Design Manager in SharePoint 2013

There are a number of options available for visual designers and information architects. One of the great new features in SharePoint 2013 is the Design Manager. You can locate this by going to the settings menu and selecting “Design Manager”

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Design Manager is a series of pages and links to take you to the design libraries similar to those found in SharePoint 2010. From welcome page you can import wsp packaged designs or pick from a pre-installed master page.

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“Manage Device Channels” is a new feature which allows you to change the look and feel of a site based on the client’s device or browser. This is great for optimising the rendering of the page in mobile devices.

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The “Upload Design Files” is a link to the _catalogs folder which was also used in SharePoint 2010 and MOSS to store the Master Pages. It recommends that this is mapped as a network drive.

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“Editing Master Pages” is a link to the _catalogs folder which was also used in SharePoint 2010 and MOSS to store the Master Pages.

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“Edit Design Templates” is another new feature in SharePoint 2013. It allows customisation of the way content is displayed. This might be used to customise search results by defining fields but also presentation. More information can be found here

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“Edit Page Layouts” is another shortcut to a library which was also used in SharePoint 2010 and MOSS. It displays the page layout content types from the master page gallery.

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The page shown below reminds the designer to publish all of the files before applying the design to the site. A handy link to apply the Master Page is provided.

Create design package allows the design to be exported and used on other sites. This is really useful for taking a design from a development environment to the live site. To create this package previously would have required creating a solution or feature in Visual Studio and deploying it to the server or site collection. This is a handy tool to do this for you.

All of the features below are described in more detail on Microsoft’s site.

While the design manager is more of a guide than somewhere an experienced designer will actually upload there designs to (SharePoint Designer will be the main tool), it does make the design process clearer and provides some neat tools for the new functionality about to be released in Microsoft SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint 2013 Design Manager

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