Modern SharePoint: The citizen Developer’s best friend

Author Tracy van der Schyff Sessions: The Evolution of Finding Stuff & Necessary Steps to Adopting a Digital First Business Mindset

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with SharePoint for many years, starting with SharePoint 2007. As humans, it’s natural to accept what works and complain or be miserable about what doesn’t.
I’m fortunate to be an overly positive person, so I focus on what makes me happy and then find ways to fix the things that don’t. I’ve also been in many situations in companies where they wouldn’t give me the ‘fancy’ tools or permissions to do what I needed or wanted to do. For example: Graphic design software, Central Admin or even SharePoint Designer. #TrueStory. So, guess what? I became good at achieving more with less.
To the horror of those around me I designed my graphics in PowerPoint, created code in Excel to surface image maps in SharePoint, built continuous image, promoted links and added crazy snippets on pages to create wonderful things. Might not have been the best thing to do, but I got to know SharePoint out-the-box features well and used Microsoft Office as my magic wand.

Which brings me to Modern SharePoint or SharePoint Online as they call it.

Now you don’t have to be a SharePoint Cowboy anymore to create beautiful, responsive web sites. In the past (versions) we had to put a lot of effort in to change the look and feel of SharePoint and making it responsive required some serious development. Modern SharePoint changed all of that!

5 Things that made me fall in love with SharePoint again

1. News Pages

It simply couldn’t be easier to build informative news articles (announcements) which not only includes text and images, but the ability to add web parts to display videos, surveys, reports etc.

2. Responsive

SharePoint is now fully responsive and displays perfectly on mobile and tablet devices.

3. SharePoint Mobile App

Our smart phones are becoming our new laptops. With the SharePoint Mobile App you can access all your sites and content as well as read published news articles.

4. Web Parts Available

Have you seen all the web parts you can add? Apart from the integration with other Office 365 Apps & Services, the Hero Web Part, Quick Links and News Web Parts are my favourites.

5. Ease of Use

Seeing is believing. Adding web parts, moving them around and configuring the different layouts are so easy that with a bit of training and guidelines you’ll be up and running in no time.


On the 5th of August, I’ll be delivering a workshop to take you through all the new features in SharePoint Online as well as provide you with guidelines on Intranets and the new Information Architecture. You’ll also learn to create your own beautiful graphics and videos with PowerPoint.

This session will not only focus on Intranets using Communication Site Templates, but also the standard Team Site Template which sits behind your Microsoft Team. If you’re a SharePoint Site Owner, responsible for content on your Intranet or the creation of announcements and news articles, then this workshop is for you. Especially if Training, Change Management and User Adoption are some of your focus areas.
Hope I’ll see you there for a day filled with learning, creativity and lots of fun. Click here for more information.