Collective Highlights – Ways to Enhance Your DAM System for Improved Usability

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How well do you know the capabilities of the Widen Media Collective? We hope we’ve provided you with a good base for how to use your Widen Digital Asset Management system to improve efficiency, strengthen brand consistency, and help you get more from your digital media assets. However, there may be some not-so-obvious administrative functions that can help you improve the usability and ongoing administration of your DAM system. Below is a list of some of the simple features that you may not be using today, but could come in handy for ongoing success with your Widen Collective site. We of course welcome you to contact us for more information and help in implementing these best practices in your DAM system.

Categories and Spotlights
Alternate Previews for Compressed Archive Assets
Asset Group Flags for Search Results Display
Applying Common Metadata with Asset Upload Profiles
Link Brand Guidelines and Training Resources in System Messages
Using Registration Codes for Automatic User Access

Categories and Spotlights
The Category Search feature can mimic or represent a “folder structure” … the common method of keeping assets on a shared network drive before adopting a DAM solution. For many DAM customers, this presents users with a “browse” method for searching through folders (as opposed to using keywords / quick searching based on metadata). Category names are also automatically converted into searchable metadata terms, so if you have a category or sub category named Best In Show, for example, that term may be entered in the Quick Search field to display all the results in that Category. Category structures can be created and maintained by Administrators, and asset upload profiles may also automatically default assets into categories. An individual asset may also be assigned into multiple categories.

Spotlight Categories allow administrators to assign a static preview image with a thumbnail that represents that level of the category tree. Since “Spotlight Categories” are very visual and draw users’ attention, you can create Spotlights for “Recently Added Assets” or “Popular Assets” to let your users know which assets to take a look at first. Each of these methods would be admin controlled vs. automatic, but you can use reporting and search-sorting to set this up and maintain. Spotlights are associated with the Category names themselves, so any Category or subcategory may have a Spotlight. You can also add and remove Spotlights whenever you want.
 

Digital Asset Categories and Spotlights
Categories and Spotlights


Some clients structure categories by “media type” (i.e. Photos, Logos, Video, Office Docs, etc.). For those that prefer this structure, you may elect to create “icons” for your Spotlights that represent each top-level category. Others simply choose an asset that best represents the entire category. Dynamic Media Building customers may also structure Spotlights by media type, i.e. Ads, Brochures, Direct Mail, Signage, etc.

Alternate Previews for Compressed Archive AssetsAlternate Previews for Compressed Archive Assets
One of the primary methods customers manage creative documents such as InDesign or Quark files is to collect for output as a compressed archive for the layout and all of its contents. When you upload a compressed archive file (.zip or .sit) a generic preview image is assigned to represent the compressed archive asset. However, admins have the option to assign alternate previews such as a PDF or JPEG of the completed file to show users what this file looks like. This is a quick and simple tip that can help you better manage and promote compressed archive assets. Virtually any “non-convertible” (does not have a preview automatically generated) asset type can have an alternate preview. Also, if you have Video/Audio Management enabled, you may substitute an alternative video preview image in case you prefer a different image than the one that is automatically generated upon upload.

Asset Group Flags for Search Results Display
In addition to the icons for unreleased and expired assets, color-coded Asset Group Flags allow you to signify assets in the search results with different colored flags and call outs to describe special scenarios and uses. Common use cases for Asset Group flags can include:
Video, Audio or Flash assets – When a user runs a quick search and the results return an assortment of assets with static previews, it may not be that obvious for users to know which multimedia assets are in fact Video, Audio or Flash files. Flags help you make it more obvious to users to click on the preview and view the full-length file. Assets belonging to more than one asset group may also have more than one Flag and description, ranked according to admin preferences.

 

 

Asset Group Flags for Search Results Display

 

 

Asset Group Flags for Search Results Display


Approval Required – Some assets may require approval by an admin before they can be downloaded or sent to others. Asset Group Flags for “approval required” assets help you remind your users that they will not be able to access the file without approval before ordering.
Rights-Managed – Assets with notable rights-protected information should be obvious to a user at first glance. Customers often include an End-User License Agreement (EULA), but a flag for rights-managed assets will tell the user immediately upon running a search.
Brand Segmentation – Customers often use DAM to manage multiple brands, product lines, divisions, etc. Using asset group flags to signal different brands, etc. again makes it very obvious what the asset is to be used for.

Applying Common Metadata with Asset Upload Profiles
Using metadata as a way to catalog, find and report on assets is often an unfamiliar or under-utilized function of DAM, especially for those new to DAM. However, metadata is one of the most critical elements to the success of your DAM system. For customers who lack resources for applying metadata, there are various batching tools allowing admins to apply common metadata to assets in bulk. You may use Asset Upload Profiles to assign common metadata, categories, and release/expiration dates to assets upon upload. For assets that have shared characteristics such as keywords, descriptions, brand/product, campaign info, etc., you may add this information as default metadata to a specific upload profile so all assets will inherit this information automatically upon upload. Even using partial default metadata will provide you with a basis to search, find and go back and get more granular with metadata for individual assets.

 

 

Applying Common Metadata with Asset Upload Profiles

 

 

Applying Common Metadata with Asset Upload Profiles

 


Link Brand Guidelines and Training Resources in System Messages
Training and branding are key components to DAM. Widen’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to get training materials, brand guidelines and other resources to your users. What better way than to use the System Messages to make it obvious for users to see your materials immediately after they login? Common materials to post as links in the System Messages include client-specific training guides (PDFs or PowerPoints), corporate branding guidelines, and metadata and filenaming guidelines. You may also work with Widen to create a custom branded training video specific to your assets and workflows, which is posted with the System Messages and can be set to appear for new users upon first-time login. Widen embed links make it very easy to keep these materials as assets within DAM and then copy/paste the embed link of the PDF or video in your System Messages.

 

 

 

Link Brand Guidelines and Training Resources in System Messages

 

 

Link Brand Guidelines and Training Resources in System Messages

 


Using Registration Codes for Automatic User Access
Another helpful feature as it relates to the ongoing creation of new users is to use registration codes to provide automatic access. You can have different codes that you share via email blast or other communication to empower new users to create their own user account by filling out the registration form. Using separate registration codes by role, department, division, partner, etc. helps your automatically map each new user account to the appropriate role so you can ensure each new user has the appropriate level of access. Different settings determine if users are to be granted automatic access or require admin-approval.  Through registration codes, you may also set user expiration, password expiration controls and other defaults. Keep in mind you can add additional fields to the user registration form that you’d like to track and report on.

 

 

 

Using Registration Codes for Automatic User Access

 

 

Using Registration Codes for Automatic Access


Contact us for more information and help in implementing these best practices in your DAM system.

Topics: Product Updates

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