What’s new for UI in the SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview

What's new for UI in the SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview
If you haven’t heard the news, this week Microsoft released the SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview bits for you to download and try out in your on premises farm. Readers of my blog are probably most interested to know how this update affects the UI and customization story for SharePoint. The good news is that at this point, SharePoint Server 2016 looks remarkably similar to an Office 365 SharePoint Online site. The biggest difference you will immediately notice is the Suite Bar or Ribbon at the top of SharePoint has evolved to a more modern look with the App Launcher, affectionately known as the “Waffle Menu” (I’m still waiting for my royalty checks for bringing waffles to SharePoint, but that’s another story). In fact, if you are used to customizing Office 365 master pages and CSS, you will notice that Seattle.master and CoreV15.css are identical between the SharePoint 2016 IT Preview and SharePoint Online. Of ...

Results: SharePoint Branding / Customization Survey

Results: SharePoint Branding / Customization Survey
A number of months ago I posted about a survey where I asked the community to rank common branding & UI customizations by how important they are to you and your customers. My free SurveyMonkey usage only allows me to see the first 100 of the 150 submissions but I have included a chart of the results below. Clearly jQuery is a biggie, but also not surprisingly a solution for changing color and layouts beyond themes / composed looks is a solid second place. It’s interesting to see a good cross section of the community and what ideas have floated to the top. Check out the results:  (Updated to include readable list since the chart cuts the text off) Add jQuery or Other Script Libraries Color & Layout Changes Beyond Themes / Composed Looks Add / Remove Links in the Suite Bar Custom Header Section Carousel / Rotator Hide Areas of the Default UI Jscript Manipulation ...

Our New Rebranded SharePoint Website: sharepoint.rackspace.com

Our New Rebranded SharePoint Website: sharepoint.rackspace.com
Over the past few months I’ve been working with a few of my coworkers to re-launch our public facing website for SharePoint at Rackspace. I’m happy to say it went live a couple weeks ago to coincide with the SPTechCon conference in Austin, TX! We spent a good bit of time giving the website a modern responsive face lift while also simplifying the structure of the site. Of course, being SharePoint nerds, we wanted to show off what you can do with just a good old SharePoint 2013 publishing site. Behind the scenes we didn’t use any custom code or anything like that, just typical SharePoint branding concepts like Master Pages, Page Layouts, CSS, jQuery, and some Content Search Web Parts / Display Templates. Please check it out when you get a chance at sharepoint.rackspace.com

Take the SharePoint Branding / UI Customization Survey 2

A couple weeks ago myself and some of the other SharePoint MVP’s that are focused on UI and branding were discussing what are the most common customizations that our customers frequently request. I thought it might be interesting to poll the larger community, so I made a simple 2 question SurveyMonkey poll that lets you rank common branding & UI customizations by how important they are to you and your customers. If you get a spare minute, we’d love for you to fill out the survey. Once there is enough data, I will post a summary of the results here on this blog. SharePoint Branding & UI Customizations Survey

The First Ever SharePoint MVP Reddit AMA – October 29th, 2014 1pm Eastern

We have done a few MVP chat’s before on other mediums including Twitter and Yammer, but we thought it would be fun to take our MVP chat concept over to Reddit (the self professed homepage of the internet) in the SharePoint subreddit /r/sharepoint. We’ve never tried this before on Reddit so we are hoping you all have lots of questions for us on Wednesday, Oct. 29th at 1pm Eastern. We should have about 14 SharePoint MVP’s participating in the AMA including: Randy Drisgill (me!) Wictor Wilen Andrew Connell Sahil Malik Cathy Dew Doug Ware Doug Hemminger John Ross Spencer Harbar Sean McNeill Gavin Barron Shane Young Eric Schupps Kris Wagner Microsoft MVP Lead Melissa Travers will be on hand to answer any questions pertaining to the MVP Award Program. Please feel free to tell the world (#spmvpchat) on Twitter, Facebook (even Ello?) to come to reddit.com/r/sharepoint for the AMA! Also, here is my attempt at a shared ...

Branding SharePoint 2013 with CSOM Code

Branding SharePoint 2013 with CSOM Code
Ever since SharePoint 2013 hit the market there has been all sorts of speculation whether sandbox solutions were deprecated (hint: as of this post, declarative ones are not officially deprecated) and the argument was always that you could use the Client Side Object Model (CSOM) to apply your branding. Well, not many folks back in 2013 had solid examples of how this would work. Microsoft must have noticed the need for some official examples because the Patterns & Practices (PnP) team released a ton of open source examples for using CSOM to do all sorts of fun things in SharePoint including uploading and applying branding to multiple sites. In this post I’ll walk you through the steps of giving this code a try. Before I get into the demo, do I think you should just stop making sandbox solutions for branding outright? I’m not ready to say that yet. There are certainly some pros and cons ...

Check out my SharePoint 2013 public site branding session from SPC14 3

Check out my SharePoint 2013 public site branding session from SPC14
In March of this year I had the great fortune to be selected to present at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Vegas (SPC14). It was a blast, even though we didn’t leave the Venetian hotels for the entirety of the trip. If you didn’t get to make it out to the conference you can still see my session. Microsoft records all our sessions and posts them on Channel 9. Here are the links to the video of our session as well as a link to all our previous Microsoft sessions: Branding Internet facing web sites with SharePoint in the cloud All my previous Microsoft conference sessions The session focused on how you can easily create public facing websites with SharePoint both on premises and in the cloud. We have a couple demos, including SharePoint 2013 Composed Looks and the Design Manager. Our big demo shows off the following responsive web design (RWD) which would work in Office ...

Creating Mobile User Interfaces for SharePoint 2013 3

The following is a re-post of an article I wrote for the Amazon.com tech.book(store): Because of SharePoint’s prominent role for both corporate intranets and public facing internet sites, there is often a strong push to have SharePoint serve information in a mobile friendly layout. There are several ways to approach this topic in SharePoint 2013. First, because SharePoint 2013 supports modern browsers, you could look at the modern techniques of responsive web design (RWD). Another option, is to use some of the new features that Microsoft has provided with SharePoint Server 2013, specifically device channels. In this post, we will look at some of the pros and cons to these options. Responsive Web Design RWD is the idea that one design can be applied to a web site and this design will respond to the device that is loading the page and adjust the layout to match various features of the browser like height, width, resolution, and ...

SPTechWeb Article: Shaping up images in SharePoint 2013

My latest article about image renditions in SharePoint 2013 is up at SPTechWeb. I cover the basics of turning on blob caching, adding a new image rendition size, cropping an image rendition, and changing the size of an image when it’s been added to a page. Shaping up images in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 Basic Search Center Branding Problem 3

SharePoint 2013 Basic Search Center Branding Problem
So, I had thought we were in the clear from the old 2010 Search Center branding disaster. For the most part custom branding applies pretty easily to search sites in SharePoint 2013 thanks to the fact that it just uses the default Seattle.master for search branding. However there is a gotcha, specifically related to the Basic Search Center template. I think the problem is only this one template, but maybe there are other areas affected. I tested the Enterprise Search Center and the default search and neither had issues. Basically what happens is when you are creating your custom branding, chances are you will be applying a customized master page (one that is edited with a mapped drive or SharePoint Designer), and the Basic Search Center uses a snippet of code block to try to hide the ribbon when the Web Part management panel is up (I have no idea why this was so important ...