Using 360° Imagery in SharePoint Spaces

Using 360° Imagery in SharePoint Spaces

Am a keen follower of Microsoft's SharePoint Blog and proud to provide this direct from the Microsoft Tech Community:

TemplatesCroppedHeaderSpaces.png


 


360° imagery is a great way to explore the benefits of Mixed Reality while limiting up-front investments in either equipment (e.g. HoloLens and advanced MR headsets) or specialized talent (e.g. 3D artists). There are so many different scenarios for using these images within your organization. These can include training and onboarding employees (e.g. facility tours), celebrating and sharing capabilities of new facilities, and many explorations around documenting current state and monitoring progress of physical spaces. Basically, any time you have a physical space that you need to document or communicate about to others, 360° imagery can be a great tool.


 


For me, that also extends outside work to backcountry ski adventures where I can show friends, family, and co-workers what it is like to experience remote backcountry destinations that can be a bit challenging to get to. Check out this video below for a quick view of what’s possible or go check out how it was made using the SharePoint spaces 360° tour web part.


 



 


SharePoint spaces offers significant flexibility for handling 360° images and videos. Most tools available to capture 360° images and videos will work with Spaces. However, there are several considerations you may not be familiar with from working with 2D images. There are also ways that you can optimize quality and performance both today and into the future as mixed reality devices expand in availability and quality. Here are a few key questions to keep in mind along with suggestions for tools that work well with Spaces today:


 



  1. What is the target device? Virtual Reality or Browser, Mobile or Desktop

  2. Is it better to capture 360° images or video?

  3. What is the right mix of content?

  4. What devices can capture 360° images?

  5. What formats does SharePoint spaces support?


 


Target Device


Interacting with your spaces has never been easier, SharePoint spaces supports viewing either in a web browser or using mixed reality headsets. The same content can be used for both, but if your primary use case is the browser, it does not make sense to use stereoscopic content. To create the best experience when viewing you may have to reduce resolution or file size to optimize for mobile or standalone VR headsets.


 


Images or Video


For the sake of simplicity, we recommend starting with 360° images and exploring video only when there is a strong need to capture a dynamic and changing space. Capturing and displaying high quality 360° video is notably more challenging than 360° images. If you pursue videos, make sure you add captions or a transcript and follow the best practices for video format, resolution, etc.


 


Combining 360° and 2D Images and Videos


In many cases, the best experience can be created by combining video and images, SharePoint spaces supports both 360° and 2D images and videos in the same space. You will find that 360° images are great for understanding spatial context (e.g where things are within a room) but 2D images or videos are useful to highlight specific areas within the image using a high resolution and artfully composed view of a few areas you want to highlight. Users will understand the context from the 360° image while appreciating the detail, artistry, and focused storytelling that are characteristic of high quality 2D images and videos. Spaces makes it easy to combine the two, just add your 2D images as annotations using the 360° tour web part.


 


Capture Devices


There are many options available for capturing 360° images ranging from smartphone apps (e.g. Google Camera Photo Spheres) to simple consumer handheld 360° cameras (e.g. Ricoh Theta, Insta 360 One X) to more complicated commercial high resolution and stereoscopic cameras (e.g. Insta360 Pro 2). These devices will generally produce outputs that are usable immediately in SharePoint spaces, but often the experience can be improved by optimizing to balance quality and file size as described below. If you are going to be capturing a lot of 360° images, a dedicated camera is recommended because it will be a much faster workflow.


 


Smartphone apps can produce high resolution and high-quality images, but they require you to take multiple images that are assembled into a 360° image by the app. This means the process of capturing images will be slower than a dedicated multi-lens 360° camera (consumer handheld or commercial). Unless the scene is completely static during the capture, they can also produce image artifacts such as ghosting as seen in this image:


CaptureDevicesSpaces.jpg


 


Recommended Image Settings


 


Format


While SharePoint spaces supports many options for image format (JPG, TIFF, PNG, etc.), we recommend storing images as equirectangular progressive JPEG images with quality setting set to 80% or equivalent in various software tools. Most 360° cameras automatically output equirectangular JPEG images. These can be batch optimized to reduce file size and set the quality setting using various tools like Adobe Photoshop or RIOT image optimizer after the images are captured.


