By ProServeIT on April 02, 2024

8 Key Tips to Design an Effective SharePoint Team Site

8 Effective Ways To Make Your SharePoint Site Interactive

Looking to improve the look of your SharePoint site? You're not alone. Recognizing the critical role that design plays in the creation of an Engaging SharePoint Team Site that encourages collaboration and productivity. 

At ProServeIT, we understand the importance of SharePoint design and have worked with thousands of users to help them successfully implement it in their organizations. Our experience has enabled us to identify eight SharePoint design tips that can help you create an engaging and effective SharePoint Team Site.

In this blog, you will find:

What is a Sharepoint Team Site? 

With a SharePoint Team Site, you can synchronize content, share ideas, discover insights, and collaborate more effectively with your team members. As a powerful and versatile business platform for content management and collaboration, SharePoint design is critical to ensuring your team members can make the most of its features and functionality.  

sharepoint site example

With a SharePoint Team Site, you can synchronize content, share ideas, discover insights, and collaborate more effectively with your team members. As a powerful and versatile business platform for content management and collaboration, SharePoint design is critical to ensuring your team members can make the most of its features and functionality.

Whether you're looking to improve your SharePoint site's layout, navigation, or overall user experience, these eight SharePoint design tips can help you achieve your goals and get the maximum ROI on your SharePoint investment.

Understanding the Preliminary Steps in SharePoint Site Creation

Before diving into the intricacies of structuring your site, it's crucial to grasp the fundamentals of SharePoint Site Creation. Planning out your goals, understanding user needs, and outlining the content architecture will set a strong foundation for your SharePoint Team Site.

🗄️ Tip 1. Optimizing Structure for Your SharePoint Team Site Design

When drafting your SharePoint Team Site content, consider the top-level subsites and how you will structure the second and third-level sites. Your homepage should include navigation to all the main containers with a simple, clear hierarchy so that you can find your information faster.

SharePoint Team Site LayoutSharePoint Team Site Layout Example

Some users ignore the structure and depend on the intelligent search feature. While this is a great feature to utilize, sometimes your end users may not know which keywords to use to find the documents they are looking for. However, they may have a general idea of which libraries they would need to navigate to find the documents. Therefore, an organized structure can be very helpful and important in increasing your team’s productivity and achieving an efficient resource management system.

🖥️ Tip 2. Keep in Mind Cross-Device Usability

You can add, remove, or edit the links on the top navigation bar or the quick launch bar (on the left-hand side – see the image below) to customize your site’s navigation, making it easier for users to find their way around your site. To get started, click one of the “EDIT LINKS” options on the team site’s homepage.

SharePoint HomepageSharePoint Team Site Homepage Example

Note: If you don’t see an “EDIT LINKS” option on your team’s homepage, you might not have permission to make changes, or your admin might have customized the site not to include the “EDIT LINKS” option on the team site’s homepage. You need to be a site owner or be given permission before you can customize your team site.

📲 Tip 3. Keep in Mind Cross-Device Usability

Another great benefit to using a SharePoint Team Site is that your team can access your content from any device at any time – all that’s needed is an internet connection. However, to ensure your SharePoint Team Site can be viewed easily on these various devices, you need to optimize your SharePoint Team Site to be cross-device-friendly.

SharePoint Usability

Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure the top navigation bar and quick launch bar are not too long that they won't show on the device being used
  • Ensure that your SharePoint Team Site uses device channels (part of the SharePoint publishing infrastructure that allows you to style your content to various devices)

Related blogs you might be interested in:

What is SharePoint in Plain English?
5 Types of SharePoint Workflows: Make Your Life Easier with Automation

Tip 4. Include the Most Frequently Updated Pages on Your Homepage

Consider this: What would you hope to see on the landing page if you were using a team site for the first time? If you were a new employee at your organization, would you be able to find the content you need quickly? When designing your SharePoint Team Site, think about the pages that are updated the most frequently and attract many end users. Good examples include pages like the latest news, announcements, corporate events, job opportunities, daily polls, etc. Build these pages into your SharePoint Team Site and display them for quick access on your homepage with web parts.

SharePoint Homepage Example

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📷 Tip 5. Visuals! Visuals! Visuals! 

Compelling images communicate better than simple text. Visuals on your SharePoint Team Site’s homepage can give an exciting look and feel and increase the usage rate. A simple slideshow featuring photos of your team is an excellent element to increase user engagement. 

How does Sharepoint looks

                Source: Microsoft

📝 Tip 6. Include an Introduction and Best Practices for using SharePoint 

One of the most important things many users forget to include is a welcoming message at the top of the homepage with a quick introduction to the portal. We recommend including tips such as how to use the SharePoint Team Site, how to keep the libraries organized, and how to tag. Add a link to a detailed instruction at the end of the introduction that your end users can download. This can serve as self-training material when your team site is launched and new hires join your team.

Modern Work proserveit academyLearn how SharePoint can help your team be more productive in three ways:



🧱 Tip 7. Organize Your SharePoint Team Site Using a Flat Structure

One of the things that you can do with your SharePoint Team Sites is to organize your information by metadata rather than folders. This is referred to as a “flat structure” and relies on tagging your content in a specific way. This “flat structure with tagging” has been widely used for the last few years.

What is a flat structure in SharePoint?

