More #intranet promotion videos (#13)

May I present you with the latest batch of intranet promotion videos? And now that we are talking about this, would you please complete my survey on the relevance of my collection, if you have not done so already? Many thanks!

1. Teaser for fintech solutions provider

Nice teaser for a new intranet – from the imagery it must be fabulous! It looks communications-based and it is available on all devices, but that is a given these days.
Uploaded February 2022.


2. New intranet for an online market place for the public sector (in French)

If I understand correctly, this organization manages an online marketplace where the French public sector can buy things that are approved by the government, so they do not have to set up complicated procedures to select the right vendors and products.

The new intranet is called Connect (another one! I can almost start a collection of intranets with this name πŸ™‚ ) and the format is interesting: 4 employees of different company backgrounds have tested it and they answer a number of questions, such as “what do you like best?” and “what do you think of the name?” Of course they are positive, but this is a nice way of showing that you have engaged real employees during creation of their new intranet.

Sadly, there is no screenshot of the intranet. They refer to Office365 so I am curious whether it is SharePoint.

Sadly, the video can not be embedded but if you click the button, it will show.

Uploaded March 2022


3. New intranet for an architect company

Teaser with some screenshots of a new intranet for a London-based architect. It is all very elegant and colourful, in line with their website, and it is based on SharePoint.

Uploaded March 2022


4. Intranet for the university of Verona (in Italian)

I had to see this video twice because I was very much distracted by the visuals. πŸ™‚ Ah, Italian design! Starting with the classic Italian building behind the university’s CIO, moving to interesting modern buildings and halls, a row of bespectacled phone users (Myopia will be an epidemic as more and more people spend more and more time on small screens) and an enormous touch-screen whiteboard.

But back to the intranet. There are no good visuals, which is sad, but it should be the place where all students, teachers and personnel can find their information, reserve rooms, communicate quickly, collaborate in project groups and what not.

Uploaded May 2022


5. Intranet for a plastics manufacturer

I have a large backlog of videos, including this one from a plastics manufacturer in the UK. The design may be a little less familiar (SharePoint is so ubiquious these days) but the content looks good – lots of interaction options, including questions to the Executives and interest groups, as well as news, procedures, and other shared content. And this was already available on multiple devices in 2018!

Uploaded March 2018

That’s it for this week, folks!

And please remember to complete my survey!

Voice, another speech-to-text option!

Did I ever mention that I am a big fan of speech-to-text functionality? Not only does it save time, but it is also magical to see your spoken word turn into pretty accurate text. (Yes, even in Dutch)

Of course you have the option to dictate in various applications, see this Microsoft help. And I recently wrote about options to transcribe meetings and recordings.

The latest addition, as far as I know, is the Voice option in the Office Mobile app. It is super easy to use and allows you to make notes while on the go. But I have also used it while sitting at home on the sofa, capturing the most interesting statements from election programmes for our recent council elections.
It has saved me a lot of writing. πŸ™‚

How to start?

  1. Download the Office Mobile app to your phone
  2. Log in with your account (one-time, unless you want to switch accounts)
  3. Click +, then Voice
  4. Select language by clicking the world logo (one-time, unless you want to switch language)

How to record?

  1. Click the Microphone button – this will turn red
  2. Speak
  3. Click the Microphone button to pause, and click again to resume
  4. When done, click Done button

Now what happens?

Depending on your license, different things will happen. As far as I could find out, from literature and experiments, my Business Basic subscription has limited options, but my Family account is supported. How strange!
In the screenshot below, the subscriptions marked with * have limited options.

The different licenses. Licenses with an * have limited functionality, e.g. they do not do speecht-to-text in this app. I do not see an F3 license mentioned, that’s weird.

Supported license:

  • You will see the written text appear while you speak. Magic! Even in Dutch it is very accurate.
  • When you open the file on your phone and click the Share icon, you can share it to Word which creates a Word file with a link to the voice file. You can save that in OneDrive.
  • A voice file (.wav) and a transcript (.transcript) will appear in OneDrive, in a new folder called Voice Captures.
After using the Voice option, a new folder is created in my OneDrive with 2 files.

I have tried to share my phone screen in a Teams meeting and recording that, but that did not work out. I suppose it is a microphone issue. So, I made a (silent) video using screenshots.

You can see what happens.