 


Resolution


It is best to capture images with the highest resolution possible. Equirectangular images have a 4:2 aspect ratio (twice as many pixels wide as tall). We recommend using 8K resolution (8192 X 4096) to achieve maximum quality 360° image output in SharePoint spaces while balancing file size, download time, etc. However, lower resolutions are often acceptable – especially if your goal is communication, documentation, or collaboration instead of a showcase visual experience.


 


Two examples are shown below – the first is an 8K image (captured with an Android smart phone) while the second is 5.3K resolution (captured with a consumer handheld Ricoh Theta V). Although the 5.3K resolution is acceptable quality for many applications, the 8K resolution captures notably more detail.


 


If using a camera that can capture above 8K resolution it would be a best practice to keep images at the highest resolution and use image editing tools like Adobe Photoshop or RIOT to save versions optimized for SharePoint spaces. That will allow you to update your SharePoint space as higher resolution mixed reality headsets become available and those extra pixels can be put to good use.


8K Image in SharePoint spaces8K Image in SharePoint spaces


5.3K image in SharePoint spaces5.3K image in SharePoint spaces


Conclusion


Following these guidelines should make sure your 360° imagery maintains high quality while balancing performance and load time. Have some ideas for what we should do next with 360° imagery in SharePoint spaces? Let us know what you are looking for or share your 360° imagery scenario in the comments.


 


 


 

The above is kindly provided by the Microsoft Tech Community!

Four New Connectors Released in May

Power Automate has four more innovative connectors. Be it finding details over 40 million locations in the UK or need a better way to integrate contract reviews in your workflow or improve business processes or use a solution to validate contacts in real-time, it’s all here. Come jump in to check out the latest addition to the Power Automate connectors listing.

Reduce process bottlenecks with process advisor for Power Automate, now generally available

As companies strive to be more nimble and focus productivity on innovation, workplace automation is taking center stage. With the right tools, like Microsoft Power Automate, everyone can reduce time-consuming tasks to focus on what matters most. In fact, the month after Microsoft Ignite, where we announced Power Automate Desktop was available at no additional cost for Windows 10 users, Power Automate increased download rates six times month-over-month, empowering even more customers with automation.

Best practices for using global navigation in the SharePoint app bar

Best practices for using global navigation in the SharePoint app bar

Am a keen follower of Microsoft's SharePoint Blog and proud to provide this direct from the Microsoft Tech Community:

CroppedHeaderAppBar.png


 


Your tenant just got the new SharePoint app bar, and you are probably wondering how it should fit in with the rest of your intranet architecture. You may be asking yourself, what should be in the global navigation and what should be home site navigation? What if my home site is also a hub site? In this blog, we’ll share best practices on how to think about global navigation, how to align with existing home site and hub navigation, and how to prepare for the app bar. 


 


What’s the SharePoint app bar?


First, let’s review the SharePoint app bar. The SharePoint app bar is a fixed navigation experience across all modern SharePoint sites that provides quick access to the most important sites, news, and files as well as the organization’s global navigation.


 


The SharePoint app bar can be broken down into two main parts:



  • Global navigation – Enable and customize the global navigation tab to display universally relevant links and use audience targeting to surface important content to specific audiences.

  • Personalized content – The remaining tabs in the SharePoint app bar consist of My sites, My news, and My files and dynamically displays personalized content based on insights from Microsoft Graph.


SharePoint App BarSharePoint App Bar


 


 


 


SharePoint global navigation and Viva Connections


Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a new product offering called Microsoft Viva, an employee experience platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights. 


 


One of the four pillars of Microsoft Viva is Viva Connections which uses SharePoint and Microsoft Teams to engage and connect your organization on a whole new level. To take full advantage of Viva Connections for desktop, make sure your organization has a home site and enable global navigation in the SharePoint app bar. When global navigation is enabled, your organization’s most important intranet resources will display in Microsoft Teams. 


 


Re-thinking intranet wayfinding


Now that we’ve reviewed the basic concept behind the SharePoint app bar and global navigation, let’s explore how to re-think your organization’s intranet architecture to accommodate this new wayfinding resource.


