When Kerri contacted me with a technical question about the Easy Tabs, a detail in the screenshot she sent immediately caught my attention: an original way to drive user adoption! I asked her to tell us more about her idea.
Author: Kerri Abraham, Revenue Cycle Sharepoint Coordinator, Mercy Medical Center.
I always worry that my end-user isn’t going to “get it”. I know my staff, they need to be compelled to change, they tend to be timid with new concepts. That stands to reason of course, but it was a concern when I was debating about using the Easy Tabs solution. How do I make sure that they not only see the information, but that they regularly click on the tabs to see the gems hidden underneath? I bait them.
Recently I had an administrative mandate that required a rebuild of my divisional front page, it was dreary anyway and needed it, but I still had other information to display and this new mandate threatened to take up all of the real estate. About the same time I came across Christophe’s Easy Tabs. Wow, what a solution! I was able to build my mandated Communication Board even bigger than I had originally intended and still had plenty of space to add in ‘extravagant’ web parts like a Table of Contents! This was great, but did my staff see the tabs? Would they click them to see the important ‘News’ announcements underneath? Then Mark Miller posted Create a Weather Magnet for a SharePoint Dashboard. The timing was perfect because I had just caught the end of a History channel show on meteorology that stated most of a TV station’s budget goes into weather reporting because they know it is the #1 draw. Now I had my bait.
I placed my extra-sized weather magnet, per Mark’s instructions, in the middle of the tabs, and sent the message out to staff that it was there, with the link and a “Be sure to test it out.”
It took only a few minutes for the accolades and thanks to pour in, more even than from the normal responders, I heard from people who never say anything! Wow, the weather works, and I can be sure that they are checking that area regularly, it’s human nature to click around on things nearby, so I’m sure they are catching the ‘News’ as well!
Okay, so if I use the weather as a draw at my top site, I need new bait for the lower level team sites. I had been sent a comic that was ‘office topic’ related. So when I redid the page to include the Easy Tabs, I added it in a Content Editor Web part as a ‘Humor Me’ tab just to get staff’s attention. But static comics don’t keep them coming back for more. So with a little inspiration from Christophe, through a correspondence we had over the meaning of that ‘Humor Me’ tab, (it even hooked Christophe) I bulked it up to include a Dilbert widget. Exactly the same premise as the weather magnet and just what was needed to keep them clicking!
The Easy Tabs makes the most of front page real estate without that pesky page refresh, without the slightest hint of bogging down performance, and it allows me to provide my end-users with some extras that would normally take up too much space in that prime real estate area. These are the kinds of solutions that drive my sky rocketing end-user adoption. It’s fun and its easy – Easy Tabs that is! Thanks Christophe for your contributions to the Sharepoint community, they really are so very much appreciated!
Kerri – Very nicely done! I’m going to use this as one of my Case Studies at the Best Practices Conference. Let us know as you add more tabs. This could get VERY interesting.
Thanks Mark, if you hadn’t gotten the idea rolling with the weather, I might never have thought of it! Kudos to you too!
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How do we add the Dilbert Widget to a Sharepoint web part? Thanks very much for the great ideas.
The steps are similar to other widgets (see for example the link to the weather widget). Kerri and I will publish the instructions for Dilbert.
Kevin, Mark Miller has a great post detailing how to add widgets to Sharepoint pages on EUSP: http://www.endusersharepoint.com/2010/05/25/add-simple-widgets-to-your-sharepoint-page/
The link to the Dilbert site above will get you to the site, but you can find almost any cartoon out there as a widget.
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