Non-supported license:

You will create a voice file (.wav) which is stored on your phone. You can share it and save it on OneDrive, or download it and transcribe the text to Word, as described in my earlier post, option 1.
So, rather disappointing.

You can see the difference in outcome in below screenshot:

On top: voice capture with Business Basic, bottom: voice capture with Family account; it displays the text.

Another limitation: device

Voice appears to be available on phones only and not on tablets. In any case, I could not select any microphone settings on my iPad, not even when I had my headset attached.

I have already added the new “Voice Captures” folder to the post: Who created those folders in my OneDrive?

Conclusion

I really like this option for taking quick notes, but I was rather disappointed to find out that my Business Basic license only has limited options. But you, reader, will probably have a solid Enterprise license so I guess that won’t be an issue. So, why not give it a try!

Do you or your organization have any experiences with the app? Have I missed something, or do you have more experiences with the licenses? Please share!

I am also investigating the other Mobile app options, so watch this space 😁!

4 ways to manage comments on SharePoint news and pages

Whenever I published a SharePoint news post, I have always been happy when people took the trouble to read my posts at all, let alone push the πŸ‘ button or even spent time on a reply.

But when we introduced the publishers to these feedback options a few people were hesitant. When we told them they would get an email for feedback some were relieved that they would not miss comments, some were even more hesitant because it meant “more email to take care of”.

Nonetheless, we strongly advise publishers to allow interactions for news posts. It means more two-way communication and that is a good thing.
For static pages, which are available all the time, we leave it to the publisher. It may be better to mention the responsible person or provide an email address for questions about a page on processes within the organization, for instance.

So, how can you manage comments and likes?

1. Best option: as is

When you publish a page, comments and likes are on by default. When someone likes or comments, the post’s creator (this is not necessarily the author mentioned on the page) will immediately receive an email for each interaction. (The Microsoft info says it is batched, and I remember it worked like that, but during the creation of this post all likes and comments turned into individual emails.)
This email may end up in “Other” if you have enabled the Focused Inbox.

Whether this floods you with emails, is dependent on many things: how frequently you post, the type of info you post, the size of the organization, and how interactive the audience is, for instance.

This is the email for a comment.

When do you NOT receive an email?

  • When you like or comment on posts you have created yourself
  • When you are an external publisher, i.e. you have no (email) account on the tenant where you publish
  • When you are mentioned as the author, without being the person who created the post. The person in “Created By” will receive the email instead.

2. Collect all feedback mails in one folder by using Outlook Rules

If you receive (too) many feedback mails, and/or you do not like to have all these mails scattered around your inbox, you can use Rules to collect all these in a separate folder.

Make sure you create a folder first and then set up the rules, based on ‘subject includes”

The subject lines for the various posts are

  • [Person] liked [Title of post]
  • [Person) left a comment on [Title of post]
  • [Person) replied to a comment on [Title of post]

You can also do this in PowerAutomate, of course, but Rules are easier.

My Rule to move comments to a special folder in Outlook on the web

You can also use this when you are often posting news on someone else’s behalf; you can forward comments to them using a Rule. In that case use “Forward to” as the action.

Remember to look into this folder on a regular basis, and to reply to comments where needed. This is important as the phrase “left a comment” is also used for comments on shared documents and Lists!

An alternative option for Likes

It is possible to see all Likes in the Pages library, so you could also choose to make that visible in the library, look there on a regular basis, and move the emails to the Deleted Items with a Rule. After all, you are not expected to react on Likes.
You can make it visible in the Pages library as follows:

  • Open the Site Pages library (Gear wheel > Site contents > Site Pages)
  • Click “Add column”> “Show/hide columns”
  • Select “Like count” (at the bottom) and click “Apply” top left.
    You can also do this by editing the View, but that is more work.
Add the Like Count by using Add Column

3. When appropriate: Turn off comments for one news post or page

When you click “Add > News post” from the web part, you will see the Comments option on the bottom of the page. When you toggle the switch before publishing, nobody will be able to add comments.

Toggle the switch and people will no longer be able to add comments

People can still like your post, however, and this will send an email to the creator’s mailbox.
This will also happen when there is no author mentioned or when the mentioned author is not the creator. The creator will receive the email.

There is still a “Like” button, and this will send you an email when clicked.

So, turning off comments on your posts or pages can save you some emails, but you will still receive an email for each like, so you could also use the “autodelete” option by using a Rule.

