I worked at VA Software, formerly known as VA Linux from 2001 to 2002.
Sourceforge was well known and very loved in the Open Source community. VA Software wanted to productize it and hired me as their hands on UI Design Manager.
- SourceForge was originally designed for the open source community as a web site that generated revenue through ad dollars. The application had accreted over time in a haphazard manner. It had not been productized for the enterprise.
- The application did not look like a professional product.
- Navigation was inconsistent and shifting. Users could not find or re-find the sub-applications that they needed.
- The application stored vast amounts of information and didn’t give users sufficient information about the importance of any given piece of information.
- Information hierarchy was inconsistently indicated by different font sizes and locations.
- Nomenclature was inconsistent.
- Overhauled the information architecture to provide consistency in nomenclature, information hierarchy, and to provide clear indicators of where users where located in the system. Added breadcrumbs where appropriate.
- Designed a user-configurable alert-based system to let users know when information might be important to them.
- Designed new ways to navigate the information space to help users get the information they needed.
- Specified and designed role-based access control to allow organizations to fine-tune who can view and change information.