The Jamfest is an evening get-together at Lotusphere when folks show up and play songs. In the past, the design team has participated by singing "The Sametime Song" and "Livin' la Vida Lotus." This year, we're taking a folk-song approach and rather than just singing it, ourselves, we're inviting you to collaborate on it with us.
This year we're doing "This Notes is Your Notes" (to the tune of "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie) For sheet music, you can go to: http://www.sheetmusicdirect.us/search/search.do?keywords=this+land+is+your+land
Here are the verses we have so far. We invite you to write your own and join us at about 9:30PM (21.30) on jamfest night to sing your own verse! If you can't make Lotusphere, post a verse below and we'll try to sing it at the Jamfest. Or, hey, sing it yourself and post it on youtube for us all to enjoy! International customers--write it in your native tongues because, chances are, Notes is translated into it!
We also need instrumentalists!
Drums - Bruce Elgort (I assume, Bruce, please confirm!)
Bass- Chris Reckling (I assume, boss??)
Other? (washboard, anyone?)
CHORUS (I'll bring printed handouts to the jamfest):
This Notes is your Notes...This Notes is my Notes..
From replication...to out of office...
From new sidebar plug-ins, to the new Blog te--emplate,
This Notes was made by you and me!
My favorite feature is ghosted meetings
And when I see one, I'm so relieved,
No endless searching, throughout my i-inbox
This Notes was made by you and me
We have a scorecard where we track all
Of the data we keep collecting
Your voice helps drive what comes in the prooooduct
A while ago I blogged about the new "Advanced Menus" feature. As I said before, the "advanced menus" will be turned OFF (hidden) by default
We are finalizing which exact menu items get hidden when the advanced menus are OFF. Please take a look at the list below nominate MORE to be hidden, or fewer to be hidden. Here are the ones that get HIDDEN.
Also, we are thinking of detecting whether the admin client or the Domino designer client is installed, and, if so, automatically turning on the Advanced menus. What are your opinions on that?
Last, our support folks are (rightfully) concerned that hiding some menu items will generate support calls. What do you think? Yes, it will be documented. Can you help me spread the word so that IBM will not have support calls about this (at about $70 each, if we get a lot, I am going to be in BIG TROUBLE! :) ) [Read More]
Hey Notes fans, I survived the premier of "High school musical 2" last night. What is more, before it began, I had fun recording a "Taking Notes" podcast about the ship of Notes 8. Take a listen yourself!
The Lotus Developer 2006 conference (US edition) is taking place as I write this. Yesterday I gave 2 talks about Hannover. From a developer's perspective, there is a lot going on because we're opening up the client with Eclipse. Since I've been working on it for over a year, I'd forgotten that this is still big and important news to many Domino developers out there. It was great to have a chance to talk about it with them.
I'll be giving similar talks at the Developer 2006 and Admin 2006 conferences in Vienna at the end of November.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not posting Live from Las Vegas, that would have been yesterday, but I hurried home in time to take the kids "trick or treating" here on Halloween. It was a lovely mild night here and the kids had a great time. The squirrel suit even survived the three-mile run/walk frenzy of trying to get to every house in the neighborhood in 2 hours.
Do you have a Larry in your organization? Are you Larry?
Larry is our persona for a lab manager. He is the personwho never sleeps and seems to always be in the server room or machinelab making sure everything is still running, upgrading hardware,updating software, and managing who owns each of the machines. Hemay be the person you email at 10 pm when you need a specific machineimmediately for testing. Perhaps he then puts your name on apost-it, sticks it on a machine and then response to your email withthe ip or hostname. Maybe he is paper free and updates aspreadsheet to say who has which machine. He may even embracemodern technology and has a system where he adds this information in anotes database that everyone can see. Sometimes Larry is asked tomonitor machine usage and report results to QE and IT management, andit is possible he is responsible for requesting purchases of newhardware.
We would like to talk to you, Larry! If you are interested inparticipating in a 30 to 60 minute interview either on the phone or atLotusphere, please send an email to Cori at email@example.com.Please specify whether you want to do it over the phone or atLotusphere.
Right after the terrific week of prioritization exercises in Boston with the GCPC (Global Customer Partnership Council), I flew to Miami for the Lotus Advisor Summit/conference. The first day (Last Monday) was challenging weather-wise-- we had torrential downpour and gale force winds. I am admittedly a Hurricane weenie, and when I looked out my hotel room window, I was ready to evacuate!
The locals assured me that it was nothing. So I donned my fancy black "presentation garb" and then zipped my LL Bean waterproof slicker over top of it for the 10 minute walk to the conference center.
Needless to say, by the time I arrived I was soaked-- partly from the rain, and partly from the inside out because it was 90 Farenheit and that slicker had me sweating up a storm.... (no less smelly than when I had to deliver a talk in London without havnig bathed for 2 days due to a water main break and no water in the hotel... but that's another story...)
The conference went well, and I proceeded to Black River NY for my father and step-mother's 25th wedding anniversary. They renewed their vows in church and then we had a wonderful dinner. For the first time ever, all 18 of their grandchildren were present, and we took some great pictures.
Now that the long weekend is over, I'll return to work and begin working through designs for the list of prioritized features. I'm really looking forward to spending some time on design, since the last month has been more focused on promoting Notes 8 than designing Notes 8.5.
Here I am on vacation at the New Jersey Shore- Long Beach Island. It's a "family reunion" type vacation-- my husband and 5 (of his 7) siblings, their spouses, and kids. Plus grandma and grandpa. We're renting 5 cottages along the shore. It's beautiful. However, I had not been on "vacation" for more than 5 minutes before brother-in-law #1 said,"Hey! yesterday, this guy at work was swearing about everything he hates about Lotus Notes, and I told him, just wait! I'll be seeing my sister-in-law next week, and I'll tell her everything you said."
Then, brother-in-law #2 chimed in "Yeah, I have to use Lotus Notes on my new job!,"
So here I sit at the beach, doing "semi-contextual" research about the things they love and hate. It's kinda fun. I can hardly wait until Friday, when brother-in-law #3 arrives. He's a salesman for Microsoft. :)
I hope to meet you all at the Lotusphere Blogging Community BOF Thursday at 7 am. I'll be there. ( I ALWAYS end up with a 7 am BOF. Last year is was a Replication/synchronization one. Sigh). Nonetheless, for those of you who can attend, great!
