Spring 2015: Themes in CRM: Branding and Personalizing Your CRM
The Product team at Microsoft has put in a lot of work over the last few years really focusing on the end user to make CRM easier to use and ini the process they have been making it, uh, well "pretier" too. in 2013 they did a complete overhaul of the User Interface and every release since then we have been getting a little something for navigation or visualization such as the hierarchy tiles, global search etc. In keeping with this trend or "theme" if you will, Spring 2015 came with new and improved top level navigation layout and fancy tab menus on each form as well as another unique feature called "Themes".
Now this feature may seem small, but it has a big impact. Themes allow an organization to customize and brand the User Interface of CRM to their personal liking by changing the "Home" button picture from the Microsoft Dynamics logo to your organization's logo as well as changing the colors of the navigation bar, headers,m ,links and more! A company branded CRM can help users feel like CRM truly is a personalized experience within your organization.
This new feature is really easy to use and lives right in the setting area under customizations.
Once you navigate to this area, you will be brought to the theme control center. Here, you can easily change the logo and colors of the CRM Default Theme or create a new theme. You can have several theme solutions in CRM at one time to use but you can only have one published theme at a time. You can preview each custom theme before you publish it to see what it will look like.
There are some tips to creating the themes as well:
The ideal size for the logo picture is approximately 350 W x 50 H (in pixels of course).
The colors must be entered using HTML color names and the color preview tile will change as you type in the color in the field.
Themes are not solution aware which means that if you export a solution it will NOT include the theme changes. You can however, export and import the theme as its own solution.
Legacy areas do not fully support themes which basically means that your customizations area will still look the same.
Additionally, you may notice that there is a "Default Custom Entity Color" field as well as a "Default Entity Color" field. Well, if you navigate to the individual entity record in the customizations area, you can actually select the specific entity color there.
The last tip for themes is the Dynamics Theme Generator (https://crmthemes.azurewebsites.net/). This is an easy to use and fun tool to help you get instant previews of your theme as you select the colors in the different fields. Also, it provides a more robust color wheel selection and after you click on the color it is then translated to HTML for your just to make things a little easier. Here is a little preview of the tool in action.
Overall, the Theme feature is a great and easy way to personalize your CRM, change it up seasonally, or just mix it up to kkeep users visually interested with an easy to use and fun theming wizard. This small feature can have a big impact on your users feeling like CRM truly is a personalized experience for their daily work within your organization.