How do I generate "need"?


So, we are tied to SharePoint. There is, sadly, no way around that. So right out if the gate there’s a bit of a limitation. This is compounded by the approach of the decision makers. They are insisting on “out of the box” solution to make the users more excited about SharePoint. I’ve tried to explain that we can, on some level at least, make SharePoint a little better. But in my opinion that means being open to the occasional jquery or javascript web part. They are also upset that no one uses “My Site” within SharePoint. I explained that there is no need to use it. For example, I go to the grocery store every few days; I have a need. I have yet to visit the tailor. Anyone want to guess why? Correct, I don’t have the need. So I’m trying to get the idea through to them that no matter what I design, if there is no “need”, the customer will not be interested. I’m trying to figure out how to get the cutomer to need the My Site feature in SharePoint. Typically I would wait for the demand signal from the user but management is really pushing this. Am I going about this the wrong way?


Am I going about this the wrong way?
By trying to force a need? Perhaps in the real world, yes, but in the corporate world, the rules are often different IMO.

You could try incentivising them to visit the area. I don’t know SharePoint so am unsure about exactly what ‘My Site’ involves, but if people don’t want to use something then you can either force or coerce. I’d tend to go for the latter.


The My Site thing is a social profile thingy. From what I understand it’s enterprise social media that lets your staff do lot’s of things including the ability to share docs with people and it may even work with the task functionality.

I agree with your managers- this is an important tool for staff to use. It’s just not as black and white as do they [I]need[/I] it?

I think it’s very interesting that this organisation actually wants people to use it. From what I’ve seen many organisations freak out at the idea of people having their own space and having the ability to post things that they can’t control.

SP2013 out of the box isn’t that bad- 2010 was revolting. 2013 has a lot of new stuff that significntly improves the user experience. Search actually works! LOL
From a workplace culture and collaboration perspective, I think it’s nice to see that management want this. I personally think it addresses multiple needs that all organisations have; the need to collaborate with your staff and co-workers, networking, exploring new ways of working. It also works as a people directory.

I think the My Site should be allowed. People don’t actually have to do anything with it but the option should be there. We should have multiple channels to connect with the other humans in our workplace and that could never be a bad thing. If they don’t all use it- so what? Is something bad going to happen? Probably not.


We are actually using 2010. They are asking me to make a design that people like and want to use. I spent the better part of yesterday evening trying to figure out solutions to this in my head. You’re right about 2010 though! Thanks for the responses. I’ll consider all of this as I move forward on the project. Thanks again!


Oh no, sorry to hear that.


Despite being more than a year old since this question was posted, it’s a very interesting topic for me so I thought I’d comment and re-start the conversation if that’s okay.

  • My first thought (and something you actually did touch on @maxflyer) is that you can’t really “create” a need for someone else - a person either “needs” something or not. In this case, they clearly do not “need” to use this My site feature and the proof of that is that your colleagues have gotten along quite well all this time without using it.

Apparently My Site doesn’t offer sufficient value in the eyes of your employees to even desire/want to engage with it.

  • You can create a desire in someone else to use something however - think advertising

The underlying tension or dynamic that I sense here is one I’ve come across often in business. They want you to make people feel differently and act differently about a legacy product without actually fundamentally changing the product or, worse yet, switching towards a totally different product that people actually already WANT to use.

I note they didn’t ask you how you could encourage staff to share and collaborate online with each other more which, I believe, really should have been the assignment and not “save this tool for us.”

Propping up fundamentally bad or unwanted products shouldn’t be the role of a designer, in my humble opinion.