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The first time you open a SharePoint 2010 site, you're going to see a major change in the user interface. This has been completely rewritten since SharePoint 2007. It's cleaner, it's faster, and the overall shift has been to get more done with fewer clicks and fewer trips to other pages. Because this has been written with more up-to-date and standardized technologies, finally, SharePoint works with other web browsers. not just Internet Explorer, but Microsoft also supports using Firefox and Safari. But although the user interface has changed a lot, what you do in SharePoint has not changed very much.
You're still going to work with lists and libraries, team sites, and document workspaces. For much of what you do, it will feel like SharePoint 2007 with a better user interface. Now, while the biggest change to the user interface is in this top area, a place called the Ribbon, which brings the SharePoint user experience much more in line with other Office applications, there are another couple of pieces you should know about when coming from an earlier version. We still have the navigation along the left, the Quick Launch Bar, which typically tells us what's on this SharePoint site, and the navigation along the top, the top link bar, which by default still links us to subsets.
So, while these kinds of things haven't shifted a lot, the Site Actions menu, which was all the way in the right-hand side, is now on the left and you'll see some new options on it. Many of these are actually just shortcuts. In SharePoint 2007, for example, to create a site, you'd first hit Site Actions, then Create, get taken to another page, then click Sites and Workspaces, get taken to another page and so on. Now, we have Site Actions > New Site. Now, some options on this menu are new, however, and we'll talk about those as they become important.
Now, beside the Site Actions menu, there is also a new button called the Navigate Up button. If you ever wanted a quick way to jump up to a homepage or a parent site in a complex site collection, this button gives you a way to do that and it's much clearer than the breadcrumbs in SharePoint 2007. There is also the Help button over on the right-hand side. Some of the built-in help is great, others not so much, but it's always worth checking out when you hit a bump in the road. But because there are more options presented to you, it's easy to think of the interface as getting much more complex, but actually the experience has gotten simpler.
We don't have to spend as much time clicking through four or five pages to find some sub-option of a sub-option, as we did in SharePoint 2007. An hour getting to know this new interface and you'll never want to go back.
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