Document libraries are important for a variety of business and educational needs. The Microsoft Office 365 Blog explains:
Sharing files with others is essential to getting things done nowadays. Got a new Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation that needs feedback? Share it with others. Need to post a spreadsheet so that others can read it? Share it out. Want to announce a new policy with a Microsoft Office Word document? Share it (“Why”).
With document libraries, there are a lot of benefits. Version control allows you to access previous versions of a file, in case changes were made that need to be undone. Adding metadata helps with filters for easy search results. Migrating, archiving and deleting files is very easy to do in a SharePoint workspace.
What happens if you don’t have (or don’t use) a document library? A number of redundancies and frustrations are going to happen:
More often than not, 80% of the files clogging up the system are old, irrelevant and unmanaged. Secondly, there is no way for multiple recipients to edit and collaborate on the same document. Lastly, there is no consistent version control or authorized approval process to sign off of documents. As a consequence, employees spend valuable time searching for documents and the ones they find are often out of date, inconsistent and incorrect, placing any related business process at risk (“Benefits”).
In Microsoft’s latest presentation on the future of SharePoint, a key improvement was mentioned that will increase the value of a digital document library. The allowance for increased reference materials is a substantial change for the better. In the past, document libraries have contained organizational files, but reference materials that were stored elsewhere were not available for retrieval alongside the documents. With the new changes, documents, pictures and other files can be placed alongside links to offsite material. This makes document libraries more user-friendly and simplifies the creative process. It also saves time, since no one will have to seek out the materials outside of the document library itself. It’s especially useful to have a document library with this capability because multiple group members will be able to stay on task without running the risk of getting lost or not locating something when it’s needed.
As of the April 27 Kogan release of LiveTiles Design, we bypassed the user’s interaction with SharePoint document libraries from our LiveTiles user interface (UI). We wanted to do away with the break in the overall experience, since the document library user would now find him or herself seeing a popup from the root program. We have maintained all the functions of Microsoft’s document library, and if anyone needed to see the actual SharePoint library, that is certainly available. Since most don’t, we are supporting users by keeping them within the LiveTiles framework experience.
Right-clicking on a document will allow you to delete, share or download. We have two options, a list view and a card style view. Click on the magnifying glass icon to search the library for a particular document. Clicking on the + sign will open up the extra features, including the ability to add new folders. Breadcrumb navigation allows for free movement throughout the overall design scheme. As long as the folders have been used to set up the order, the user will be able to click back to any previous folder.
The LiveTiles team is happy to see Microsoft continuing to innovate with SharePoint 2016, and we plan to track those changes and work in collaboration to bring the best UX to market.
1. “Why Document Libraries?” Office Support. n.d. Web. 7 June 2016.
2. “5 Benefits of a Microsoft SharePoint Document Library” Connexion. n.d. Web. 7 June 2016.