Build experiences in SharePoint Online #1

SharePoint Audience

Hello Everyone,

It is a pleasure for me to write this article around taking advantage of SharePoint Online out-of-the-box functionalities to Build experiences adapted to your audiences.

In this series of articles, we will go through choices you can make to tailor the experience of your audiences in the following way:

Sites (You are here)
HomeSite (To be posted)
Pages (To be posted)
Audiences (To be posted)
Additional services(To be posted)
Teams options (To be posted)

SharePoint Online Sites choices

The first dimension to take in consideration is the SharePoint Online site itself.
You have the choice between two modern families of sites : -Team Site -Communication Site In reality, there is two types of Team Sites : With or without an Office365 Group to enhance possibilities.
But let’s keep it simple.

Team Site

The main specific aspect of this kind of site is the left navigation. It is designed for Team activities. Bear in mind that the navigation root elements must be clicked to reveal children. In addition, you cannot create Label navigation nodes. I would argue not to select this kind of template if you plan to use more than one navigation level.

SharePoint Teamsite navigation
I would argue not to select this kind of template if you plan to use more than one navigation level

Communication Site

This kind of site is mainly designed for portals, informational sites, any site with low collaboration requirements. An interesting point for us is the navigation feature, taking advantage of a Mega menu or Cascading layout. The good story about Communication site is that you just need to mouseover a navigation link to reveal it’s children. The navigation menu is displayed in the top placeholder of the site :

SharePoint Communication site navigation
This is a simple Mega menu example; you can use up to 3 navigation levels

Site Usage

A very interesting feature when it comes to gather data, and start analyzing the impact of your actions is Site Usage. You can access it by selection the site options wheel on the top right corner, then Site Usage.
From this metrics oriented page, you will be able to retrieve statistics about numbers, time and resources access on your SharePoint online site for the last 7, 14, 90 days :

usage analytics for sharepoint
It gives you an overview of the traffic on your site, highlighting external users. Natively
Usage insights for sharepoint
You can get a little bit more information about site consumption by scrolling down, love the time analysis

Organization wide News

This one is quite specific, I think in organization where the SharePoint mobile app is a common usage, it can make the difference. Basically, you can set up a SharePoint site as a reference in terms of news content. You will run a PowerShell Cmdlet to enable this for the site, you can find a dedicated article on that in the blog. Here is the result for the news display in the SharePoint mobile App or by clicking on SharePoint from the Microsoft 365 Portal :

Organization wide news site display
Once again, using the SharePoint mobile app will drive the impact on this differentiation

A last tip for access rights

Designing access rights is very specific, just to let you know, it could be interesting to use audiences ready group types such as domain groups or Office 365 unified groups. You will then be able to leverage those features to customize the experiences for different categories of people in your organization.
To finish the first article of this series, there is a system group that you can use to give access right to all company : “Everyone except external users”.

This is it for sites options, I hope you found interesting information and will see you in the next one. See you soon in the blog section !

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