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SharePoint Conference 2014–The User Experience Designer’s Edition

The time is almost here when thousands of SharePoint professionals from around the globe descend on Las Vegas. I am honored to be one of the speakers at this years event and am looking forward to sharing my session with you. "SPC203 – Adjust the Perspective with Responsive Designs for SharePoint”

This year at the SharePoint Conference I have put together a group of recommended sessions for anyone who is a User Experience person.  Just some recommendations and things to watch out for. As a UX person for SharePoint there are so many great sessions this year on all the hot topics we need to be prepared for.  So get ready… set…. go to:

Session

Speaker

Date/Time

SPC 203 – Adjust the Perspective with Responsive Designs for SharePoint Cathy Dew 3/4 3:15 – 4:30
SPC 207 – Best Practices for Information Architecture and Enterprise Search Agnes Molnar and Sezai Komur 3/5 1:45 – 3:00
SPC 215 – Tips & Tricks to make the most out of your SharePoint site and Maximize Adoption Laura Rogers and Jennifer Mason 3/5 3:15 – 4:30
SPC 226 – Content Types, Managed Metadata and You Lori Gowin 3/5 5:00 – 6:15
SPC 228 – Deliver Adaptive and personalized experiences for your SharePoint 2013 sites Ryan Sockalosky 3/5 1:45 – 3:00
SPC 229 – Designing and Applying information architecture for SharePoint and Office 365 Agnes Molnar and Israel Vega Jr. 3/5 9:00 – 10:15
SPC 247 – Successful team collaboration with Yammer & SharePoint Steve Hopkins and Agnus Florance 3/4 5:00 – 6:15
SPC 265 – 6 Proven Steps to Get the Best Out of Search in SharePoint 2013 Paul Olenick 3/5 1:45 – 3:00
SPC 285 – No-code SharePoint 2013 Solutions for Power Users Asif Rehmani and Mark Gillis 3/4 3:15 – 4:30
SPC 290 – Branding Internet Facing web sites with SharePoint in the Cloud John Ross, Randy Drisgill 3/4 3:15 – 4:30
SPC 305 – SharePoint Web Templates for on-premises and the Cloud Mirjam Van Olst 3/4 5:00 – 6:15
SPC 311 – Nationwide: Building a World-Renowned Intranet with SharePoint 2013 and Yammer Jeff Schuman 3/4 9:00 – 10:15
SPC 321 – Customizing Search Experiences with Azure Hosted Data and Bing Maps Rainer Asbach and Timo Heidschuster 3/5 3:15 – 4:30
SPC 322- SharePoint 2013 Search Display Templates and query rules Matthew McDermott 3/6 9:00 – 10:15
SPC 326 – Customizing your SharePoint sites using the SharePoint Theming Engine Jonathan Keslin and Lionel Robinson 3/4 1:45 – 3:00
SPC 332 – Overview of Yammer App Development Brian Lyttle 3/4 9:00 – 10:15
SPC 337 – Search-driven Publishing in SharePoint Online Alex Pope and Helge Solheim 3/4 1:45 – 3:00
SPC 339 – SharePoint 2013 Hybrid End-to-End Sam Hassani 3/3 2:00 – 3:15
SPC 340 – SharePoint 2013 Search Analytics Nicki Borell and Thorsten Hans 3/5 9:00 – 10:15
SPC 345 – SharePoint for any screen size: an in-depth look into building responsive web design Eric Overfield and Rita Zhang 3/4 1:45 – 3:00
SPC 351 – Trends in Designing Portals for SharePoint 2013 Kanwal Hipple and Eric Lytle 3/3 3:45 – 5:00
SPC 357 – Developing an intranet on Office 365 Eric Shupps 3/5 9:00 – 10:15
SPC 359 – E-commerce solutions with Dynamics for Retail & SharePoint 2013 Balaji Balasubramanian and Meera Mahabala 3/5 5:00 – 6:00
SPC 365 – Governing & Configuring Organizational Sites in an Enterprise Environment Sean Squires 3/5 3:15 – 4:30
SPC 378 – Make your SharePoint social in 1-2-3! Runar Olsen and Thomas Molbach 3/4 9:00 – 10:15
SPC 388 – SharePoint 2013 Powering Web Sites and Mobile Apps Waldek Mastykarz 3/5 10:45 – 12:00
SPC 390 – Creating Internet Facing Websites with SharePoint on-premises or in the cloud Todd Baginski 3/5 3:15 – 4:30
SPC 398 – WCM in SharePoint 2013 for IT Pros from 0 to Infinity Faizan Khan and Robert Cullick 3/4 3:15 – 4:30

One other big thing at SPC this year is that we are doing another SharePoint Branders Gathering for lunch on Monday. Simply meet us at the Planet Technologies booth in the Expo Hall at noon on Monday and we will all sit together at lunch.  This is a great opportunity to network with other SharePoint branders at the conference and make some great friends for the entire event.

If you would like to be included on the MySPC meeting request, simple comment on one of the Yammer networks (SPYam or SPC14) and allow Meeting Requests on your Profile and I will send you a meeting request.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you again and meeting many more people at SPC. The most important thing of SPC is to not be afraid to come up and speak to anyone, it is your chance to meet and network with any SharePointer.

