My beef with SharePoint/MCMS layout and control regurgitated through AC + my extra thoughts

It is nice to have someone listen to your design heartache and understand.  It is nice to not have them roll their eyes when you hang your head when you see one of your SharePoint pages look like absolute crap because some user found the formatting buttons.  It would be nice to rant about this on your site, but second best is having your bud do it instead.  AC beat me to my next soapbox topic of the need for the middle-of-the-road control with design in SharePoint.

Basically, SharePoint is like a water hose turned on with a spray gun whipping wildly around while you try to catch it.  And MCMS is as rigid as the British (jk I love Brits).  Seriously, SharePoint overly provides customization abilities for the end user who has no business doing any design.  And MCMS is so structured that it is very difficult to go off the beaten path.  The content fits the mold, or it doesn’t.  AC and I often argue about whether our Intranet should have been deployed using MCMS (we used SharePoint). I say as much as I love my structured MCMS templates, SharePoint provides the user what the need, the ability to stick whatever list, library or text wherever they deem it necessary on the page. It would be very difficult to duplicate that functionality with MCMS.  Down side is that they then in turn paste like crazy from Word, break my site, slap in 5 font faces at 6 sizes and make everything fuchsia.

I want the middle of the road.  I want to give them the ability to shift web parts around on the page, and to maintain their own text, but damnit you need to use my styles and any Word junk is stripped out automatically from whatever awful thing you paste in.  This isn’t about power and control, this is about consistency.  It’s about not having that window available for a user to be able to toast a site because they didn’t follow Heather’s rules sent out in an email 6 months ago.  It’s about having a site that is both usable and looks nice…. on every page.

I am excited about the prospects of SharePoint and MCMS joining forces, but I fear this issue won’t be addressed. I daresay it is too practical of a request. It doesn’t have enough whiz bang and maybe takes away a selling feature for the scores of managers that ohhh and ahhhh over the formatting bar.   But it would make this anal designer very happy. 🙂

» AC’s post for everything else I think about and complain about on this topic

Update:  AC posted more great points about controling the UI