Get Started with the SharePoint Look Book


If making SharePoint look beautiful is on the list of your requirement but do not have a Graphic Designer or a huge budget for an agency, then you might benefit from SharePoint Look Book. Today we will introduce you to it and explain what it is about and how you can use it as part of your SharePoint project.

Go to https://lookbook.microsoft.com/ to get started.

What is SharePoint look book?

SharePoint look book is essentially a collection of look & feel templates that Microsoft created to showcase the possibilities of SharePoint in terms of design. You just browse through the templates, choose one to your liking and then install it on your SharePoint environment in a few clicks. That simple. Whether you are just starting to consider a Modern Intranet with SharePoint Online or a migration to Microsoft 365, SharePoint look book might provide you with a good starting point and ideas on your site layouts.

What are the available templates?

The SharePoint look book templates are organized in six different categories that you can use to filter and browse through:

  • Organization
  • Department
  • Team
  • Community Solutions
  • Schools

SharePoint look book categories

How do I use SharePoint look book?

Once you choose the specific template from the category you like, click on it, and then click Add to your tenant. You need to have the SharePoint Service Administrator role or higher in your Microsoft 365 tenant to install a template from the look book.

SharePoint look book - add to your tenant

If you not already logged in as an admin in your Microsoft 365 tenant, you will be prompted to do so. You will be asked to complete a bit of information before getting to the deployment.

  • E-mail: Provide an e-mail address to get notified when provisioning is complete.
  • Site Title: Title for your site where the template will get provisioned
  • Site URL: Here you will see the URL of your SharePoint Online tenant, the managed path in which your site will be created e.g., /sites or /teams and the relative URL of the site which you can choose.

SharePoint look book - provision

The next screen is mostly informational, so you just click Confirm.

SharePoint look book - Confirm provisioning

The provisioning process normally takes about 5 minutes. You will get a confirmation on the next screen that its status is complete.

SharePoint look book - Provisioning completed

If you don’t want to just wait on the screen and do other things, just wait for the confirmation e-mail.

SharePoint look book -E-mail confirmation

What are the look book components?

If you want to look under the hood, you can check the internal insights that Microsoft provides on how each template is built. Those are visible on the template page; in our case we’ve picked up The Perspective template. You will see that each template has a unique GUID which is part of the URL.

On the template page, you can see the main building blocks of a look book template, which are:

  • Site features
  • Web parts used
  • Content included

You can expand each of the three sections, review what’s in there and click on each item to get to a more detailed documentation on certain web part etc. Clicking on the Call to action text from the screenshot below will take you to the actual link of the Call to action web part documentation at Microsoft.

SharePoint look book - Web parts used

Some of the contents included are often images and sample articles you won’t need, so you can get rid of some of them once you customize the site to your needs. The less content you have in your site, the better performance it would have, in general.

SharePoint look book - contents included

How do the sites look like?

This is how the provisioned site looks like. It’s a nice, organized site, packed with web parts and ready to be customized to your needs. It is a Communications site, rather than a Team site for collaboration. It has a nice mega menu for navigation which you would need to customize for your organization.

SharePoint look book - The Perspective template

We must admit it is visually appealing, what was previously 6 months of coding is now available as a pre-packaged solution. That should however be just the starting point for you. There’s plenty of work to be done – Information Architecture, Metadata, Navigation, Apps, Integrations (e.g., with Microsoft Teams) and so forth. If you are just getting your journey to a Modern Intranet with SharePoint Online or Microsoft 365 started, we at Impactory would be thrilled to help you on the way.

Conclusion

The SharePoint look book service is a nice and inspiring starting point for your journey to a Modern Intranet with SharePoint Online. We know it can be challenging to create everything yourself, especially if you have no previous exposure to SharePoint, so we’re here to help. Reach out to Impactory to discuss your SharePoint project today.

Additional Resources

  1. How does the look book come into play with the newly released SharePoint Home Site App? Your newly provisioned site based on the SharePoint look book is using the Communications site template, so you can make it your Home site. Take a read of our detailed Home Site App blog post
  2. SharePoint look book is just scratching the surface. Learn more about Design Principles, Sites & Pages, Web Parts, Platforms and Frameworks at https://spdesign.azurewebsites.net/

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