Branding Capability using SharePoint Designer

Websites today redefine the word “User Experience” in a whole lot of ways. In the Internet of Things (IoT) era, we have the most demanding customers. While making customers land on the website is like winning a race, generating a curiosity amongst them to explore the website is a humongous task. Nobody wants to explore an uninviting website. A user will not be happy to use an intranet portal that is unstructured, dense, and not easy to navigate. Although websites might have all the information the customer needs, the way it is arranged, structured, and organized is what helps the customer to explore websites at ease.

Offering customer/user greater flexibility and near to real experience while accessing the website results is a win-win situation for the users and today this is the aspect of SharePoint Development that we will be exploring. “SharePoint Designer” helps to design websites and integrate functions SharePoint functions. SharePoint Designer allows you to create your branding plus customizations. It provides a unique site creation experience, all at one place aligned with the SharePoint server. The same applies to the intranet portals website, the user must be at ease to search and navigate to document/content they need.

SharePoint Designer 2013 provides a single environment where you can work on your site, its lists and libraries, pages, data sources, workflows, permissions, and more. Not only can you see these key ingredients of your site in one place, but you can see the relationships between these objects.

Top features of SharePoint Designer

  • Site design components can now be imported and exported as design packages. These design packages consist of all the changes performed to the branding and also these packages will not consist of default SharePoint design files. The search configurations and branding templates of sites can be accommodated in the design package. Search configurations need to be activated at the site collection level.  Also, the design package can be applied to multiple sites.
  • SharePoint designer can help branding sites for multiple devices such as desktops, tablets, or smartphones.  The feature called Device channels allows the sites to be rendered for multiple devices with the same URL. The device channel works based on the master page and CSS files to be used based on the GET request. The GET request user string contains a substring that holds the information about the accessing device. Then SharePoint will select the type of device channel to be loaded. This feature is available for sites built on SharePoint 2013.
  • SharePoint designer 2013 offers multiple ways of rendering images on the websites. Further display templates customize the content readability, look and feel of the web pages. With document previews, identify the right document becomes easy. Search results can be customized with display templates.

SharePoint 2013 has been rebuilt with HTML5 support and works just as well on Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and of course Internet Explorer. It allows you to build in HTML and convert it into a Master Page or Page Layout without dealing with pesky XSLT and even allows you to provide reusable templates with almost everything.

The overall branding can be completely customized using Design Manager Snippets and themes. Branding features mainly aim to make the SharePoint accessible through multiple mobile devices. Branding can be changed at any moment without any edit/changes to data or site collection of the SharePoint.

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