The project Filepool was developed as part of a semester project. The task was to rethink cloud-based file systems, computer file manager or the whole desktop metaphor.
I think that today's file managing systems are too rigid and often make it difficult to find files, as there are only a few fixed parameters to look for. The basic requirement for my concept Filepool was to have a system that sorts my files based on views and how I interact with the computer. It allows users to find files based on the information they can recall, looking at more than the common metadata that exists.
Before working on a new concept for a file manager with both new sorting and accessibility principles, I analyzed several file services and highlighted existing positive and negative features.
The next step in my research work was to understand how people perceive the world. I tried to understand why many file systems can exist if they do not always meet with great acceptance.
From the information found it emerged that it is up to each individual to accept new systems or to perceive them as meaningful or not. This can only be influenced by directing the user's attention away from the system through the greatest possible stimuli.
However, it makes sense to satisfy the needs of the users and to arouse sympathy for the new system in order to make it as attractive as possible. What has emerged from perceptual research is why we all use today's desktop metaphor, although not everyone is fully satisfied with it.
Our experience shows us how we can deal with computers. Because it's a familiar system, it's considered relatively simple and will remain so because learning a new system is more labor-intensive and therefore less attractive. If you want to rethink a file management system, other factors should make it more attractive. New inventions like the smartphone have shown that people are willing to accept new things as long as the appeal is big enough.
To begin the concept work, the first step was to analyze the previous file systems. As a MacOS user, I especially looked at this file ordering system.
The analysis showed that many actions can be applied to all content and should be publicly available actions that are easy to select for each file. I highlighted the actions and functions that were important to me when using my own computer and that I would pay particular attention to in a new system.
After looking at the file formats and file properties, I linked them to possible properties. It quickly became clear that some file formats and file properties could be combined to blocks.
The result of the analysis are image, text, audio, video and archive file format blocks as well as the Universal Properties, Image Properties, Audio/Video Properties and Text Properties properties.
A system that sorts my files based on my behavior and filters files by what I just remember. I want to find the file I'm looking for without spending too much time scanning files.
I developed two possible functional models of how to access the existing data.
Feature model 1 - Matrix
Files are arranged in a matrix, with each edge containing a file format by which the files "orient themselves".
The matrix has different layers, each layer representing its own workspace. The workspaces can be private, public or group owned (e.g. a workspace of a college course).
Feature model 2 - Bars
The user can decide how to sort the files by bars, as everyone has learned a different way of remembering things. There are file specific sorting systems such as for images the color space, the focal length, the recorder or for text files the number of pages, lines or words.
I decided on the first functional model and dealt with the topic of how to work in this large data complex without files.