locked
SharePoint 2013 master pages designed by 3rd party - what information to give? RRS feed

  • Question

  • My company is having both their front-end and SharePoint sites revamped and would like to have a similar design on both ends. Both designs are being created by a third party design firm. I'm doing the technical side of the SharePoint implementation.

    The design firm doesn't have experience with SharePoint and has asked me to deliver some information about the different elements they can work with and the limitations SharePoint puts on their design. What information can I send them to make sure they have all they need to know?

    • The default design will have a fixed width. However, is it possible to have a seperate master page width a flexible width for list views?
    • Can I only use custom designs for Publishing Sites? Not for MySites, etc?
    • Is it correct that the device channels use completely seperate designs? i.e. I don't need to ask for a responsive HTML design?
    • Should I ask them to design a html version of all the snippets available in SharePoint? Am I limited to the snippets if I don't want to engage in custom development?

    Can anybody provide some more information about this? I'm sure this would be useful not only for me - but for a lot of people doing custom branding for SharePoint 2013.


    • Edited by DMachiels Thursday, March 7, 2013 3:34 PM
    Thursday, March 7, 2013 3:29 PM

Answers

  • It is pretty common for design firms to do SharePoint designs, but they are usually not so great when it comes to actually implementing the designs.  Other's have mentioned the design manager, and while it is intended to make it easy to import HTML and CSS from design firms it practical application if the design firm doesn't understand SP they'll have a tough time getting everything working as it should.

    All of the questions you've asked are very common requests. 

    --Yes you can have separate masterpages for fixed and full width.

    --The way you brand My Sites is a bit different, and since they aren't publishing sites the design manager isn't going to be too helpful.

    --I'm not following the question about device channels. Could you clarify?

    --I'm not sure why you'd have them do HTML versions of all the snippets.  They should be taking you through a design process where they understand your needs and help guide you through how that best can be achieved in SharePoint. If they aren't familiar enough with SharePoint to have those discussions I'd consider adding someone to the process who can help guide those discussions.  It might sound like it'll end up being more expensive that way, but you'll save money in the long run by doing it right the first time.


    John Ross
    SharePoint Server MVP | Sr. Consultant Rackspace: SharePoint Consulting
    Blog: http://johnrossjr.wordpress.com
    Twitter: @JohnRossJr

    SharePoint 2013 Branding and User Interface Design
    Professional SharePoint 2010 Branding and User Interface Design (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)

    • Marked as answer by Qiao Wei Friday, March 15, 2013 10:34 AM
    Friday, March 8, 2013 1:19 AM

All replies

  • We come across branding of SharePoint Intranet and Internet sites at our clients so often. We use our internal UI team to do POC's as well as use our client's branding team, either internal or external third party design vendors as you point here.

    But, what I have seen is we should do a quick preview/show of what and how SharePoint will look and feel initially to branding team so they understand it before they start designing. Else, they will get all their UI skills on the table with wireframes which may not add value to SharePoint because either SharePoint doesnt support or its not relevant to the Organization's landscape. You can add some web parts, quick links, apps, logos etc during that review so they understand how it works before they start the design.

    Next if you are open for code customizations, you can do anything to achieve the branding and look and feel as provided by design team. Not just with publishing sites but also for MySites if you really wanted to be creative in personal space too. may be give couple of standard designs and themes so MySite users can personalize only on that.

    If you are spending a lot on branding, I would go with responsive design so it can be leveraged for any kind of devices and browsers.

    Some vendors may also provide simple HTML version of wireframe images to provide a quick look and feel and how they can play a role in real life. We do POC's to provide the feel to our clients before we take huge time and effort to actually build with custom development.

    Hope I didnt make this response big. :)

    Thursday, March 7, 2013 4:44 PM
  • My company C/D/H has done a lot of branding for SharePoint and with SharePoint 2013, it is straightforward. The Design Manager does help convert raw HTML, CSS and image files into SharePoint master pages.  You need to make sure the design company gives you:

    • A fully functioning version of your site in HTML
    • All of the supporting CSS and images. 

    Once you have the master pages created you can then add the code snippets using the Design Manager.  In order to do so you will need to open up the source html file and paste in the code snippet code in the proper location.

    Once you have a fully functioning master page you can control where it is used such as for specific web applications, site collections and even sub webs by enabling the publishing feature at the appropriate site collection level and then sub web level.  

    MySites should be a separate web application, which means that you can very easily have different master pages.  In addition, having a fluid layout for lists and a fixed layout for the overall site is possibly by creating two different master pages and adjusting the settings on the site so that the fixed master page is set for Site Master Page and the fluid is set as the System Master page. This setting is accessible from the Settings > Site Settings > Master Page link under Look and Feel.

    Good Luck!


    Julie Boudro

    Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:04 PM
  • It is pretty common for design firms to do SharePoint designs, but they are usually not so great when it comes to actually implementing the designs.  Other's have mentioned the design manager, and while it is intended to make it easy to import HTML and CSS from design firms it practical application if the design firm doesn't understand SP they'll have a tough time getting everything working as it should.

    All of the questions you've asked are very common requests. 

    --Yes you can have separate masterpages for fixed and full width.

    --The way you brand My Sites is a bit different, and since they aren't publishing sites the design manager isn't going to be too helpful.

    --I'm not following the question about device channels. Could you clarify?

    --I'm not sure why you'd have them do HTML versions of all the snippets.  They should be taking you through a design process where they understand your needs and help guide you through how that best can be achieved in SharePoint. If they aren't familiar enough with SharePoint to have those discussions I'd consider adding someone to the process who can help guide those discussions.  It might sound like it'll end up being more expensive that way, but you'll save money in the long run by doing it right the first time.


    John Ross
    SharePoint Server MVP | Sr. Consultant Rackspace: SharePoint Consulting
    Blog: http://johnrossjr.wordpress.com
    Twitter: @JohnRossJr

    SharePoint 2013 Branding and User Interface Design
    Professional SharePoint 2010 Branding and User Interface Design (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)

    • Marked as answer by Qiao Wei Friday, March 15, 2013 10:34 AM
    Friday, March 8, 2013 1:19 AM