Categories
forms html upload user-interface

Better interface for file downloads and uploads from a web page?

I have what seems like a typical usage scenario for users downloading, editing and uploading a document from a web page.

  1. User clicks a link to download a document
  2. User edits downloaded file
  3. User saves the file
  4. User goes back to the web page and uploads the new file with the changes

The problem is that downloaded files are typically saved in a temporary directory, so it can be difficult to find the file after it is saved. The application is for very non-technical users, and I can already imagine the problems with saved files being lost or the wrong versions being uploaded.

Is there a better way? Things I’ve thought about:

  1. Using Google Docs or something similar.
    Problems: forcing users to use new
    application with less features,
    importing legacy content, setting up
    accounts for everyone to edit a
    file.
  2. Using WebDAV to serve the files. Not sure how this would work exactly, but seems like it should be possible
  3. Some kind of Flash or Java app that manages downloads and uploads. Not sure if these even exist.
  4. User education 🙂

If it matters, the files will be mostly Word and Powerpoint documents.