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This is a draft in progress.

Discussion about workflow and what components might emerge.

Workflow Definition

Workflow is a large and broad term with many applications. For the purposes of this concept, workflow will defined as the steps necessary to complete a task or goal. There is both personal workflow (tasks and goals that I can complete by myself) and group workflow (tasks and goals that require more than one person to complete).

Problem/Pain

Tools are isolated and siloed. Tasks that require more than one tool to complete require a user to halt the main task, leave the tool, navigate to another tool, interface with the other tool to complete a secondary task, and navigate back to the original tool to proceed with the main task. This halt and interrupt may happen several times to complete the main task/goal. A user may also lose the work on the main task when having to navigate away for secondary tasks, or minimally be forced into some kind of additionally cumbersome Save process when dealing with secondary tasks.

Scenarios

Sarah Windsor - Primary Persona
Sarah needs to compose a review exam in for her class. The review exam will be created using course assets, discussion/collaboration snippets, and various learning resources. Sarah's goal is to compose the review exam; in order to complete this goal, she will need to locate, find, search, browse, filter, sort, group, categorize, and select the needed resources into a resource pool and then be able to draw from that resource pool in conjunction with composition and editorial functions to create the review exam. Sarah will need to specify the recipients of the review, schedule when it will made active and when it will expire and set how many attempts of the review may be made. Finally, Sarah will need to compose and send (or schedule) a notification to her class(es).

Ed McClellan, Undergraduate
Scenario to come.

Blue Sky Vision

Possible Components

Suspend - Inject - Resume

a.k.a. the lightbox effect (or greybox, or thickbox).
When the need for a secondary task comes up in the main task flow, suspend the main task, dim the main task interface, and present (highlighted and focused) the interface of the secondary task on top of the main task interface. Once the secondary interaction is complete, remove the secondary interface via transition, brighten the main task interface, and resume main task interaction.

Save As Draft

Suspend the main task flow indefinitely and provide a means for the user to immediately pick up from that point in the workflow.

File Management Problem Space

  • 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
  • No labels