Owner options shouldn't be a hidden section

I've recently spent some time talking to a couple people trying Cloudmin for the first time (one I met at LinuxFest and one on a random website). They could not imagine how they could use it for its intended purpose (i.e. creating users that can manage virtual machines), even after installing it and looking at the product, because "Owner options" is hidden by default, and seems like an obscure bunch of settings rather than the single most important element of what people in a hosting environment need Cloudmin for. They completely ignored the section, didn't see it, something...they couldn't see how to allow users to manage their own stuff, and thus couldn't see how Cloudmin could be useful for them. That's a pretty bad thing. We want folks to be able to see how they can use it to do what it's made for.

So, I think Owner Options should be relabeled as "Owner details" or simply "Owner"; so it seems like an important part of process (as it is for the vast majority of hosting provider who'll be using this), not be hidden by default, and appear first on the create virtual machine form.



Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on Tue, 04/12/2011 - 02:16 Pro Licensee

Actually, thinking more on this and spending some more time looking at the UI with new eyes...it seems like maybe we're not treating users with nearly enough importance. Nothing in the Cloudmin UI is about users. While we're trying to help hosting providers focus on their customers, we're not giving them a UI that seems at all focused on those customers. It mirrors Virtualmin in that way...the first virtual machine is sort of the point where a user comes into existence. Maybe that shouldn't be the way things are done in Cloudmin. Maybe we should have a list Accounts page and New Account form, and be more user-focused rather than virtual machine focused.

There are currently two ways a system owner can be created in cloudmin - at Cloudmin Settings -> System Owners, and on the Create System page. The latter is a convenience feature for adding an owner login at the same time as VM ..

VMs don't necessarily have to have owners, and an owner account can exist without any VMs initially. For example, you could create one who is allowed to create VMs up to some limits, then let him to the actual creation. This is the opposite of Virtualmin, in which every domain is under some user and a user always comes into existence when his first domain is created.

I guess the current UI isn't really making this clear though ... so I would certainly be receptive to suggestions on how to fix it.

ronald's picture
Submitted by ronald on Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:50 Pro Licensee

Per haps "System Owners" can have its own little section instead of being burried under Cloudmin Settings?

That could certainly be done easily - Joe, what do you think?

Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on Tue, 04/12/2011 - 21:05 Pro Licensee

Yes, System Owners should not be hidden in the middle of the Cloudmin Settings menu. Also, "System" is a very ambiguous term. Ought to be "Virtual Machine Owners" (Virtual Machine Owners is also ambiguous, but it's consistent with all of our other ambiguous uses of the term Virtual Machine).

If there are multiple virtual machine owner operations (List Owners, Create Owner...not sure what else), it could get its own category...otherwise it should be top-level.

Ok, I'll take a look at this tomorrow ..