4. Not advised – turn off all notifications across SharePoint pages/news

I would not advise to do this, but for completeness’ sake I can inform you that there is an option on the SharePoint landing page to remove ALL likes and comments across SharePoint news and pages for all your SharePoint sites.
I honestly can not think of any good business case to do this (except for the Likes, see 2.), so if you have a reason to recommend it, please share in the comments!

There are two ways go reach the page with the settings:

  1. Click “Notification settings” at the bottom of every email notification for news and pages.
  2. Click the gear wheel on the SharePoint landing page, and select “Email notification settings”
Here you can turn off all news/pages notifications

You can toggle the notifications on and off.

Please note this does not stop the comments on documents. If you click “Notification settings” at the bottom of a “document comment email” you will be taken to your OneDrive notification settings, where you can turns some notifications off. But why would you?

Conclusion

If you are a news and/or page publisher, and you receive too many notification emails because your colleagues respond frequently, first congratulate yourself with being a publisher that can set people in motion! πŸ™‚
After giving yourself this constructive feedback, check if 2 or 3 are suitable options to reduce the noise a little.

If you have any experiences with managing comments within your organization, would you please share them in the comments?

Writing SharePoint news posts (our way)

A few months ago I helped create and introduce a SharePoint intranet for “my” health care organization. The majority of the new intranet consists of SharePoint Pages and News, default functionality. As this provides our publishers with tons of options for layout, colour schemes, styles, fonts and what not, we had to take a few measures to keep a somewhat consistent look-and-feel.
Additionally, many publishers wanted some guidelines as they were a tad overwhelmed with choice.

I mentioned before that our Communications function is not too fanatical in enforcing the corporate style guide on people – everyone can select their own Office365 theme, for instance. But some consistency is needed, of course.

What a difference with my (multinational) employer before! There we spent the majority of our intranet redevelopment budget on creating a complicated News setup, which was at that time not available in SharePoint, with fixed page templates and colour schemes, fonts, whitespace and what not.
Did I ever tell you that, after launch of this beast, the team attended a SharePoint conference and learned that Microsoft would be introducing SharePoint News? Out of the box? FOR FREE?
You can imagine what we felt when we heard that πŸ™‚

Please find below an overview of our attempts to keep things consistent. Feel free to translate these to your own organization or clients, and please let me know if you use any other guidelines for this purpose.

1. Structure what can be structured

  • All “formal organizational units” have their own site for publishing pages and news posts.
    Although I know you should not structure your intranet according to the organizational setup, there were hardly any other ways to structure it by without running into other issues, such as ownership. Trust me, we tried πŸ™‚
  • All organizational sites are grouped into one Hub site.
    This allows for one navigation and colour scheme, and roll-up of news.
  • All hub sites have the Blue theme.
    This matches best with our style guide. I offered to change the main blue colour into the actual style guide colour, but that was not necessary.
The standard Blue theme matched well
  • Every hub site has the same site icon.
    This way it is always clear if a site belongs to the intranet.
  • The news web parts on all sites are configured to display title, summary and date only.
    Adding too many data provides a cluttered look. It also uses a little more vertical space.
Left colum: with author, date and views, right column: date only.
  • Headers are compact, footers simple.

2. Provide guidelines for what is flexible

As we use the standard functionality, we had to create some guidelines for writing and design to try and keep the pages and posts consistent and in line with our standards, and to limit the options for publishers. Those guidelines were brought up in training sessions for all potential publishers (and whoever was interested), and are available as reference material.

