Category Archives: Tips

Challenges of Introducing DevOps

Recently I’ve worked with a number of clients who are enthusiastic to start introducing DevOps practices into their organisations. DevOps has definitely gained a lot of momentum and buzz in recent times, and it’s been interesting to assist as organisations approach its introduction in different ways.

Over the course of these engagements I’ve observed a few key themes and considerations that can really influence the success or otherwise of starting on the DevOps journey. Read more…

Little Tip: Easy Page Headings for SharePoint 2010 Libraries and Lists – No Branding Skills Required

When doing user acceptance testing of big SharePoint implementations, I’ve observed it can be quite hard for end users to orient themselves as they move around, particularly in Intranet and Document Management scenarios that make heavy use of libraries and lists.

As users click through from search results or leap from SharePoint site to library, to list, and back again following, navigation and other hyperlinks helpfully strewn about for them, they can easily become confused. Particularly if they find themselves tossed in and out of a range of libraries or lists.

List Views (which I confess I do love) can add another layer of potential bewilderment rather than clarity if we’re not careful – “huh, what just happened to ‘Modified By’?  I’m sure I saw that a minute ago!”

Part of the problem seems to be that by default there is no visible, contextual heading immediately above the documents or items in the library or list. Depending on how the global and current navigation has been configured, and possibly how SharePoint has been branded, the surrounding cues don’t immediately assist users to establish their location and context.

Document Library with no heading

So, for every shared, enterprise library/list I create, I strive to do the following:

  1. Land in the library/list and, once there, go to Site Actions > Edit Page
    Edit Page
  2. When the page refreshes in edit mode, click on the arrow at the far right of the now boxed library or list to Edit Web Part
    Edit Web Part
  3. From the web part panel, expand the Appearance section
    Modify the web part's appearance
  4. The library/list Title will appear in the appropriate labelled text box – you can change it if you like. I may leave it untouched for the default view, e.g. Documents Library. But if the surrounding navigation context to the library or list doesn’t orientate the user particularly well, then I will tweak it.
  5. From the Chrome Type drop-down menu, choose Title Only or Title and Border, as you wish (the default, Default is set to show nothing).
  6. Click OK
  7. Click Stop Editing in the page ribbon to save your changes and exit edit mode
    Stop Editing the page

If you have set up views in your list/library, repeat as follows:

  1. Back in the library/list, select a custom view you’ve created, and then select Site Actions > Edit Page. You are now going to be editing the custom view.
  2. This time, at the previous step 4, modify the Title to better explain the particulars of this view – for example, All Documents Grouped by Region or Recently Created Documents per Industry Sector.

Now your end users will see a clear, ideally explanatory heading immediately above the lists, libraries and views they land in, helping them to understand at a glance where they are and what information they’re looking at.

Document Library with heading