AWI search, statistics, hierarchical view, the whole shebang. Thoughts?

Discussion created by Carsten_Schmitz on Mar 26, 2018
Latest reply on Mar 30, 2018 by robert_thullner_automic

I'm hoping to (also) get some attention for this issue by Robert_Schausberger_8294 or robert_thullner_automic or (not Robert ;) ) David Ainsworth or any product designer, but also spark a general discussion about this and hear your mileage.

I just spent 30 minutes on the phone with a user who had one simple question. He was looking for this:


The good news is: We found how to do this in AWI (took us about 10 minutes, in principle). Long story short, it works by setting a filter for a timeframe and (optionally) an object name in the Process Monitoring's first tab, the one that's called "Custom Filter", and in German is unfortunately named "Benutzerdefiniert", which does NOT mean "Custom Filter" by any stretch, but it means "User defined". Oh well.

Then, at the bottom of the filter list on the right of the screen, you tick this little box:


This will show active and inactive tasks in the screen that formerly was the Activity Window (and has recently been named "Hugo").

I have major issues with this. I'm not saying the design of AE10 was better - it was probably not. The search dialogs like the one for "Periods" looked isolated, out of place and bolted-on in V10.

However, I think AWI dropped the ball as well. Whether you consider "Hugo" the activity window or not, it's called the "Monitoring" perspective. But it suddenly is the place to look for past things, too, like things long ended and deactivated? This makes no sense. On top of that, you can reach the same window via the quick searches "Task" section, but you reach a very similar window (albeit the "Process Assembly" perspective) via the quick searches "Object" section - which also has a timeframe filter, but can not be used to search for "deactivated" tasks.

This is highly confusing to my users, and I agree. Why should I look for old status codes of activities that are long ended via Monitoring, but not via Assembly, when Executions (neé Statistics) are available via (edit: menu entries from) Process Assembly? This makes no sense.

I think, in fact, that a big opportunity has (thus far) been missed in this redesign. One could have done away with the split between "activities" and "statistics" altogether, and merged everything under one label. That way, you'd have active activities, and inactive activities, and deactivated (past) activities, of which the ones that still have full statistics and reports in the database have a "view details" option. And you had one, not two views with filter panes. Much more elegant and comprehensible than the cobbled-together current interface, me thinks. The line between those two has been bled to bits anyway, due to being able to search for deativated tasks in the former activity window.

Now, why did the call take 30 minutes if it took 10 minutes to figure out the intricaties of the searches? Good thing you asked! (I just assume you did ;) )

He had not yet discovered the tiny arrow to add more columns to results, which, granted, is a rather tiny heap of pixels, but mostly, here's why:


The two buttons there - it's "list view" and "hierarchical view".

Please let me know if your experience differs - are these buttons good for anything? The only way they ever come up in our company are sentences like these:

"Have you tried switching to (hierarchical / list) view? Yeah, we also don't know why, sometimes one works, sometimes the other"

Seriously, does anyone truly understand these? We spent 20 minutes fiddling with the other search options, and it turned out we would have seen our result, but did not see it because we were both in "hierarchical" view. Why, I ask, does a single job seemingly not show in hierarchical view at all, all other search options being correct? Once you switch to to "list view", the result shows. Does hierarchical view only list things matching the search filter that have a JOBP as a parent? Only if the JOBP also matches the search patterns. Sure, I could experiment with this, but honestly I can't be bothered, because:

If I select a JOBS in the filters, then the darn hierachical view should show it. For all I care, give me some hierarchy along with it, but don't just hide the darned thing entirely, that is confusing as heck for anyone involved. For all I care, as a quick fix, pop up a bar on top of the list that tells me that there are 56 (or whatever) results hidden because I'm in the wrong view mode, but don't hide the results matching the filters from view because of it!