While looking at a article from useit.com about intranet design it was interesting to see some great designs that some developers are doing utilizing sharepoint technology. Normally when you think of Sharepoint solutions you’ll think of the standard template maybe with some color changes and a logo slapped up in the left corner. something along this lines.

But now people are taking that core technology and applying usability and design to it for some interesting results.

What striked me different about this was even though you see much of the same functionality you’d see in those template solutions, there’s some great thought process in regards to how to utilize the sharepoint engine but not letting it dictate the solution to the customer. There’s a real thought process to planning, design and implementation. They’re not relying on the tool to do it for them but are utlizing the tool accomplish usability problems. Branding comes to the forefront as does things line spacing priroity of action for the user, and good page layout. This why templates don’t work. Simply plugging in someone’s logo isn’t addressing you understanding business problems of that organization and if you let the tool do the work for you you’re not offering the customer any real value that they can’t get somewhere else. Tools and prepackaged solutions are a commodity how you can creatively build with them is the real value. I’m excited to see how designers and developers will continue to push these tools for strategic design solutions for their customers.