SharePoint Home Experience Preview

The new SharePoint Home experience in Office 365 is rolling out now, read on to see a preview and things to look out for.

These changes are part of the Future of SharePoint event, please read my in depth walk through of these announcements here

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SharePoint Home

You will know when the new SharePoint Home web experience is live on your tenant, as you will see Sites renamed to SharePoint in the app launcher and the tab. 

Going into SharePointfor the first time, an introduction will be shown.  Frequent sites are front and center.

For each site three events are shown, such as documents you viewed or documents that are popular or have been changed.  All of this is powered by Office Graph to show the most relevant content.

SharePoint Home Preview

You can 'star' sites to follow them, also you can keep track of recent sites.

SharePoint Home Preview

For stuff that's important that you want to make sure is visible to staff, administrators can add links

SharePoint Home Preview

Suggested will surface sites where there is activity that might be related to you but you perhaps haven't seen yet.

SharePoint Home Preview

Here is what SharePoint Home actually looks like, where all of this is brought together.

Search

Search is great, even without searching for anything recent sites and files are shown. Searching for a term shows sites and files but not people. Click Show more results will bring up results organized into Sites, Files and People.

The SharePoint home page includes a smart search box that lets you to quickly find the sites, files, and people you're looking for. When you start typing in the search box, you'll see suggestions appear that are based on sites and files you've recently viewed and on popular searches within your organization.

SharePoint Home Document Libraries

You get a notification that Document Libraries are getting a new look as well.

SharePoint Home Preview

Here is the new SharePoint Home Document Library experience, ignore the Sites moniker, this is from a demo before the SharePoint branding had changed.

SharePoint Home Preview

What I like about this is OneDrive for Business and Document Libraries have a uniform look and feel.  This should help with adoption and usability.  Here are the options when selecting a file.

File Options Classic vs New

The options that are presented when right clicking on a file or clicking the ... button in the document library have changed.  Here I show you the classic vs new options side by side.

Classic

New

Microsoft always seems to be tweaking with these options so I wouldn't be surprised if they are changed again. 

Switch from new or classic Document Libraries

What if you are not ready for the new refined document library interface? Users can switch back themselves to the classic view.  Taking it a step further there are three ways of reverting back to the classic view and switching back as needed:

  • Change individual ​document libraries to use the new or classic interface (for document library owners)
  • Change the default for all document libraries in the SharePoint admin center (for administrators)
  • Change the default experience for document libraries on a site collection or site level using Windows PowerShell (for administrators)

I tried the middle option and it took a while to change.  I'd give it up to 24 hours to be certain.

See this Office Support article for full details - Switch the default for document libraries from new or classic.

SharePoint Home - Thoughts?

This feature is rolling out now, though that doesn't mean you will necessarily see it straight away.  It's being pushed out to First Release first and the rollout will be completed in the next several weeks.  

Some features may be incomplete or not quite work completely at this stage.​  There is some intial documentation on the Office support site

I really like these changes, it's only going to make SharePoint adoption easier and empower staff to work smarter.  

What do you think of SharePoint Home? Catch me on Twitter @CianAllner, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Look out for further Office 365 articles coming this way.