Office 365 is changing the game as it relates to intranets. SharePoint’s introduction of a “Modern” UI is making it easy for almost anyone to design a good-looking intranet site within minutes.
While the Kiefer team has been helping organizations build intranets in SharePoint for many years, we have been impressed with how much users can now do on their own, without the help of our expert team of consultants.
The Importance UI/UX
Before Microsoft introduced the Modern UI, organizations needed our team to help in building wireframes/mockups, designing the site’s information architecture, building the page templates, developing custom web parts, and helping the organization deploy the site.
Office 365’s Modern UI allows users to build a site by simply dragging-and-dropping and pointing-and-clicking. This allows organizations to do much more than they could in the past. Unfortunately, many of these sites are built on a weak foundation. The sites have been built without establishing information architecture, clearly understanding what will go where and how the site is intended it to work. This lack in planning often results in a good-looking site that users never use.
Should I Spend Time Doing Wireframes?
The process of wireframing will provide you with a blueprint for your site. This is an important step in making sure that the user-experience is in line with the what the users expect.
Even though sites are now very easy to build, we believe that organizations should take time to interview users, create basic wireframes, and work with organizations like ours to seek out best practices that could help in user- adoption. By working with users to incorporate the right content, and by showing users what the intranet site will look like, the more likely users will support the intranet when it is launched.
Organizations that have a larger vision for their intranet and see Office 365 as a viable tool to solve for business challenges must even make a more significant investment in wireframes. Business owners, developers and UX experts must work together to build solutions that the users find useful and compelling. Wireframes are important in providing users with the context needed to understand the user experience and how the solution will address the business challenge.
If your organization is looking at building a simple “Modern” intranet in Office 365 using SharePoint Online, we think that you should try to do as much as you can on your own. Leverage the broad capabilities of SharePoint Out-of-the-Box (OotB) and work with a partner like Kiefer if you require more advanced capabilities.