It ended up being a game time decision for my first session at #SPC11. I literally made the decision as to which session I would attend as I was walking back to the Convention Center after taking a break after the Keynote. The other contender was Creating Beautiful and Engaging Web Sites with SharePoint 2010 presented by Randy Drisgill and John Ross. It was a tough decision since I really have a passion around user interface design and SharePoint branding, but I must admit I was very intrigued by the name Oranges, Rocket Ships and Six Pack Abs – What Your SharePoint Corporate Portal is Lacking presented by Karuana Gatimu of SKECHERS USA , and also the consolation that I would be attending another session of Randy and John’s later in the week.
So what on earth do oranges, rocket ships, and six pack abs have to do with SharePoint?
- Oranges – as Karuana explained it, oranges are the perfect fruit. They are round, beautiful, and you know exactly what you’re supposed to do with it when handed one. Likewise your SharePoint portal should be beautiful, intuitive, and your users should not have to ask what they can do there – they should just know.
- Rocket ships – this basically refers to performance. Rocket ships are powerful and fast, and that’s what your SharePoint portal needs to be. In addition it needs to be scalable. And if users have to wait for their site to load, they likely won’t want to use it.
- Six pack abs – everyone wants them, but few have the discipline, motivation, or focus to obtain them. Your SharePoint portal is never truly done. You can’t just throw it out there and then walk away. In order to be great, it takes lots of hard work to continuously make it better.
Some other noteworthy points from the session:
- “Don’t underestimate the power of chocolate in your organization” – referring to the occasional bribe to your SharePoint administrator
- Great page-load analogy: Pages must load by halfway through a sip of coffee
- Microsoft is going to release several free branding templates that can be applied at the site and site collection level.
My take on the session : It was a very interesting first session to kick off the conference with some good tips on how to take your portal from good to great.