When uploading assets into Lytho DAM, the goal should always be making assets easy to find. Adding Tags, Custom Fields, and other searchable data to your assets can make this goal far more manageable.
The "Golden Rules" to Using a DAM
When setting up a DAM, there are two core concepts to keep in mind:
- Create a setup that helps users easily find what they need
- Understand the terms that your users associate with your content - be ready to adjust as needed
The first point looks at what the purpose of the DAM is. The DAM allows your organization to have an easily accessed single point of asset storage, but it should also provide an easy experience for all users in finding what they need.
The second point looks at the word choices your users are likely to use when looking for assets. Consider your team's identifying terms for specific assets and topics and compare them against what terms your users might use. Many teams find success in surveying some of their team members regarding interchangeable terms. Once you know what your user's word choices are, make the choice of pushing your team's terms as correct, accepting the user's terms as correct, or use a case-by-case basis on what you'll push forward with. Examples: Pacifier vs Binky, Soda vs Pop, Sneaker vs Tennis Shoe
Understanding How Users Will Use the DAM
When entering the Asset Manager, you'll see that all of your assets are in one open space. This allows your users to use a variety of methods to find the assets they need. There are two primary methods used for finding assets: the Filter Menu and the Search Bar.
In larger organizations, there will often be many users who are unfamiliar with your terminology, the assets that are in the DAM, or what they are looking for. The Filter Menu allows your users to see what options are available in a visual list. Unlike a traditional file folder structure, where many folders are placed inside of another folder - each arranged by topic, a filter system allows your user to intuitively choose the relevant keywords or data points while shortening the number of results until they've found what they need.
When an asset is uploaded into the DAM, Lytho will automatically identify the type of file and the file extension. Unlike tags which need to be created, the asset's type and file extension will automatically be listed under the appropriate Filter Menu options.
As your users become more familiar with your DAM setup, or if they were already familiar with your terminology, the Search Bar will be a strong tool for quickly locating assets. When using the Search Bar a user can begin typing and see recommendations based on existing tags in the system, a Custom Field value, or the user that uploaded the asset. Clicking on these recommended options produces the same result as selecting the value from the Filter Menu.
Alternatively, entering a search term without selecting a suggested value will perform a "fuzzy search" letting the system check for your search term in any of the following data points within your assets:
- Asset Title
- Asset Description
- Custom Fields
- Content* - *Only available if an asset has a selectable text layer (Document or PDF)
If any of the above have data matching similarly enough to the search term, they will be provided as search results.
Lytho DAM uses tag-based filter and search systems in order to find your assets. Tags are generally single word identifiers used to describe the asset's visual characteristics or the category that someone might associate with it.
When applying tags based on visual characteristics, consider the main subjects of the asset and what about this asset someone is likely to search for. Some terms may describe the asset, but may not be something your users are likely to search for.
When applying tags based on a category, you'll have a wider range of tags that you can use. What type of deliverable is this asset? What event or period of time is this asset tied to? What departments typically care about this asset?
It's best practice to keep the amount of tags applied to an asset between 3 and 8. Any fewer than 3 and the asset will be difficult to find. Any more than 8 and tagging assets may require a large amount of effort or time.
Tag Groups are used to sort tags into easy to identify categories. They benefit the DAM team in adding tags to assets as much as they do the users who are looking for the right tag to filter or search by. When creating your tags, look for patterns that you can group by and categorize your tags under these Groups.
As mentioned, tags are a great tool in helping users who may not know what they're looking for or what terms are available to filter by. Tag Menus enhance this feature by letting a DAM admin create a list of Tag Groups, tied to a specially named dropdown button, so that users can see all of their options in a side-by-side list. As users select a tag from the list, the unrelated tag options will disappear creating a more focused filter.
Permissions can be used to limit Tag Menu access to specific users. By pairing these two features, you can create a Tag Menu that is specifically tailored to an individual department or user.
When the data point you're creating is a question or prompt instead of a word, a Custom Field is the best option. Custom Fields allow your DAM team to freely provide an answer as free text. These work best when there are a large assortment of answers to a singular question. When creating a Custom Field look for data points that have an ever-growing list of potential answers.
Lytho ProTip: If you have multiple team members adding Custom Fields to your assets, make sure that everyone spells the words and names used as answers to match. Typos or differing spellings can cause unexpected search result suggestions.