Recently, you may have noticed a new Office 365 app with a very simple name: Lists. If you’re familiar with SharePoint Lists than you’re already ahead of the game. Microsoft Lists is SharePoint Lists with a few templates, styles, and other features.
When you first launch Lists you’re greeted with a very simple UI that features lists you recently created along with ones you’ve favorited. On this screen, you can also create a list.
When creating a new list, you have the option of creating a list from scratch, automatically creating one from a spreadsheet, or creating a copy of an existing list. Additionally, several templates are available to help you get started with common list scenarios.
If you take a look at a preview of the Work Progress Tracker template, you can see that it looks like a typical SharePoint list with one difference in the Category and Progress columns where styles have been applied to each field to make that information pop. This makes it easier to scan the list for specific information. This feature isn’t necessarily new. Traditional SharePoint lists include the same functionality, but it does require some JSON formatting. These templates simply do it for you from the start.
Another example displays the styles that will come with the Asset manager template. It’s a much more visual look at your data, enabling you to quickly scan the list (and in this case see that two assets are available and one is in repair).
At the bottom of the preview window, you can click the Use template button and a popup for basic information will appear. Traditionally, when you need a SharePoint list, you would go to a specific SharePoint site and create the list there. This new experience involves a few minor changes, starting with the ability to choose a color and icon for your list. There’s also a Save To dropdown which has an interesting feature…
Expanding the Save To dropdown presents two choices. You can either select a SharePoint site or you can select My Lists. Choosing a site will create the list in that site with a slightly newer version of the modern UI. If I were to select the Marketing site seen in the image below, my URL would be https://
Let’s go over the subtle differences of the modern UI. For starters, the New, Quick edit, and other buttons have been pushed to the top and the left navigation is gone, effectively leaving more screen real estate to display your list items.
Beyond this, the functionality is the same. Clicking the new button opens a pane to the right for inputting values (just like in the experience that we’re used to).
Once you create an item, there aren’t many surprises other than some preformatted columns. In the example below, Category, Progress, and Priority are all formatted.
Take a peek at the settings for the Progress column, you’ll see the JSON formatting provided. Again, nothing new here other than Microsoft did the work for you. One thing to note here is that if you change the expected values your styles will not be applied to the new values.
Microsoft Lists are a new (but not new) list experience in Office 365 that introduces some usability improvements. You get more real estate for your data by removing parts of the layout traditionally used by a SharePoint site. You get templates that cover common scenarios and provide visual improvements to help you scan your data much more quickly. You can now create personal lists without the need for a SharePoint site, and all the unnecessary overhead that comes with a site. The new Microsoft Lists App takes one of the basic building blocks of SharePoint and makes it a basic building block of Office 365. Finally, Anexinet offers Kickstarts—bite-sized engagements with banquet results—to help your organization accelerate its migration to Office 365 with a proven approach that ensures high adoption and guarantees success, and to help your organization master Office 365 Data Security & Management. Please take a moment to check them out now and feel free to reach out to Anexinet with any questions. We’re always happy to help.
SharePoint/Office 365 Architect
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