And for those of you who can't, I'm sure there will be a host of live bloggers! :)
Dear customers, Hi, I’m the Notes Mail UI Designer,Margo Ezekiel.I represented you and your feedback at a meeting we held to determine if mail recall should be on or off by default. Based on the responses to this blog and Ed Brill's blog, we decided that Mail recall will be ON in version 8.0.
We will revisit this decision again in 8.0.1, so if you have good or bad experiences with the default setting for mail recall in 8.0 please feel free to let us know about it, and to recommend a change to the default. This was a tough call. There were customers on both sides of the fence, with many strong feelings and good arguments.As a team, we wanted to keep the client and server in synch, so it will be ON by default in both.I am pleased that we were able to collaborate with our community to make that decision.Thanks again for all the valuable feedback.
p.s.There was a blog entry previously saying the decision was OFF by default.This was a mistake in our information so I had to recall the blog entry :). The final decision is for the Mail Recall feature tobe ON on both the server & client.
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Exporting Contacts" and "Lance 4 U.S. Prez" (remember, I have not been endorsed by any political party, Hollywood folks, or anyone in the media. And if that doesn't make me appealing, I don't know what will. - Our slogan: "John Lance: Willing to say he believes in what you believe in to get your vote.")
Moving right along...
Along with the exporting of contacts we are examining the importing of contacts, specifically around the Comma Seperated Value (csv) and other similar formats. One of the questions we are examining is how to allow Samantha and Ted to map the source file fields. Since a csv files format can vary depending on the source (for example, a Yahoo CSV will not necessarily match an Outlook CSV) there is always the chance that Ted will have to tweak how the fields are mapped. So a silly example would be if the CSV's first name field was being mapped to the last name field and vice versa. Ted could use the mapping utility to go in and correct that prior to importing.
Ok, so now that you have the background, here's the question.
When Ted imports a bunch of contacts, does he need the ability to do a "one off" mapping. For example, if he is importing 20 contacts, of which 19 have been mapped correctly but 1 has been erroniously mapped, do you think Ted would like to "remap" that one contact or is he more likely to simply import all 20 and then go in and edit the one erronious contact? Oh, and if you think a "one off" is needed, please try to give specific use cases or examples.
Thanks. And remember, vote Lance in '08 - cause he believes what you believe.
Daisuke works in a sales department of JCN (Japan Communication Networks), a large IT company which provides IT solutions. He is in charge of manufacturing companies including car manufacturers. Over ten JCN System Engineers are stationed at Honma's IT Section. Daisuke and his colleague deal with the contract of these engineers, and also other business with Honma’s IT Manager on SW and HW products. He lives in Makuhari-city in Chiba with his wife ,and commuting to his office at Tokyo takes 1 hour. Usually, he meets with his customer at HQ of Honma Motors face to face two or three times a week, but if his client calls, he goes to Honma Motors anytime.
Daisuke’s Work Goals As a salesman of the IT Company, his main job is to coordinate providing the solution for IT sections manager's problems and to contribute to sales. For this objective, he provide information about JCM's new product and best practices, proposes some solution services and developing plan based on Honma's IT strategy.
He creates weekly work reports of customer support team and to present to Honma IT Manager. By this procedure, Daisuke gets agreement of their works. On the other hand, he is managing customer's expectation and satisfaction, and then he is trying to keep good relationship.
His interpersonal work goals include: Staying in touch with customers and Customer support team, obtaining reliance of a customer continuously. As a result, he contributes to the sales for th company. For this objective, he needs to know what kind of talents in JCN for solving problem in Honma It Section. Keeping a relationship with these talents is a one of the important goals for Daisuke.
Daisuke is responsible for
Attending a weekly work plan meeting with customer support team members, and he reports achievements of the previous week, and work plan for the week, and gets agreement from Honma's IT manager.
Billing service and support for the month.
Every Monday, he attends a weekly sales team meeting, reporting the week plan and the status of business regarding Honma Motors.
Making a sales plan and monthly report for the next month and sends to the manager at the end of the month.
Coordinating a team of specialists to create proposal for solutions to archive Honma's future goal.
Coordinating to create a development plan and specifications, selection of vendors.
Collecting information on new products and best practices relating Honma's IT strategy, and providing them to the customer timely.
Participating in or inviting people to events such as; Year-end party, New Year’s party, Cherry blossom party, KARAOKE party and Golf competition in order to make a strong relationship.
Finding a person who sits in his position, if he needs to take a vacation.
Daisuke’s Work Day Daisuke spends three days in a week at the customer's office and other days he works at his JCM Office. He checks his Notes mails first thing in the morning. Then he opens Notes DB of his section's calendar to check the schedule of others who work with him. When he works at his office, he always adds detailed schedule information to show where he is. If some one calls Daisuke while he is not at his desk, another person in the office will answer the call for him. This person will then call or send e-mail to Daisuke's mobile phone telling there was a call and what the business was. He and his coworker who are in charge of Honma tell each other where they are to prepare for customer's urgent call. He meets with his customer at HQ of Honma Motors face to face three times a week, and he checks if there is any problem in the installed product and service, and he checks new requirements. Basically, bringing out PC from his office is prohibited.
Daisuke’s Tools Daisuke uses an IBM Thinkpad X40 laptop which was prepared by his company and he can't change PC's configuration and install other software without a IT Department's agreement. The IT department loaded it with the following:
Lotus Notes 7 clients with mail, calendar and contacts. Mainly he is using Notes Mail. For scheduling, he is using a personal calendar which syncs with a group calendar by Notes DB provided from JCN IT Section.(He is a bit frustrated with a Group calendar compared to Cyboze, which can see the detail information in his related group and contact point at calendar entries.)
The following Lotus Notes Databases Links are placed in Desktop. He has no local replicas because he can not bring out PC from his office easily.
Group calendar "Business Unit 1": This Group calendar includes 15 sales team members and BU1's secretary calendars. Members of this calendar do not change except organization change.
Honma Support Team calendar: This Group calendar includes over 10 system engineers and 2 sales persons. According to the project plan, members will be added or deleted.
BU1 Knowledge Share DB: Information sharing of the common information in the sales team, the solution of the trouble in the customer's project, etc.
Product Information DB: Marketing departments owns and updates new product information such as brochures.
Application form management DB: Variety of application forms are placed here.
Sales management DB: Sales department owns and updates monthly sales report etc.
Attendance management DB: Human resource department owns. Employee reports attendance.
