Managing Expectations When Making Your SharePoint Team Sites Look Pretty

Once you’ve started to get SharePoint around your head a bit, you will want to make your site look prettier.  It’s sometimes hard to justify to your bosses what you’ve been doing all day long when you’ve been working on SharePoint the whole day – it may not look like you’ve done much right?  It’s even harder when the bosses have no idea how SharePoint works, they think you’ve been messing around all day.  People don’t understand how long it takes to do certain things.

If that happens, I hope this blog post will help you justify that.  I’ve been redesigning the Lets Collaborate website yet again – I get bored with it so easily. 🙂  Five site pages took me nearly 8 hours to do, site pages!  And I’ve been doing SharePoint full-time for 7 years this year! And this is just done using PowerPoint, not even code anywhere. And I’m not finished.  So don’t be disheartened if things are taking you a while, that’s just how it goes. Especially when you need to do the pretty stuff.  Just remember, before you get to the pretty stuff, you have to build the backbone first, your lists and libraries.

LC New Design 1 LC New Design 2

2013 New Look Success StoriesLC New Design 4 LC New Design 5


  1. Well we’re working on it, and supposedly by the end of the year they will have a way for us IT people working in the divisions to be able to use SPD (I will believe it when I see it, plus I know it will be costly).. I do workflows now in a sandbox – (SP team copies a site to the sandbox, I do my workflow, submit a case and documentation, and they redo my work in the production site). I only do simple workflows – anything else I hand off to the team and we get charged the full amount (how ever many hours they work on it). When we need other things done that SPD can do, we either go without or find a work around.

    Haha.. yeah FrontPage still was alive here until last year. They are no longer installing it though. Now people who are using it to change their intranet page are getting SPD2007 (not sure what they will do when that is no longer available since SPD2010 won’t work well). And yes we have intranet and SharePoint internally. We’re going to try to get rid of our intranet in our division though, because people mostly use it to look up org announcements.. (and we can stick those on SP)


  2. Sorry hun. If it’s any consolation, you are by far not the only business user to be denied access to SPD. In my early years in SharePoint, I had the same view point – block SPD! I’ve subsequently learnt that that is a knee jerk reaction that actually ends up hindering innovation and business empowerment. Front Page still lives? 🙂 Maybe what you can do, is gather a bunch of links to people who advocate that SPD is also an business enabler. Look for Kerri Abrahams on, she’s written extensively on this. Put a body of evidence together, learn how to use the tool, and then go with a complete solution to IT. Don’t forget the golden words of always making a copy of the default.master before making changes to it.


  3. Ahh. I see. I was actually hoping for an easier way, since they only let the SharePoint team have access to SPD (so like 5 people). Even though I’m IT, I’m IT for my division/business, so they don’t let us have it. I’ve done pictures/flowcharts before and then had to bring them into FrontPage (haha.. yes it’s old but it works), then put the hotspots on, copy the code, and then paste it into a web page. It’s a lot of work, so I only do it when I know it’s something that won’t change for a while.

    I do like your design. I may have to borrow a few elements for our internal SP resource center. 🙂


  4. We don’t save them as web pages. We draw them in PowerPoint then snag the whole design as a jpg, then insert it into the site page and add hotspots using SharePoint Designer. The only thing about this method is that it is not responsive design, so if you access the site on different devices, you’d have to scroll back and forth and click around to get anywhere.

    Instructions how :

    I’ve just been quoted too much money to brand my internet facing site, I can’t justify the expense. But with internal intranet or team sites, it doesn’t matter that much cos it’s mostly an onsite access thing.

    Hope that helps. Shout if you need more info.


  5. I would be interested in how you are doing this in PowerPoint. I used to do some of these types of things in PPT, but we switched to PPT2010 and now there is no option to save as web page (i can in Excel but that doesn’t help much). Just wondering if you could share with me how you are doing this..


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