The User Experience and Design team recently discussed how they worked on RAM’s user experience in a podcast for the IBM Design series. Listen to hear their insights on designing this exciting product – http://tinyurl.com/rampodcast

Currently there are several steps and clicks to submit an asset, but we have received many requests to simplify the process so that a user will be able to submit an asset with a couple of clicks.  While we’re tossing around a few different ideas, one that has consistently come up is using templates.

Tentatively, the user would select something at the beginning of the Submit Wizard that would populate selections for Community, Asset Type, Categorizations, etc.  This would save users time since they would not have to go through and do all of those selections every single time.  There would also be a way to create these templates somewhere in the product.

Another idea is to have suggestions in the combo boxes for Community, Asset Type, Etc.  Here we would figure out which selections someone uses the most and move them to the top of list so that users do not have to scroll through the entire list to find his or her selection.

What are your thoughts about these ideas?  Would either save you time and simplify submitting assets?  Or is it just putting a bandage on the problem?  Please answer the poll below or leave thoughts in the comments.

In Rational Asset Manager, we currently have forums for users at both the individual asset level and the community level. After looking at current deployed instances for Rational Asset Manager, the forums have been very rarely used.

The development and usability teams are trying to understand if the way the UI is designed prevents people from easily creating forums and having discussions in them. We wanted to create a blog entry about this topic in hopes of eliciting feedback through the comments about this lack of use. What stops you from using the forums? Are there specific parts of the UI that prevent you from creating forums and posts?

Screen shot of a forum page

In the current implementation above, the main page for a forum has a lot going on. What are your thoughts on this page? Do you think everything on this page should go here or is there a better location?

Another idea shown on the above page is the idea of sharing the same forum with multiple assets. Do you like this ability or do you find it confusing?

Please leave any thoughts on the questions above or other thoughts on the forums in general in the comments section. Your input will help us make future design decisions about the UI.