Supporters of End User
Web

SharePoint The cutlery drawer and the page

Item is currently unrated. Press SHIFT+ENTER to rate this item.1 star selected. Press SHIFT+ENTER to submit. Press TAB to increase rating. Press SHIFT+ESCAPE to leave rating submit mode.2 stars selected. Press SHIFT+ENTER to submit. Press TAB to increase rating. Press SHIFT+TAB to decrease rating. Press SHIFT+ESCAPE to leave rating submit mode.3 stars selected. Press SHIFT+ENTER to submit. Press TAB to increase rating. Press SHIFT+TAB to decrease rating. Press SHIFT+ESCAPE to leave rating submit mode.4 stars selected. Press SHIFT+ENTER to submit. Press TAB to increase rating. Press SHIFT+TAB to decrease rating. Press SHIFT+ESCAPE to leave rating submit mode.5 stars selected. Press SHIFT+ENTER to submit. Press SHIFT+TAB to decrease rating. Press SHIFT+ESCAPE to leave rating submit mode.
Categories:Document Management; Adoption; Document Library; MOSS; WSS; 2010; General Knowledge

You may also be interested in: Sharegate No-Brainer Migration Tools

 

Editor's note: Contributor Ellen van Aken is an experienced intranet adoption manager. Follow her @EllenvanAken

2013-03-31-Cutlery-01.jpgTo the left you see my cutlery drawer. Normally it is out of view and only visible when I open the drawer. All items are arranged by type.

This gives me a good overview of the amount and types of knives, spoons and forks available, and if I have to do some washing up before the next meal2013-03-31-Cutlery-02.gif.

2013-03-31-Cutlery-03.jpgOn the right you see my set table for one. Depending on the time of day and the exact menu, I have arranged the relevant knives, forks and spoons into an established pattern around the plate. I can add wine glasses, tea cups or milk mugs, napkins, finger bowls and what not to make it useful for that particular meal, as well as nice-looking.

And the relationship with SharePoint is…?

In my SharePoint jobs I have often found that people mix up the words ”site”, “page” and “library” when they ask me for a place to store (and/or show) documents. I can easily explain what a site is, but it has taken me some time to come up with explaining the difference between document library and page for someone not experienced in SharePoint. So like my last post, I tried to come up with a household example.

Let us compare a document library with my cutlery drawer. It is a place where you store all content items that are in document format; they take up minimal space, you have a good overview of what is there and there are some special features that can be applied to all items in there. It does not look extremely pretty, but it does its job.

A document library is a place to store and manage content.

A page would then be comparable with my table setting. Here you combine the relevant documents with other content in a way that will make it easy and pleasant for your audience to consume that content. You may want to add an intro text, a picture, the name of the contact person, a list of related information etc.

A page's functionality is therefore to display content and context.

Do I always have to set the table?

Whether you have to set the table at all depends on your audience. If it is just me, I do not set the table; I put food on my plate and grab the relevant silverware straight from the drawer.

If your audience is your own small team or department, there is no urgent need to make pretty pages; you can save time by using the document library as it is. On the other hand, setting up a page can make the experience nicer. As long as you realize you have a choice. The page is optional – but you will always need your document library.

But if you have a large audience, and/or you want to lure people to your content, help them with understanding your content, or impress them, it is much better to use a page. That way you can show exactly the documents they need, in the best possible view, and you can add context and make it look attractive.

For a more functional explanation of the differences, please read Veronique Palmer’s recent post on the difference between lists, libraries and pages.

What do you think?

Is this an explanation that you would use, or do you have a better one? In both cases, please let me know!

(And other household-comparisons are still welcome too)

Comments

Deron Dilger

Yummy analogy!

Ellen, I love analogies! I ESPECIALLY love ones that truly work to explain difficult concepts for people. :-) Yours is just that....and thus I plan to borrow it for my own lessons to SharePoint learners. Thanks much!

Posted 19-Apr-2013 by Deron Dilger
Ellen van Aken

You are welcome!

Hi Deron, glad to learn you like this. And ofcourse, you are very welcome to re-use this. Good luck! And if you have any nice analogies of your own, please share!

Posted 21-Apr-2013 by Ellen van Aken
Elyssa Herzfeld

Great Analogy - Can We Reprint?

Hi Ellen - we are running SharePoint training classes internally at my company, and I was wondering if we could include this analogy in our training documentation. We would, of course, cite the source.
 
Thanks,
 
Elyssa Herzfeld

Posted 25-Apr-2013 by Elyssa Herzfeld
Nancy Skaggs

Another gem!

Thanks so much for adding another great analogy to my end-user arsenal.

Posted 29-Apr-2013 by Nancy Skaggs
Ellen van Aken

Please re-use this analogy!

(Apologies; I hit a button too fast so I am posting ths twice)
 
Feel free to use this analogy if you find it useful. I am only too happy that 1. I thought it up, because it was difficult enough for me to explain it otherwise, and 2. you like it enought to share it with others.

Posted 13-Jun-2013 by Ellen van Aken

Notify me of comments to this article

E-mail:
   

Add Comment

Title:

 
Comment:
Email:

   


Name:

 
Url: