SPTechCon 2013: Heather Solomon & Dustin Miller are Bringing Sexy Back to SharePoint with the SharePoint Experience

I am NOT a SharePoint designer nor developer.

So why pray to tell, did I elect to attend an advanced-level session for Developer Essentials and Information Worker Essentials? Two words: Justin.  Timberlake. I can probably imagine your next thought: “Justin Timberlake and SharePoint? Perhaps it’s time for a second cup of coffee…”Trust me on this one reader, there IS a connection, as Dustin Miller and Heather Solomon of the SharePoint Experience demonstrated in their session titled “Bringing Sexy Back to SharePoint.”

Without skipping a beat, Dustin and Heather turned the spotlight onto two of any designer’s newest BFFS: HTML5 and CSS3. As self-described SharePoint non-conformists, these two turn the tables on everything you may think you know about designing for SharePoint. Think that SharePoint Designer is your only option? Think again, my friend!  With the new wealth of different tools and applications that are available on the market today (though admittedly, these other options might cost you a few extra dollars), your options for creating dynamic and amazing designs are nearly endless.  For their demonstration, Dustin and Heather utilized every true Web nerd’s favorite editor, Sublime Text, to unlock their SharePoint 2013 site design treasure chest (learn more about this amazing tool by clicking here).

As promised, their demonstration definitely “got geeky with it.” From their never-ending supply of charisma to real-world application tips, Dustin and Heather were highly successful at simplifying the process of creating beautiful master pages for SharePoint without having to rely on SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio. Although there may not be a simple, big “easy” button when it comes to writing code, with Sublime Text‘s slick user interface, extraordinary features, and above-average performance, creating a master page seemed like something even this blogger could accomplish!

So great, I have this master page created, what now? Well, readers, it’s time for exactly what Dustin and Heather promised: time to bring Sexy Back to SharePoint! With the advent of HTML5 and CSS3, it has never been easier to take your plain Jane master page and transform it into a truly glamorous SharePoint supermodel. When used together, HTML5 and CSS3 not only allow you to make sexy SharePoint pages (and no, that’s not an oxymoron!) but also pages that are rational, semantic, and user-friendly. As a designer’s yin and yang, HTML5 is the perfect tool to create structured navigation that makes content easy to find and access while CSS3 provides the tools needed to pretty up your site’s content and aesthetic.

SharePoint rebels and non-conformists rejoice: based on all the different tools and applications that are available, you may no longer have to rely on cutting and pasting from the Design Manager to make SharePoint pages that rock! As Heather and Dustin proved during their session, “You don’t have to do it the cookies and Kool-Aid way.”  With all the different online revolutions happening out there–the  Enterprise Mobile Revolution, the SharePoint 2013 Revolution, and moreit’s time to stand up and embrace the power of the latest Web technologies and help Bring Sexy Back to the SharePoint Design Revolution!

Check out our complete coverage of SPTechCon 2013 from Boston:

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