Has to be revisited
Distinction between asset and rendition too strong
Magnolia offers me a list of all digital assets used on all sites or one site in particular. It shows all assets in all folders at once. I can search the list using a text, but can also apply additional filters to e.g. restrict the list to only show assets which are currently published.
I may also retrieve infos on all renditions defined for a particular asset. For every rendition, I get a preview and meta data such as the format it uses. Of course, I may directly select one of the renditions and start working with it. I can edit a rendition, if I have the necessary rights, and remove it. I can also add new renditions to an asset right from here.
By default, the list shows all digital assets and reveals their renditions on request. Alternatively, I may switch the list to show me the all renditions of all assets instead. This is great for sorting and getting an overview over all elements I can actually place on pages.
Description of desired behavior
The list of assets
The list view shows all assets of a particular asset set as a flat list. Thus, if this asset set supports folders, the list ignores the hierarchy set up by them and shows all assets of all levels at the same time. Note that the list view only shows the assets in a single asset set, since every asset is at least contained in one asset set. You may not obtain a list of all assets in all asset sets at once.
The list view is very convenient to sort all existing assets using one of the criteria shown by columns. The columns shown typically also contain the asset's status (published, changed and published, unpublished) and an indicator if the asset is currently in a work flow.
Display all renditions of an asset
Every asset with at least one rendition features a little triangle (or similar element), which can be clicked to view its renditions. The renditions of an asset are shown in-place inside the tree - the panel showing them moves down the other entries below when it appears.
Renditions are shown along their typical characterizing data set allowing to easily identify one specific rendition. Such data could include a format string combining both their format, resolution, and color info (or whatever is appropriate for the asset type). It should also be obvious if a rendition is currently published or not, and whether it is being currently worked on in a work flow. For rows showing renditions, the column layout of the surrounding tree does not apply, but information should nevertheless appear well aligned and ordered to ease reading.
Selecting a rendition
Rendition rows must be selectable. Selecting a rendition shows a preview and the list of actions applicable to it in the sidebar. The information shown by the preview is similar to UX:details shown on an asset, but focuses on rendition information instead.
It's ok to allow a user to select both renditions and assets at the same time, even though the actions and preview view may then not show much of interest and mostly disabled actions only.
Showing the renditions only
By default, the list view shows the list of assets. You may UX:open an asset to show its renditions. A switch in the toolbar allows to switch the list to show the (flat) list of all renditions instead. This comes in handy if you would like to sort renditions by one of the criteria offered by the table columns or if you'd like to restrict the list to only show items you may actually place on a page (that's what renditions are for).
A separate column textually links back to the asset a rendition belongs to, but there's no direct way to select an asset or view its details. However, if you select a rendition, that rendition stays selected when you switch back to the list of assets so you may easily retrieve additional details on the asset from there. Likewise, if I select an asset, then switch to the list of renditions, all renditions of that asset are being selected.
Search and filter the list of assets
A search function similar to the one available for pages is existing for digital assets as well. A simple text filter searches on the name of the asset in case the list shows mainly assets, and on rendition names if it shows renditions. Advanced search queries can be constructed as well, allowing to filter by type, format and various other attributes defined in the meta data of an asset.
Note that since assets are grouped by asset sets, a search is always only run on the assets (or renditions) in one particular asset set. You may not search all assets or renditions of all asset sets in one go.
Filter list by site
The advanced search settings of the asset list allow to restrict the list to only include assets or renditions of a particular site. This largely depends on how multi-sites are configured in a setup; if site definitions exist, such a filter shall be available as well.