well as the recovery piece.  Cool stuff.

Stephen Rose SharePoint Saturday San Diego Keynote on What’s coming in OneDrive for Business – YouTube

Introducing Mixed Reality & SharePoint Saturday VR #SPSVR See you in AltSpaceVR!

I have to thank my good friend Noah Sparks for tutoring me in VR.  He’s one of the most passionate and has spent a lot of time educating  taking the time to catch me up.  My first intro to mixed reality was with the Hololens at Ignite a few years ago at the LiveTyles booth, where you could see a virtual SharePoint portal as well as interact with any number of 3D objects in their booth.  They allowed me to wander around and experience AR based training from minecraft castle sitting on a Augmented reality table to a 3D video of a guy showing me how to lift weights properly.

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Microsoft’s full continuum look at Mixed Reality (Image courtesy Microsoft)

Later about a year ago, I was at SharePoint Saturday Utah and participated in a session with Noah Sparks and Jared Buttars about SharePoint and Mixed Reality.  I was running a live periscope broadcast at the session and there was a lot of excitement and engagement both in the room and from on twitter and periscope.  After the session Noah delivered some 1:1 VR experiences with his VIVE.  Everyone who got a chance to use it was impressed and freaked out with how amazing it was.  Noah invited me over to spend a night experiencing the VR at a more detailed level.  It was that night I first tried Facebook Spaces

In anticipation of my new job at Blizzard and my new found passion for VR, I researched the mixed reality headsets.   I visited two different Microsoft Stores and got demos of the HP headset and at Best Buy got to experience the PS4VR, but ultimately decided to go with the Oculus by Facebook along with a Samsung 360 for 360 3D pictures and video and broadcast recording.

I’m not the only one who has been fascinated and sees a future for AR/VR mixed reality and communication and collaboration.  In fact, at the last Collab 365 they setup a room in AltSpacesVR and a few people had a session in VR.  Pretty cool.  Mark Stokes has done a great job of kicking things off in AltSpaceVR and great news… Microsoft aquired them.  This is another great reason to meet up in Microsoft’s AltSpaceVR.

 

SPSVR-planning

I think we’re ready for a special event just for the Office 365 SharePoint people to discuss VR in a virtual reality environment.

 

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Clip of What Productivity Looks like in Mixed Reality (Clipped at 13:09)

 

Interested in being on the committee, speaking, or participating?  Please join me.

Register your interest on EventBrite to be informed about the upcoming #SPSVR…  and Join me in the upcoming planning session for #SPSVR on January 4 Event on AltSpaceVR

At this meeting we will determine format, dates, times, length and room.

 

Image may contain: screen

SharePoint people gather in AltSpaceVR during session at Collab365.  Notice the showing off of Communities in SharePoint Online in VR.

 

Are you ready?  Not convinced this is Microsoft’s Next Big Bet, you haven’t been watching.  Look at the Fall Creators update of Windows 10 and Interface is so important. Go to Microsoft Store and look at the investment… check out the demo.  See you in Virtual Reality… in this case… Microsoft AltSpaceVR.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTT_3DhTMI8

8 Predictions for SharePoint & Office 365 in 2018

I’ve done predictions every year for the past few and plan to share some of these at upcoming Predictions Tweetjam #CollabTalk on Thursday, December 28th from 8am to 9am Pacific.  You don’t have to register. Just show up.  I’ll be posting as @joeloleson.  It’s a good opportunity to collaborate.  Scroll down to the bottom to see some old predictions.  Use the comments to let me know how you think I did, or how you think I’m right or wrong.  I promise to respond to any comments on this post.

8 Predictions for SharePoint & Office 365 in 2018

  1. People will look to Skip SharePoint 2016 and go to 2019.  It will be much better received than 2016 was, but it will still be somewhat lackluster (never will it be like it was back in the good old days of dedicated SPCs for SharePoint launches). In the first year of SharePoint 2019 release it will surpass 2016 as an install base.  (2016 still hasn’t surpassed 2013.)
  2. Hub sites will become the preferred way of doing Information Architecture in SharePoint and deep portal structures will be flattened as a best practice.  Note there will be many who cry foul and it will cause heated debates.
  3. OneDrive on Demand will become a great drive to Windows 10.  Sync for SharePoint will be carried along as a benefit and client sync for SharePoint will have its greatest adoption since groove.
  4. Modern Team Sites, Modern Lists, and Themes will soon become consistent with the expectation for status quo for SharePoint and a big line will be drawn for OLD SharePoint vs. New SharePoint based on what comes in 2019 and what’s in O365 now.
  5. WSPs are Dead – The community will abhor them and it will be an insult to think of installing them.  As a result even third party solutions will need to rethink how they not only support apps for online but also on prem.
  6. Groups will cause further confusion in 2018, but Teams will become the darling of Microsoft sales for collab as it activates multiple workloads.
  7. Microsoft AI (Simple automation, auto classification and extraction) will start to make its way into SharePoint Online amongst other workloads.
  8. Simple Communication Site based Intranets (and Intranet in a box solutions) + Hub sites will gain favor for Office 365 adopters.  Deep complicated Intranets will fall out of favor in a huge significant industry wide way.Let me share some of my old predictions… from a post in SharePoint Predictions from December of 2015
  • Microsoft will not consider an Office 365 tenant not fully utilized until SharePoint is in real use – Microsoft has been requiring many workloads. Exchange, OneDrive are not enough.
  • Mobile will become more important in SharePoint world – The SharePoint Mobile app is really a nice app, and the SP Team has committed to making it all responsive and mobile. We are already seeing it in SharePoint Online.
  • SharePoint 2016 will launch to simple fanfare – Yeah. It has been the slowest adopted version of SharePoint.
  • SharePoint gets cool again – Jeff Teper has done a great job of taking back the mantle and making it cool these past two years.  The product team has attracted the necessary talent and made it cool.

