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Customizing the SharePoint Online Modern Experiences

What is SharePoint Modern Experience? 

SharePoint experience is a new way of delivering the contents to the end users. It ensures the end user can access the SharePoint with modern browser capabilities mostly using the client-side development approaches.  

It’s doesn’t mean classic experience is deprecated, still both the classic and modern experience is supported within SharePoint Online.  

What are the modern experiences in SharePoint Online? 

  • Modern Communication Sites 
  • Modern Team Sites
  • Modern SharePoint Site pages 
  • Modern SharePoint lists & libraries 
  • Modern SharePoint web-parts 
  • Modern SharePoint site branding 

As an administrator of your tenant, you can control how the modern experience has to be delivered to all the users. 

Convert your SharePoint root site with Modern experience 

If your SharePoint tenant is created in recent times, then your SharePoint root site comes with modern experience. But if it is an existing tenant you may see your SharePoint root site with classic experience. 

It’s not possible to convert the classic site completely to a modern site, so rather doing that. You can create a fresh modern communication site and mark that as your root site. Refer this documentation to replace your root site 

Customize modern lists & libraries 

SharePoint Modern lists & libraries are one of the key modernization areas which gives better user experience to the user. It can also be controlled at the site/web/list level to decide which experience that user can have on your lists &b libraries. 

Below are few options that you can play with your lists to customize it 

  • Customize the list form using Power Apps 
  • Build & Deploy SharePoint framework extensions to add a new Command button or to implement styling in your list view. 

Classic & Modern SharePoint customization approaches 

Branding 

  • Classic/Legacy – Implemented using master pages, page layouts, themes 
  • Modern – Implemented using “Change the look” option in Settings gear icon of a site 

Navigation 

  • Classic/Legacy – Implemented using structured navigation and metadata navigation settings 
  • Modern – Implemented using modern hearer section along with target audience 

SharePoint Page 

  • Classic/Legacy – Build a page choosing the predefined layout like Wiki Pages or custom layout  
  • Modern – Implemented using modern site page with the help of sections to organize the webparts within the page. 

Workflow 

  • Classic/Legacy – SharePoint Designer workflows are used. 
  • Modern – Power Automate (previously MS Flow) is recommended now. 

SharePoint Forms 

  • Classic/Legacy – InfoPath forms or any third-party tools Nintex forms are used. 
  • Modern – Power Apps can be used to customize your SharePoint forms 

SharePoint Webparts 

  • Classic/Legacy – Provider hosted/SharePoint hosted or JSOM approach with JavaScript injection 
  • Modern – SharePoint framework is the preferred development approach now.  

Define templates for creating Modern Pages 

Implementing templatization while creating SharePoint modern Pages helps the group of users use that template to create news/page based on the defined template. For example, a CEO wants to publish a news, he can have a defined template with the page sections and webparts predefined. Then he/she can just come in and update only the contents. 

Its’s not so complicated to do so, just go and create a normal site page and design the page in a way you want it to be templatized. Click the “Save page as template” option in the Save Draft dropdown. 

Conclusion 

I hope this article helps you to get understand different ways to customize SharePoint online modern experience with modern tools and tricks. If you have any questions/issues about this article, please let me know in comments.

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