SharePoint 2013 does not provide a great experience for content publishers out-of-the-box.
This is something that we need to address in nearly every intranet project we deliver.
There are two main approaches that can be taken:
- Add some custom editing elements that simplify the experience, but are hyper-focused on a few key editing tasks.
- Use a third party add-in to provide a better user experience across a broader set of features and content types.
Custom editing elements
Content publishers can click an onscreen element like this one.
The editor can then add information to the page by filling in a simple form.
This avoids any of the out-of-the-box SharePoint interfaces which can be confusing and overwhelming.
We have provided a demo video that shows an example page content editing task. See video below:
Third party add-ins
There are many options when it comes to third party add ins for SharePoint.
Some are aimed at enhancing every aspect of SharePoint – like Wizdom intranet-in-a-box.
Others are aimed at enhancing things like page editing and design. A good example of this type of product is ShortPoint.
Products like these still require some training for content editors, but offer an improved experience and greater flexibility when maintaining intranet content.
Improving SharePoint’s content editing interfaces is not easy and comes at a cost – regardless if you take the custom or prebuilt route.
Therefore, it is important to identify and prioritise the areas where you want to give a lot of control to content editors. Typically more options for ways and styles of publishing = greater cost.
By limiting the control given to content owners and making things as template driven as possible, you can keep costs more reasonable.
A positive side effect of a template driven approach is often a cleaner, more simplified experience for your intranet’s end users.
More recently, a significant way to improve the user and editor experience for SharePoint is to move to SharePoint Online as part of Office 365. SharePoint Online has a completely refreshed interface which makes things a lot easier for editors.