An unexpected error has occurred, words that undoubtedly anyone who has worked with SharePoint in the past has seen. This is just one of the quirks that have in the past provided a slightly less than ideal usable environment to work within. Where SharePoint 2010 elevated functionality by introducing many new features, SharePoint 2013 continues down this road and goes a step further to deliver a crisp and robust user experience. Below are just some of the usability perks that SharePoint 2013 delivers.
Earlier I mentioned just one of the archaic messages that have been delivered to end users in the past. With the new SharePoint, a human element is introduced through one of the smallest but most visible details, system generated messages. While using SharePoint end users are exposed to messages that seem less like they were generated by robots and more like friendly notifications. Albeit a small detail, this is one of the first steps for providing a comfortable virtual working environment for users.
Datasheet editing with Managed Metadata support
Although the datasheet view concept itself is not new to this version of SharePoint, the fact that you can now manipulate Managed Metadata fields within this view makes this truly useful tool. By reducing the amount of clicks it takes for users to be able to edit/add content to lists/libraries, the datasheet view makes it easier to work within SharePoint all while giving users an Excel like experience that they most likely have seen and worked in before.
Drag and Drop files
In SharePoint 2010, even with the Silverlight drag and drop panel, it would take a possible 4-5 clicks for users to be able to get their files into a library. With the improved drag and drop functionality, users can simply drag and drop files right into the library view from their desktop or file system.
Search, search and search
One of the most important features of SharePoint is also one of the biggest areas of change and improvement. With not enough room to mention all the updates, things like hovering over a search result to see a preview of the underlying document, ensure that users can quickly and efficiently find the content that they are looking for. With a customizable ranking model, and the ability to show results grouped by related content, search results can be catered to any taste.
Having long URLs for sites that contain things like the ID of a list item and extensions such as .aspx, can be confusing for end users. Many use the URL as a method of finding their way through the site or sending links to other users. Through Managed Navigation, we can now use Managed Metadata to dictate our navigation rather than the typical structural navigation, and at the same time assign friendly URLs for each node. All this results in a more humane navigation experience for end users.
Moving from SharePoint 2007 to 2010 we saw a more mature product, with powerful functionality and heightened control. Now from 2010 to 2013 we are moving to a new era of having powerful functionality and being able to use it easily and efficiently as well.