  • Use a short and catchy title, one line max.
    The title shows what interesting information your text contains, attracts attention, is informative, distinctive and piques curiousity. There are internal trainings for writing catchy titles!
  • Use active text.
    Do not use verbs such as ‘will’, ‘can’, ‘be’, ‘may’, or ‘become’.
  • Do not underline your text.
    Readers may think it is a hyperlink.
  • Avoid abbreviations where possible.
    If you must use one, first write it out completely and add the abbreviation behind it in parentheses. For example: “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)”
  • When you add a document, give the document a clear title, without date or version.
    The date and other information can be viewed from the document library it lives in. And in case you need to edit the information, you do not need to edit the title.
  • Keep your page or news item as short as possible.
    When you really need a long text, please break up your text with headings and use anchors to allow the reader to jump to the desired part immediately.
  • Use capitals sparingly.
    There is a paragraph in the style guide for the use of capitals. (I am a Big Fan of Capitals, but the style guide is not :))
  • Use “One column” or the “One-third right” layout for news posts
    The first one suits straightforward posts, the other is better when you want to add a photo, button, etc.
    For static pages, publishers can use another layout.
The preferred page layout for news when you want more than just text
  • Use our “Image bank” (Organizational assets) or Stock Images for images where possible.
    The photo’s in the image bank are suitable for the organization, and, like the Stock Images, have no copyright issues.
  • When using an introduction text, use standard size, bold, black or “theme dark alternate” blue.
    That blue is well readable and matches best with our corporate colours.
The preferred blue colour
  • For headings, use standard size bold, standard size italics OR heading 2 or 3.
    You can use black or “theme dark alternate” blue, as long as you use the same colour of the introduction text.
  • Add the Publish date on your news posts.
    By default this is off, so this is easy to forget. Perhaps a new page template may help. If anyone knows how to turn this on by default, please let me know!
Show the published date is off by default. 😦
  • Enable comments for news and short-time pages.
    This allows for discussion within the organization.
    You can disable comments for static pages.
Comments are on by default

You probably recognize some of these as standard writing guidelines, but it never hurts to repeat, as not all publishers are experienced writers.

Please note publishers can deviate from these guidelines, e.g. if they have a post or page about a special topic that needs to stand out.

What have we missed? What do you use?

Please let me know which other guidelines you are using to make your vanilla SharePoint news a little consistent.

Is my collection of intranet promotion videos still relevant?

You may know I have been collecting intranet and digitalworkplace promotion videos from 2011 onwards. My aim is to collect and share videos to inform, inspire and amuse the community. They are often a good way to “look inside another organization’s kitchen”, both for the visual design and for the purpose of the intranet.

Below you see my first item, which made me think: “Oh, this is cool, I wonder if there are any more videos of this kind?” πŸ‘‡

Well, there were, and I guess I now have about 600 of those on my list.

I say “about”, because videos come and go. They are not mine, and it depends on the owner whether they stay or get deleted after some time. Additionally, I have had some issues with the hosting platform. About two years ago, it no longer embedded videos from Vimeo properly, so I decided to share some nice items on my blog and I have kept doing that, but I have only shared part of all videos and I really have no clue how many I have. πŸ™‚

Now, the Vimeo troubles have been solved and they have changed their business model and I need to pay to continue adding videos. So I am currently wondering what to do.

Should I stay or should I do something else?

I would like to spend more time on updating my collection, such as adding the last two years of finds, removing references to no longer existing videos, finetuning the tagging, etc. My main concern is not so much the money, but whether it is still worthwhile to continue. Are intranet launch and promotion videos still relevant? Does a collection of this kind still have its uses for people or organizations, or is it just my thing now? Would a Collection on Vimeo and a Playlist on YouTube work as well? Do you like the current mix of Office365 posts and video posts or do you prefer to have a place for each? Do you have any other ideas or suggestions for me?

Please help!

If you are involved in intranets, digital workplaces, internal social platforms, SharePoint etc. and you have an opinion, would you please help me out? I have created a Form to collect your thoughts (anonymously). It takes a minute or two and it would help me a great deal. It will be active until June 30, 2022.

Thank you very much in advance!

Image by Terje Sollie via Pexels

Intranet promotion video’s #12

The latest choice of intranet and digital workplace launch videos!

I recently searched on YouTube, but nice videos are hard to find there. There are many school projects (“what is the difference between internet and intranet?”), recorded meetings, game videos and commercial videos for intranet platforms. Vimeo is apparently more of a catalogue for video creators, and has tons more of the video type I am looking for.

However, please be aware that recently upladed videos on Vimeo need to be “rated” and this will give you a warning. Creating a (free) Vimeo account and logging in solves that issue, so in case you do not see a preview, please make sure to log in!

We have a lot of “people” video’s today!

1. Another intranet with a person name: Lucy

I always like videos with the name of a person. In my most recent overview, there was an intranet called Charlie, named after the founder. This one, for a health care service center based in the Dominican Republic, is called Lucy and that stands for “Linking Us ContinuouslY”.

The VP of Human Resources and the local Marketing Manager show News, training courses, colleagues, work procedures, well, everything you need to make your work life easier.

Uploaded February 2022.