IE 6.0 SP2（Daisuke uses the train mainly, and he is saving the bookmark of a timetable.）
Microsoft Word 2002（It is used for filling in application forms.）
Microsoft PowerPoint 2002.（He prepares proposals.）
Daisuke always carries a cellular phone. He is using USB memory with a security protection which approved by JCN IT section.
Personal Recently, Daisuke purchased a house at Makuhari-city in Chiba, lives with his wife and a dog "Taro". He commutes by train every day. Commuting time is too long, and then he uses his mobile phone to read the news on the web and listens to the music.
Photo: Taro sleeping in the living room. (Mary Beth says: I think Taro is cuter than Fred's pugs).
Here's the second of our two Domino personas for the Domino next release. Again, please comment in terms of-- does this person reflect your experience if you are a Domino support person? Is anything blatantly wrong? Does anyone in Germany want to give me a few more details, for example, where might she live? How would she get to work? Also note that the format is different-- and longer-- than my previous draft persona (Fred). This is because I am now using a persona template that all of the IBM software group is using.
Ida Engel Notes/Domino and Sametime Second Line Support
Catch phrase: “You can count on me to fix your problem””
Ida’s main responsibility: Solve user issues about Lotus Notes, Sametime and the Domino Directory, including managing Notes IDs and passwords and Sametime passwords, for her company “International Appraisal Associates”
Ida really enjoys her job because she feels a sense of accomplishment every time she helps fix anyone’s Lotus Notes or Sametime problem.
She has been a second line Notes/Sametime support person for two years. She moved up from first line (help desk) support after being there for quite a few years.The help desk job was her first job after finishing gymnasium. Her desk (and her Notes Workspace) is neat and clean.
A good day is when she has been able to track down a problem that required a little creative thinking or sleuthing.A boring day is when she spends most of it simply processing name changes or making changes to directory groups, and a bad day is when several people have really bad mail or Sametime issues and they get upset with her when their problems are not fixed.
As a mom, she does not get much spare time, but she enjoys reading, and getting the latest and greatest mobile phone gadgets.
Ida is 32. She finished gymnasium but her abitur test scores did not make her a university candidate.She’s married to Niklas (who works at a bank) and has a son, aged 3. She enjoys working with people and is good at calming down irate or upset people. She’s very empathetic.
She prefers face to face interaction because she’s a people person, however, because she has to be able to track all support calls for statistical records, she now prefers email. She loves being able to set a default to save all chats so that when someone sends her an instant message with a problem, that gets saves in case she needs to turn that into a trouble ticket resolution. Enjoys department meetings and parties because she gets to see and interact with her colleagues.
She’s part of a 5-person second line support team.
The second line support team is part of a larger IT organization called “EIT support” (Enterprise information technology”) The larger group includes:
First, second, and third line support
Several project planners who plan the rollouts of new products or upgrades
Systems and directory administration
Generally the work environment is friendly. However, if there is a critical issue that needs to get fixed, things can get tense. Even in these situations, Ida prides herself on diagnosing and fixing issues herself when at all possible rather than escalating up to 3rd line support.
The fact that she uses Lotus Notes and Sametime all day, every day, helps her to understand and better diagnose users’ problems.
She has 2 machines in her cubicle.
A Windows XP Lenovo laptop
A Windows XP desktop machine with a flat-panel monitor
The laptop is for her own mail and Sametime. She’s running Notes 7.0.1 and Sametime 7.5.1. She also uses several custom Lotus Notes applications as part of her work, and she’s got Microsoft Office.
She uses the Desktop to log into Notes as a different user ID with higher access control to make changes to the Domino Directory and other Domino and Sametime related things. She has Lotus Notes and the Domino Admin client on this machine.
She has several versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox on each machine
She works in the financial industry at International Appraisal Associates, a large, multi-national valuation consulting firm headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany.Their clients range for Fortune global 500 to emerging companies that are defining new business opportunities.
The Company is divided into three divisions: Property tax, property records, and leasing appraisals.
They have offices in all the major European cities. They have also standardized on English as the official language of the company. The IT is centralized in Frankfurt and serves all three of the divisions.
Wants users of second-line support to be satisfied 99% of the time because their issue has been fixed quickly
Keep the Domino directory up to date.
Move up to 3rd line support
Not to look stupid in front of the users who need second line support
Have management be pleased with not only the number of incidents she can handle, but also her ability to diagnose issues, and to help users in a personable way that leaves them happy rather than irritated.
Managing Notes IDs takes a long time and can be confusing, especially compared to managing usernames and passwords.
An understanding of the Domino directory
Basic administration of Domino
Basic administration of Sametime
Proficient at using Lotus Notes and Sametime
Good people skills
Calm, patient, and reassuming telephone skills
Bi-lingual in English and German
Domino Administration client
Sametime administration client
Various file shares that contain copies of Notes IDs
Rename a user: Janie Doe got married over the weekend. She is now Jane Buck. Ida Receives notification of the name change and has to change the personrecord in teh Domino directory so that Jane Buck can log in to Notes and Sametime.
Add a new hire: At International, Ida assigns a username and a password to each user to that on the first day of work they can log into the Human resources system and fill out tax paperwork online. once the actually show up at work, then she created the Notes user ID. (They wait, because creating the user ID is more time-consuming and believe it or not, often people accept a job but then do not actually show up!)
Add a person to a group in the directory: Ida has to add or remove peopel from groups in teh directory. (This is a job that she finds very boring and she does this first thing in the morning to get it over with.) Thus, she encourages the group owners to take charge of their groups.
Check AdminP for re-certifications and other things.
Track down “lost mail” issues by checking the logins, going into the mail.box to see if the message is sitting as dead mail.
Work with the third-line support on their “perimeter” mail servers that do spam filtering, antivirus checking and things, before the mail goes outside the corporate intranet.
Work with server team if there are other issues like router issues., to try to track down where routers are failing.
Each morning, Ida gets her son up and ready for the day before she leaves him with her mother. Then she heads into work.
Once there, she checks Admin P first, and then the list of trouble tickets to see if there is anything urgent. If there is, she addresses that first, before even opening her email.She will, however, log on to Sametime first thing. Once she gets a lull in the urgent trouble tickets, then she logs on to mail and checks it.
She tends to “group up” some of the boring tasks like adding and removing people from groups, for right before lunch so that she can “reward herself” by then going lunch.
Then after lunch, it is right back to those trouble tickets until it’s time to go home. She likes Thursdays because they have the weekly group meeting then, and it gives people a break from the trouble tickets.
