Office 365 settings gets a major update

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The Office 365 settings area has received a major user experience update in the last month.

*note that some images have my personal data smudged, your page will display properly Winking smile

Getting to your settings?

To get to the settings pages an employee chooses the ‘Office 365 settings’ option from the suitebar menu as seen below.

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This takes you into the settings area and loads the ‘Settings’ tab explained below.

My Account

The ‘My Account’ tab actually just forms a navigation aid to the other tabs, and is weirdly skipped from the suitebar menu.

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Personal info

The ‘personal info’ tab allows you to view and edit contact and address information.

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Subscriptions

Simply lists everything your organisation has provided for you.

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App permissions

This tab lets you see all the applications from your subscription and also more importantly it shows everything you have allowed access to from the Office Store and Azure marketplace.

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Install status

This tab gives you the ability to see where you installed software and if necessary deactivate it from that device.

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Settings

The settings page covers a number of general settings for the employee as seen below.

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Theme

The theme lets an employee override the default company theme with one they prefer. This might not be something the internal marketing/communications teams like to publicise to heavily.

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Start page

This little gem allows you to pick which of the default Office 365 services is your ‘home page’ when you first log in.

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There are some nuances around this though. It assumes you login via https://portal.office.com rather than typing a direct url to somewhere within Office 365. I also haven’t seen any way that an admin can set this for employees centrally.

Notifications

The notifications panel is also a fairly recent addition and shows up on the suitebar.

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Here you can see that I have a new email waiting to be read.

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You have the option to tweak which types of notifications show up and also it’s here you can turn off the notification sounds.

Software

This is where you can download and install various software from your tenant. It takes you to a separate screen as below.

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Password

This is something worth highlighting to employees as it allows them to change their password in Azure AD. Obviously this is dependant on how IT have configured the identity underpinnings, so worth checking with them.

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Contact preferences

A great place to turn off marketing email spam and partner marketing. I’m also a little surprised this is done at a per employee basis, I can’t imagine the average employee wanting to hear from partners. Not sure if this can be set centrally or not.

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Language

Pick you language.

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Next steps

Here are my thoughts about the impact of this great new experience on the different groups in your organisation.

  • IT and support
    • IT support need to be informed and understand these new screens to handle enquiries correctly. They may need to update training and self-help materials as well.
    • IT will need to check how some of these settings will behave inside their organisation considering things like password change and desktop software installation.
  • Internal communications and marketing
    • With the changes comes an opportunity to rave about the improvements in self-service password changing, the personal settings like themes, notifications and having the ability to install the desktop software from the tenant.
    • Informing the employees about the changes and maybe take advantage of the video portal to post a short 30 second sound bite about the updates. Maybe even push out a new Sway with the changes.
  • Developers
    • Knowing about changes is half the challenge in Office 365. With so much emphasis on dev APIs and new ways to customise it is often forgotten that you need to know your service as well. I bet half the organisations are asking for features to be built in SharePoint pages now available in the settings experience.

I hope you found the article useful.

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