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    CRM Themes: Designing CRM to Your Liking

    Introduced as a new feature in CRM 2015 Online Update 1, CRM Themes allow you to customize your CRM system with the colors and imagery of your choosing.

    Themes to Spare

    On occasion we have received requests from clients to change the color of an entity or upload a company logo into CRM to make it more appealing and recognizable to their users. And though in the past and we’ve told clients that those kind of changes fell in the unsupported realm, this year it’s different. System administrators can now access Themes from the Customizations area in CRM Settings and create a new theme to customize several navigational and UI components.

    But why bother?

    Often times, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation represents change and comes as a replacement of an old or outdated CRM system. As we all know, change can be challenging and user adoption is a major concern whenever anything new is introduced. Furthermore, you may want to incorporate your company’s branding by adding the company’s logo and official colors to CRM to make it your own. By using themes, you can customize your CRM system so that it is recognizable and familiar which in turn can prompt early adoption and promote consistency among your business’ applications.

    Creating and previewing CRM themes

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    As you channel your inner designer and begin creating CRM themes, you may be asking yourself, what are these codes and what do they mean? No they’re not the latest trending hashtags, CRM themes utilizes color hex codes which specifies a color using hexadecimal values. Sounds confusing? No need to worry, you can visit the links below to access and preview the hex color codes.

    Color Hex Color Codes – http://www.color-hex.com/

    HTML Color Names – http://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_colornames.asp

    Additionally, it may be cumbersome to use the native Preview feature in CRM when you are working on your themes. So if you need a quick way to preview the theme you designed, visit the Dynamics CRM Theme Generator link below and update it with your hex color codes.

    Dynamics CRM Theme Generator – https://crmthemes.azurewebsites.net/

    Advice and Considerations

    Here are some considerations to take note of before you start building your theme(s).

    We’ve all played with Powerpoint slide designs and templates at some point and maybe even thought that neon green text would work great against a white background (In case you’re wondering…it doesn’t). As with proper design, be sure to carefully choose complimentary and contrasting colors that make text easy to read. Need a point of reference? Examine the default CRM theme which employs the correct balance of contrast.

    As with most things, less it more. Try to stick with a simple and concise color scheme and group similar entities with the same color. Maintaining a seamless look and feel throughout the system is ideal for maintaining the consistency and usability of the system.

    Also, note that even though your selected colors are applied universally throughout the application, some legacy UI areas will retain the default colors. For example, the sitemap tile colors aren’t customizable. Hence, make sure you use the preview feature before rolling out your theme design.

    In conclusion, though you may be armed and ready with you color wheel and various swatches, I implore you to keep it simple and professional. Cheers!