Exploring top SharePoint design trends for 2024: a visual guide to the latest features and enhancements
SharePoint

Top SharePoint Design Trends in 2024

This article delves into the latest design innovations shaping the future of digital workplaces. Discover insights on how these trends not only enhance the visuals but also boost user productivity, connectivity, and customisation in a modern SharePoint environment.

In 2024, SharePoint Intranet design is hitting some exciting trends, making work easier and more personalised for Microsoft 365 users. This year is focused on developing modern digital workplaces that really understand and respond to the needs of users and employees, enhancing teamwork and helping people work better together.

This shift means creating a platform that's not only visually striking and engaging but also highly efficient and adaptable to many ways businesses work. This blend of style and functionality is aimed at providing an attractive yet robust solution for the evolving needs of businesses. With this approach, SharePoint is becoming a more compelling choice for organisations looking to create an intranet that is as efficient as it is visually appealing.


★ Free Resource: Sope's SharePoint Look Book

Top Intranet and Digital Workplace Design Trends for 2024  

As a Microsoft Cloud Partner working closely with many clients in the lead up to 2024, we've identified several key intranet trends on SharePoint shaping the future of digital workplaces.  

Here's what's emerging at the forefront for 2024, sharing real life examples built by Sope featuring our SharePoint product, Sprocket 365.

User personalisation

SharePoint intranets are evolving beyond information hubs, transforming into highly personalised platforms. By customising the design to fit individual roles and preferences, intranets are significantly enhancing engagement. They're becoming essential daily resources for employees, offering a more tailored and relevant experience.

This approach not only enhances the user experience but also fosters a sense of belonging and relevance for each team member, as they encounter content that resonates with their specific needs and interests.

modern sharepoint online home page design with custom branding

Features:

  • Dashboards featuring a 'Feed' with recent documents
  • Quick access to links for frequently used business apps and systems, extending beyond SharePoint
  • My Read Checklist highlighting the policy documents you still need to read with their associated due date
  • Personalised greetings or messages on SharePoint, offering an inviting start to the user’s day

Knowledge management systems  

Modern intranets are increasingly becoming sophisticated knowledge management systems, significantly simplifying the storage, retrieval, and sharing of information. This evolution plays a crucial role in streamlining organisational learning and collaboration within SharePoint environments.

Knowledge Management systems enhance employee skills by offering a centralised repository for policies, critical business information and learning materials. Knowledge Hub’s in SharePoint also facilitates knowledge sharing, making it easier for team members to exchange insights and experiences easily.  

It promotes continuous learning by providing readily accessible learning materials and serves as a hub for sharing learning resources and streamlines the onboarding process through automated, structured and easily accessible training modules.

sharepoint knowledge management system design document management

Here’s are some common design features and functionality we predict will become even more common.

Features:

  • Interfaces resembling wikis, complete with tree navigation for streamlined browsing
  • Use of intuitive tiles and quick links that direct users to related information
  • Anchor buttons for easy navigation to specific text and content sections
  • FAQ accordions on the left, answering common queries and supporting the main page content

Custom branding and fonts  

Applying custom branding and fonts into your SharePoint intranet strengthens company culture and creates a unique digital workplace for your organisation. This approach aligns the intranet's appearance with the organisation's identity, enhancing user experience and fosters a sense of community, making employees feel more at home when they start their day on their intranet starting pages.  

Adding custom fonts gives the intranet that special touch, creating vibrant workplaces bringing an organsiations branding to life.

sharepoint online interface design with custom fonts and branding

The great news is that adding custom CSS overrides with custom fonts is possible with Sprocket 365, as shown below.

Features:

  • Tailored themes matching company colours and style
  • Custom fonts for brand consistency
  • Unique logos for the name or branding of the intranet  
  • Consistent branding elements across all pages


Custom search functionality

Enhanced search functionality in SharePoint is supercharing how users be productive and improve their day to day workflow. Custom search allows employees to quickly and easily find relevant information, significantly boosting productivity. This custom development streamlines the search process, reducing time spent on information retrieval and enabling a more efficient and effective work environment.

While not a design trend, it's a key aspect of how the intranet functions, saving time and boosting business productivity- overall enhancing the overall functionality of the intranet.  

Poor search results that product irrelevant results can be frustrating. Custom search for a SharePoint intranet is a growing trend, as intranet owners recognises users' expectation for fast, reliable information, which in turn builds trust in SharePoint.

Our clients love the enhanced ability of their employees to quickly find and retrieve documents and information, making their daily tasks more efficient and their workflows smoother.

Integration with Teams and Microsoft Viva  

When designing a SharePoint intranet, a frequent request is seamless integration with other widely used Microsoft products, such as Teams, Planner and emerging products like Viva Connections. Integrating these platforms into the forefront of SharePoint can significantly enhance its adoption, an essential aspect of the intranet design process.

sharepoint home page design with viva connections teams integration feed on interface

Microsoft Viva

Microsoft Viva, known as the employee experience platform, offers a pivotal feature in this integration. Viva Connections, offers customisable Web Parts and interfaces Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, providing a personalised hub for users to access other Viva apps, relevant news and conversations.  See example below of Viva Feed added to SharePoint home page design.

Microsoft Teams  

Another key design trend in the Microsoft suite is having your intranet home page available in Teams. This means that the intranet is accessible via Teams, providing more entry points to the intranet and helping users start their day with this interface.

SharePoint and Teams are closely integrated; when a new Team is created in Microsoft Teams, it automatically generates a linked SharePoint Team site. This integration enables efficient file storage and management on SharePoint, which can then be conveniently shared directly within Microsoft Teams. This streamlines the workflow and enhances team productivity. The integration between these two products will only become more popular in 2024.

