In early 2018, CANVIZ began a site refresh project for a network of community colleges, the College of the Sequoias. CANVIZ was tasked to build out, deploy and manage a site redesign project for their public facing web site This site is critical to the core of their operations and is accessed by current students and teachers, as well as prospective students looking to enroll in one of the colleges in their network. Essentially the site serves as both a marketing tool as well as a portal to different services such as class registration, profile management, directory lookups, course curriculums , information on school programs, scholarships, and campus events.

One of the biggest drivers for the site refresh project was to not only improve the look and feel of the site, but to also leverage features of SharePoint 2016 and Office 365 (prior to this the site ran on SharePoint 2010).

One of the requirements from the client was to enable one list/library to be used across the site for each list/library-driven web part, instead of having to manage multiple lists and libraries throughout the site. For example, content authors place an accordion web part on different pages and sites throughout the entire web site.  Instead of having to manage the content shown in the accordion web part in many different lists, they wanted to be able to manage it in a single list.

The CANVIZ team created a very user-friendly solution to enable a better user experience for the editors by using managed metadata and custom web parts. Each time a new page is created in the site, a managed metadata tag is associated with it.  Here you can see an example.

We then added a hyperlink to the web parts that only display when the web parts are in edit mode.  You can see the link below in an accordion web part in edit mode.

These hyperlinks allow the content authors to quickly edit the content associated with the web part, from the single list associated with this type of web part. The hyperlink’s URL includes the managed metadata tag associated with the page.  It is used to filter the content in the list to just the content associated with the web part on a per page basis.  It looks like this.

When content authors click the link they see the web part’s associated list/library filtered to show only the items pertaining to the web part (via the managed metadata tag filter parameters).

Here is an example of the filtered list view.  Note, the list is filtered on the page metatag “MESA”.

This solution enabled us to meet the client’s requirement of a single universal list for all instances of each specific web part, and also implemented a great user experience for the content editors as well as providing a very efficient method to edit the content for a specific instance of a list-driven web part.

This solution has helped the content management team at COS save hundreds of hours of searching for the correct content to edit – and in turn, increased productivity and cut costs.

Author: Damian Gibbs
Damian Gibbs has been working at Canviz for 6 years - his job... making things happen.

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