Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

A simpler DAM UI

Our Digital Asset Management system DC-X has a Web based user interface (UI) that has been built primarily for power users: Lots of functionality and information, keyboard shortcuts, drag & drop, right-click context menus, small fonts, slow load/startup (single page Ajax Web app), large screen required. The first impression can be a bit intimidating, but with a little bit of training most people seem to be okay with it.

Still, our customers keep asking for something that’s much simpler to use: A self-explanatory UI to save training time and costs, and to increase acceptance and adoption of the DAM system within their companies. And they want it to look more attractive and run on tablet and smartphone browsers, too.

(Compare the screen shots above: Both show a search result with images you can click on to see details. In the current, complex UI to the right, there’s an additional 101 things you can click on. In the simple UI prototype to the left, there’s only 24 additional click targets…)

That’s why we’re (finally) starting to develop a second user interface for DC-X. It won’t replace the current UI – power users will continue to use that one. But the new one (working title: “Simple UI”) is supposed to become the better choice for regular users, making it way easier to use the basic DC-X DAM features (search, read, download, share, upload new files, create and edit articles).

I’ll post a few articles during the next weeks regarding the decisions we have to make while building a new UI. And I’d love to get your feedback!