Samantha, a Promotions coordinator at "Renovations" (a fictitious company)
Ted, the VP of merchandising at "Renovations"
Betty, Ted's AA
Hannover is for
Samantha Daryn, Promotions Coordinator
Samantha works in the Marketing department of Renovations, a chain of home improvement stores. Samantha is the Promotions Coordinator, reporting to Marketing Manager Amadou Alain. She is based in Chicago, at Renovations headquarters, but travels periodically to industry events, marketing events, and Renovations store locations.
Samantha's Work goals
As promotions coordinator, Samantha's main job is to create and manage promotion programs that boost sales and customer loyalty for the Renovations stores. She also has to increase brand awareness of a line of power tools called "Power Renovations". Promotions programs include Web site content, newspaper inserts, catalogs, exhibits, in-store displays, and special events, and may feature purchase incentives such as discounts, rebates, and contests.
Her interpersonal work goals include:
•Staying in touch with her team and customers, staying organized and having good relationships with the people on her team and with customers.
Samantha is responsible for:
•Designing promotions programs and producing promotional material. Samantha works closely with a visual designer; a copywriter, and the web master and outside consultants.
•Coordinating promotional activities with goals of the advertising and marketing departments
•Collaborating with Renovations store managers on the display and administration of in-store promotions.
•Evaluating promotions by ROI (Return on investment)and brand recognition
•Budgeting and financial reporting
Samantha's Work Day
Samantha's day is frequently full of meetings. She and her colleagues meet regularly to discuss the status of their projects, and she attends planning and status meetings with Marketing management. She also meets with Renovations store managers to collaborate on promotion plans, placement, and execution.
Samantha uses an IBM Thinkpad T30 laptop running windows XP, and a Mac PowerBook G4 (15 inch monitor) . The IS department loaded the IBM Thinkpad with the following:
•Lotus Notes 6.5 client with mail, calendar, and contacts applications. She's a bit frustrated with mail and contacts compared to Outlook, which she used at her last job. She uses seven other Lotus Notes databases (She has local replicas of the first two). The IS dept created the local replicas and the replication schedules for her; she has no idea how to make a local replica of any of the others or how to change the schedule)
•IE 6.0, to keep tabs on competitors' web sites as well as the Renovations site. She uses Google Maps when she needs directions for visits to store locations, and is also a veteran online shopper.
•Microsoft Word 2002 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2002. She is a real power user of Powerpoint.
•Lotus Sametime 2.5
The IS department put Lotus Notes and several Adobe products (Illustrator, Photoshop) in the Mac so that she could work closely with the visual designers in her department.
In addition to her laptop, Samantha has her own computer at home, on which she uses Hotmail, MSN Messenger, AOL Intant Messenger, and Skype IP phone to keep in touch with friends. She also has a personal cell phone and a PDA, which she often uses for work-related activities. And, of course, she never goes anywhere without her iPod.
Hannover is for
Ted Amado, VP of Merchandising and Marketing
Ted is the highly-respected, busy, competitive head of Merchandising and Marketing at Renovations, a chain of home improvement stores. He is based at headquarters in Chicago, where he spends about 80% of his time in scheduled meetings. Ted travels on business about 25% of the time.He depends on his Administrative Assistant, Betty Zechman, especially to manage his calendar and travel.
Ted’s Work Goals
As VP of Merchandising and Marketing, Ted’s main goal is to increase profitability and generate new revenue streams through delivering excellent promotional activities, both inside the Renovations stores and in outside media and special events.He sees his role as setting longer-term strategy and doing whatever is needed to keep his direct reports successful implementing projects such as improving store atmosphere, developing and delivering advertising, promotions, special point of sale displays, etc.
Ted manages by motivating and leading his employees.He seems to know everyone, and uses his relationships to accomplish business goals.He is often the “face of the company” to outsiders, and enjoys the spotlight.
Ted’s Work Day
Ted arrives at work around .He first scans email to “check the pulse” of his responsibilities. Ted gets over 100 email messages a day and many include large attachments. Ted attends to as many as he can and sorts them into folders for Betty to handle, projects he’s working on, and people he needs to meet with.Often there are phone calls, voice messages, or Sametime chats about urgent items.Ted keeps track of his work by making sure everything is on his calendar.He checks to make sure he’s ready for today’s meetings, checks an email folder named “Urgent” and occasionally prints out information he’ll need. He also looks ahead at the meetings for the rest of the week.
Ted spends at least 80% of his usual work days in meetings. Betty schedules the meetings, taking care to allow time for Ted to get from one to the next.She understands his work and priorities well, and therefore knows which meetings and people to squeeze into his schedule.In any day, Ted may have 10 or more meetings scheduled, but that may change drastically during the day as new issues arise that require Ted’s attention.
When Ted travels, Betty takes a more active role in scheduling, monitoring Ted’s email for important issues, routing or handling any she can, and alerting Ted to anything he might need to know about immediately.
Ted hates surprises and makes sure he’s up to date on business and consumer trends.At free moments during the day, he peruses newspapers, trade publications, analyst reports, websites, etc., and forwards interesting items to his staff, often with a request for an individual to follow up or get more information.
Ted uses an IBM Thinkpad T41 with the standard Renovations set of software, including Lotus Notes 6.5 with mail, calendar, and contacts applications. Ted also has access to several Notes databases with sales, corporate finances, project management, and Ted’s specialized database of merchandising vendors; some have reports or views tailored for his personal use.Ted often depends on others on his staff to create summary slides and status reports based on information in these databases.If anything goes wrong, he calls his IT person to fix it.This is not because he’s uncomfortable with the technology; it’s that it’s just not a good use of his time.
Ted also uses PowerPoint and Excel.He has a cell phone and Palm Pilot.
Ted was the first in his family to graduate from college and he still wears his University of Chicago class ring.Soon after joining Renovations, he earned his MBA.He’s the recipient of the Merchandising Innovation Award for 2004, which is on display in his office.
Ted and his wife Victoria, an art gallery administrator, and their 16-year-old daughter Valerie live in Skokie, a diverse suburb north of Chicago.They love to play tennis.
Hannover is for
Betty Zechman, Executive Administrative Assistant
Betty Zechman is Executive Administrative Assistant to Ted Amado, VP of Merchandising and Marketing at Renovations.Betty manages Ted’s calendar, email, travel, and whatever else she can to support him in his responsibilities.Betty also provides indirect support to the Senior Managers of the Business Development Division.
