Using Sites instead of Portal home page for users

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11-26-2020 07:51 AM
NancyLemay
New Contributor II

Hello,

We are at the beginning stages of deploying Enterprise 10.8.1 within our government department (approx. 25000 employees).  I'm looking for feedback on an idea that we have within our team.  Some team members do not want to use Enterprise Portal home page as a means to provide access to our departmental employees. Keep in mind most of them are not GIS users but more policy analysts and the like.  They would like to build a Site page to serve as a landing page instead of Portal's home page.  I'm concerned about this approach, I would prefer to find a way to use the Portal home page through HTML and CSS customization.  I think it would be a more viable long term solution.  Any thoughts? 

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TilmannSteinmetz2
New Contributor III

Hi Nancy - I think it's very much a question of whether you already have many users who are familiar with using either ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, using the familiar navigation will make it easier for them. We've used a setup similar to what your team members have suggested in our Enterprise 10.8.1 deployment for the organization (~ 800 staff). I liked the idea because we are able to use multiple sites which individual departments can have full control over. All sites have a common menu across the top of the page so people can go from one site to the other (without seing that they're actually going somewhere else). I think it's a very good way of removing some of the complexity of the regular portal page (which is more suitable for a "GIS" person who actually wants to access portal functionality, as opposed to just finding content to consume. I've added a link to the regular portal home page as some people in the organization are used to seeing that as their default.

At the moment that is where I'm second guessing my decision as I'm getting more confused questions around which one the 'definite view' is of what we're providing access to via this portal. In summary, I'd say Sites are awesome as they also allow us to chunk up the work of administering separate areas of the content, as related to individual business areas. The home page is probably a more 'centralized' place where a single person would find it simpler to keep the branding and content under control.

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TilmannSteinmetz2
New Contributor III
Hi Nancy -
With the current setup, our users can go either directly to the 'sites-based' page or to the Portal Home Page. We have decided not to 'force' staff to use the sites exclusively, because some will find it more intuitive to work with the Portal home page.
To enable going from the Portal Home page to the sites, I've added references to all sites that are shown in the Gallery on the Home Page, using a group, at the moment. So if people want to jump from viewing the Portal Home to Viewing a Site, they can just click on the image in the Gallery. To go back, they've got a link to the Portal Home in the Sites Header Navigation.
This configuration is quite peculiar and perhaps more confusing than having only one of the two choices. I've chosen it because we have a mix of experienced 'web mappers' and 'novice users' which we needed to cater for.
For a more homogeneous group of people I would probably not do the same and instead just provide one definitive start page.
Tilmann

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TilmannSteinmetz2
New Contributor III

Hi Nancy - I think it's very much a question of whether you already have many users who are familiar with using either ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, using the familiar navigation will make it easier for them. We've used a setup similar to what your team members have suggested in our Enterprise 10.8.1 deployment for the organization (~ 800 staff). I liked the idea because we are able to use multiple sites which individual departments can have full control over. All sites have a common menu across the top of the page so people can go from one site to the other (without seing that they're actually going somewhere else). I think it's a very good way of removing some of the complexity of the regular portal page (which is more suitable for a "GIS" person who actually wants to access portal functionality, as opposed to just finding content to consume. I've added a link to the regular portal home page as some people in the organization are used to seeing that as their default.

At the moment that is where I'm second guessing my decision as I'm getting more confused questions around which one the 'definite view' is of what we're providing access to via this portal. In summary, I'd say Sites are awesome as they also allow us to chunk up the work of administering separate areas of the content, as related to individual business areas. The home page is probably a more 'centralized' place where a single person would find it simpler to keep the branding and content under control.

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NancyLemay
New Contributor II

Hi Tilmann, thank you very much for replying to my question.  I'm happy you understood what I meant, I guess we are not the only ones with this issue with the portal home page.  

I have one last question for you, knowing what you know now, would you still go down that road with Sites? 

I totally understand and appreciate that individual sites can increase usability and accessibility but couldn't you have directed users to the portal homepage and then to individual site pages?  Are they entirely bypassing the portal homepage?

 

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TilmannSteinmetz2
New Contributor III
Hi Nancy -
With the current setup, our users can go either directly to the 'sites-based' page or to the Portal Home Page. We have decided not to 'force' staff to use the sites exclusively, because some will find it more intuitive to work with the Portal home page.
To enable going from the Portal Home page to the sites, I've added references to all sites that are shown in the Gallery on the Home Page, using a group, at the moment. So if people want to jump from viewing the Portal Home to Viewing a Site, they can just click on the image in the Gallery. To go back, they've got a link to the Portal Home in the Sites Header Navigation.
This configuration is quite peculiar and perhaps more confusing than having only one of the two choices. I've chosen it because we have a mix of experienced 'web mappers' and 'novice users' which we needed to cater for.
For a more homogeneous group of people I would probably not do the same and instead just provide one definitive start page.
Tilmann

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NancyLemay
New Contributor II

Thank you, this valuable info.

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GrahamHudgins
Esri Regular Contributor

there are some considerations as to letting you customize the portal home page to any application. I believe that's on the roadmap for the home page. appreciate the feedback!

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