2. Intranet for electricity supplier (in Spanish)

This is an older intranet, you can see it from the design but also from the date of the week menu πŸ™‚

This electricity company from Peru has a homepage with a news carousel. It also has a Photo gallery, Calendar, HR information etc. Strangely enough, the buttons open small popups, and they appear to lead to pdf’s. Hmm.

Uploaded March 2022.


3. Personal welcome to the intranet for temps

I quite like this idea. When you start temporary work for this Australian recruiter, you will get this “personal” welcome video and introduction to the intranet from the General Manager and Founder herself. She explains the importance of the platform, what you can expect, and invites new “hires” to give feedback.

Uploaded February 2022.


4. Another intranet called Connect!

You may remember that I used to work for an organization which named its new intranet “Connect”. Since then I have seen a ton of intranets with that name. Perhaps I should dedicate a post to intranets called Connect! πŸ™‚
This one is for a stairlift company which was founded in the Netherlands, apparently. It is now an international organization. The VP Commercial introduces the new intranet and invites everyone to participate and share their stories. Because “the more you put into it, the more you get out”. This is interesting, as most organizations who did an intranet relaunch boasted that they removed tons of old content clutter and are only relaunching with the bare minimum of necessary information.

Uploaded March 2022.


5. Intranet for a beauty and cosmetics company (in Portuguese)

This intranet, for a Brazilian beauty and cosmetics organization (not sure if it is cosmetic surgery or mainly injectables and fillers – is there a word for that?) looks just as beautiful as their website and their models. πŸ™‚ Nice purple colour, nice icons, large photographs, modern look & feel. It has all the things you expect from an intranet – news, pictures, calendar, social network, and a mobile app.

Uploaded March 2022.

That was it for this time, folks!

Image by Gabriela Palai via Pexels

SharePoint News I might have written πŸ˜‰

When we heard about the functionality “News you might have missed” we could not wait until we found the script to turn that off. As our intranet news sites are all open, and there are more open sites with news, we expected an avalanche of news, while our colleagues are already complaining that they get too much information.

So, disabled it was!

Not so in my own tenant. I have not learned PowerShell yet – it looks easy enough but I need to find out WHERE to insert the command – so I have not disabled the functionality. And as I am the only person in my tenant, I did not really think about it.

A few weeks ago I started posting lots of News, for my tests with the behaviour of images.

To my surprise and amusement I recently received an email titled “News you might have missed”!!!

It contained a number of posts I have created myself…

The email, you see my name everywhere πŸ™‚

Well, in any case I now know what this email looks like! It is slightly different from a regular Newsletter.

This is a regular Newsletter email.

What are your experiences with this functionality? Have you turned it off? If you have not, do people really like it? Please let me know!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Troubleshooting images in SharePoint news

In recent blogs I showed what can go wrong with images in SharePoint news. So, here’s the recap for everyone who is publishing and sharing SharePoint news and everyone who is supporting them. It will save you time trying to find the cause and solution!

These are the issues, their cause and solution:

  1. No header image visible (News post, News web part and SharePoint landing page)
  2. Header image shows a placeholder image (News post, News web part and SharePoint landing page)
  3. No image visible on Yammer when promoted

1. No header image visible

Does your News post look like this?

This is an example of a news post template with no image
This is the same post, but then on the SharePoint landing page

You (or the publisher) may have selected the “plain” template, this does not have a header.

If this is by design, no action is needed.

If an image is desired, edit the post, click the pencil top right next to the title (1) and select a different template than “Plain” (2). You can now add a header image.

You can easily switch the template to add a header image

2. Header image shows a placeholder image

Does your News post look like this?

The news image is a generic grey image

A News post with a generic grey image on the left can have two causes:

  1. Intended readers have no access to the image.
    The image lives in a place (OneDrive, Document library, Site Assets library) that is not accessible for the intended readers. See my earlier post.
    The issue will be reported by someone who does not have access. The image is visible for the publisher and anyone else who has access.
  2. The image has been deleted or moved after publishing.
    It can take some time before this is noticed, especially by the publisher. The image sticks in the browser cache, so the post will look OK to them. But someone “new” to the post will notice immediately that there is no image.
    In my experiments, the post itself will quickly lose its image and show a grey header, on the News web part it will take some more time, and on the SharePoint landing page it may take even longer!
    In the screenshot below the image is still visible on the SharePoint landing page. (All screenshots have been taken at the same time)
    The SharePoint search index may also have a role in this.
While the image has been deleted, it stays visible for some time on the SharePoint landing page

This can be quite hard to troubleshoot if the publisher does not remember where this image came from. Due to the “stickiness” of the image the issue may only be noticed few days after deletion, which may be quite some time after publishing!