Betty’s Work Goals
Betty supports Ted Amado in whatever capacity he needs, managing his calendar and inbox, providing support information for meetings, making travel arrangements, etc.She supports Ted and his senior managers by helping to create spreadsheet reports and presentations.Betty also leads the team of administrative assistants, and makes sure their hardware, software, and training needs are met.
Betty really wants everyone to be well taken care of.She is highly efficient, trusted, and knowledgeable about Renovations’ business and Ted’s responsibilities and priorities.
Betty’s Work Day
Betty arrives in the office around .Her low-walled cubicle is right outside Ted’s office.She has a large paper calendar on her desk and yellow stickies on and around her monitor.Betty checks her voicemail, scans Ted’s mail and calendar, and then her own.She makes sure there are no changes to Ted’s calendar since last night and updates it if needed.Meeting changes come via the phone, email, or Sametime rather than as Notes calendar invitations since Ted has little free time and other entries must shift to accommodate changes.
When something urgent comes up, Betty contacts Ted right away.If he’s offsite or not in the office yet, she calls his cell phone. If he’s in a meeting, she uses Sametime or walks to the meeting and speaks to him directly when the meeting ends.When Ted’s schedule changes for later that day, Betty makes the change in Notes and also contacts Ted if she thinks he might not see it there in time.
Aside from all the calendar work she does, Betty helps make sure that Ted has everything he needs for his meetings, such as information from email, lists of attendees, and directions if he’s offsite. She prepares monthly report spreadsheets and transforms Ted’s draft PowerPoint slides into more polished presentations.She sets up meetings with other management team execs, suppliers, analysts, and other people inside and outside Renovations and she organizes larger meetings by doing everything from managing materials to ordering lunch.Betty also sometimes routes email or replies to it on Ted’s behalf (cc-ing Ted), especially when he's traveling.She sorts email he needs to take care of into folders: “Urgent”, “Read”, and “Personal.”She also deals with email Ted has sorted into folders for her: “Edit” or “Print.”
Betty is Notes savvy in both mail and calendar but hates repeating meetings.She wishes she could use the group calendar but needs something that would allow her to see what everyone is doing all at once.Her own mail isn’t as organized as Ted’s.She uses her inbox as a to-do list and only files items when they are finished.
Betty's Work Tools
Betty’s primary computer is an IBM ThinkCentre desktop workstation running Windows XP. She also has an IBM T30 Thinkpad that she uses when she is out of the office to keep all of Ted’s information current.
Lotus Notes 6.5 is her email and calendar tool. Betty loves Sametime Instant Messaging and could not live with out it.
She uses MS Word, PowerPoint, and Internet Explorer 6.0.
Betty also has to use “Reserve” an internal room scheduling application (web-based).
Betty is the mother of two daughters, both married and on their own.She also has two grandsons, Ryan and Joey. Betty’s husband is an environmental engineer nearing retirement.They spend vacations and long weekends at their family’s little cabin on Castle Rock Lake, Wisconsin, where they enjoy swimming and teaching their grandsons to fish for muskies and walleyes.
Hi folks. Before getting down to business, I should introduce the members of the Domino Designer User Experience Team. My name is Kathy Howard and I've been at Lotus/IBM for almost 20 years. I've worked on the user experience of various products over the years, including 1-2-3, K-station, and Notes Access for SAP Solutions, and now I'm the lead designer for the upcoming release of Domino Designer. I've been doing basic Notes application development since "the beginning" so it's exciting to be working on this!
Let me also introduce my colleague Chris Kergaravat. Chris is the user researcher on the project, which means she gathers all sorts of information by interviewing people, running surveys, and conducting usability tests using builds or prototypes. Chris also has close to 20 years here at Lotus/IBM, with tons of experience in Notes/Domino application development from her 10 years as a consulting architect in the Lotus Services group.
As you may have heard from Maureen Leland and Bob Balaban, we are busy working on improvements to the Notes/Domino application development environment for a future release. Chris and I are working with the aforementioned icons of the Notes/Domino community with the specific goal of improving the user experience for building Web applications.
So without further ado, please meet Raj, our first application developer persona. Raj is a composite profile, created after having met and talked with many, many Lotus Notes application developers! If you see yourself in Raj, we'd love to hear from you. How is your experience similar to Raj's? Do you have the same successes and challenges as Raj?
Raj Kalluri, Notes Application Developer
Raj works in the IT Department at Renovations, a chain of home improvement stores. As a Notes application developer, Raj is responsible for creating and maintaining collaborative applications. He is a resident Notes expert and acts as a mentor for the new people in the group. He prides himself on his ability to stretch Notes to its limits and get custom applications working quickly and flawlessly before deployment.
Roles and Responsibilities
A senior member of the team, Raj has been dubbed the “NTF Guy” by his colleagues. It’s his job to design, code, and integrate large, complex systems. He absolutely thrives on making Notes do things that no one else thought possible! He has a tried and true method of coding events and hidden fields and he has developed some coding and naming standards, as well as a method for creating Notes objects that allows easy modification by the business users.
Depending on the day, Raj may spend all day in Domino Designer building an application on his own, or he may work with other people in the department to plan a project or troubleshoot issues. He also meets with his internal clients to gather requirements or to present the plan for an application. And he tries to be available when the Help desk people need help answering a question about a Notes application. It’s a good day when he can figure out an elegant way to solve a problem and not quite so good when he has to use a "hack".
Raj never intended to become a programmer. He graduated with a Liberal Arts degree, taking a few CS courses to satisfy the math requirements. He took a non-technical job after college, and found himself creating discussion databases by making simple Notes template modifications for his first work group. Never afraid to dive into something to find out how it works, Raj soon was reverse-engineering more advanced templates. He learned LotusScript by trial and error. Before he knew it, Raj was creating new agents by “borrowing” sections of code from proven agents, example files, documentation, Lotus forums – anywhere he could find working code snippets and ideas. Over the years he has taken Notes programming courses to sharpen his skills. He is now considered an expert, and posts answers as well as questions to the forums. Raj has worked hard to develop and promote the Notes Best Practices database for the company.
He took a course in Java, and so he understands the concepts behind J2EE tools and technologies, but he has neither the desire nor the experience necessary to work competently with such low level languages. He is much more comfortable working visually with higher level objects, like forms, views, and lists, and does not want to be bothered with learning how they are managed and made to work behind the scenes. He wants to learn more about AJAX and mashups.
