SharePoint List and Library Updates

Modern document libraries in SharePoint
Microsoft is rolling out significant changes to how SharePoint Lists and Libraries look. You may have already seen the new interface for Document Libraries, making them look similar to OneDrive for Business. Lists will soon be getting the same make-over. This is part of Microsoft’s SharePoint Road Map, with the main objective being to give SharePoint a modern, responsive interface that works well on desktop and mobile devices. Although there is some great new functionality, our advice on rolling out this change is ‘proceed with care’. This is a significant change to how users will work with lists and libraries, and this change needs to be carefully managed. The image below shows how a Document Library looks in the ‘New Experience’. You will see that the features of a View are still there – documents are grouped and the columns are visible as before. One welcome new feature is that the column width can now be changed by dragging the column edges. New library experience Probably the most noticeable change is that the Ribbon has disappeared from the top of the library, being replaced by a Command Bar. This gives you the most common functionality relevant to tasks at hand. The full range of functions are still available by right-clicking on a document. Clicking on the i icon in the top right of the screen opens an information panel in the right hand column. This gives key document information, including a preview of the file, recent activity and permissions. Other great new additions are the ability to copy a link from another library into this library, and to quickly copy or move files to other libraries. Sharepoint copy file On the downside, there is a lot of ‘library’ level functionality that hasn’t yet been implemented in this version. Quick Edit, Export to Excel, View Item Totals and Metadata Filtering are some of the more notable. Although the list is fairly long (see here for full details), most of this will in reality not be used very frequently for libraries. It will be more of an issue for lists, which is perhaps why the update for these is only just being rolled out to first release customers. The new format also changes the whole page layout, losing branding and rearranging the top and left-hand menus. For organisations that have spent a long time creating consistent navigation to help users find their way around, this needs careful handling. Administrators have a lot of control over how this change is rolled out. The new experience can be rolled out globally, per site collection, or on individual libraries. Full details can be found here. We strongly advise switching to the Classic Experience for all document libraries until you have fully appraised the new design and sent out information to all users on how the new designs work. For Hub Clients with software assurance, we will be ensuring that the new experience is turned off. We are working to assess the likely impact on The Hub Intranet of this change, and will email communicate any changes that need to be made with clients as soon as we have completed this. To switch back to Classic View:
  • Choose Admin centers and then SharePoint.Admin, SharePoint
  • Choose Settings.
  • Next to SharePoint Lists and Libraries experience, select either Classic experience or New experience (auto-detect).Setting for default List and Library experience
Useful articles:

Microsoft Quick Start Guide to new Document Libraries

Microsoft Blog on the future of Document Libraries

Microsoft Blog on the future vision for SharePoint