File Management is a broad term with a variety of definitions. For scoping and discussion purposes we define file management as overall user-management of files. The files are generally uploaded into the target web application from a user's personal computer or another website or application. Users can then organize their files, typically represented navigationally or spatially. They may decide to share these files with others, either as information (read-only) or in a more collaborative manner.
The Resources Tool in Sakai tries to do too much. It is the file manager within a site, the place for all site members to view files in a variety of contexts, the place users can pull files from other sites into the current site -- it even allows users to create links and in-line documents. Basically, it does so much that it is very difficult to know how to do anything. It is the "stretch armstrong" of tools. General consensus is that the functionality needs to be chunked in different ways and the UI generally simplified. The Resources Tool is also challenged by several usability issues for specific interactions. Those details will be fleshed out through the work of this project. For some examples, check out Allison's UX Walkthrough which focused on the Resources tool.
File management is a common activity and user's have expectations based on their experience with their personal computers and the desktop metaphor.
Sarah Windsor - Primary Persona