Raj has a “love/hate” relationship with the Domino Designer client. On one hand, it allows him to take programming shortcuts and piece together solutions in a rapid development cycle, but on the other hand, he’s found it impossible to make it work with his company’s approved code management system or the programming methodology that the Senior Architects have recommended.
He loves that with one interface, he can design an application that will run in a rich client and in a browser - but at the same time, he is exasperated by having to make so many modifications to his forms and views to make them render correctly in the browser.
He has learned to accept some of the idiosyncrasies of Designer - like waiting for his whole script library to compile after each edit, and struggling with table sizes - because there are so very many coding options available to him. He says that Designer gives him complete flexibility when he is creating an application.
Raj is originally from India. When he graduated from the University of Chicago, he took a job and decided to stay in the US. Now he lives outside Chicago with his wife and 2 children. In his spare time, he loves to cook, experimenting with spices and techniques from different cuisines. He also likes to read about world history.
The Hannover release includes team members from many disciplines, including the following design-related areas:
Interaction designers (I'll introduce to to them today!)
User studies and usability
My subsequent posts will introduce you to the various team members. Today, I'll concentrate on the interaction designers.
What is an interaction designer? Well, an interaction designer is someone who thinks about the order of operations, the primary tasks, and the utility of the product in general. I am an interaction designer. We have several interaction designers on the Hannover project who focus on different areas.
Before I introduce them, I'd like to let you know that there are more interaction designers on the Hannover release than any other release of Lotus Notes. Also, none of the interaction designers has worked on a previous Lotus Notes release ( the closest thing is that I worked with Jim Hart and other Notes developers on the Sametime integration in the Calendar for scheduling online meetings). I'd like to think that this means new blood for a new era of increased attention to user experience.
I'm the team lead, you already know a bit about me from the blog. We also have the following interaction designers working on Hannover:
Margo Ezekiel - Mail ( no picture could ever do her justice!) - She's been spending the bulk of her time not only designing a new "threads" experience, but also prototyping it for early usability testing.
- John Lance - Calendar - He's been working hard at many aspects of the Calendar, including improved ways to do free-time lookup. John is also a published author of fiction ( not to be confused with his user interface designs!) He's too shy to provide a picture of himself, so I'm providing a picture of the cover of his book.
- Anuphinh (Noy) Wanderski - Contacts - She's totally redesigned the Contacts form and many of the Contacts views to provide a totally fresh look at the whole "contacts management" experience.
Yao P. (Alex) Song - He's concentrated on providing a consistent search experience across both the rich client and the web, spanning all of the IBM Software group end-user products.
Me, I'm working on "framework" issues like menu s, toolbar, bookmarks, Workpace, and so on.
I have been remiss in blogging about the "other half" of the title of this blog: Sametime. My baby. I joined Iris in 1997 as the second person on a new team to take a research project called "Praire Dog" and make it into an Instant Messaging product. The hiring manager/director of the project was sufficiently influenced by Irene Greif (Group manager for the Cambridge -- then Lotus-- Research group) to pay attention to user experience from the outset, and thus hire a user experience designer early on.
Of course, Sametime has had is user experience challenges. Soon after I joined, the plan changed, and IBM purchased 2 companies at the same time (heh heh, get it??) Ubique in Rehovot, Israel provided the instant messaging portion of the product and Databeam in Lexington, Kentucky, provided the application sharing/web conferenging portion. So I didn't get to design a product from the ground up. I got to shove 2 very differnet products together.
After working on Sametime for about 5 years, I was ready for a change, and I think, Sametime was ready for some fresh design blood. So please, allow me to introduce the new Sametime user Experience Team to you.
Amy Travis is the designer for the web conferencing portion. She sits in Westford, MA, and comes to us with design experience on a variety of products, including portal team spaces. Amy hs an amazing attention to detail, and terrific usability testing stamina-- at our annual Lotusphere conference in January this year, she personally conducted something like 30 usability tests in 4 days. She didn't even get up for lunch--we'd have to bring her food. She was mobbed with people who wanted to test Sametime and she wanted to give everybody a chance!
Josef Scherpa is the designer for the instant messaging portion. He sits in some room in his house in Colorado (with a fabulous view, I suppose, but I can't be sure). He used to sit in Westford, MA, but he fell in love and got married and somehow that took him to Colorado. He's also a great skier. Before he moved to Colorado we were on a racing team together. We had a lot of fun, and, thanks to him (the only actual fast skier), our team did not come in last. (I, however, won free wax because I had the slowest racing times of anybody!)
The new Sametime 7.5 Connect client, which is in beta right now, was heavily influenced by an internal instant messaging project. Joe had the opportunity to start with that design and refine and improve it.
Michelle MCdevitt is the designer for the real-time gateway/administration for Sametime. I think this is Michelle's first admin design project. She is, however, an installation design guru, because she also works on both server and client install. She can quote you chapter and verse from the IBM install guidelines. (Pity that Lotus doesn't follow more of them, like the install directory.)
I hope to be able to introduce you to the visual designers and user researchers in another post.
This is an appropriate time to introduce the user research and usability team, because the Hannover project has just released a "pre-beta" to a very few customers, and to several hundred internal users. It's a very exciting time, because the whole thing is starting to come together, and people can actually see and use it, rather than just look at pictures or prototypes from my team.
The team I'm introducing to you today has already contributed to Hannover in many ways, including conducting surveys about the workspace and replication, creating and testing prototypes, and conducting usability tests (both local and remote ones) on early builds. This phase, and the next one-- a more broadly-distributed beta-- will be very busy ones for this team as they gather feedback and work with the designers to improve the release based on the feedback.
Betsy Comstock is the lead user researcher. She's worked on several other products at IBM before joining the Hannover team. Prior to that, she worked with my husband (an electrical engineer/software developer) at Polycom (then PictureTel). She inadvertently did wonderful things for my marriage by having him participate in a usability test. He came home that day and asked "So, is THAT what you do all day at work??" (What did he THINK I do? Walk around with a candy basket?)
Deb Maurer has worked on Notes and Workplace Managed Client Usability. She used to grace our hallways in Westford, MA, but she now works out of her home in Chicago. She's the one who put together (and analyzed the results of) the Workspace survey that many of you responded to earlier this year. She's also done several tests of variations on the new window management models.
