Planning for the Lifecycle of Your SharePoint 2010 Website – in 2 minutes

Had the pleasure of attending this Level 200 session at the SharePoint Conference yesterday and here’s the take home points :

How to measure success when implementing a SharePoint Site :

  • conversion rates
  • page views per second
  • number of visitors
  • total time on the site
  • find a way to workout the conversion rate (products sold, articles viewed or revenue) – whatever fits

and…If we also use MySites / Social Features

  • MySite / Profile usage (how many properties filled in)
  • how many status updates?
  • how many ratings, tags + comments?
  • Once the metrics are defined – baseline and record them where possible, so that targets and success can be measured.

Iterative / Agile methods are usually better with sharePoint as the feedback / response cycle is shorter.

The ideal team needed for a SharePoint project

Technical resources

  • Solutions Architect (Chooses the SharePoint features that will be used to solve the business problem).
  • SharePoint Developer (Features, Web Parts, solutions, CAML, etc)
  • Front end Developer (HTML, JS, JQuery, etc)
  • Infrastructure Specialist (Builds the SharePoint Farm out).

Business resources

  • Business Sponsor (Product Owner, defines the strategy)
  • Project Manager
  • Business Analyst (Discusses requirements with the business users, experience of SharePoint is highly ideal).
  • Information Architect (Responsible for defining the domain entities, (content types, columns, search config etc)).
  • UI Designer – designs a UI that’s slick, easy to use and gets the user to where they want to be in as few clicks as possible.
  • Graphics Designer – Implements the branding.
  • Content Strategist (Copyright editors)

Design Process..

The following steps should be followed when designing a new Intranet/Internet site in SharePoint..

  • Define the Information Architecture
  • Define the wireframes – Balsamiq mockups
  • Design comp – a mockup of the final page (usually done in Photoshop or Expression Design)
  • Functional Prototype – HTML and CSS (get the nav working) reuse this in the build phase
  • Each of these phases of design will require review and rework after discussing with the technical team.

Mobile Strategy..

  • Avoid custom apps unless absolutely necessary
  • Create different views using CSS
  • Consider using variations to provide different views

Build Process..

  • Turn on Publishing Features which gives new page layouts, variations, web parts, and so on.
  • Cut the design comps into page layouts / master pages.
  • Define the regions that web parts / field controls will need to be dropped into.
  • Always start with an existing Master Page and amend it, never make from scratch.
  • For Digital Asset Management, use managed metadata to tag each asset. This will allow it to be found more easily, especially for thousands of assets.
  • 80% of users will use Search directly from the home page, navigation is often ignored. Get Search configured correctly.


  • For a public site, use meaningful names and site names so that SEO is improved.
  • Content is key – get the right content into SharePoint with good keyword usage.
  • Use good page titles
  • use meta tags (although I dont think this matters nowadays)
  • Keep navigation in plain HTML, give the crawlers chance to move thru the site