Viva Las Vegas and see you all soon!

SharePoint Saturday the Conference–Recap

Let me start this blog post out with a gigantic thank you to all the organizers and sponsors for this amazing event! Without all of their hard work and dedication to the SharePoint community this event never would have happened.

Next up, a giant thank you to everyone who attended this event.  I am always surprised at just how many people come out to learn about SharePoint. And I am humbled every time someone comes to hear me speak.

At SharePoint Saturday the Conference – DC I was able to present a full day workshop: SharePoint Branding 101.  This workshop was exciting for me to try and fit in as much branding goodness into 6 hours as I could.  It was certainly a challenge.

During the day we discussed a full range of topics from Requirements Gathering for Branding all the way through to Implementation and Deployment of Features.

Now that we have all had a moment to take a breath and recover a bit from this very full day of branding learning. I wanted to post out a few things for you.  First up are the slides from the presentation.  Hopefully they will help some of you out as you approach projects in the future. (Thanks for the feedback from a few of you I helped already, it certainly makes me happy to share)

SharePoint Branding 101 Presentation

I really enjoyed spending the day with those of you who were able to join my session in DC. I look forward to meeting many more of the SharePoint Branding intrepid over the next few months!

I am sorry for the delay in posting this.  I also wanted to add a quick listing of helpful tools and items I mentioned in the session.

Wireframing:

Balsamiq Mockups – This is a for purchase application, not free

Visio Graphic Stencils – These are a free download

Visio User Interface Stencils – These are for purchase, not free.

SharePoint Design: (both of these are great and a huge undertaking for both of the creators!)

Starter Master Pages Courtesy of Randy Drisgill – A Gigantic Thanks to Randy

SharePoint 2010 CSS Chart Courtesy of Heather Solomon – A Gigantic Thanks to Heather

It’s a SharePoint 2010 year, but Wait it is 2011

This year is off to a great start! I am even committed to blogging more this year.  You will see at least one blog from me each month here this year and I will try to do more that that.

First off, the book that I have worked on with a great team of people is now available on Amazon.com. SharePoint 2010: Six-in-One 

Secondly I have been on the road already this year teaching the second session of the new Mindsharp SharePoint Designer 2010 course.  Next up I venture to the frozen tundra of the northern states. But those snow boots I bought sure did come in handy as I was frozen in Atlanta this last week.

Oh and if you are wondering where you can find me soon… Well I will be speaking at the Best Practices Conference 2011 in La Jolla, California. Then I will be off to the Connections Conference in Orlando, Florida. And finally over to the Best Practices Conference in the UK in London, England.

So much fun and exciting stuff going on in this year already. So if you haven’t lost your breath already trying to keep up with my schedule, keep an eye out here for some great SharePoint 2010 Branding information over the next few months.

And Happy New Year to you all!

SharePoint Saturday Huntsville

SharePointSaturdayBanner

The time has almost come and I am almost ready.  Are you ready?

SharePoint Saturday Huntsville will be here in just 2 short weeks. On May 1st lots of great SharePoint knowledge will be shared for free with any and all who wish to attend.

I have had the pleasure of heading up this great event this year for our first foray into the SharePoint Saturday club here in Huntsville.

It is a lot of work, but I am happy to work hard to get so many great speakers here for the community. We will have speakers on a wide variety of topics from administration, search, business intelligence, infopath, and even social networking.

Where else in Alabama can you hear Bill English, Ben Curry, and Robert Cain – all MVPs speak about SharePoint? And to top that off we have speakers from Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, and New Jersey coming here to share their knowledge with us. 

Make sure you register to attend this great event if you are in the area. (only 1 1/2 hours from both Birmingham and Nashville, and a short drive from Atlanta and Memphis.

I look forward to seeing faces old and new on May 1, 2010!

SharePoint Conference 2009 – Recap

I had no idea that what to expect in attending the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas this year.  I expected a great place to see my friends and to learn about SharePoint 2010.

What I didn’t expect was the complete, almost overwhelming feeling of being in such a social situation with so many other SharePoint enthusiasts. There were over 7,000 people attending the SharePoint Conference this year. And starting from day 1, we were all excited to be around each other and to try and learn as much as we could from each other in such a short period of time.

I’m going to try and recap what I experienced in being here at the conference.

I got into Las Vegas on Saturday, October 17th.  I wanted to come to town early and experience at least one of the shows on the strip before all the SharePoint started.  So on Saturday when I arrived mid afternoon, I went to the Luxor and checked in.  I then promptly went down to the Luxor pool.  It was so relaxing to leave home and hit a warmer town where I could hang out at the pool again. (okay so I live in Alabama and had been at the pool 2 weeks prior, but it was a chilly 42 degrees F when I left Birmingham that morning)

At the pool, I met up with some of the other SharePoint people who had come to town early. After this I was off to see “O” by Cirque de Soliel at the Bellagio.  So I hopped in a cab and off I went to the Bellagio.  Wow, this show was great.  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go to a great show in Vegas.  I really loved the mix of circus with water! After the show I headed back to the Luxor to hang with a crew at the bar.

