Working with Out-of-the-Box Web Parts
Okay, you have the basic shell set up. You have designed your template and your master pages and styled with CSS and now it's time to get to your content. But a Web site, any Web site, is more than just the shell. Most developers should recognize that, as much work as they put into the architectural design of the site; visitors typically care a lot more about the content. So, as a designer/developer, you must give due consideration to the content that will, in all honesty, be the biggest measure of the popularity of the site you develop. Don't misunderstand; having a site that looks good and functions appropriately for all visitors is monumentally important. But that is what gets people in to your site. The content is what keeps them coming back.
In the world of SharePoint, Web Parts play an important role as a secondary means of delivering content that is not handled by the typical WSS or MOSS Publishing content. This can, generally speaking, consist of custom made Web Parts or the ones that come as standard components of SharePoint. While there is certainly merit in creating your own custom Web Parts, there is a wealth of power and flexibility available through the out-of-the-box Web Parts that come with SharePoint.
At a high level, Web Parts may not seem like they fall into the scope of a design book. In a sense, most of this chapter won't be talking about aesthetics. But understand, good design isn't all about aesthetics. You ...