 


Most intranet experiences begin “at the top” with a landing destination. This is the place where users go to catch up on the latest organizational news, find out about upcoming events, and access important resources. In SharePoint this top-level landing experience is called the home site. The home site is unlike all other SharePoint sites in the sense that it has many superpowers. The home site is a vital piece of a great intranet, but users need a more efficient option to navigate between intranet resources without having to go back to the home site first. That’s where global navigation comes in because it allows you to provide a consistent set of navigational links regardless of where the user is in the intranet. For example, let’s say the user is viewing the human resources site to confirm how many hours of vacation are available and also needs to view the current time-off request policy in the policies center. Instead of having to switch back and forth between sites, global navigation enables users to navigate to universally relevant resources (like HR policy) no matter their location in SharePoint.


 


Previously customers could achieve this using a SharePoint hub site and associating all other intranet sites to it. This approach is great too but it’s just starting point! As your organization grows, your intranet will need to scale too. Soon, you’ll realize that you need more and more hubs (families of related sites) and you’ll need to make decisions on what resources to prioritize.


 


Global navigation solves this issue by providing navigation across all sites. You can then choose to use SharePoint hub sites to group and sync branding, permissions and navigation of related sites based on your departments, divisions, regions, or portfolio.


 


SPAppBarDiagram.png


 


How to think about global navigation


So, what should you use global navigation for? From talking to many customers across the years, we’ve learned successful global navigation designs focus on the most important resources like:



  • The home site itself and other top hubs and departmental sites (for example, HR)

  • Popular destinations for resources like benefits, company policies, and how to get support

  • Links to line of business apps and custom applications

  • Content relevant to the daily job functions of people in your organization


What does this mean for the home site navigation? The home site navigation transitions to focus more on wayfinding inside the home site as well and other relevant (but not critical) resources.



  • Wayfinding inside the home site

  • Links to news from inside the organization

  • Link to news from outside the organization

  • Organizational profiles and stories

  • Leadership teams, divisions, and stakeholders

  • Topics of interest

  • Public social feeds


Now, hub navigation can focus on resources related to the hub topic. For example, a human resources hub can have associated sites for all the different sites like benefits, payroll, time-off requests, and more. If the hub is for a division or department, it will have associated sites linked as topic sites that talk about business strategy, planning, metrics, leadership, and all the related teams within that division or topic. Learn more about how to think about home site, hub, and global navigation from the product team.


 


Next, decide the source for global navigation


Now that you know which resources are ideal for global navigation, it’s time to enable this feature and pick the source. We’ve given you multiple options so you can determine what best fits your needs.


 


First, to enable and customize global navigation, your organization must have a home site. From the home site’s home page, select Settings and then Global navigation.


 


GlobalNavigationSettings.png


Then you can decide which source the global navigation should pull from, either the home site navigation or the hub navigation (whether it’s officially a hub or not). Now for some organizations, this decision depends on how you want your home site navigation experience to look like, so here are some tips:



  • If you want global navigation to match the home site navigation, select the Home site navigation as the source. Then, decide to display or hide the site navigation on the home site

  • If you want global navigation to be different from the home site navigation, select Hub or global navigation (even if your home site is not a hub).

  • If the home site is already a hub, you can select either navigation source, but we recommend using hub navigation and hiding the site navigation to simplify the navigation experience.

  • Finally, if the home site is a hub and you’re using the extended header style, note that the site navigation automatically becomes hidden.


 


Example of global navigation at Microsoft


At Microsoft, our home site is also a hub site because there are multiple sites that power the Microsoft Web intranet experience from various news resources to a leadership connection site and more. For Microsoft’s global navigation, the home site navigation is the source and is hidden from the user interface on the home site.


The SP App bar used on Microsoft's intranetThe SP App bar used on Microsoft’s intranet


 


Enable and customize global navigation today


The SharePoint app bar is now available to most SharePoint customers. If you already have a SharePoint home site, you are ready to enable and set up global navigation. Next, integrate your SharePoint intranet with Microsoft Teams by using Viva Connections for desktop.


