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SharePoint’s New Document Library

Microsoft started to roll out the “New Document Library Experience” on SharePoint Online from April 2016.   Somewhat unusual of other First Release updates, this went out to many users and caused quite a bit of discussion in the community.

We can expect the new experience to roll out to SharePoint 2016 On-Premises in the future.

Lots of Good Parts

  1. The New Experience is a modern take of the document library.  It is responsive and scales across devices.
  2. It hides away a very complex looking ribbon from the users (the ribbon has many advanced features but new users consider it to be very unfriendly).
  3. The New Experience supports better drag and drop
  4. Content Types – there will be ways to add items of different content types, as well as short cut links to other locations.
  5. Many new features such as tile view for documents, metadata editing.  Document preview.  Showing additional columns, ordering, grouping and using existing views were added shortly after the initial reveal.  Impressively, the grouping and ordering works with the tile view.
  6. New Experience lets you pin a document always to the top.
  7. Ribbon and Menu via Custom User Action will remain allowing ISV to add their products onto the new SharePoint document library UI.  This was not available in the April reveal.

Some Considerations


The new experience definitely has a “paint hasn’t come off yet” smell.  And needs several new coats of paint.  Many of our initial concerns have been addressed quickly in Microsoft’s follow up article.

It’s always a tricky business to juggle the UX – people have strong feelings about their UI.  But we quite liked what Microsoft showed as a first pass, and can’t wait to see more

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