Hot answers tagged

123

Rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated ✞... Classic hierarchical folder views aren't dying. But they are being complemented by other ways of viewing and interacting with files. The key trend here is the decoupling of views from the underlying file system. The old world...One truth ⇨ One view Historically, file UX was heavily tied to the underlying ...


50

It's not dying completely, but it is becoming a power user niche feature. Everyone has seen or heard stories about the user who stores everything on their desktop or in a single My Documents folder. Humans are terrible at justifying a large upfront cost like creating and managing dozens of folders just for a possible, small benefit in the future like being ...


15

Most people tend to think that certain aspects of technology die away, but I always get the feeling that it is far more common for it to "sediment". Whenever I see a new trend, it usually never ends like "this is the new best way". Normally it is more like "we solved this problem with one global solution, but now it seems there are different solutions for ...


15

Categorization of content is still very important, even after the rise of smartphones. Whether that's by date, by location, or by tags. The more and more popular use of smartphones since 2007 has forced designers to come up with simpler user experiences. Manually putting stuff in folders can usually be considered a bad UX experience, which is why in a lot ...


11

Probably. But it's a slow painful death. It essentially boils down to the need to put something somewhere where we can find it again, or where we can direct someone else to finding it. We are naturally predisposed to putting things in containers or compartmentalizing in such a way that even if it's a long time before we come back then we can still have a ...


8

Search helps if you know what you are looking for (obvious). If you don't know what you are looking for, a folder structure can help you find it. For example, if you are looking for a recipe for chicken Florentine, search will help you find it, or if you have chicken and want a recipe that uses it, search may help there too. But if you just want to cook ...


7

Personally I prefer if an expander is (only) visible, when the folder contains children (or triggers lazy loading), thus preventing unnecessary clicks. In a folder-only tree with a separate file-pane, the folder icon could be 'open' for the active folder. In a mixed tree with files and folders, the folder icon could be 'open' for all expanded folders. On ...


5

As tools (software and hardware) increase in speed, the value of search begins to eclipse the value of a folder structure as a way to find a file. On my PC, my MacBook, and my phone, it's simply faster to search for items by terminology rather than seek it out visually. Most file systems still need a folder structure, so it's not dying, it's just that ...


5

The fact that some top level items are containers is already denoted by the collapse icon (and the plural verbal form). So having a folder icon serves as a third way of telling the same story. From a user perspective, you can argue that finding the requested item is more important than the knowledge of whether it is a container or not. What's more, with ...


5

Tree view is often complicated and counter-intuitive to the users, but it has several strong advantages: full names which are unique identifiers I mean, if I access a file named /etc/passwd I know I access a particular file. There is no way I get /home/backup/passwd instead. Tags don't give you this garantee: if you have found exactly one object tagged ...


5

Folder structure is not dying However, its importance and prevalence in the average user's interface is. The truth is that a user will find the path of least resistance to accomplish their desired task. With this in mind, maintaining folder structure would have to become their desired task. For the average Joe, nope! The average person has become ...


4

Maybe more true thing to say would be that concept of folder structure as file organizing strategy is dying. Or maybe more true: organizing files/documents is becoming more and more automated. If we have concept of categories and one file can be in two categories then I would really dislike doing manual organization. Therefore all these new technologies use ...


4

I think you should allow users to expand empty folders. I'd turn around the question, is there any good reason NOT to allow for that? When I load up folders on my computer, I can still look inside empty folders. Over time users have become most familiar with this behavior. How can users best confirm that the folder is empty without expanding it? If nothing ...


4

[...] my goal was to eliminate the network shared structure. It'll help to center the goal around a clear pain point. You mentioned issues of 'g-drive' but the top two issues (length of the file path and storage space) are technical and not related to usability. From your description I think it's getting to the right information quickly that's the biggest ...


