Yammer Sharepoint Integration


The ideal experience communities in Yammer is not provided from the current Groups experience.


We have positioned Yammer as a tool to serve Outer Loop user cases, and we have prioritized Executive Engagement and Communities as the two most important of those outer loop use cases. The vision we have for Communities in Yammer is potentially different enough from our current group construct that we think it is necessary to at least think through the idea of introducing a new destination in Yammer for Communities.  


2 designers and 1 Project Managers from Yammer
1 designer and 1 Project Manager from Sharepoint


Lead Designer


Provide a holistic, differentiated experience of a community in Yammer more quickly than is possible by retrofitting groups.   

Proposed Solution 

Provide a new destination in Yammer that is differentiated in comparison to groups via a different layout, different right rail modules, a different header, and more. These communities would be backed by O365 groups and would have the same management capabilities/attributes as existing groups: membership would be managed in the same way, public/private settings would be the same, etc. The biggest difference between existing groups and the communities destination being proposed here is:  

  • Right rail modules 

  • Move the members module above the feed

  • Include a community statistics module?  

  • Move the info section out into a module above the feed?  

  • Collapse the  layout of the middle column of the page  

  • Provide a sense of place within the community? 


Getting Started

We utilized the Google What Ifs Framework to begin the brainstorming.

To innovate and push ideas forwards, being aligned on a design vision helps give focus and direction, it makes sure you are aiming for something with a purpose.

We went from Community Opportunity Areas > Underlying problems > What ifs for sets of problems


Wires & Explorations

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Branding: Cover Solutions

Cover Image

- Allow background to multiply and blur,
to accomodate for different dimensions

- Allow multiple/carousel

- Provide illustrations/ colors/ patterns/
Bing Photos integration

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Branding: Layout Variations

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Feed: Layout Variations

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Feed: Layout Variations

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What if community management was effortless?

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What if communities could support and foster meetups that helped bring members closer?

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What if community leaders could effectively set the rules of conduct in the community?

What if community leaders could exemplify behavior?

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What if people could easily know if a community is worth their time?

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What if people could articulate and express themselves effectively?

  • Means of expression or interacting with content are limited

  • “Like” doesn't cover most emotions users feel

  • Can't format complex conversation

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What if communities could facilitate rituals that created greater sense of community?

  • Hard to create community rituals (repeatable behaviors)

  • Welcoming new members in community

  • Asking people to share what they've learned in last two weeks

Nominating members who've been helpful in the last month

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Higher fidelity wires….

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Experimenting with stickers, GIFs, and richer forms of expression


The Event

23 people representing 13 of our Polaris customers joined us for 3 packed days and 2 evenings of sessions and activities.  The event was well attended by our teams OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer, Bing, PowerApps, Flow, Office 365 Branding, Outlook, and SOX.  Yammer hosted a vibrant discussion and co-designing session around Yammer integration into Community sites.

External Customers:

Bayer Booz Allen Hamilton , Bosch, Danaher, Liberty Mutual, Medtronic, Shire, Takeda, Thermo Fisher, Unilever, Wake Forest Health Medical

What We Learned:

Top 5 Community Opportunities: 
1. Provide tools that help admins and members foster a sense of community 
2. Improve means of visual, textual and lighthearted expression 
3. Help people create, share and discover events in their communities 
4. Assist communities in knowledge creation, consumption and retrieval 
5. Provide ways for people to be recognized for contributions in community 

Features and Key points
1) Focus on better expression
- Rich text: Allow for basic features such as bullets, bold txt, links
- Reactions: Not necessarily the final reactions we want to show, but a way to enhance and individualize the "like" function
- Dynamic short posts: Allow images or illustrations to be available as a background
2) Support learning and knowledge
- Post types: Q&A, Suggestions/Polls/etc
- A Best Answer from the replies can be selected by the OP or by upvotes/downvotes
3) Recognition
- Top Contributors: Displaying the most helpful/active users by week/month. This would help other users know who to ask questions to and perhaps inspire them to become a more valuable contributor
- Badges: Admin badges, Top contributor badges, New community member badges, New network member badges
4) Events
- Events cards that allow for discussion in feed

Customer Feedback & Learnings
- Customers are excited about this tool!
- Need to define use cases for Sharepoint VS Yammer VS Teams
- Users want identical functionality for both Sharepoint Communities and Yammer