SharePoint has some amazing features that make it ideal for training and development managers – from rich content organization capabilities to collaboration and project management. A SharePoint HR Portal can play host to all of this vital information in one spot. But, a portal without great design and functionality is doomed to fall short of goals and expectations.
A great HR portal is personalized, provides a robust search engine and fresh information updated regularly with information your employees want to hear about. It should also be well organized and easily connect them with all the services they need including new employee information, policies and procedures, and the latest news to name a few. Employees should also be able to go to your SharePoint HR Portal and easily open a help ticket, look up paid time-off balance info, or complete an employee evaluation.
Creating a visually appealing SharePoint HR Portal is an undervalued skill set and is in high-demand.
“A word is a word, and a picture is worth a thousand…but a brand is worth a million.” Tony Hsieh
Branding is the graphics, colors and logos that provide the visual presentation of the site but it goes far beyond that. Branding is how you wish to be perceived by your employees, customers and investors. Having a well-thought out branding strategy provides motivation and direction to your staff and tells them how to act, how to win, and how to meet your organization’s goals. So, why not start with your SharePoint HR Portal?
There are some HR managers out there that will say “I would love to make my site look better but I’m not very tech savvy,” or “that’s just too complicated.”
Branding your HR Portal on SharePoint can be as simple as changing the site image and a few colors or it can be quite extensive using HTML, CSS, master pages, page layouts, scripting languages, custom Web parts and controls.
Making your HR portal visually pleasing is important but another key area to consider is the design of your user interface. In fact, it is probably one of the most important parts of any program because it determines how easily you can make the program do what you want. A powerful program with a poorly designed user interface has little value. But, if done correctly, it can drive organization effectiveness and employee engagement.
Keep these tips in mind when designing your SharePoint HR portal:
Tip #1: HEADER
The header is the umbrella of your SharePoint site. It should contain all of the global functions a user would need to access anywhere in your site. Standard SharePoint headers contain a logo (linking back to the home page), primary navigation and search.
Tip #2: DROP-DOWN MENUS
If the site is designed for desktop interfaces which utilize a mouse, then a dropdown menu (activated on mouse hover) could be used to display navigation links. Although dropdown menus work well in this scenario they are not too effective when using touch interfaces. The word on Web is that the functionality can irritate visitors, and therefore damage the quality of the experience.
Tip #3: SEARCH AREA
In a solution where usability is the focus, aligning the search to the right of the header is the best choice as this is where people normally look for this kind functionality.
Tip #4: WEB PARTS
Too many Web parts on a page will clutter up the interface and effect navigation efficiency. As a rule of thumb, it is wise to incorporate a maximum of 4-6 Web parts on a page.
Tip #5: IMAGES, GRAPHICS, AND TEXT
Visitors should be able to tell the difference between links and read only text. Assigning one color to links will help visitors differentiate between text types. Keep read only content in gray or dark gray. Solid black on paragraphs text can be visually hard, and studies have shown that this can (in some cases) slow reading speed, so keep this in mind when you are designing content appearance.
If done properly, a well-designed SharePoint HR portal can be a powerful tool for you to provide better HR service. It doesn’t take a tech savvy manager to design a great and useful SharePoint HR Portal. With the right permissions, anyone can create a site that will represent the company “brand” while also providing crucial employee information.