Sheri Branco has worked on Notes usability for several years, and she is a wealth of knowledge about what did/did not get tested in previous versions of the product. She did the Replication and locations survey that many of you responded to. She's currently on maternity leave, and we can't wait until she comes back!
Meng Yang is focuses on Search (the improved Search is absolutely fabulous... I haven't blogged about that yet, I should... I'm condifent that the "Samantha's" of the world will find it much improved!). She's also the usability engineer for the stupendous new Sametime 7.5.
Michelle Cooper focuses on the usability of the IBM Productivity Tools. She, like Sheri, is also on maternity leave. They share an office at work. You have to wornder if it was something in the air. I'm very happy for them both, but I have no intentions of going anywhere near that office, just in case it's contagious.
Eileen Driscoll and Roger Didio are covering various usability areas while Sheri and Michelle are our on maternity leave.
Chris Samoiloff is our Prototyping guru. She's espeically assisted with the Search prototypes that Meng then tested.
Andy Lafleur is the manager of the user research and usability group.
Try this url to get to the Sametime download-- the URL I had works OK, but then you have to go click the "Try" tab. This should take you directly. http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/downloads/ls/lst/?S_TACT=105AGX28&S_CMP=DLMAIN
The DeveloperWorks help desk folks worked yesterday to diagnose the issue where many of you cannot post a reply. This is the information I received last night:
"It was people coming in through an RSS/Atom link. We have extra tagging on the link in that case, "&ca=blah", and that was corrupting the XML that we use in an AJAX call in Roller to personalize the page. We are working to fix this."
Thanks for your patience with this. This is part of a big "Collaborating with Customers" release of Notes, and to me, this blog and the responses to it have become mission-critical tools. I do not know if any other blogger at IBM is using their blogs in this fashion, but the support people are VERY aware about the volume of hits that this site gets.
I'm writing from the Phoenix airport, on my way home from the Lotus Advisor conference, where I had a successful (from my point of view) talk that asked for feedback about 5 design issues. I ended up not asking about the Home page one.
Thanks for all your comments about the Getting started. Sure sounds like most of you like the option of us supplying a separate html file that shows up as a tab, rather than using the existing Home page stuff (which will still be there.)
Regarding the content of the Getting Starting page, the example I showed mentioned ONLY "Framework" features on purpose. This is because first, there are plenty of new framework features to talk about and second, I was thinking, you might not apply the new mail/calendar/address book template. Maybe that's not good thinking on my part-- if the Getting Started is easy to modify, it doensn't really matter what IBM puts there, then, I guess because you can change it.
I've been toying with the idea that in addition to a Getting Started Page, IBM really do a good job spiffing up the "About this database" page and turn that "on" by default so that all users of the new mail template have to see a few pictures and a quick list of the important things like:
Unread messages are now BOLD, not red!
I want to take more of a "just-in-time" or "context-based approach to learning the new feautres-- Samantha won't sit down and watch a tutorial for longer than about 3 minutes, so I think we need to chunk up the info and put it in her face as she goes to use each of the revised templates or some other time-- not everything all at once. The "About this database " page is the easiest thing I can think of leveraging now.
I should not have been surprised that it turned out to be about a lot more than the wording of one choice!
The good news is that we do indeed plan to have a "split button", where just clicking the word will give Samantha the default choice. (We know that the line separating the label from the down arrow is a bit too subtle, we're working on that)
Our current plan is to have the default be "Reply with History". And, when you respond about this, please make the distinction between what admins want (as keepers of quotas) compared to what you think is the right thing for business users (As doers of jobs where mail quotas get in the way.) Ideally, we can make both roles happy.
In another mail product that I worked on with designer Jodi Coppinger (former designer of the DWA mail template) , we did allow users to set a preference on what the default was, and then we always still supplied the other options-- they were just not the default. In our testing, nobody ever found or set the preference, however, so we did not focus on providing such a preference for Hannover.
On a personal note, no, there is no corresponding Moose costume to go with the flying squirrel costume. (And the squirrel tail is done, but only pinned onto the brown fleece part of the "flying" suit. That might have to suffice. Thank goodness for safety pins). However, in keeping with the general theme of "fractured fairy tales", my other daughter is going as little BLUE Riding hood.
On May 2nd, Stu Downes asked if we could look at improving our support of multiple monitors.
He's not the only one. Ken Norland of Countrywide has been asking for 2 years, and John Head of PSC spent a great deal of time with us during Lotusphere 2006 (our yearly "user group" type conference in Orlando), discussing the importance of making Lotus Notes easy and useful to use when a user has 2 monitors hooked up.
I'm happy to say that we maybe able to address improving our support of multiple monitors. I cannot provide any specifics or make any promises, but the IBM Distinguished Engineer in charge of the Hannover release (Jeff Eisen) has taken an interest in Lotus Notes on multiple monitors lately, and he's been looking into making some improvements.
Last week I asked about your use of the Personal Journal. My intent was to get an idea of the amount of attention/effort we should pay to that compared with Mail, Calendar, Contacts, To-Dos.
I interpret your responses basically as "Personal journal comes last after Mail, Calendar, Contacts, To-do's."
I was also trying to get a feel of whether we should put Personal Journal on the bookmark bar (now the "launcher" or "open list") by default. Since it is on the Home page, I want to, for consistency, also put it on the Launcher, but if most folks do not use the personal journal, I don't want it cluttering up the launcher (of course, we may have a "chicken or the egg" problem here... If I put it on the launcher, maybe more people will use it).
This post has nothing to do with Lotus Notes. It's just a peek into the mind and motivations of Mary Beth.
When I was a kid, growing up Catholic in the United States, girls couldnot be altar servers. I really wanted to be one-- up on the altar,helping out, *really* participating at Mass. My younger brother, Chris, however, was an altar boy. And, of course,he really was not that interested in being one. So we worked outa system, the kind that only siblings can create. When he served, I'd sit in the first or second row with my Dad. And I'duse a series of hand motions to tell my brother what to do. I'd open my hands to let him know he had to brin gthe book up tothe priest. I'd wiggle my fist to let him know when it was time to ringthe bell. The system worked pretty well, except for the fact thatI desperately wanted to be the one serving, and my brother could notcare less.
So, last year, when my DAUGHTER was old enough to become an altarserver, I signed her up. She did the training. She's been serving atmass for over a year. And tonight she says that she reallydoesn't like it, She'd rather sing in the choir. My initial reactionwas to want to scream-- to tell her just how cool it was that girls cannow be altar servers, that women have come at least a little way in theCatholic church... but instead, I said "OK." Cause, the reallygreat thing is that it's not a big deal any more to have a girl as analtar server.