 


If you do not already have the SharePoint home site, now is a great time to plan and create a home site for your organization. Consider getting a head start on your home site by using a template named The Landing from the SharePoint look book. Learn  more from the Microsoft product team on how to think about and plan home sites.


 


We hope you find this information useful and that it provides further clarity on you should think about leveraging global navigation for both SharePoint and Viva Connections.


 


More resources


Learn more about information architecture in SharePoint


Onboard end-users to the SharePoint app bar


Check out the Viva Connections desktop experience


Watch: Architecting your intelligent intranet

The above is kindly provided by the Microsoft Tech Community!

Forms and Process Design Importance

Forms and Process Design Importance

Form and Process (workflow) are very popular provisions for Teams and SharePoint productivity. And it really doesn’t matter which tools use to build these; great ones are Nintex Forms and Microsoft Forms. Both are modern, state of the art enterprise products which are completely integrated with the very latest versions of Office365 SharePoint and Teams instances.

To provide forms and workflow, it is vital that the information provided meets and at the same time provides return on investment. This is not simply a technological imperative; those who wish forms and workflow to enhance their user experience must provide sufficient information that helps us in turn provide the right forms and workflow directly matching requirements.

Forms are just a means to an end. Users should be able to complete them quickly and without confusion. Workflow process needs to mirror the actual process and be designed to take out / improve any manual process. These as a solution, means that designing and building require careful thought and planning.

To start off any solution work the following is required:

  1. What is the purpose of the form, the department it serves, justification, benefits it brings (statement), date when required live, etc.;
  2. What does the form look like – design (layout – what the form visually looks like to a person filling in the form);
  3. What does the process connected to the form do – process design (workflow – what happens when a person completes the form – for example, approval goes to whom, outcomes…);
  4. What protection is there applied to the process – security design (access – what person(s) can access the form – e.g. who can view, who can fill, etc.);
  5. Where does the solution sit – site design (experience – how does a person get to the form).

What Makes For An Effective Form

The primary goal with every form is completion. Two factors have a major impact on completion rate:

  • Perception of complexity. The first thing users do when they see a new form is estimate how much time is required to complete it. Users do this by scanning the form. Perception plays a crucial role in the process of estimation. The more complex a form looks, the more likely users will abandon the process.
  • Interaction cost. Interaction cost is the sum of efforts — both cognitive and physical — that the users put into interacting with an interface in order to reach their goal. Interaction cost has a direct connection with form usability. The more effort users have to make to complete a form, the less usable the form is. A high interaction cost could be the result of data that is difficult to input, an inability to understand the meaning of some questions, or confusion about error messages.

The Components Of Forms

A typical form has the following five components:

  • Input fields. These include text fields, password fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, sliders and any other fields designed for user input.
  • Field labels. These tell users what the corresponding input fields mean.
  • Structure. This includes the order of fields, the form’s appearance on the page, and the logical connections between different fields.
  • Action buttons, The form will have at least one call to action (the button that triggers data submission).
  • Feedback. Feedback notifies the user about the result of an operation. Feedback can be positive (for example, indicating that the form was submitted successfully) or negative (saying something like, “The number you’ve provided is incorrect”).

What Makes For An Effective Workflow

The primary goal of every workflow is completion. Three factors have a major impact on completion.

  • Actors. Those expected to get an alert to a process change, those who are expected to act to move the workflow forward (approval), those who are expected to manage data collected on any decision process and its related information
  • Flow. The start to finish construct of the workflow. What happens after the user saves the form? Does it have to go through an approval? Is there something that changes the data based on a task?
  • Diagram. Each element of a workflow is designed to illustrate the flow between each step. Workflows are the way people get work done, and can be illustrated as series of steps that need to be completed sequentially in a diagram or checklist. This is vital in getting a visual representation of a workflow.

Components of Workflows

A typical workflow has two key components:

  • Log: A record of the state the workflow is at for audit purposes
  • Actions: Any action that the workflow must trigger to enact another action (e.g. approval, rejection, alert etc.)

