Best practices for Workspace

When developing human-centric processes for Workspace, process designers and administrators can employ several techniques to ensure a favorable user experience in Workspace:

Use short category names

In Workspace, category names appear in the left navigation pane and are used to designate groups of processes. You create categories using Workspace start point properties.

You can also create categories using the Category Management area of Applications and Services in Administration Console. (See Applications and Services Administration Help.)

If the category name is too long to fit within the fixed width of the left navigation pane, it is truncated. The full name appears only when the mouse pointer is paused over it. By default, the navigation pane has a fixed width of 210 pixels, which is approximately 24 characters. Avoid using category names that are truncated:

Category name that fits:
Attendance & Leave

Category name that is truncated:
Attendance & Leave (United States)

Limit the number of process cards per category

In Workspace, cards on the Start Process page represent processes that users can invoke. You include processes in categories using the Category property of Workspace start points.

Limit the number of process cards per category so that users do not have to scroll the page to view cards. Cards that require scrolling in order to be seen are difficult to find. The resolution of the monitor affects the number of process cards that can fit on the screen without scrolling.

The following illustration shows the Start Process page for a category when the screen resolution is set to 1024 x 768.

At this resolution, the Start Process page can contain six process cards before scrolling is required.

Use effective card information

Task cards in Workspace expose key information to users. Cards enable users to quickly scan tasks, make decisions based on information, and interact with processes without opening the task.

Cards include the following items:

Card titles

Use card titles that are descriptive and limited in length to prevent truncation:

Card title that fits:
Expense Report

Card title that is truncated:
Please approve this Expense Report

Keep the titles unique to help users locate the card quickly. Test the card title to ensure that it can be easily distinguished from other cards. Status icons that can appear to the left of the title can require titles to be shorter than you expect.

The way you specify card names depends on where the card appears:

Task instructions on task cards

Provide instructions on process cards and task cards that are meaningful to users. On task cards, the values of process variables can be included to help users evaluate the task without opening it.

You can format task instructions by using HTML markup. For example, line breaks and the boldface type style are used to lay out the task instructions so that information can be easily scanned.

The way you specify task instructions depends on where the card appears:

Instructions that use plain labels, line breaks, and bold variables

The illustration below shows the following example task instructions:

Amount: <br><b>{$/process_data/@total$}</b></p> 
To Do card shows title, image, and instructions

Instructions that use plain labels, colons, bold variable, and line breaks

The illustration below shows the following example task instructions.

Note: These instructions are contained in a single line of text.
Request for: <b>{$/process_data/@name$}</b><br>From: <b>{$/process_data/@origin$}</b><br>To: <b>{$/process_data/@destination$}</b><br>Reminders: <b>{$/process_data/@hints$}</b>
To Do card shows title, image, and instructions

Instructions that use bold variables within static text

The illustration below shows the following example task instructions.

Note: These instructions are contained in a single line of text.
<b>{$/process_data/@name$}</b> requested authorization for the <b>{$/process_data/@processName$}</b> starting for <b>{$/process_data/@total$}</b> in <b>{$/process_data/@quarter$}</b>. Please verify that this request does not exceed your allowance for the quarter.

Image size in process cards

You can specify an image to be used that represents a process in Workspace. The image formats supported are JPG and PNG. The color should not be prescribed.

Reduce your image size to 150 x 150 pixels. You can compress the image before you add it to the process without losing quality. Use tools such as Adobe Fireworks® CS3, available from

Email notifications

If your processes are designed to use email notifications, consider how the content of the email appears to the recipient. Task Instructions can be included in the body of the email by using the Process Management variable @@instructions@@. If your email is configured to include the @@instructions@@ variable, consider how that content appears when the email notification is sent to the recipient. If necessary, customize and format the email notification by using Process Management variables and HTML tags.

Configure email settings in the Process Management area in Administration Console. (See “Configuring notifications” in Process Management Help.)

You can also configure email settings in Workbench. (See Overriding task notification settings.)

Submit button

Buttons associated with the submit buttons of the form are displayed in the Workspace chrome by default.

However, if you wish to hide the submit button, you can do the following:

When you are using a form as an Output Document variable, parameterize thesetDocAttribute function as setDocAttribute(document, "showWorkspaceSubmit", "false"). showWorkspaceSubmit is a document attribute that can be used with document functions and Render service.

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