DemoCamp + Midori

We’ll be at Edmonton’s second DemoCamp tonight showing off Midori, our SharePoint-based project management application.

Midori was built by Toby and his team (they’ve been working on it in stealth mode for a while now). We began using it internally a few weeks ago to replace Basecamp, and it’s working well so far.

When we started Midori we knew we wanted to completely revamp the SharePoint UI. (Cameron Moll’s Skinning MS SharePoint with standards is a good reference for making SharePoint more visually appealing.)

But we also knew we wanted to go much deeper–we wanted to give it an interaction design overhaul. Out-of-the-box SharePoint’s interactions are a bit baffling . Something that should be simple takes three or four steps, while something that should be hard (like creating a new SharePoint site) can be done with one click from a context menu. Just last October Cameron Moll wrote another post–SharePoint 2007: Pointedly Unskinnable–where he laments SharePoint’s often-clunky flow.

Part of Midori is an engine that gives us complete control over SharePoint’s interface and interactions. We’re still refining the interface, but we’re able to make Midori look and work like just about any other web app (including standards-compliant mark-up and a bunch of ajax-y interactions).

Midori screen capture

While we haven’t made it completely cross-browser compatible, I use it regularly from my Mac without trouble.

(We’ll be writing more about this over the next couple of months, and I suspect we’ll even answer that nagging question “why SharePoint?”)

Gene Smith

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