Build Targeted Training on Office 365 Adoption Center

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This is part 2 of a 2-part blog series:

[Update July 11, 2018] With the recent announcement from Microsoft on the new page-tagging feature for modern pages, the techniques used in the post still apply, however the new capability allows page authors to update the metadata (page properties) while editing the page using the new Page details pane rather than navigating to the Site Pages library… a much-improved editing experience! Also, you can now add the new Page Properties modern web part to each Adoption page to display the page property values.

I highly endorse the idea of building an Office 365 Adoption Center as an effective tool to train on specific services across Office 365 as well as share employee success stories for how the tools are being used to make their work lives better. In this post, I pick up where I left off in Part 1 to build related pages in an Adoption Center on a modern SharePoint Communication site. If you haven’t read Part 1, please go ahead and do that now… I’ll be waiting here when you get back. ūüėČ

In part 1, I walked thru the setup steps required prior to building the pages for Targeted Service and Targeted Role training. In this post, we will create Adoption pages tagged with both roles and services and then a series of pages for SharePoint Targeted Service training and Customer-focused Targeted Role training.

The technical advantage of this technique is it will allow 1 page reference to appear in several locations depending on how it was tagged. (Example: if a page was tagged with both SharePoint and Customer-facing, it would appear on both the SharePoint Skills page and the Customer-facing Skills page – a smart way of re-using content)

Let’s get started…

Build steps

As a rule of thumb, always start building your modern pages from the detail pages up. In this way, all pages needing to link to a detail page will have a page to link to. For this example, we will build all the Adoption Pages first followed by the Featured Service and Featured Role Pages and lastly the home page.

Step 1: Build Adoption Pages

Build all related training pages for the SharePoint service. These are the pages that will be displayed in the “Related SharePoint skills” web part on the main SharePoint skills page and are where the main training content will live.

IMPORTANT: Please don’t “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to documentation for Office 365. Microsoft has already done a thorough job of this and you should leverage that wherever possible. What I¬†do recommend is to build a site where you present the documentation in a more meaningful way (by role for example) for your own organization, however… ALWAYS link back to official Microsoft training material on your detail pages.

To build these pages, select¬†New… Adoption Page from the toolbar. You can lay out your page anyway you want, however I would recommend including a header image on each page as the thumbnail image generated will be visually appealing when the page is rolled up to the¬†Related SharePoint skills¬†web part.

After creating each Adoption page, you must set the metadata(page properties) to ensure it is rolled up to the SharePoint Featured Service page. To do this, while in edit mode of the Adoption page, click the Page details link on the command bar. This will open up the page details property pane where you can set the role and service (i.e. SharePoint). Remember to publish the page after you do this!

Before continuing, you must wait for a crawl so the managed properties for AdoptionService and AdoptionRole are created. In the next steps, we will use these managed properties in our queries.

Tip: Set up your first Adoption page the way you like, set the page properties on it and publish the page. On subsequent pages, use the ‘New… copy of this page’ option to create a new page based on it. This will copy all page content, including page properties, and will reduce the time required to create your pages!

Step 2: Build Featured Service Pages

For each of the services Contoso wants to train for, create a new page based on the Featured Service Page content type:

  • All about SharePoint
  • All about Outlook
  • All about Planner
  • All about OneDrive
  • All about Yammer

To build these, select New… Featured Service Page from the toolbar. These pages may include a text section to¬†include a definition of what the service is used for in your organization as well as a web part displaying all related pages for the service you’ve previously built in Step 1.

HighlightedContentWebPartThe Related Skills section is built using the Highlighted Content Web Part. I believe this will eventually become the modern page replacement for the Content Search Web Part although it has a fair ways to go before it will have similar capabilities. As of the time of this writing, you cannot have multiple filters combined in an ‘AND’ or ‘OR’ combination in this web part. If you have multiple filters, it returns everything for each of the filters. Due to this, we will only be applying one filter in this example.


The “magic” of the Highlighted content web part comes from the source and filters you configure. In this example, we only want to include pages where the AdoptionService tag is set to “SharePoint”.

To do this, select a Filter option of “Managed property” and select the generated managed property name from the search schema, owstaxIdAdoptionService, as shown in the¬†image.

Note: full crawl was required – no extra configuration was done in the search schema.

Once you add the Highlighted Content Web Part to the SharePoint Featured Service page, users will be able to see, at a glance, all related skills’ pages from this page.


Below is an example of the SharePoint Featured service page once the Highlighted Content web part has been added:

SharePoint page
SharePoint Featured Service page


Step 3: Build Featured Role Pages

Follow the same steps as above for building the Featured Role Pages for each of the roles being trained for in Contoso:

  • Customer-facing Office 365 Skills
  • Office 365 Skills for Back-office Workers
  • New Employee Office 365 Skills
  • Office 365 Skills for Leaders

Add the Highlighted Content Web Part on each to show all related Adoption pages tagged with that role. Below is an example of the Customer-facing Featured Role page.

Customer-facing Featured Role page

Step 4: Build 2 Landing pages

HighlightedContentWebPartFilterFeaturedPageOnce you’ve built all of your¬†Featured Service¬†and¬†Featured Role pages, build 2 landing pages to show them each rolled up. In our example, I built 2 standard site pages with a Highlighted Content Web part on each to display pages where the content type was¬†Featured Service Page (shown in¬†image) or Featured Role Page respectively.




Featured Service Landing Page

Here is the landing page showing the 5 Featured Service pages thumbnails in the Highlighted Content Web Part.

When you click each of the thumbnail images, you will go to the Featured Service Page where all related Adoption Pages will be displayed:


Featured Role Landing Page

Here is the landing page showing the 4¬†Featured Role Pages’ thumbnails in the Highlighted Content Web Part. When you click each of the thumbnail images, you will go to the¬†Featured Role Page where all related¬†Adoption Pages will be displayed:


Step 5: Review Pages built

The Contoso Adoption Center will be comprised of many pages. I have a combination of Site Pages, Featured Service Pages, Featured Role Pages, and Adoption Pages. For the screen prints I am showing above, here is a snapshot of the pages I have built and the tagging for each. As you can see, I have 3 pages tagged with SharePoint and 3 for Customer-facing with one of those pages being tagged with both:


Step 6: Update the Home page

Now that we have all of the site pages built, let’s move up to the Home page. Update the Hero web part to link two of the tiles to the Featured Service¬†and¬†Featured Role¬†landing pages. Here is what mine looks like:



The technique described in this post can be used for building O365 service-based, role-based, or any other kind of targeted training pages. With tagged pages, you can surface the content anywhere that tag makes sense. It is a simple yet effective way to bring together related modern pages in your Office 365 Adoption Center and all of this can be done without any custom code. Have some fun with it!

Thanks for reading.


Credit: Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash


  1. Joanne – in Step 1 above, presumably your Role termset allows for multiple selection – to enable the adoption pages to be tagged to multiple roles ?

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