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It looks like Rich Wood is well on his way as this is the second time I’ve posted on a nice post of his. I’ll let Rich’s post stand by itself and just re-iterate my thoughts on the importance of UX. User Experience counts the overall experience a user has on a specific site. It includes the look and feel, the seamless use of search, the ability of a user to complete key tasks quickly and easily, etc. Failure to take all this into account means you just spend a lot of money on a site that has no ROI. So read on for Rich’s comments which will be applicable to SharePoint and to the Portal world in general.
UX Counts in SharePoint, Too
Like a well-designed car or a good pair of running shoes, if a SharePoint solution is going to work for you, it needs to give you a sense that it’s easy to use. Making the right choices should be intuitive. Finding a colleague should be as simple as turning the headlights on as the skies turn to dusk all around you. Unfortunately, that isn’t always how things turn out.
I’m here to make the case that you should never deploy a SharePoint solution without understanding that a good UX is a key to successful understanding and adoption of that solution. I’ve seen projects where the delivery team and their methodology were not committed to a good UX, or worse, where they only half-understood what user experience is. The results in these cases are never pretty.
In past lives I have fought this battle with peers, superiors, salespeople, even customers and clients. They all have different reasons to resist, of course. Some see it as overhead that can be trimmed from a project (“just do the infrastructure / coding”). Some see the value of the discipline but think it’s unnecessary for their project. Many simply don’t understand the benefits of a good UX at all.
I’m here to tell you that User Experience in SharePoint is about more than awesome code. It’s more than taxonomy and information architecture. It’s more than mapping useful new features to business drivers and letting users go nuts (or not, depending on governance).
I’m thrilled to be part of a team that understands and is committed to developing good user experiences for all of our clients. I’m excited to work on this series and share some of our enthusiasm with you, and perhaps I can learn something from the crowd as well.
Thanks, Mike. I appreciate the re-post and the warm welcome to the Perficient family of blogs!