I am asked regularly about branding a SharePoint site and the Balance between what to do and what to leave as is. My Response is always the same which causes confusion but provides a nice lead into the real value of a potential £-$-Eur 15K investment. I tell my customers to define the 'Spirit' of the site....
Then they ask "what's that"? and I tell them in simple terms.... its how you want people to feel when they start to use SharePoint.
Assisting with page design
SharePoint OOTB (Out Of The Box) is probably the best known interface or 'Look & Feel' in the world of Content management systems. Over the last 6-9 months I am being asked to assist my clients with page design and creating the SharePoint Culture within their Business. Defining what is required for each customer is impossible because everyone customer works with and manages their staff differently. So I ask them to try and define the Spirit of the SharePoint site just as they consider the spirit of their staff and business.
Business Owners and Directors understand how they want their staff to feel when they arrive at work and in all honesty the list of responses is varied...
Microsoft have some excellent branding guidelines. Find out more about Microsoft's SharePoint Design Guidelines by clicking this link> as well as further information on SharePoint Tutorials and SharePoint Templates.
* I want every one to feel like a member of the team
* To ensure that everyone understand the importance of the tasks they complete
* To turn up and deliver the best they can
* Add value to the product we deliver to our customers
* Family... we do Family here.
CSS, Fonts, colours and shapes
Each of these descriptions provides a 'Feeling' about how the site should be perceived by the users and a good visual artist can turn that feeling into design. Design now this is another full discussion point but lets just say it might be a whole new Master Page and CSS for the site defining Font, colour and shapes or a few correctly places images that have been selected to support the Spirit and feel.
The point is that if a business is investing in a platform that every employee could be accessing it should deliver the Spirit that the Board and Owners feel is the business. Sometimes this is all about practical functionality and a simple image on each page is all that is required, in others it is a transformation to define corporate identity and focus staff on the bigger picture.
Whatever the solution the objective is to ensure that the user feel the company spirit through the SharePoint environment and as long as you understand that then you stand a chance of pleasing the Owner/Directors and with well defined functional management across the platform you get the Win-Win and user take-up.
If you would like help with specifying your SharePoint Intranet, or would just like to talk to a SharePoint expert then please contact me, I'll be glad to help:
[button link="/contact/" color="green"]Call Steve on: +32 497 33 20 23 or CLICK HERE>[/button]
If you have any questions, or would like to share some feedback then please use the comments below.
Many thanks – Steve