Heather Solomon, instructor
Heather is a web designer first and a SharePoint geek second. With over 19 years of experience working with online applications and sites, she knows how to get under the hood with SharePoint. Considered by many to be THE industry expert in SharePoint branding, Heather enjoys sharing her knowledge in a laid-back atmosphere. She knows how to make SharePoint look like anything but SharePoint!
Something you are bound to hear Heather say is, “I am not a developer!” Heather is a graphic designer, artist and creative outlet enthusiast. She attended art school and started off her career designing marketing materials, logos and learning this crazy thing back then called HTML. Since then Heather has worked for agencies, boutique dotcoms and large corporations building a variety of online sites and applications including Intranets, eCommerce applications, eProcurement sites, online banking interfaces and external facing marketing sites. To say the least she has dealt with a lot of “people” projects and enjoys working with end users and content owners alike in regards to site usability and taxonomy.
Several years ago Heather left the corporate world to focus on training and consulting full time, providing web design, branding development and consulting services to organizations implementing SharePoint. Her roots go back to Content Management Server 2002 and SharePoint 2003 and she has a passion for successful web content management and clean, well branded sites.
Heather in the SharePoint community
Heather hosted one of the original SharePoint branding focused blogs (now moved here) and maintains several free resources, including her SharePoint CSS Charts and starter Master Pages. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and user group meetings across the United States. Heather received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for her SharePoint community contributions five years in a row.
In her words: Heather’s blended branding approach
I have always been a bit of an oddity. I don’t just live in the world of graphic design and trendy color palettes. I also don’t quite belong in the world of C# and .NET. I have settled somewhere in the middle, combining what I know from both worlds to aid and assist with effective communication between the two. Yes, designers and developers can successfully convey requirements, challenges and ideas outside of tossing design comps over walls and hearing muffled grumblings from both sides. The approach is simple, it is all about perspective.
I help designers understand code challenges and help them extend their design processes past making a cool layout, to also considering how it will be implemented. Once there is an open door for designers to work with developers in regards to implementation, developers are happy to ask for more images, color advice and they don’t feel stranded on a deserted island with a random layered Photoshop file.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Let’s face it; those guys with glowing apples on their desks are doing some cool stuff. And SharePoint is a .NET application through and through. The added ease and sex appeal other solutions create combined with SharePoint’s powerful feature set can produce one fantastic web application/site for your users!
In class we will learn core .NET principles and really understand how and when to use master pages. We will also add some zing with other technologies such as advanced CSS and jQuery. Yes, you really can make that SharePoint site look like anything you want!