my world of work and user experiences

April 30, 2012

Anywhere – SharePoint Online on my Windows Phone

Filed under: Interaction,Office365 — Tags: , — frederique @ 22:18

We are always on, always connected. And we expect to be able to do that on our mobile devices. But we’d better manage those expectations.

Nielsen, in his latest Intranet Design Annual, laments the fact that very few intranets have a mobile version. Recently, I looked into SharePoint Online on my iPad and I was only moderately enthusiastic. Now let me take a look on my smartphone – a Windows Phone, so it is Microsoft all around. Today, I focus on the interface in the mobile Internet Explorer.

Bottomline: Again, quite a lot actually works, but not everything…

What works:

  • Announcements, Links, Custom lists
  • Tasks, including views like My Tasks and functionality to update tasks.
  • Blogs: read the post, read the comments and add a comment
  • View pictures in a library, including their thumbnails and a screen-filling version

What works somewhat:

  • Adding a task worked, because I saw the new task appear on my computer. Unfortunately I did not see it appear on my phone…
  • Calendar is present but unpractical: no weekly or monthly overview.
  • Document libraries: I can read documents – though not in a very practical way on such a small screen. But I cannot add or edit them in the phone browser: there is no Upload document button. For that, I need to open the Office Hub.
  • Picture libraries offer a button to upload a picture, but that did not work for me – I could not activate the Browse option.
  • Movies (mp4) played from their library, but the media webpart to play it from the page does not work.
  • Publishing page libraries show the table of content, but the pages themselves do not open.

What is missing entirely: the more interactive features:

  • Discussion Boards: Missing from All Site Content and I cannot switch on the mobile view in the list settings
  • Surveys: Idem
  • Rating: I can see the rating stars but I cannot rate a document on the phone

Below, you will find some screenshots and other details…

‘Table of Contents’

The Windows Phone wisely does not attempt to display the site in its big screen view, but more like a table of content. The All Site Content overview is your friend, as other navigation options – like the tabs – are missing.


Homepage on my Windows Phone

All Site Content

All Site Content


I can read blog posts, read the comments and add a comment using my Windows Phone.

Read a blog post

Read blog comments

Add comment

Managing my tasks works

I can view the tasks that are assigned to me, update their status and other data, and switch to the view with all tasks. For the selection fields, this is the Windows Phone method.

My Tasks

My Tasks

Edit Task

Update my task

Edit Task - Selection list

Select a status

The reader can consult the information in document libraries and picture libraries. Talking back is more difficult in the windows phone browser: I cannot upload or edit the files.

Document Library

Document Library



Picture Library

Picture Library

By the way, I have made these screenshots using the Windows Phone Emulator of the SDK (Software Development Kit) . I am not planning any real development myself, but I have not found an app or any other tool to shoot the screen of my Windows Phone directly.

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