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M-Files User Survey - How are we doing?

So two years ago, we started a journey to refresh our user experience. 

The previous admin team had ventured down a dangerous rabbit hole, full of dozens of manual NACLs, numerous and confusing classes, 100,000 lines of code, numerous questionable properties, and 40+ Super Users all with Common View admin powers....

We've reduced the damage and this month we decided to do a user feedback survey - which interesting comments. 

Notably, users comment on searching is confusing, followed by saving, and then followed by Views. 

Overall this tells me we still have work to do, to simplify the user experience. 

I'm curious what other challenges you may have overcome with user adoption? 

  • I have found that searching is easy if you know the objects, document classes and properties that exist, but the end-users don't. This means when they go to search or build a view they don't know what "options" they have access to, and its worse if the properties are named poorly, which is what we have done in some cases due to poorly considered translations. 

    Aside from this, M-Files has great functionality with the ability to drag and drop, and sometimes users tend to over use this functionality. e.g. dragging and dropping documents on objects - users don't understand that when they do this, the document adopts the metadata of the object. Sometimes this is ok, other times it is not the best outcome.

    For me the hardest challenge is that end users do not fully grasp how properties, documents and objects interact. It takes some time to figure out how each of these works. Its vastly different from what they are used to and we have to somehow help them bridge the gap until they have the time to become more competent users. 

  • Related to User adoption the main problem I have found is try to introduce them the concept of Metadata and what is instead where is, but users commonly are creating multifiles documents to manage "Their" files and the concept of "related files" under the concept of folders instead the concept of relations.

    The problem is when is necesary to roll back these multidocuments to a single document with the correct relations using the right classes, because all documents share the same metadata, the documents in the multidocument can not be isolated on by one to assign them the correct class, the workaround now is just delette all documents, convert the last document to single document and then upload the deleted documents again with the correct class to create the relations.

    Could be easier if we could explode the multidocument in many single documents to assign correctly the class to each one and keep their versions and history without delete them.

  • Multi-Files / multifiles take up about 15 minutes in the "Intro to M-Files" new employee training I run each week. 

    I invest this time because an incorrect multi-file can create the worst of headaches. 

    During the "How to Share" portion of the training, I have the user take the training document they've created and I get them to Right Click > Sharing, Email and PDF > Convert to PDF (add separate File) 

    I get them to watch the magic happen where they now have a Word + PDF of their document under the new Green Book Icon = Multi-File. 

    I then explain to them that the mutl-file is like a virtual-stapler - that anything in the multi-file ALWAYS travels together, and you cannot separate one of the documents. 

    I tell them: "A multi-file is the SAME document, but in its different formats or variations"

    I also directly tell them that they should not put different documents in a multi-file, so a Report is its own ID and a Proposal is its own ID etc. - but they can use different objects, like Projects, or Meetings, to help them group their documents together for this purpose. 

    Honestly, this topic is worth spending more time on as soon as your employees start using M-Files. 

    I also have a tip sheet on just using the multi-file, and I often share the video from M-Files. 

    Finally, I have the worst-case scenario of "How to Fix a mistaken Multi-File" - it's a video where I demonstrate Checking out the bad multi-file, and then proceed to clone the original through the Right Click > Make copy function, and then proceed to do this as many times as needed until all the parts have been correctly split into correct document IDs. 

    Your option also works, but I thought I would share if helpful.