On Sunday we started off the Conference with registration and of course the SharePint event.  There were lots of people there and lots of twitter shirts out in the crowd.  It is so nice when people introduce themselves with their real name and their twitter name.  For those of us who have twitter names that aren’t our real names it is sometimes hard for people to know our actual names. 

On Monday morning, you could feel the excitement for the keynote speeches to start and for the NDA to be lifted on SharePoint 2010. In the main ballroom, people were excited, and even some dancing in the ailses.  What a fun time that was!  The keynote kicked off and the NDA was lifted.  We killed twitter several times throughout the keynote with all the SPC09 tweets.

The rest of the Monday was filled with Overview sessions on all kinds of 2010 topics. I have to say, there were so many wonderful sessions at SPC09 that I had a really hard time picking which ones to attend.  I attended several sessions on Monday, but I won’t go into detail about them.

While at me, it was pleased to be a part of the EndUserSharePoint live blogging team.  Our goal in doing live blogging at these conferences is to give people who can’t attend in person a look into what is being discussed at the conference.  We had a great group of live bloggers this time around. It was a bit of a challenge for us this time with no designated plugs for our laptops in the session rooms, but we did what we could.

Each day  we followed the same schedule, Breakfast, Sessions, Lunch, Sessions, Break, Sessions. I will say that I got quite the workout while at the conference.  The walk from the Luxor to the Conference Center at Mandalay was 1 1/2 miles each way, plus all the additional walking that we did to attend session spread out among 3 floors. It makes me tired just thinking about it and my feet are going to be sore for weeks I think.

Wednesday night was the big conference event with the 80’s Beach Party.  I was sad that I couldn’t stay at this party, but with the stress fractures I had in my foot earlier this year, I can’t walk in sand.  But I did make a quick appearance and got to see Huey Lewis and the News perform the Power of Love.

It was fun to have a birthday at the SharePoint conference and mine was Thursday. I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and to everyone who helped me celebrate my birthday! I told people that it was my birthday and I would SharePoint if I wanted to.  I couldn’t have picked a better location or a better group of people to celebrate with.

Withthe official conference ending on Thursday, it was time to say goodbye to some of my friends both old and new.  I was lucky enough to attend the post conference sessions, so my time in Vegas was not over.  I spent Friday with Todd Klindtand Shane Young in their install and Upgrade session.  Then after I headed out for one last night on the town.

Over all this was a completely overwhelming conference, my feet hurt, I’m tired, and my brain is full of SharePoint 2010.  But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I met so many people to even mention them by name, but I want you all to know that I enjoyed meeting you all and that I hope to continue to meet new people everywhere I go.

SharePint Saturday Toronto

So as many of you know, we SharePointers like to be social.  Well, SharePoint Saturday was no different.  I had such a great time visiting the great city of Toronto.  I met so many great people and we had such a great time.

TorontoSharePintDowntown16

TorontoSharePintDowntown15

I especially want to thank Rob Windsor, Richard Harbridge and Ruven Gotz for taking me out on the town and showing me Toronto!

TorontoSharePintDowntown11

The CN Tower.  It was cool to see it change colors all night long.  I have been up in the tower before and so we skipped that this time around.

TorontoSharePintDowntown9

The Ontario College of Art and Design.  I don’t know about you, but this cool architecture was really a neat thing to see.  Toronto had lots of really great architecture. But you know what, I don’t think that I could go up and study in this building.  I would be afraid that the pick up stick looking legs would at one point snap and I would come tumbling down.

TorontoSharePintDowntown6 Me hanging out with Richard Harbridge and Rob Windsor on this sculpture.

TorontoSharePintDowntown5Me and Richard Harbridge and Ruven Gotz hanging out on this statue outside the Art Museum.

TorontoSharePintDowntown2So after walking around we went up to this cool bar and had a couple more drinks.

TorontoSharePintDowntown4I was a little confused as to why there was a plastic monkey in my drink. It was the last thing I expected when I ordered my Belini 🙂

What a Busy Week Already

Wow, this week has been a whirlwind and it is only Tuesday night.  So far this week, I have travelled to Atlanta for the Atlanta SharePoint Users Group meeting and taught a SharePoint Designer Level 1 class at New Horizons training center.  It has been a SharePoint full week.

The drive to Atlanta was easy yesterday afternoon and much tougher on the way back to Birmingham.  There were some pretty nasty storms on the way back. I thought for a minute that I was going to get blown off the road.  But, I just kept on going and made it back. There was quite a bit of lightning and at one point I enjoyed quite a strobe light style show with the lightning and my windshield wipers.

Today’s class on SharePoint Designer was a really good one.  I had a great group of people who were attending the class. I was quite happy to mix a little more of some of my presentations in with the materials for the class.  It is also always a good time for me to promote the Bham SPUG.  I am always on the lookout for new recruits for my user group.

Let’s see, I am also working on some other projects at home this week.  I am working on a baby quilt for a friend. I am also working on an invitation design for one of my charity groups.  This one is for the VSA Arts of Alabama Art Partners event in August. My other big charity meeting for this week is my board meeting for the Children’s Dance Foundation.