Designer is great- but no more Design view IN Designer??
June 10, 2016

Designer is great- but no more Design view IN Designer??

Kristina Geiger | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer was used at the company for increased flexibility of workflows, full customization ability for our sites/site pages, and used for pieces of larger scale application development. While a majority of the use is from the IT team responsible for maintaining the company's SharePoint site, there were a select few other individuals that would be provided with SharePoint Designer to further expand on their department's SharePoint site. It addresses business problems such as custom workflows to meet business needs, editing master/site pages to provide the exact information, or customizing forms to provide only critical business information in certain areas to certain users.
  • Allows ease and flexibility of creating custom workflows specific to the business needs. Emails can be configured to easily be sent based on specific conditions, and the inclusion of workflow variables allows increased functionality.
  • It gives a quick interface to add, edit, and remove site pages as well as the ability to edit list item pages creating a custom look and feel for every business need and increasing the functionality of SharePoint lists.
  • Allows a nicer user interface for the additions and management of the external content types linked to the specific sites.
  • In the newest version of SharePoint Designer, they have gotten rid of the Design view which makes what used to be quick and easy changes much more code-intensive. This makes it harder for non-IT users and is more risker for all SharePoint Designer users.
  • SharePoint Designer workflows have a lot of functionality, but there are also some crucial limitations, such as not being able to put lookup fields in email subjects or using parenthesis to separate/group logical conditions.
  • Although this goes along with the Design view, there really isn't a good user interface anymore for adding conditional formatting and styles in views/pages.
  • With workflows alone we have had a positive ROI because it gives us increased functionality and value with a smaller amount of development time needed.
  • The testing of workflows or pages is more structured and we have less base cases than a ground-up customized development solution.
  • Occasionally, we will have a negative impact on our ROI based on the work-arounds needed to make SharePoint Designer work for a specific project, but overall there has been more positive impacts than negative.
SharePoint Designer is the only tool of its kind that I feel 100% comfortable using. Compared to the Nintex workflows/forms, SharePoint Designer has much more increased functionality and ease for an IT-type user like myself. I think it has a much better and easier to navigate user interface, because the user interface is more similar to the intended product, SharePoint.
It is very well-suited and efficient for workflows, item/page views (as long as you aren't afraid of and are well-versed in the page code), and ease of creation for pages/sites/etc. If you need something extremely customizable with the least amount of limitations, you may be better off creating a custom solution in Visual Studios, but if your solution needs to go a bit larger than standard out-of-box functionality, SharePoint Designer would be a good tool to use.