Events roll up with colour overlay

Moving into 2024, a design and feature request we're seeing more of is the SharePoint event roll-up page enhanced with a color overlay, becoming a popular addition to intranets, especially for spotlighting events happening within a certain Site Collection. This feature consolidates all events for a specific team or business function, with the colour overlay offering a visual distinction between different events.  

We know that users tend to appreciate the use of their branding colors in these overlays, adding an extra pop and enhancing visual appeal in a news roll-up – whether it’s category tags or color overlays on a calendar or swim lane layout – users love the colours for quickly creating visual signals.  

This design not only improves the look and feel but also helps users quickly identify and differentiate events in one simple view.

sharepoint site news roll up and calendar view custom development interface

SharePoint Online out-of-the-box doesn’t provide all this functionality for events roll up hub. however it is achievable with Web Parts from Sprocket 365.

★ Free Resource: Sope's SharePoint Look Book

Org Charts and People Directories  

Org charts and people directories are becoming essential elements in modern intranet design, playing a crucial role in enhancing connectivity within organisations. This is especially true for interactive org charts that visually represent the company structure and offer convenient access to employee details, seamlessly integrating with an organisation's intranet.

These features are particularly beneficial in larger or remote teams, helping employees understand the roles of their colleagues and their place within the wider organisational context.

Integrating org charts and people directories into intranets not only streamlines communication but also saves time in the world of hybrid work. Employees can easily search for someone and see where they fit within the organisation.

sharepoint online org chart and people directory showing employee hierarchy and structure interface

Features:

  • Interactive organisational charts for easy navigation, showcasing reporting lines, structure and vacant positions, all updated in real time by Microsoft Active Directory (AD)
  • Detailed employee directories with contact information
  • Customisable profiles for personal and professional details
  • Search functionality for quick employee lock-up
  • Integration with Microsoft Team for quick messaging in one click

While SharePoint Online offers an out-of-the-box org chart, doesn’t provide all this functionality for org charts and directories, however it is achievable with products such as Sprocket 365. Please note the below image uses the People Hub Web Part by Sprocket 365.

Branded and engaging imagery  

A trend we're anticipating for 2024 in intranets, especially in SharePoint, is the increased use of branded graphics and imagery. This shift is moving away from standard stock photos to visuals that authentically represent an organisation's identity. Brands are turning to custom graphics for banners, tiles and images, crafting a unified and visually attractive digital environment. Here’s an example below from Sope client, Metro Finance, with their beautifully branded Knowledge Hub in SharePoint.

Using stock images often results in an intranet that feels disjointed and fails to truly reflect an organisation's identity. This customised approach to visual content does more than just reinforce the company's brand, it also creates a more engaging and personalised user experience within the digital workspace. It makes the intranet feel genuinely unique and tailored for the people within the organisation.

sharepoint online page design example knowledge sharing

Accessibility  

Digital platforms and intranets are embracing inclusivity by adopting designs that cater to all employees, regardless of their abilities. This approach ensures that every member of the workforce can access and effectively use the platform, fostering a more equitable and supportive digital work environment.

Features:

  • Enhanced screen reader compatibility
  • Adjustable text sizes and contrast options
  • 'Back to Top' button for easy navigation

While SharePoint Online out-of-the-box doesn’t include a 'Back to Top' button, this functionality can be added through the system settings. It is achievable with solutions like Sprocket 365.

Mega Menus  

Mega menus are supercharging intranet navigation by simplifying how users access information. With intranets broadcasting information from a variety of business functions, including many Communication and Teams sites on SharePoint, a well-organised menu is key. It improves visibility of pages and help intranet users in finding necessary information for different business functions, without overwhelming them with choices.

Mega menus offer a structured, intuitive layout that categorises information into easily navigable sections. This organisation allows users to quickly glance through options and dive deeper into specific areas of the intranet.

sharepoint online mega menu custom design example

Features:

  • Multiple access points to key information
  • Consistent application of intranet branding
  • Clean, visually appealing layout using the Sprocket Header
  • User-friendly top-level navigation with visual cues for easy guidance

Advanced reporting and analytics  

Organisations are harnessing the power of advanced reporting and analytics to gain deeper insights into intranet usage. This data-driven approach is crucial for driving continuous improvement and enhancing user engagement. It enables intranet owners to adapt their intranets to more effectively meet employee needs and provide the most engaging content.  

While SharePoint offers basic analytics (30, 60, 90 days), some organisations want more granular insights. They want to understand which new posts are performing well and gather more comprehensive data to inform their communication and collaboration strategies.  

This is where integration with other Microsoft products, such as Power BI, becomes valuable. It provides enhanced business intelligence for those managing intranet platforms.

Our clients are highly appreciative of the opportunity to leverage our extensive Power BI expertise. This strategic advantage has empowered them to make more informed decisions and streamline their operational processes.


Final Thoughts

Feeling the spark of inspiration or seeking assistance implementing your dream SharePoint intranet? At Sope we supercharge Australian businesses using Microsoft 365 and SharePoint, enabling people to work better together. With a focus on enhancing collaboration and productivity, we build tailor-made intranets and digital workplace solutions that turn your visions into reality.

To explore the endless possibilities and learn more about how we can shape your digital landscape, get in touch today. Your dream intranet in 2024 is just a conversation away!

★ Free Resource: Sope's SharePoint Look Book

About Sope

Sope is a Gold Microsoft Partner, supercharging businesses using Microsoft 365 and SharePoint to help people achieve more together. Our SharePoint Consultants have helped hundreds of Australia businesses, such as Slater & Gordon, Hostplus, Movember, CouriersPlease and more, build intelligent intranets on SharePoint. Read our case studies to see how other organisations have benefited from working with us.

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