4

There's a couple of notable examples I've found particularly effective: The Windows 7/8/10 Way The Transmit/Coda Way Not mobile friendly The Windows 7/8/10 Way Windows 7/8/10 provides the best mobile-friendly example I've come across: How does it work? When space in the path bar becomes limited, it does the following: Remove directories furthest from ...


3

Assumption: The system has a large number of files and large number of different file types. 1. Grouping things into categories and subcategories simplifies things Imagine trying to understand all living organisms without any form of classification. No kingdoms, phylums, classes, orders, families, etc. This one simple example clearly illustrates the ...


2

My opinion is to use the first pattern because it's clear and orderly. That way immediately differentiates the folders and from the elements. Folders then could be slightly differentiated by type, as per your design. I always prefer this choice in my designs. Even from tests done in different situations, I noticed a greater speed by the user to achieve his ...


2

Once used, the filter should be very prominent and there should be a very visible button to clear it. Then you have two options: Show only the number of the items matching the filter; Show the found items over the total number of messages: 25/100. The first option would be the cleaner but in case the user gets distracted during the task, she may be a ...


2

In the past many users were often confronted with an implementation model. The digital structure of operating systems - based on files and folders - was directly passed through to the UI. People were and still are willing to „container“ the information they find or create in to this structure. But only to a certain extent. Since we are human beings whose ...


2

They aren't dying, just finally revealing their limitations. In the age of limited processing power and os capabilities, folders were the easiest way to structure data. But not the best, as there's just one dimension to it - that is space. Tagging and taxonomies (word searching being just another one of those) came and added any number of dimensions, to ...


2

I know that with Dropbox, that sort of data is dealt with differently - as a DataStore instead of normal files you would expect a user to store within Dropbox. They have a tutorial which deals with getting the users permission and creating and dealing with their DataStore to sync data. https://www.dropbox.com/developers-v1/datastore/tutorial/ios


2

Out of your options: 1st and 2nd option qualify to be an action. The third one suggests a destructive action which doesn't really suggest "moving". Now, depending on your users, if they know technical terms such as Root, you could go with Option 1: Move to Root. Another option can be: Move to Main Directory. This can be customizable according to ...


1

Deepness doesn't really matter, key point is findability. Citing Morville findability is: The quality of being locatable or navigable. The degree to which a system or environment supports navigation and retrieval. The degree to which a particular object is easy to discover or locate. To this definition you should add some desirable properties (also from ...


1

Is this to organize user-created files? If so, folders have many problems: Users forget what folder they put the file into More than one tag can be applied to a file, but a file can only be put into one, unless the user duplicates the file (which they do, adding to multiple versions and subsequent confusion) It's easier to stop a user from creating a ...


1

It's hard to say if the folder structure will ever truly die, but we can safely say it's been evolving for a number of years. As far back as 2007 in Windows Vista, the user saw their folder structure separated by carets:       Clicking to the right of this area revealed the actual folder structure in its proper back-slash format:   &...


1

Search and grouping by automatically extracted aspects are powerful tools but they don't solve the same problems as a folder structure may do: Search is good for finding a file when you know what you are looking for; and you can find similar candidates in the results, which is sometimes helpful, too. Automatic grouping (by location, by time, etc.) is ...


1

This is a quirk due to a combination of lazy loading and lazy programmers :). If the node does not have child items then it shouldn't show the expander because there is nothing to expand. A node is only expandable due to the fact that it contains children. Think of how weird it would be in Windows explorer if you could expand folders that did not have any ...


1

I think you answered your own question, if there is clear visual cues that the folder is empty then you don't need to expand it. If it's not clear then expand and say 'Empty folder' although the best UI is the one that needs the least amount of explanation and avoid unnecessary clicks.


1

And why not make it truly exclusive? It will add an extra step (entering search query after selecting Search tab) but will clearly show that search could not be applied to folders.


1

See few common examples to display the folders as filters in drop-down menu. These can be used to select single/mulitple/all filters.


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