What's Not So Great in SharePoint 2013

Yesterday I gave you four things I think were great improvements with SharePoint 2013, and they really are fantastic improvements. Now today, here’s the flip-side to that coin. I have a few things I think aren’t so great about SharePoint 2013. Here is my quick rundown!

  1. I miss my navigation cues.
    What do I mean by that? I mean my breadcrumbs and the Navigate Up folder. Both served to orient me, telling me where I was – what site I was on, what list, and what view I was looking at. Navigate Up would also show me how deep I was in subsites. Now those are gone.
    I understand why they’ve been removed. They weren’t your typical “Internet” interface but were more a file structure interface. But still, I miss them and now have to rely on the web address for a quick peak at where I am.
  2. I also miss the icons on the edit menu pull-down. I never realized until they were gone how much I quickly scanned and relied on the icon to tell me where I wanted to click more than the words.

And then there are a couple of things I’m not sure how I feel yet.

  1. List and library views. Whereas before the view name was the last item in the breadcrumbs and the pull-down to access additional views, now three views are listed at the top and the rest are accessed through the ellipsis. I have dealt with many confused users of SharePoint 2010 who never realized the last arrow in the breadcrumbs, the down arrow, indicated a pull-down menu to access additional views. So in this case, at least three links to views are visible. But at the same time, if you have more than three available views, I don’t think the ellipsis indicates a pull-down menu either.
  2. Related, the edit menu pull-down on individual list or library items wasn’t always easy to explain to users in 2010 (“Just hover over the title, and then click the pull-down arrow when it appears”). But I feel the ellipsis on each list item is a bit confusing as well and doesn’t quickly scream, “I’m a pull-down menu!” But I suppose it looks better and is less confusing than dozens (or hundreds) of pull-down arrows that are always visible.

In the end though, I’m a SharePoint guy. There’s no getting away from that. I love the product. I’m (extremely) thrilled by the improvements I mentioned yesterday, and I’m excited to learn more about 2013 as I continue to play around with it. I’m sure I’ll find more things that completely rock my world and others that will make me scratch my head as to why a specific choice was made. But typically I give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt when it comes to user interface (after giving it a little time, the ribbon is a huge win in my book). And as SharePoint gets further away from a one-browser system, I look forward to a broader span of users getting excited about many great SharePoint features.

As for the next improvement I hope Microsoft makes, I’d love to see Open in Explorer work regardless of browser and operating system, just like they did with drag and drop document uploads and Quick Edit. Next time!