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2016 Infographic

“The most reliable, scalable, secure and high-performing SharePoint Server release ever”

The Future of SharePoint got everyone’s heads spinning, but I’ve seen tons of new energy in the community. Companies everywhere are looking for ways to help justify upgrade or migration to the new platform that is poised to be the platform that nails it. (At least it may be time to give it another shot, right?) Microsoft calls SharePoint 2016 release “the most reliable, scalable, secure and high-performing SharePoint Server release ever”

Is that enough?  There’s more. I think many businesses want the details in an easy to consume easy to share format that makes it easy for management to make a clear decision on a winning platform designed for the future. Following the Future of SharePoint event, I gathered my list of reasons to upgrade and updated it with a few of the new additional reasons to upgrade and I think we have something that is worth sharing.

You have unlimited permission to share this with infographic with your management, share it on your blog, share it in your social media circles. We want to get the community up on SharePoint 2016 and I think this list of reasons will help!

You can download the Infographic as a sharable PDF document or as a PNG image.

Download, Share and View

5 Ways of Branding Office 365 without Modifying the Master Page

We’ve been schooled on customizing our Office 365 sites too much and I’ve seen it clarified a couple of times recently that you should avoid modifying your Master Page. So what can you do? Here are 5 ways you can build brand and look and feel without modifying the master page.

We’re going to start with position that you shouldn’t modify the master page. I know the recommendation that frustrates many, but over the last 3 years I’ve learned to appreciate this guidance in Office 365. For SharePoint on premises, I take this a very different way for Intranets, Portals, and CMS. There are a lot of resources for developers and designers at the Office 365 Patterns and Practices site on Github.com

“Use SharePoint as an out-of-box application whenever possible – We designed the new SharePoint UI to be clean, simple and fast and work great out-of-box. We encourage you not to modify it which could add complexity, performance and upgradeability and to focus your energy on working with users and groups to understand how to use SharePoint to improve productivity and collaboration and identifying and promoting best practices in your organization.”
Read more at https://blogs.office.com/2012/07/17/the-new-sharepoint/#cBPzRx44R8OIWQCi.99

Starting from 1 easiest to 5 hardest (requires dev skills)

1) Office 365 (Personal and Tenant Wide) Themes – You should start here.

Office 365 themes

Believe me when I say that the themes are a good attempt, but don’t go far enough? You can see here we are on the new Office 365 compliance center part of https://protection.office.com. Despite the fact I’ve chosen nice robot theme, the blue left nav is persistent despite the choice, and the green banner doesn’t seem to want to fit either theme. This page should be excused since it’s admin UI, but I have seen big UI/UX inconsistencies simply navigating from mail (responsive collapsible frame like mobile messaging) to SharePoint (pinch and zoom or limited mobile UI) to Delve (responsive and card based). There are a few battles for consistency. The announcement of the updated document libraries brings consistency across documents from OneDrive for Business to SharePoint 2016 to Office 365 document libraries. This is a good start.

That being said I do recommend investing in corporate Office 365 themes. This will nearly guarantee a branded experience. For some reason I still inconsistently see my custom theme being applied, but am anxious for Microsoft to address bugs preventing my corporate experience from flowing across my apps and add-ins.

Customize the Office 365 theme for your organization

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Customize-the-Office-365-theme-for-your-organization-8275da91-7a48-4591-94ab-3123a3f79530?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

After you’ve created your theme

  • Custom logo optionally clickable: Select the image and upload your own JPG, PNG, or GIF with a resolution of 200 x 50 pixels, no larger than 10 KB. This appears in the top navigation bar on every page.
  • Top Nav Background image: Your own JPG, PNG, or GIF, no larger than 15 KB. The background image appears in the top navigation bar on every page.
  • Prevent users from overriding theme: Option to enforce theming at the user level so that everyone in the organization sees the theme you create. The exception to this is a high contrast theme used for accessibility purposes.
  • Accent color: Select a color to use for the app launcher icon, mouse over color, and other accents.
  • Nav bar background color: Select a color to use for the background of the navigation bar. Appears at the top on every page.
  • Text and icons: Color to use for the text and icons in the top navigation bar.
  • App menu icon: Color to use for the app launcher icon

You’ll see your new theme on the Office 365 admin center right away and after a short delay, you’ll see it throughout Office 365 including Outlook and SharePoint pages. You can remove your custom icon or custom colors at any time. Just return to the theme page and choose Remove custom theming or Remove custom colors.

IMPORTANT: In addition to customizing your theme, you can add custom tiles to the My Apps page and then add them to the app launcher or add them to the navigation bar.

Office 365 Branding goes beyond SharePoint

When considering any a custom UI for SharePoint, always consider other services such as One Drive, User Profiles, and Delve. Any CSS, JS, or master-page customization applied to SharePoint as these will not automatically propagate across these other workloads. The only shared tool at this point is the top suite bar. Fortunately, this for the most part is customized by using Office 365 themes. Themes are limited, but this is where you should start. Outlook does have some personal theming, but shouldn’t need much branding anyway. For email you could use Outlook.com add-ins, and recommend company signatures for consistency.

2) Office 365 site options: SharePoint Site Look and Feel branding “Change the Look”

Another good place to start with changing the look of your site while clearly staying way within boundaries is with the Look and Feel section of site settings.

Add a site title, pick a logo, add simple base colors. I would avoid doing too much here or your site will look like it came from FrontPage 98. The out of the box theming engine of composed looks are actually quite ugly in my opinion, but the ability to customize these is in the SharePoint UI and very easy to do. Site themes and composed looks are well covered on the web. The “Change the look option” site theme has skins and additional colors. Changing the navigation is simple and this also is benign and expected. If you want to explore more of what’s available right in the SharePoint UI visit Ben’s Sharegate blog on using the Color palate tool.


3) Provisioning template in PnP Partner Pack for responsive UI for Office 365 SharePoint Online

Alternative CSS is much more lightweight, but still will require testing and maintenance. Join the Office Dev PnP community where you can share code and best practices. First, use alternative CSS instead of adding references to files on your master pages. You can test in our browser by changing the browser size, but ultimately need to test. A good practice is having a couple of tenants… one in early adopter with a handful of test users and the other in the normal adoption rate.

4) Office UI Fabric

Office UI Fabric is a responsive, mobile-first, front-end framework for developers, designed to make it simple to quickly create web experiences using the Office Design Language. The framework is used internally on products within Office 365—such as our suite branding, OneDrive.com, Outlook.com, Delve and the Video Portal. With Office UI Fabric you can apply simple CSS styles to make your web applications look and feel like the rest of Office. The styling takes into account typography, color, icons, animations, responsive grid layouts and localization.

Read more at https://blogs.office.com/2015/08/31/introducing-office-ui-fabric-your-key-to-designing-add-ins-for-office/#C2pQd8rUc2KRhPSp.99

GitHub Office UI Fabric

5) Use JavaScript Injection to embed custom scripts and/or third-party libraries into your sites

“You can use the Office 365 JavaScript UI controls to add an Office 365-style navigation bar to your app and also let users access data about people in Azure Active Directory (AAD). These JavaScript UI controls do not require server-side code, and can be integrated into a single-page application (SPA) with just a few lines of code.”

The Office 365 JavaScript UI controls are supported by the following web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 10+
  • Chrome 43+
  • Firefox 39+

    Consider r
    emote provisioning pattern for ‘deploying’ components to your SharePoint sites (fields, content types, lists, pages or files)

Any Exceptions?

Did I mention changing the master page? In on premises SharePoint that’s been the practice, for Office 365 as a best practice and for long term supportability… No you should avoid it. It will break inheritance and force you to maintain it through updates. Still feel like you need to do it? There are exceptions, but with Javascript injection there are more flexible ways of changing what you need to.

Should you never ever customize the master page? I do think there are exceptions. Those that are building a CMS, publishing based Intranet are a good example of that. You can control the total look and feel of a site with the master page and publishing features.

Is that enough? Just because Microsoft says don’t customize or don’t really change the master page, won’t stop you from doing it if you want to. So, if you are making master page changes, it’s up to you to stay up to date with the ongoing product updates applied to SharePoint Online. Luckily, you can preview new changes within your tenant by going to the SharePoint Online admin center and enabling preview features. In addition you can create a dev tenant and put it on the early adopter to opt into quicker updates. This is great for a dev or test environment to first experience what may happen first so you can plan to deal with it. You can have as many site collections on either tenant to support QA and UAT. The preview features is also nice so you can slowly ease into the changes and be notified in the UI of changes and flip back if needed.

What about my sites or delve profiles? There are some options. Sonja covers the history and options of Office 365 branding of my sites.

Personally I expect the Delve background photo to be customizable in the near future. I hope to see more company branding options out of the box here as well.

Have other resources and Ideas?  Share them in the comments!

UPDATE: The new Modern Team sites and Communication sites in Office 365 are now responsive by default and the new Hub Sites have been announced to include Themes and look and feel that are inherited across the child based sites associated. This means design will be more fluid and easy to do in the future.  In addition SharePoint 2019 appears set to include much of this modern design work in Office 365.  More info to come!!

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