Monday, August 1, 2016

New Office 365 Exchange and SharePoint User Experiences Coming

New User Experiences
There are some important new user experiences that are being released for Office 365 that you should be aware of:
  1. SharePoint Online Modern Lists
  2. Outlook Focused Inbox
  3. Outlook Mentions
Modern SharePoint Lists are coming
A new user experience is coming to SharePoint Lists.  It will be referred to as Modern SharePoint lists and many of the changes are consistent with the user experience changes you have been seeing with SharePoint modern document libraries.  You will many new features such as:
  • Simplified user experience to add columns to lists.
  • Ability to elevate (pin) list data for viewing.
  • Ability to edit data in an information panel without having to leave the list view.
  • Improved bulk editing.
  • Simplified automation with versions, approvals and alerts.
  • New user experience for view and edit lists in mobile browsers and SharePoint mobile app.
  • Integration with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.  This will allow you to build new workflow applications connected to cloud data and then expose these workflows via PowerApps.

Transition over this user experience can be managed as well so that end users are no disrupted:
  • By default, classic list will automatically inherit the new modern list experience.
  • If there is a compatibility blocker to move to the modern list experience, the classic list experience will stay as is.
  • Users will have the ability to revert to the classic experience at any time.
  • Administrators will have the ability to configure classic list experience as the default at the list, site, site collection or tenant level.  This allows for lots of flexibility for user transition.

Outlook Focused InboxThis is a new experience that is called Focused Inbox that is being released for Outlook.  It was initially release on Outlook for iOS but will be release to all versions of Outlook.

The Focused Inbox will prioritize email that is important to you based on such things as who you interact with the most often, while other email (newsletters, DLs, generated emails, etc.) will land in the Other Inbox.  All the data is staying in your primary mailbox, just the email that most important to you is being prioritized.

Focused Inbox will be replacing the Clutter feature that was introduced awhile back.  Clutter was different in that it actually moved email data to a different email folder.  With Focused and Other Inbox, these are just views into the primary Inbox folder.  Clutter will stop moving mail as the Focused Inbox feature is rolled out.

From a transition perspective, again you have control.  Admins will have mailbox and tenant level control of this feature to do a staged rollout to your end users.

Outlook Mentions

This is a really neat feature that I find super exciting.  This features will help you write emails so much quicker.

As you type an email, you can simple type the @ symbol anywhere in the body of a message.  Once you do that, a people picker will appear, which you can select a person’s name.  Once you pick the person, their name will he highlighted in the message calling out action to them.  Additionally, if the person’s name is not yet on the TO line, their name will be automatically added to the TO line for you.  This is very much like a user experience you have in Facebook when writing a message.

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