Effective Tips on SharePoint Portal Development

Effective Tips on SharePoint Portal Development
7 min read
18 December 2023

When considering enterprise portal development, SharePoint application development emerges as a strategic investment for organizations. MS SharePoint development offers a unified platform that integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft tools, fostering collaboration, content management, and workflow automation. The ability to customize and extend SharePoint's functionality makes it a versatile solution for diverse business needs.

Building an intranet portal with enhanced accessibility is a critical consideration for organizations aiming to foster inclusivity and optimize user experience. SharePoint offers several features and best practices to ensure better accessibility in intranet portal development.

Important Features Offered by SharePoint for Portal Development

To comprehend the efficacy of SharePoint portal development, it's crucial to explore the features that make it a preferred choice for enterprises.

  • Document Management - SharePoint excels in document management, providing a centralized repository for storing, organizing, and accessing documents. Version control, metadata management, and seamless integration with Microsoft Office applications make it a powerful tool for handling large volumes of business data.
  • Collaboration Tools - SharePoint facilitates collaboration through features such as team sites, discussion boards, and social features. Users can collaborate in real time, share insights, and collectively contribute to projects, fostering a culture of teamwork and innovation.
  • Workflow Automation - Automating business processes is simplified with SharePoint's workflow capabilities. Organizations can streamline their operations, reduce manual intervention, and enhance productivity by creating custom workflows tailored to specific business requirements.
  • Integration with Microsoft 365 - SharePoint seamlessly integrates with the Microsoft 365 suite, providing access to tools like Teams, Outlook, and OneDrive. This integration ensures a unified user experience and efficient collaboration across various Microsoft applications.
  • Security and Compliance - Security is paramount in enterprise portal development, and SharePoint doesn't disappoint. Robust security features, including access controls, encryption, and compliance tools, ensure that sensitive business information remains protected and meets regulatory standards.

How to Build User-friendly SharePoint Intranet Portals - 10 Tips for Success

1. Understand Accessibility Guidelines

Before embarking on SharePoint intranet development, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with accessibility guidelines and standards. Key benchmarks include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which outline the principles of perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness. Adhering to these guidelines ensures that your intranet portal caters to a diverse range of users, including those with disabilities.

2. Create a Responsive Design

Accessibility begins with a responsive design that adapts to different devices and screen sizes. A responsive SharePoint intranet ensures that employees can access information seamlessly from desktops, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. This not only enhances user experience but also accommodates individuals with varying needs and preferences.

3. Prioritize Keyboard Navigation

Keyboard navigation is a fundamental aspect of accessibility. Ensure that your SharePoint intranet portal is navigable using only a keyboard, without relying on a mouse. This is particularly important for employees with motor disabilities who may use alternative input devices. Test and optimize the portal's functionality to ensure smooth keyboard navigation across all features and sections.

4. Use Accessible Web Parts

SharePoint offers a variety of web parts to enhance the functionality of your intranet portal. When selecting and customizing web parts, prioritize those that adhere to accessibility standards. Experts from an experienced SharePoint application development company utilize web parts that provide alternative text options for images, captions for videos, and other features. This ensures content is accessible to users with visual or auditory impairments.

5. Implement Clear and Consistent Navigation

As per a recent survey, 91% of respondents stated that clear and consistent navigation is crucial for accessibility. Design an intuitive navigation structure that enables users to easily locate information within the intranet portal. Use descriptive labels and organize content logically to assist users with cognitive disabilities. A well-structured navigation system benefits all users, fostering a positive user experience.

6. Provide Alternative Text for Images

Images play a significant role in conveying information. For users who rely on screen readers, providing alternative text (alt text) is essential. Alternative text describes the content or function of images, enabling users with visual impairments to comprehend the context. Incorporate this feature consistently across all images within your SharePoint intranet portal.

7. Ensure Color Contrast

Color contrast is a critical aspect of visual accessibility. Choose color combinations that provide sufficient contrast to enhance readability for users with visual impairments or color blindness. SharePoint allows you to customize color schemes, providing an opportunity to create an inclusive design that considers the diverse visual needs of your workforce.

8. Implement Accessible Forms

Forms are a common element in intranet portals, used for various purposes such as feedback, surveys, and data collection. Design forms with accessibility in mind by providing clear instructions, using proper field labels, and ensuring compatibility with screen readers. Accessibility-friendly forms contribute to a seamless user experience for all employees.

9. Test with Accessibility Tools

Regular testing is crucial to identify and address potential accessibility issues. Leverage accessibility testing tools and assistive technologies to evaluate the usability of your SharePoint intranet portal. Conduct usability testing with individuals who have disabilities to gather valuable feedback and make necessary improvements.

10. Promote Accessibility Training

Empower your content creators, developers, and administrators with accessibility training. Ensure that your team is aware of best practices for creating accessible content within the SharePoint environment. Training sessions can enhance awareness and foster a culture of inclusivity in your organization.

Also read - Transform Intranet Experiences With SharePoint Application Development

Why Hire Offshore Teams for Designing SharePoint Portals

While the benefits of SharePoint for portal development are evident, the decision to hire offshore SharePoint development teams adds another layer of advantages for organizations seeking cost-effective and specialized solutions.

  • Cost Efficiency - Offshore SharePoint development offers a cost-effective alternative to in-house development teams. Leveraging skilled resources from regions with lower labor costs allows organizations to allocate resources efficiently and achieve cost savings without compromising on quality.
  • Platform Specialization - Offshore teams specialized in SharePoint bring a wealth of expertise to the table. These teams are well-versed in the intricacies of SharePoint web development, application customization, and portal design, ensuring that the developed solutions align with industry best practices.
  • 24/7 Development Cycles - The time zone differences between offshore development teams and their clients can be leveraged to achieve continuous development cycles. This ensures that progress is made around the clock, accelerating project timelines and delivering results more rapidly than traditional in-house development models.
  • Scalability and Flexibility - Offshore SharePoint development teams provide scalability and flexibility, allowing organizations to expand or contract their development resources based on project requirements. This adaptability ensures that businesses can respond efficiently to changing needs and priorities.

Wrapping Up

As businesses increasingly prioritize automation and efficiency, SharePoint's workflow automation capabilities stand out as a key differentiator. Organizations can design custom portals tailored to their specific business processes, reducing manual intervention, minimizing errors, and accelerating task completion. This not only leads to operational efficiency but also frees up valuable human resources for more strategic and creative endeavors.

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Sara Suarez 2
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