How you should document the process:

  • Map the process “as is”;
  • Ignore process exceptions;
  • Involve those who execute the process;
  • After a rough draft, document digitally and share;
  • Make sure to map on a big canvas;
  • Collect example documents for every step, if there are any.

How to retrieve analytics information for Pages in the “Site Pages”? using Graph Get itemAnalytics?

Am a keen follower of Microsoft's SharePoint Blog and proud to provide this direct from the Microsoft Tech Community:


Making calls with just analytics endpoint /sites/{site-id}/lists/{list-id}/items/{item-id}/analytics will return null data as shown below:


 


{‘@odata.context’: ‘https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/$metadata#microsoft.graph.itemAnalytics‘,


‘allTime’: None,


‘lastSevenDays’: None}


 


Please make calls and request ‘alltime‘ and ‘lastsevendays‘ separately as shown below:



  • /sites/{site-id}/lists/{list-id}/items/{item-id}/analytics/alltime

  • /sites/{site-id}/lists/{list-id}/items/{item-id}/analytics/lastsevendays



 

Step 1: Retrieve all the internal SharePoint ids of the all Pages in the “Site Pages” 

 


 


Note: ‘190b9516-0000-0000-0000-90fe7360d416 This is the actual list GUID of your “Site Pages” library.

 

Sample Output:

{


            “@odata.etag”: “”6967cfed-0000-0000-0000-b480c1764375,3″”,

            “sharepointIds”: {

                “listId”: “190b9516-0000-0000-0000-90fe7360d416“,

                “listItemId”: “1”,

                “listItemUniqueId”: “6967cfed-0000-0000-0000-b480c1764375“,

                “siteId”: “df6ba610-0000-0000-0000-ba2733d0182e”,

                “siteUrl”: “https://spotenant.sharepoint.com/sites/TestSite105“,

                “tenantId”: “d6f932a7-0000-00000-0000-b27004970776”,

                “webId”: “e0dbcdc6-0000-0000-0000-49aaa1ce4d37”

            }

        },

 

Step 2: Select any Pages “listItemUniqueId” retrieved in Step 1 and make following call:

 

Note: You need to make sure the site you are requesting has the “Sharepoint Viewers” feature enabled: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/allow-people-to-see-who-views-their-files-or-pages-ee26dde0-c30e-4eca-b1c3-38922c450967. This is required to give you expanded actors or users information. Please see sample out put below:

 


 

Data returned below:

 



{


    “aggregationInterval”“None”,

    “startDateTime”“0001-01-01T00:00:00Z”,

    “endDateTime”“0001-01-01T00:00:00Z”,

    “isTrending”false,

    “access”: {

        actionCount345,

        actorCount6,

        “timeSpentInSeconds”0

    },

    “incompleteData”: {

        “missingDataBeforeDateTime”“2018-09-21T19:20:43Z”,

        “wasThrottled”false,

        “resultsPending”false,

        “notSupported”false

    },

    “activities”: [

        {

            “id”“00000”,

            “activityDateTime”“2021-04-12T17:59:12Z”,

            “location”: {

                “address”: {

                    “city”“”,

                    “countryOrRegion”“”,

                    “postalCode”“”,

                    “state”“”,

                    “street”“”

                }

            },

            “access”: {},

            “actor”: {

                “user”: {

                    “displayName”“Admin SPOTenant”,

                    “email”“admin@spotenant.onmicrosoft.com”,

                    “id”“faaa2e55-0000-0000-0000-c774a83bbbde”,

                    “userType”“Internal”

                }

            }

        },       


{

            “id”“00001”,

            “activityDateTime”“2020-12-12T01:03:30Z”,

            “location”: {

                “address”: {

                    “city”“”,

                    “countryOrRegion”“”,

                    “postalCode”“”,

                    “state”“”,

                    “street”“”

                }

            },

            “access”: {},

            “actor”: {

                “user”: {

                    “displayName”“Alex Darrow”,

                    “email”“alexd@spotenant.onmicrosoft.com”,

                    “id”“e81cac19-0000-0000-0000-4c938b101a33”,

                    “userType”“Internal”

                }

            }

        }


    ]

}


The above is kindly provided by the Microsoft Tech Community!