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Here's what a SharePoint 2013 team site looks like almost directly out of the box. I've created it is as sub-site of another site so I have in the upper left-hand corner the No Obstacles logo inherited from the parent site. I've added one document set to the document library. But other than that this is what the sites look like. Every site created with SharePoint can have its own look and feel, but the default SharePoint 2013 sites look markedly different from sites created in SharePoint 2010 or 2007.
The look is cleaner with more whitespace, less clutter. These large tiles--that are built in what used to be called Metro style--help you easily change this site whether you're branding it; changing the color scheme and the font; adding lists, libraries, and other parts to this site; adding a calendar and tasks in the timeline; or sharing your site with others. Each of those can be accomplished with just one click and then a few choices. In the upper right-hand corner of our screen we have a whole set of new choices in the user interface that are pretty interesting.
First, you can see that I'm logged in here and that's nice to know and there's a menu that has About Me on it. Now if I find a username anywhere in the site, I can go to their About Me information that they've provided for their colleagues and other users. So I'm going to go to another site. This site, another part of No Obstacles, has a newsfeed in it right here with a conversation going on and here's a Akee Ning Wu and if I click on Akee I will see the About Akee Ning Wu web page.
She's decided how much people can see here. So this is her social networking interface. One of the goals of this release of SharePoint is to provide better support for social networking, better support for social computing. And in SharePoint 2013 people search is built right in without anything extra. So I can also search for users from any page in the site whether I'm looking for them by name or by their skills, by their experiences, by projects they had worked on in the past, or by things they have said I can ask them about.
I have easy access to my own profile, content, and settings. All I need to do is go to the upper right-hand corner, click my name, and then choose About Me. I can edit my profile to keep it up- to-date and I have lots of options. Of course, keeping this up-to-date is critical if your organization is going to benefit from SharePoint as a social platform. So it's important for users to know that they should come in here and add information, that they get to determine who can see information about them at the detail level and so on.
Well, I'm on any of my pages here in my Newsfeed whether it's my About Me page or my Newsfeed page, I have the ability to modify this page. So next to About Me I can choose Personalize this Page and then I can edit the personal version. But if I'd like a little more assistance doing this, I can click here on this icon that looks like a gear--and it's Settings--and I can choose to edit the page, as I am now, to Add an app which is a small lightweight program that I can add here.
For example, I can say I would like to add a Document Library or a Tip of the Day, or World Clock and Weather and there are a couple of other choices as well. By making this version of SharePoint app-centric, Microsoft is providing support for new types of customization not just by software companies, but by any organization with staff who can develop web apps. So that's a new benefit to this user-interface. The title bar as well as providing you with information about my newsfeed also allows me to see Sites and I can save any site on here that I wish simply by clicking a FOLLOW link when I'm on that page.
So if we go back and I wanted to follow--for example the Inside Home site--I would click the FOLLOW button here to add a link to this site to my sites page. Something that I've actually done already. Inside Home right there. Additionally, I have access to a SkyDrive right here. This is not the same SkyDrive that I would see on my Windows 8 desktop. It's tied to a Microsoft account like Hotmail or Live. This is actually a SharePoint hosted SkyDrive where I can store private organizational documents for mobile use when I'm not online here or I can collaborate with colleagues and all I need to do is click SkyDrive and I have the ability to have documents that I share with everyone or documents that are private.
Every document is private to me I save here until I choose to share it. For example, going back to the Inside Home site I also have a ribbon and the ribbon is based on whatever is selected. I'm on a page so I have a Page tab on my ribbon. If I choose any document in the documents library I have a Files tab in my ribbon and a Library tab in my ribbon. So you'll find most of the commands that you want to access to be able to customize your user experience will be right here.
If I need to select a file and nothing is selected, you'll find that many of your choices aren't enabled. You are used to that. You understand how that works in Windows product. Simply select and now I have choices once again. One final user interface feature is both browser and operating system dependent. You can view SharePoint pages in a number of browsers. You can use Safari, you can use Chrome, you can use Internet Explorer, but IE, Internet Explorer, has always provided that recommended SharePoint user experience until about now.
With Internet Explorer 10, SharePoint 2013 will run just like this in the single window view that's part of Metro mode. However, there are SharePoint 2013 features that Internet Explorer 10 doesn't support in this Metro mode including some hot new features like the ability to drag and drop files into libraries or to view video search results right in the page. Fortunately, you can easily open a new browser session in the desktop to have access to features like drag files here.
Simply right-click, choose Page tools, and click View on the desktop and here I am in desktop view with tabs across the top. When you're finished dragging files, or whatever you were trying to do that caused you to go out to the browser in the desktop, you can return to Metro mode simply by closing the desktop or by returning to Windows and clicking the Internet Explorer icon.
Or you can just stay in that desktop browser. Increasingly that's where I'm choosing to live while I'm working with SharePoint 2013. Those are the major changes to the user interface in this version of SharePoint. If you're comfortable navigating in SharePoint 2010, you'll find this version of SharePoint easy to navigate as well.
- Understanding the SharePoint 2013 product line
- Editing your social media profile
- Viewing the newsfeed
- Keeping track of tasks
- Using SkyDrive to share private documents
- Moving files with drag and drop
- Syncing libraries
- Introducing SharePoint apps
- Reviewing the template updates