We are a manufacturing company that deal with mainly aerospace, automotive, and assembly type customers. Our users have been using a network folder structure for as long as I have been here (over 15 years). It's messy, hard to find things, and very deep in structure. The structure comes in the form of:
Project A -Folder -Folder -Folder Files Files Files -Folder Files -Folder ... Project B ... Project C ...
- In around 60% of cases, we run through the limit of file path/file name sizes of more than 255 characters. Folder names are like sentences in some cases such as
Automotive Company X - Transmission assembly V8 line
- We are constantly running out of network space
- It is hard for anyone to find anything
- Files can easily be moved around by "accident"
- The depth of the folder structure is so long that sometimes you forget where you are and other times you end up in a folder that has nothing!
An internal CRM type system (think Salesforce or SugarCRM) and within this CRM users can manage their projects. This app uses various search technologies so when you need to find a project you can easily find it with just a few keystrokes.
Users go to the project in this application and can add documents:
Instead of a folder hierarchy, users upload [multiple] files and requires them to "tag" (similar to how we tag questions on here):
View and Filter
In the above example someone entered the tag "issues" and found all documents where this tag appeared. In this case one file is returned.
The goal is to eliminate the confusing folder structure, and make it easier and quicker for users to find existing projects, and upload existing projects.
Assuming it resolves the current UX problems we have, can anyone see any new UX problems it could cause?
What are the benefits of retaining the tried and tested folder structure?