File Management Artifacts from Summit Meeting

"Pain Point" Post-it Note Group Activity 

At the Fluid Summit, pain points represented on post-it notes were grouped into problem spaces (such as Feedback), then into (usually very high level) potential components such as the ones below. Each problem area was then rated as to whether it affected 1, 2, or 3/All of the Fluid applications (Sakai, uPortal, Moodle). Each potential component was then rated on the following matrix, which indicated how severe the pain point it helped solve was for users, as well as how frequently the pain point was encountered. It helped us determine how high a priority it was, with 1 being the highest priority and 3 being the lowest.

high severity



low severity




high frequency

low frequency

File Manager (Priority 1 / Applicable to all)

Component Ideas 

  • File Uploader
  • File Picker - reuse from other locations in my site, other sites/portlets, , etc. (same as attachment manager?)
  • Attachment Manager - attach files that live on my desktop, in my site already, in another site (same as file manager)

Pain Points

  • Different interfaces when you upload image and file
  • Multiple files cannot be selected for uploading to Moodle
  • To move a file to another folder, you select the file via a checkbox and then choose "Move to another folder" in a drop-down menu.  You are then prompted to select the destination and press "Move files to here".  I noticed this prompt on the 3rd try
  • When adding a link to an already created assignment resource, when we click on Browse to add the link we can not search for the Moodle Resources already created/added (such as assignments).  We can only browse and link to files in our uploaded Files folder.  This can only be accomplished by first clicking on the assignment linke and copying the URL manually and adding that into the linked text in the text editor for the topic entry.

Metadata / Tagging (Priority 2b / Applicable to all)

Component Ideas

  • User defined tags - the user value in this is being able to find the item later through a search or "browse tags" interaction
  • Metadata editor

Conditional Release (Priority 2a / Applicable to all)

Component Ideas

  • Content Scheduler - timed release, availability by: date, logical condition, events in other areas

Pain Points

  • I can add for example a PPT file as a resource but can't make it be available automatically at a specific time.  I need to manually make it available.  This applies to all resource types.

Link Manager (Priority 2b / Applicable to all)

Component Ideas

  • Link Inserter / Manager - insert a link within my current page

Pain Points

  • Resources - users can't tell how to edit a link  URL after it is entered (e.g. w/ add web links)

Content View (Priority 1 / Applicable all)

Component Ideas

  • Re-sortable / customizable table
  • File management views (visualizations -- spatial and navigation) - several view options like in 'Mac Finder' or 'Windows Explorer'

Pain Points

  • Resources display information for file management no understanding content

List Navigational Actions / Views (Priority 1 / Applicable all)

Component Ideas

  • Tree
  • Smart List Navigator -  Allow users to choose how many items in a list to display on a page and remember that setting next time they visit

Pain Points

  • Current list navigator widget in Sakai sometimes defaults to #'s that don't make sense.  It's used in may contexts and even in the same context, say list of assignments, the defaults needs to vary depending on the number of students and/or assignments in the class.  Best case is to have the system remember the user's last setting from session to session.
  • Navigation in tool workflow bewildering - how to get back to beginning? - breadcrumbs used inconsistently
  • Acting on multiple items in a list is a problem 

In-line file viewer (Priority 2b / Applicable all)

Component Ideas

  • PDF Viewer - view pdfs in-line (as image) rather than forcing adobe to open
  • File Viewer
  • Resource / File Viewer
  • In-line content display

Pain Points

  • PDF is link in syllabus, resources, etc.  It should be displayed in-line. (How does this relate to the Resources viewer?)
  • Does not allow direct insertion of the file content into topic area, just provides linking

Content Previewer - while I'm authoring (Priority 2b / Applicable all)

Document Creater (Priority 1 / Applicable all)

  • Wiki
  • Accessible content helper
  • Authoring 

Group Breakout - fleshing out problem space

File Management Fleshing Out at Summit meeting

  • Getting files in
    • create / retain linkages
    • upload once, use in multiple locations -- sometimes should remain "as one file", sometimes new location is the base of something new
    • upload many at once - making web-dav easier -- bookmarklet (delicious one click to add files to my space)
    • Upload happens in context of other activities / workflows
    • Upload to general file space
    • Connections between file space and in context
    • assign information important to me about my files (context, tags, etc.)
  • Organization of my files (personal resource management)
    • manipulating
    • rearranging
    • slicing them up in various ways -- make structure match use (by topic for course for instance)
  • Sharing files as information (read-only)
    • across my course, across courses or projects, between courses and projects
    • with certain groups of people in specific contexts
      • subset or site participants
      • group of people not associated with sites and/or system (not logged in)
    • I decide how I share -- rules for sharing -- how & when
  • System representation of a file
    • how is it displayed to me
    • how it is displayed to others
    • what other information it shows me about the file (metadata, tags, auto-tags -- what course have I used it in, when last updated, etc.)
  • Collaboration 
    • I "own" the file versus share ownership / management with others

 Design Goals

  • System understands how I think about files and handles them appropriately
    • View images as thumbnails
    • Hiearchical and detail views of files
    • Display file contents in-line on page
  • Performance
    • If I can do it quicker outside the system than I will
    • File organization on the desktop
    • Web-dav performance issues
    • Web-dav getting started requirements overwhelming

 Next Steps

  • Talk to users
  • Flesh out use cases for problem spaces
  • Identify Components and prioritize
  • Choose 1 or 2 and form multi-disciplinary team around them