I think Vault is a fantastic tool, with some tremendous features. It’s power and potential often blows my mind, in a lot of ways I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible with it. However, at the end of the day, the system is only as good as the people who use it and how they interact with it. I’m extremely frustrated by the number of User Interface inconsistencies throughout Vault Explorer and its Add-ins. I mainly use the Inventor Add-in, so I have noticed more with that than any of the others (more on this later). So I’ve decided instead of getting frustrated and moaning about it all the time, I would just create a blog post each time I find one, I can also edit existing posts if I find another related issue. Over time this would provide a resource for Autodesk to refer to and gradually fix up the problems, most of which seem easy to fix from a users perspective.

Its imperative, if Vault is to continue being the ’class of the field’ for CAD integrated PDM, these inconsistencies are taken seriously, nailed down and fixed by the next release. For the experienced end-user its a nightmare at times, but for the first time user its worse, for the experienced user trying to teach the first time user its worse still. ’Just because it is’ is the most common justification for these situations, this has to be remedied. To be fair Autodesk should be paying someone to focus on UI consistency non stop. In their defence however, they do appear to be starting to merge UI styles and standards across their product ranges, which will ultimately lead them to assessing each menu and option throughout each package and redesigning it to a company standard. From now on I will attempt to remain entirely constructive and factual about the UI issues instead of moaning.

For this endeavour to be truly powerful, it would be great if you guys could contribute screen shots and explanations of UI inconsistencies you find and I will add them (and credit you) as soon as possible. Then we will have a ‘Fix It List’ instead of a Wish List.

For easy reference and searching at a later date these posts will all contain the words ‘Vault UI’ in their Titles.

Edit: I have decided to post a link to this on the Autodesk discussion forums so Autodesk get the chance to respond within their own system. Mikel Martin a Vault Product Manager has kindly added this blog to his RSS feed, so he can keep an eye on this topics development, I thank him for that. So come on lets me a difference.

Posts so far:

Vault | Vault UI – Property Conditions

Autodesk Vault | Vault UI – Assign, Specify, Configure, Add dialogues

Autodesk Vault | Vault UI – Rename Folder

Autodesk Vault | Vault UI – New Folder

Autodesk Vault | Vault UI – Replace All

Autodesk Vault | Vault UI – Search Folder Issues