Page Layouts: Building great home pages

Crafting a compelling home page on SharePoint is an art and a science, requiring a delicate balance of strategic planning and creative execution. At the heart of it all lies the principle of consistency. Whether the page serves as an intranet hub or a team site, users should encounter a familiar layout and navigation that guides them to their desired content.

Rules of thumb

Beyond consistency, we recommend placing crucial content in the top left corner. This ensures visibility without requiring excessive scrolling, a nod to the traditional concept of the “fold” borrowed from newspaper design. However, the visual appeal is equally important; the use of color, imagery, and layout can provide powerful cues that guide users through the page and draw their attention to key information.

User stories to define outcome goals

Understanding user needs is where the magic truly happens! User stories are an invaluable tool for determining content and navigation priorities. By engaging with different user groups and soliciting their input, you can gain invaluable insights into usage patterns and preferences. Although we do see consistencies across most home landing sites, assuming a one-size-fits-all solution does not work. We highly suggest taking the time to do this step thoroughly. Tune into the video for an example user story, typical table of how to gather this information, and some general questions to ask.


Wireframes serve as architectural blueprints. We suggest wireframing prior to building the actual page as these can help with consistency across departments and simplifying the design process. This can be done as simply as with rectangles in PowerPoint.

Usability and page governance

Usability is the linchpin of effective home page design. Beyond the initial planning phase, formal user testing and ongoing feedback collection ensure that the page continues to meet user needs and organizational goals. Effective page governance is essential to maintaining relevant content over time. A dedicated steering committee can help ensure that content remains fresh, accurate, and aligned with organizational objectives. Check out our previous session on how to form an Intranet steering committee if you’re unsure or need a refresher. If your content gets out of date and you’ve lost trust from your users, then all the time used to set up the intranet was a waste!

Favorite web parts

Incorporating favorite web parts such as Quick Links, Call-to-Action, and the People web part enhances interactivity and accessibility. These dynamic elements facilitate quick access to relevant information and foster direct communication within departments. The flexibility of sections allows for creative content structuring, easing navigation and enhancing the overall content flow and user experience.

By embracing these principles and leveraging the right tools, SharePoint home pages can evolve into engaging hubs that cater to the diverse needs and preferences of users across the organization, fostering collaboration, productivity, and engagement.

All Resources

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