SharePoint Design: Choosing the colours for your intranet.

Black and blue or red and green?

As an artist I should be more than qualified to advise on how you choose the branding colours for your intranet, and with several years in a previous role working in Digital for a FTSE 100 company that qualification should be more so. But in reality it isn’t always that simple. Your SharePoint design and the colours you choose are the flagship of your intranet and set the tone and mood for the content therein.

It may well be that you have a bells and whistles Marketing department with really well defined brand guidelines that mean you this decision is all but made for you, but if not here are a few things to consider.

First of all here is some context to the colour choices. In Classic UX SharePoint you could potentially do some pretty radical customisation and as such use a wide ranging palette to convey your branding. However with the Modern UX you are really just looking at a primary and a secondary brand colour (although your logo could add to the palette), so the colours you choose need to work together.

So what do you need to consider when choosing the colours?

  • This isn’t your website, so you don’t necessarily have to make the intranet and website like for like matches. You may want the intranet to have a completely different vibe to your public facing web presence.
  • What is the feel you are wanting for your site?

Is it a space for accessing formal documents with serious company news updates? Is it a place to connect with your colleagues and get the latest fun news and details of social events? Or somewhere in between?

Try to let the colours fit with the way you want the site to be used. If you are trying to make the site feel light and fun, think bold clear colours, primary colours, play around with colour combinations such as colours that clash but give a bold impact. For a more serious look and feel try muting the colours down and looking more towards the corporate brand.

  • Most intranets tend to have home pages that are company wide and then are underpinned by team sites that are the face of different departments/business areas/locations. They don’t all need to have the same colours. In fact having different colours for different areas can work really well and help with giving areas their own personality.
  • I guess it’s pretty obvious, but you also have images and copy on the pages. The relationship between these one of the keys to making the colour choices work. If you have serious colour palette and fun images you could have a site that is visually very confusing. Take a holistic approach to the site and it will work much better for you.
  • The thing to always bear in mind is that the look of your intranet can evolve and change, it’s not cast in stone. Whilst having a clear identity for your site is really important, you can mix things up. This can have extra impact if you make striking changes for a milestone event to give some BOOM! to the site.

Or it may be that you try a colour combo and it just doesn’t seem to be working. If that’s the case, just give it a change. The only rules on Sharepoint design and intranet colours are the ones you make for yourself (unless the Marketing department have a strict policy and then you wouldn’t be reading this anyway).

When it comes to colour, you really can go in any direction, but despite thinking about branding and making it look a part of the business, you also need to think about usability and how it will affect the end user.

We have helped many businesses put the right Sharepoint design and layouts for their intranets, together. We are here to help you make these decisions too.

If you would like to see how you can customise your SharePoint Intranet, join our webinar on Thursday at 2pm! Details are below.

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