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module layout selection adding customised modules to the layout

Dynamic Templating System

As an off-shoot of the development of the boilerplate/styleguide, our design team had identified a need to speed up the way we develop Sharepoint sites.

At present, whenever a Sharepoint project is requested, there is a lot of time spent building the layout using customised code, when we really should be taking the modular format of the boilerplate further. We also noted that many internal departments attempt to create their own Sharepoint sites “in-house”, often without thought to how the software works or with a lack of actual coding experience, and as a result, we receive a lot of requests for assistance fixing broken layouts.

In an attempt to avoid these problems in the future, Adrian considered the boilerplate in a wider view, and thought about whether we could take the modular system of development to creating Sharepoint sites.

The original project brief that I received from Adrian and Lauren was to look at redesigning e-Learning’s own intranet site in a modular format, and turn it into a portal site similar to how agencies and design consultancies within the design industry present their sites. The intention was to use our portal site as a showcase for what we can do with the software, with the aim of using it to generate more work for our team.

Since the original brief, however, the project has evolved from a simple redesign of our internal site, into the conception of a dynamic templating system that will allow other departments - and our own - to quickly create layouts using a strict grid system and a series of pre-built modules. This, in theory, would reduce the amount of work our department would have to do to create a site, and would also allow other departments to build sites to specific guidelines.

My role in the project from the beginning was first to redesign our internal Sharepoint site using modular guidelines, and as the project evolved, to develop a concept for the dynamic templating system itself, with a view to getting acceptance for the project to be made active by our higher-ups.

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