And before you say: “Why bother, the news is outdated after a few months anyway?” remember that this also goes for pages!

You can try the following:

  1. If the publisher remembers the site where it lives, (whether it is the OneDrive or another site) you may want to check the Recycle Bin to see if a deleted image is the problem. Restoring it will solve the issue.
  2. If the publisher remembers the site where it lives, check the permissions to validate the assumption. But rather than changing the permissions for one image, suggest the publisher to download and upload the image, and re-add it to the post.
    It means duplication, but now the image is within control of the publisher.
  3. If the publisher does not remember, things are more difficult.
    It is very unlikely that the Site Assets library or folder of the News site itself will have different permissions from the rest of the site. Nonetheless, to exclude that option, check if there is a folder with the name of the news item in the Site Assets library, and then check permissions of the folder and the image. If yes, inherit the permissions of the site or library again, as unique permissions for a News image are not good practice.
  4. Search for the image. “Images” is now a search vertical. It helps if you know the name!
  5. If this is not the case, there is not much you can do. I tried the F12 “underwater screen” to see if I could find a URL that shows the location of the image (like …my.sharepoint.com/… or the name of the site) but until now I have been unsuccessful. If anyone knows, please let me know!
    You’d better suggest to use another image.

So, this would suggest that using Web Search or Upload is the best source of News images, since you are in control. On the other hand, it means duplication of files which may lead to a lot of clutter all over your tenant.
This may also be your trigger to finally create an Organizational Assets library :).
Agree with the owner that images are not deleted, but hidden in a dedicated view when they are no longer in use, and wait a year or so before deletion. This will keep the images visible on News and pages, but discourage further use.

3. No image visible on Yammer when promoted

While it is very easy to “promote” (share) a SharePoint news post to Yammer, not all news posts show their image when shared.

Does your Yammer post look like this? (I am using “new Yammer”, but not “native Yammer”)

Promoted News item with image, but image does not show on Yammer

That is because the post has been created in an older (not Group-enabled) SharePoint team site. (and not in a modern Group-enabled Team site or Communication site)
There is not much you can do about it except confirm, and inform the publisher that this is how things work. This post explains it in more detail.

Does your Yammer post look like this?

This post has an image placeholder

If the promoted News post only shows an image placeholder, it has been shared from a modern site (Communication or Team) but here the image source is the issue. In my earlier post I found that when you use certain image sources there will be no image on Yammer.
In that case, please suggest to your publisher to use an image from one of the following sources and repost to Yammer:

  • Recent (but beware of copyright issues!)
  • Web Search
  • Upload
  • Organizational Assets
  • From a link to an image in an Assets library (not a regular Document Library!)

Hope this saves you time experimenting!

It is information I wrote before but now turned around into a guide for support folks to help their puzzled users! Hope it is helpful.

360 degrees feedback in Forms

There are many tools in use for asking 360 degree feedback. If you have one at your organization, which works well, this post is not for you. πŸ™‚

If your organization uses a protected Word form, please pay attention, as this can be done more efficiently!

The reasons for protected Word documents has never been clear to me; it may have to do with avoiding that people change the document accidentally or on purpose. In any case, I do not like it, as I think it is an inefficient way of doing things and, even more importantly, a password-protected document can not be opened by someone who has a F3-license!

So, when someone asked for help because he could not open the document in Word Online, I immediately thought of replacing it with a Form.

  • The Form can be made into a template and shared across the organization.
  • As the information collected is for your eyes only, you can personalize the Form if you see fit – in appearance, in introductory text, or even questions. (Although I would be careful with the latter)
  • You can automatically collect names & email addresses of all invited colleagues, without them having to type it. You can also do it anonymously if that feels better.
  • All feedback is automatically collected in one Excel file without you having to cut and paste from various Word documents.

