Bill Fernandez Design
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WorkSpace and ViewSpace 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1
Documentum, Inc. -- 1994 to 1998

Documentum is a world-class provider of document management technology to global enterprises, which use Documentum products to manage document collections of terabytes in size. WorkSpace is Documentum's flagship application through which end-users access and manage document management servers ("docbases"), and ViewSpace is its limited-functionality variant optimized for information "consumers".

Over the course of 3-1/2 years Bill completely overhauled WorkSpace, raising the user interface from "industrial grade" to a world class level, and adding many new features and enhancements.

Design Challenges

Each design that Bill created had to work correctly on Windows 3.1, Windows 95/NT, Mac OS, and Unix Motif (because WorkSpace is built with a cross-platform class library and is recompiled to run on each of these operating systems).

Each of Bill's designs had to be robust enough to survive extensive modifications since WorkSpace was designed to be extensively customizable by its customers; global enterprises who would transform it into semi-custom applications tuned to their specific needs.

Bill's window layouts had to be "elastic"; because the class library incorporated a geometry management engine that would dynamically adjust window layouts to accommodate windows being resized by users, or to adjust to the different sizes of fonts and UI object on different operating systems.

Each design had to be able to adapt its display according to a number of runtime states: current user's privilege level, current user's access permissions, current application mode (WorkSpace or ViewSpace), etc.

Sweeping Changes

Bill threw out the old menu structure, redesigned the fundamental object-behavior model, and designed a whole new menu structure; including the menubar, context menus, keyboard accelerators (for Windows, Mac OS and Windows) and selection-based menu masking (after which a large percentage of customer complaints entirely disappeared). Bill also:

  • Redesigned the object-attributes ("properties") windows, instituting a consistent and extensible tabbed-window model, and designed a series of object-specific attribute windows based upon this model.
  • Rewrote WorkSpace's entire set of error and status messages to make them understandable and useful.
  • Designed extensions and fixes to the class-library's geometry management engine, then reworked the layouts of 70 windows to make them stretch correctly when geometry management was applied.
  • Hand-tuned the layouts of 250 windows to make them all follow a consistent set of layout standards.
  • Wrote the book that is used both by Documentum and its customers to construct window layouts that follow Documentum UI guidelines and stretch correctly under geometry management.
  • Completely re-architected the user interface of the workflow editor.
  • Revised, extended and managed a library of approximately 600 icons.
  • Redesigned the Search facility.
  • Contributed to the creation of "Smart Lists", designed all the user interfaces pertaining thereto, and gave them their name.
  • Contributed to the creation of Documentum's Access Control List model, and designed all the user interfaced pertaining thereto.
  • Corrected, extended and managed a collection of almost 200 document format definitions, and was Documentum's format definition czar.
  • Wondered if he would ever have time for his family....

Broad Functionality

Bill designed user interfaces for functionality as diverse as:

  • Workflow management.
  • User and Group administration.
  • Virtual document management.
  • Query building.
  • Hierarchical directory navigation.
  • Access control management.
  • Network login and logout.
  • Progress feedback.
  • Version management.
  • Annotation.
  • Rendition management.
  • task scheduling.

Example - Application Window

Windows 95
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Windows 3.1
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Example - Virtual Document Manager

Windows 3.1
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Example - "Basic" Router Editor

Windows 3.1
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Mac OS
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Example - "Advanced" Router Editor

Windows 3.1
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Example - Attributes Window for a Scheduled-Task Object

Windows 95
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