Requirements Gathering for SharePoint Branding

08/08/2012

First of all, I’ll introduce myself to the world because this is my first post. I’m Kashish  Kumar and I have been doing Branding from the last year. Now, I think I’m in a position where I can write posts about Branding and answer any questions that the reader might have.

When I started SharePoint Branding, I had no idea where to start and I’m sure there are so many like me who would like some guidance. I know there are so many posts of Branding on web but I also want to contribute to the SharePoint Community. There are some findings of mine which I couldn’t find anywhere on web and that may help someone. We’ll explore everything as we go along.

Let’s start with requirements gathering:

Here are some questions that you should ask your client when you are gathering the requirements for the branding work:

1. Why the customer is considering to Brand their SharePoint? Customer is looking for a good user experience and they also want to match the company brand by customising SharePoint. Marketing department usually thinks of SharePoint as a normal website, although it is possible to make SharePoint look like any other website but customising takes more time when it comes to SharePoint.

Most clients that I have worked for do not want to pay for more than 2 days for the branding work. Before you scope your branding work, you need to set expectations what is possible in the time that your client has bought.

2. What exactly are they looking for? Are they looking for different page layouts, new master page, branding individual web parts, etc. (complex branding) or just the simple branding to match their brand (change the colours in top navigation and quick launch, and change the logo).

3. How do they want to use the global navigation? Very Important – You need to sit down with your customer and plan the navigation so that user can find the stuff easily on the site. User experience should be fruitful.

4. Will the customer provide all the design materials? This is easy if customer will provide all the design materials (images, icons, logos, style guidelines). If you are not the graphic designer then you will need to have graphic designer on board with you who can help you with the design.

5. Which browser is used by most users? This is really important and latest browsers can render CSS3 but old browsers cannot. From my experience of Branding so far, most companies are still using IE8 or old browsers. CSS3 is compatible with IE10+, latest Chrome and Firefox. If you are doing branding for the internet site then you will need to test your site in all the major browsers and you will also need to reach on an agreement with your client for the browsers.

6. What screen resolution users will be using? You will need to check the screen resolution that the most users are using in the organisation or just use responsive design (again responsive design will take more time).

That’s it for today and we’ll start the real work from the next post. You can leave any comments or any questions if you might have.

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