The Word document

It contains the following:

  1. Organization logo
  2. Field to enter the name of the owner of the file (who is looking for feedback)
  3. Field to enter the name of the feedback-giver (so it is not anonymous)
  4. Date
  5. Q1: What does this employee do well? What is (s)he good at?
  6. Q2: What would you like to tell this empoyee? What should they think about? (Good advice, suggestions)
  7. Q3: What can be improved? Is there any behaviour that they might want to change?
  8. Q4: Additional feedback (optional)

The Form

I rebuilt the Form and ended up with just the 4 questions. I aso rephrased the questions to be more personal. (What does this employee do well > What do you think I do well?)

The rest is built into the Form. (OK, I admit that I forgot to add the logo in the screenshot below)

The Form, just 4 questions

Template instructions, for the owner

How to share the Form as a template: Microsoft info

A new place to create a template; it was under Send, then it was a separate person icon, now it is under …
You create the link to the template here

You will get a link, which you can share on a SharePoint page, with some instructions, or someplace else.
Make sure that there are copies somewhere, in case the owner leaves the organization!

Template instructions, for the user

  • Click on the link to the feedback template
  • On top of the page, click “Duplicate It”
Creating the individual Form (with logo this time!) from a template
  • You will now have a copy in your list of Forms.
  • Please click on the title and delete the word “Copy”
  • Check and adjust the introduction text
  • Click on the … top right and check the Settings. Do you collect names and email addresses (or do you prefer anonymous feedback?) and do you have a nice personalized “thank-you text”? Adjust when needed.

Your 360-degree feedback request is now ready to be shared with the selected colleagues.

(I am assuming that the user knows how to work with Forms otherwise, such as sharing the link and collecting the responses)

Do you want to try it?

I have made the Form available for you. As it is now available for anyone, I am no longer collecting email and names as I would when using an internal Form. But please…

Unfortunately templates only work within an organization, so I can not share the template with you, but it is very simple to recreate.

Please let me know if you found this useful!

A collection!

By the way – I finally found a reason to use collections in Forms: I have created a collection called “Forms from my blog” πŸ™‚

Intranet promotion videos #11

I thought it was time for a few new intranet videos. The below are all from Vimeo, which has turned out to be a better source than YouTube. The only drawback is that you will need an account (free) with Vimeo and log in in order to see some videos. This is a recent measure.

So, create an account, log on and enjoy!

1. New intranet for a global construction/engineering company (teaser)

“A Digital Headquarters to bring employees from all geographies together”. This intranet for a global engineering company (mostly agricultural from the website) is named after the CEO (who is also the name-giver for the company) which is a nice touch. Many employees feature in this teaser.
Sadly you can’t see much of the actual intranet, but it is supposed to be social and connecting, and not just functional en efficient. I also get a little irritated these days by all that corporate talk and big intentions, but I am sure that’s just me!

Uploaded January 2022.

2. Updated intranet for an Australian child care organization (demo)

After a rather bombastic musical intro, you see a decent functional SharePoint intranet with all the usual trimmings. The demo takes you through all the menu items. It has a focus on documents and links rather than news. (Nice search options in the central Document library, by the way).

There’s also some community elements.

The site title shows this is a demo site, so I hope that they have had the time to add some images to the link tiles, and to update the icons for the Office applications in the real site πŸ™‚

Uploaded September 2021.

3. Canadian university/college (teaser)

“The more you engage the better it will be”. Quite a cryptic promise, especially because there is no explanation of how that would work.” There is also no preview of the intranet, which is disappointing.

This teaser is one big promise for a new intranet called College Connect, and as you may know, one of the intranets I worked on/for has been called Connect, so I have always been partial to the name. πŸ™‚

Uploaded February 2021.

4. Intranet for a Swedish university (demo)

An interesting SharePoint intranet with a few non-standard items, I think: breadcrumbs on pages, selection of news sources (different than following sites) and My Menu.
I like the yellow dots that signify central sites. Technically it is just the site icon, but I like the concept to separate content in subtle ways, while keeping the design consistent.

There’s also some attention for general SharePoint stuff: search, save for later, navigation and the SharePoint mobile app.

Tip: if you think the speaker talks a bit slowly, you can speed up by clicking on the gearwheel at the bottom of the video and adjusting the speed.

Uploaded January 2022.

5. New intranet for a US online fashion store (teaser)

Nice colourful teaser for this fashion store. It has relevant info and a social component, and even “integration with Slack and workspaces”. I do not think this is a SharePoint intranet πŸ™‚

Uploaded September 2021.

That’s all for today, folks!

Photo byΒ Terje SollieΒ fromΒ Pexels