Category Archives: Information Architecture

Design and organize web sites for optimal usability and findability.

To Breadcrumb or not to Breadcrumb?

User Interface Engineering has posted an article about breadcrumbs, and why they feel that breadcrumbs are a design cop-out.  It is a good read, especially for people using SharePoint for external facing sites.

» Design Cop-out #2: Breadcrumbs

Personally, I only utilize page breadcrumbs when working with administering lists and settings.  The breadcrumb provides a quick way back to list screens and other setting screens where otherwise no navigation is provided.  For that purpose I think they can be useful.  The article brings up some valid points on whether or not to use breadcrumbs at all.

SharePoint Tip: How to tell if your WSS site is on a WSS only install of SharePoint

I often come across confusion around branding options and navigation customizations for WSS v3 sites. One of the first questions I ask is if the WSS v3 site is on a server with only WSS v3 installed, or is it on a server where MOSS 2007 has also been installed. This often adds to the confusion. Continue reading

SharePoint 2007 2-way sync with Oulook Calendars

I just discovered that SharePoint v3 / 2007 has a two way sync with calendars in Outlook, whereas before it only had a one way sync in the v2 / 2003 version.

So you create a Calendar in a SharePoint site, then go under Actions, select Connect to Outlook. Outlook will then ask you if it is OK to link to the site, etc. Once you have added the site to your Outlook, you can drag/drop events from your main calendar, or create new events directly in the SharePoint calendar. Continue reading

Real world usability testing examples

Web Marketing Resources has posted a brief 3.5 minute video that highlights the benefits of doing usability testing on your sites and applications and includes several real world examples of usability testing of sites.   Yes, it is a plug for their services, but it does give you some food for thought and a glimpse into something you can do for your site to improve it, user test it! Continue reading

What are Role Based Templates?

I have a side project and every time someone reads the certain bit of it where it mentions role-based templates, I get blank stares.  Every time I mention them in passing to other SharePoint people, I get “a what?”.  Which to me I find ironic because few a few months ago the blogging world went gaga over 40+ role based templates released by Microsoft.   So here is my definition for a role based template to help associate the name with something we are all familiar with. Continue reading

Quality is Usability

Oh, I just love this post.  Jensen has posted about some usability testing they did with Office 12, but you can easily strip out the Office 12 bits and apply this case study to any situation.  Usability testing is highly, highly useful and can really provide some great data on how well your development is going.  My favorite line is “When the quality sucks, the usability sucks”.  Amen brother!

Quality Is Usability

SharePoint Customization Article – Interface Customizations Into and Options

A lot of people face the issue of how to change the SharePoint interface and are met with a lot of info and options which results in confusion.  I have put together a brief overview of main options and talked about the issue of why straight-forward advice for this topic is hard to come by.

An Into and Overview of Options for SharePoint User Interface Customization

Bil Starts off the New Year with a Bang (and a list)

Talk about salivating at the mouth….   many of us are now eagerly awaiting the latest to come from Mr. Simser… an improved SharePoint discussion board (or what the rest of the world calls them, forums.)  Check out the feature list on Bil’s site and drop him a comment for such a great (soon to be) addition to the SharePoint pool of resources.

Bil Simser: Tired of SharePoint Discussions?