The issue I'm struggling with is fairly specific, but it touches on a general UX topic, which is how to help users grasp some abstract app concept, such as some information organization or structuring concept (think 'folder' in windows, the idea of a tag, etc)
In my case, our app provides an ability for an administrator to define default content for users (by content I mean things like slideshows or dashboards and by users I mean employees in a company). The problem is, there are many users and a lot of different content, and both change constantly. For this reason we created this idea of a 'workspace' - an admin is able to create numerous spaces and add content to each space, they are also able to grant specific users access to a space.
Why even create this 'space' concept in the first place you ask? Well, imagine we didn't and just allowed an admin to pick a user and assign them some default content. This works just fine until you have to assign the same piece of content to numerous users - so then the workflow becomes select user, add content, select next user, add the same content, and on... rather tedious!
Another option would be to do the reverse - pick some content and assign users to it. This solves the painful workflow above because an admin is able to pick one piece of content and then quickly select many users from a list. But now imagine you wanted to assign multiple content items to a given user - the workflow becomes: select slideshow 1, add a user, select slideshow 2, add same user, and on... again, tedious. So really you need to allow for both directions.
One approach would have been to simply design UI to let the user pick either one of the 'directions' above (content to users OR users to content). But there is the issue that we're not respecting an underlying structure - which is that our users organize themselves in various overlapping teams that work on various things and require this content for collaborative work and reporting. Hence the idea of a space.
Below is my latest attempt at trying to allow an admin to set default content:
I was basically forced to add the little info bubble to explain the 'space' idea. This feels rather clumsy but I'm not sure how to avoid it. How do you explain the idea of a 'space' intuitively??