First Look at the New Office 365 Profile

Marc Anderson

by Marc D Anderson on 3/26/2015

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Office 365 Profile

A new profile page and editing capability has rolled out quietly to Office 365, giving us a responsive, more robust profile view.

Astute tea leaf reader and roadmap watcher Wictor Wilén spotted something the other day that is a bigger deal than he made it out to be in his blog post, What’s new in the Office Roadmap - 2015-03-25. There’s a burgeoning industry in tea leaf reading about Office 365, but I prefer to let others read the tea leaves for me, and Wictor is always high on my list to watch.

It looks like a new profile page and editing capabilities have rolled out to some Office 365 tenants – it’s in the “Rolling out” section of Office team’s roadmap. The roadmap has a little detail in the Edit Office 365 profile details page update item:

The new edit profile details page experience will be available for Office 365 users via the portal web experience. You can access the new  experience via the gear in the top right of the navigation bar Office 365 settings Me. The new experience will include additional features including updated web design while in edit mode, responsive page layout on smaller devices, and quick link to change your profile photo.

On CollabTalk webisode #3, Christian Buckley, Naomi Moneypenny, Benjamin Niaulin, and I were talking about a roadmap item that seems very related, but apparently is something different, the About Me Update and New Authoring Tool.

The Office 365 user profile page, aka “About Me” is getting a significant update. First, it will be more user friendly in its overall presentation and how it looks and responds across all devices. This update also introduces a new page authoring tool – that at first will be used to create stories within the company – then expand to enable creation of new types of dynamic pages. These stories and pages are created within the browser and have built-in hooks to add other Office 365 content (like documents from OneDrive for Business, videos from Office 365 Video and images from a document library) in a seamless way. Finally, the new “About Me” page will highlight people and people search in a whole new way – from hierarchical views, to showing who people most closely work with, and even a method to send a kudo to a co-worker.

While it seems as though these two items would be tightly coupled, it’s the former that is rolling out.

So what do we get? Well, if you click on the gear in the upper right of an Office 365 page, select Office 365 settings (figure 1), and then Me, you’ll see the new profile if your tenant has it enabled.

To view the Office 365 Profile go to Office 365 settings

Figure 1: Go to Office 365 settings to see the new profile view.

In the full screen view (figure 2), the new profile is quite attractive, and gives a nice overview of a user’s profile.

The new Office 365 Profile in Office 365

Figure 2: My new profile in Office 365 looks great.

On my iPhone, it is indeed responsive – sort of. The view looks great on load, but as you can see (figure 3) the suite bar isn’t quite responsive yet.

My Office 365 tenant showing the Office 365 Profile on my iPhone

Figure 3: My profile shown on an iPhone. Microsoft still has some work to do on the top bar to make it responsive.

Figures 4-5 show how I’ve had to scroll the screen a bit to see the rest of the suite bar.

Office 365 Profile suite bar isn't responsive yet.

Figure 4: Center area of my profile page showing the suite bar.

Buttons in the suite bar on the right third of the suite bar in the Office 365 Profile

Figure 5: The rest of the Office 365 suite bar; basically the right third of my profile view.

We can pretty easily scroll right and lose our way.

This uncomfortableness is a bit more pronounced when we try to edit our profile on a small screen. When editing, the screen gets a little wonky for me and jumps around a bit. The left-to-right scrolling means that it was very easy for me to lose my way, though I was able to make edits (figure 6).

Fields to view on Office 365 Profile Figure 6: Fields available to edit in the Office 365 profile page.

All in all, this new view of the profile is a step in the right direction. I’m sure the Office 365 team will iron out the responsive issues in short order.

On some pages, I’m seeing some other goodies. For instance on the new profile page I see a Groups icon (figure 7) in the suite bar.

Office 365 Profile shows Groups

Figure 7: Groups are available from the new profile page.

The About Me link is still under my picture in the upper right of Office 365 pages, too.

Overall, I find that the navigation and pages to access information like profiles is improving incrementally. Clearly there will be some other new improvements coming soon, and there will also have to be some tweaks to get everything right in what’s rolling out now. I look forward for the next tidbits.

Topic: Office 365

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