SharePoint's content is organized in a flat format based on its traits and characteristics rather than its position inside a folder hierarchy. This implies that instead of organizing files and documents into folders and subfolders, they are labelled with information that specifies their content and attributes. This metadata may contain information such as the kind of document, the date it was generated, the author, and any other pertinent information.

Flat sharepoint site               Source: Microsoft

The three significant benefits of implementing a flat structure are:

  • You don’t have to search through multiple layers of folders to locate the content you need the most.
  • You don’t need to worry about accidentally saving content to the wrong folder when you use a flat structure approach.
  • It keeps your URL short – each folder adds to the length of the URL, and there’s a 400-character maximum limit.

Be sure to adequately plan end-user training and education on properly tagging your content if you're going for a flat structure. By organizing SharePoint Team Site using a flat structure, you harness the benefits of an efficient SharePoint site structure.

The downsides of the flat structure:

  • Search results can be overwhelming when they search using standard keywords.
  • If your end users are tagging your content incorrectly, it will take more time to find the correct information/documents and could even result in information loss.

Adequate planning and end-user training/education are integral to using the flat structure for your SharePoint team site.

🖱️ 🌴 Tip 8. Be Flexible - Make Change as You Go

SharePoint is a flexible platform you can customize to fit your needs. When you first design your SharePoint Team Site, have a pilot period where you can see how your end users are utilizing it. During the pilot period, make sure to get feedback from your end users and then make the necessary changes to make it your very own team site that meets your team’s needs.

custom sharepoint site               Source: Microsoft

As your team is using your SharePoint Team Site, you may realize needs and wants from them that are not entirely met by the Team Site. SharePoint is a very versatile tool that can be highly customized. This can be used to create a completely customized app and portal to meet your organization’s distinct needs.

SharePoint in the AI Era

SharePoint is transforming to streamline content creation, focusing on empowering users like site owners and content creators through intuitive, powerful tools. This evolution leverages AI, notably through Copilot in SharePoint, which utilizes large language models and Microsoft Graph data to enhance content with ease, making the creation of visually appealing SharePoint pages simpler and more efficient.

1. Design video throughout SharePoint with Microsoft Stream:

Enhanced video playback and creation experiences in SharePoint, including new web parts, page templates, and features like transcripts, captions, and analytics

The new video page templates in SharePoint display video alongside other intranet content.

  • 2. Experience the new OneDrive

  • A refreshed OneDrive experience that helps you access, organize, and share your files faster and easier. It also offers personalized and AI-powered features like Home, Shared by, and Meetings views.
  • Pick the color you want for your folders in OneDrive.
  • 3. Microsoft Lists updates

  • Improvements to Microsoft Lists that make it easier to collect, track, and manage information. These include new forms, faster performance, and custom templates with Power Automate flows.

The new forms experience built inside Microsoft Lists.

  • 4. SharePoint data access governance insights and restricted access control policy:

  • New capabilities that help you prevent oversharing of content and restrict access to SharePoint sites based on group membership or security policies.
  • Screenshot depicting one of the top overshared sites and two actions that can be taken on them.
  • Learn more about SharePoint Advanced Management (SAM) and the SAM licensing.
  • 5. Responsible AI by design

  • Microsoft’s commitment to creating AI products that are fair, reliable, safe, private, inclusive, transparent, and accountable.



Finally, a well-designed SharePoint Team Site may improve team cooperation and productivity considerably. You can structure your SharePoint Team Site, customize your site navigation, ensure cross-device usability, prioritize frequently updated pages, incorporate visuals, provide an introduction and tips for use, organize content using a flat structure, and remain flexible to make changes as needed by following the eight SharePoint design tips discussed in this blog.

ProServeIT has extensive expertise in assisting firms in implementing SharePoint and maximizing their return on investment.

SharePoint-in-a-day Workshop

If SharePoint is the right productivity tool, adopt it quickly with a SharePoint-in-a-Day Workshop.

sharepoint in a day engagement

Explore best practices and built-in integrations to improve search capabilities for your users. Includes full implementation and deployment of one of your unique business use cases via SharePoint and a roadmap to build out the future of your SharePoint environment.  

Book your Workshop here

Hear from our customers about their experience with SharePoint

Arrowsmith School could increase collaboration using SharePoint: SharePoint Online helped Arrowsmith collaborate more efficiently, build workflows, run documents, and manage their IP (intellectual property) securely.

Watch a video case study below or see a complete written case study here.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Section:

1. How do I begin creating an engaging SharePoint Team Site?

Start with clear goals and user needs in mind, plan your content architecture, and ensure your design encourages collaboration and productivity.

2. What are the best practices for structuring my SharePoint Team Site?

Implement a simple and clear hierarchy, consider the use of top-level subsites, and ensure that navigation is intuitive to enhance the user experience.

3. How can I optimize navigation when creating my SharePoint site?

Customize your top navigation bar and quick launch bar to make it user-friendly, and consider user permissions to ensure appropriate access and customization capabilities.

4. What are some effective SharePoint design ideas for my Team Site?

Use interactive visual elements like slideshows or infographics, provide clear instructions for users, and ensure your design is responsive across devices.

5. How should I plan my SharePoint Site Structure for better navigation?

Adopt a flat structure with proper tagging and metadata to avoid deep folder hierarchies, ensuring content is easy to locate and access.

6. What steps should I take when creating a SharePoint Site?

Define the site’s purpose, draft a content plan, set up the navigation, and make sure to incorporate features that facilitate team collaboration.


Published by ProServeIT April 2, 2024