So now all she has to worry about is whether or not the Jesuits willallow women to become priests. Cause, of course, I wanted to be aJesuit priest, too. None of this second-fiddle nun thing for me. AJesuit Priest or nothin at all. Clearly, I never became a Jesuitpriest to fight the "counter -reformation". Rather , I ended up a userexperience designer for Lotus Notes, fighting Outlook. Hum... maybe notall that different after all.... [Read More]
It was my 12-year-old's idea to 'splatter paint' a painting. Wehad a blast. I made us wear not only painting clothers, but also showercaps. At first, the girls thought it was stupid... but as we got"into" flinging paint across the room, they understood why I made usput up plastic on the ceiling...here is our masterpeice...
First, please note that since Paul Mooney and Warren Elsemore gave me the official English dictionary, I have been trying to be sensitive to the spelling needs of the non-Americans, and have been using the letter "u" more often in my blog posts.
Now to me real question: In a response to this post about the sidebar, Randy Castle said that clicking on of the little "minimized on the bottom" icons made all of the little titlebars appear. Here is Jamie's response (she's the developer who worked hard to bring you this feature!)
The only time that would occur is if you have 2 icons remaining in the iconbar. I programmatically made it such that you would never have only one icon in the iconbar since the iconbar would be taking up as much room as a titlebar**. So, whenever the user removes the 2nd to last panel from the iconbar (either by pressing an icon or via drag), both icons come out of the iconbar, but the last one remains collapsed. I also did this because I thought it would be consistent with dragging things into the iconbar...when dragging, you can never just drag one panel into the iconbar (initially, that is...before the iconbar has any items in it).
** the one exception to this is if a person uses the Minimize to Icon menu item and the iconbar doesn't have any items. Since it would not make sense to add two things to the iconbar at this point, only one panel will get added.
For example, the 2 pictures below are trying to illustrate that I have 2 icons in the icon bar at the bottom. I click the My Widgets icon, and that opens the My Widgets panel and simultaneously changes the bottom icon bar to the titlebar for the "Day at a Glance" because the titlebar and the icon bar take up the same amount of space so we may as well give you the greater flexibility of the titlebar.
But, maybe we were being too smart for our own good. So play with your 8.5 beta a bit, tell us what you think. We still have a small window of opportunity to change the behaviour.
Hello. This request is not about UI, but about another important part of the UX, and in many cases, the very first experience people have with our products. Please give us your opinions about the Notes and ST product information pages on the IBM Web site.
The IBM/Lotus Web Team is now redesigning the content and layout of all the product information pages. They are trying to address the difficulty customers said they have with 1) finding information and 2) getting information that helps them make decisions. We want to make sure they get ongoing customer input as they revamp these pages.
1. When you come to a product information page, what information are you looking for? 2. Do you find what you want on these pages? What's missing? 3. If there's too much info, what would you remove? 4. Anything else that would help improve the usefulness of these pages?
A few weeks ago I provided you with several options for different ways to help users manage lots of different panels in the sidebar (we are providing 3 or 4 by default but we assume business partners will be writing lots more of them).
We have some conflicting goals-- how do we make it "discoverable" that Samantha can turn on or off different sidebar panels, while at the same time, making the most of screen real estate?
Here's a new proposal.
By default, an organize panels section is expanded, displaying a vertical list of available plugins. Available = plugins that have been installed to the user's Notes client.
Users see a list of available plugins and may toggle them on or off in the sidebar.
Users may also turn off the vertical navigator by collapsing via the "Organize Panels" label.
The panel manager is a new sidebar panel that provides additional user capabilities.
Users may toggle on and off available sidebar panels (like they can in the vertical panel list).
In the future, this area aids in discovering new plug-ins to install, with sections listing new plugins, favorites, etc...
Saved Sidebar layouts are enabled view the single pulldown menu tab at the top of the sidebar.
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Selection Model Fun!!" and "Unfortunate Bicycle Mishaps of My Past" (teaser: Think gasoline, 13 year old boys, and a "wicked cool idea." How unfortunate (fortunate?) that it was pre-YouTube. On the plus side, eyebrows do, in fact, grow back.)
Moving right along...
Post Notes 8 we will have that ability to move Recent Contacts to My Contacts. We are planning on adding a "Modified On" column to the My Contacts view, the thought being that Samantha could then sort her My Contacts view to find the newly added contacts. However, to add the Modified On column we are narrowing the default widths of the other Contact columns so that at least part of the Modified Column is visible to Samantha by default. Samantha will still be able to resize the columns and that sizing will be sticky.
The Modified On column would also display the date on which Samantha edited the contacts manually or manually added new contacts.
So, putting on your "Contact User hat" is adding the Modified On column a good idea, or a bad idea? (you can see the before and after below)
Today (i.e. no Modified On column)
With Modified On added (you can see that the email column wraps and that the company column wraps more).
After Notes 8 was released, we began hearing that users occasionallydidn’t notice important items (like meeting invitations) in their Inbox.
But why?Was itbecause the icons were too small?Was itbecause they were too similar to each other?Or could we improve scanning by removing icons for mail messages thathad already been read?To find out, weconducted a timed experiment: 24participants found target items on 72 Inbox screens that differed from eachother in the icon size, distinctiveness, and whether or not icons were includedfor read messages.We also asked theseparticipants and several other groups of customers which designs theypreferred.
Results showed that we could greatly improve scanning bymaking the icons more distinctive from each other.Making the icons bigger (within ourconstraints) didn’t help.Usersstrongly preferred eliminating the icons for already-read mail messages.
So, in Notes 8.5 you will see an Inbox that’s easier toscan, with 10 improved icons for mail message types. The biggest changes are removing the icon forread mail and using a blue star for unread mail.We also adjusted meeting workflow items sothat the most time-dependent ones (e.g., new invitation, reschedules,cancellations) stand out and those that are not so time-dependant (e.g., aninvitee has accepted your meeting) are subtler.No other changes were made to the icon grid.
Icons are a very tricky, visible part of the userexperience, so Denise Shaw, our visual designer, drew and redrew them moretimes than she can count until we were all satisfied.Now those of us using the new icons find thatwe need a new excuse for missing meetings!
Thanks, Margo Ezekiel (Notes User Experience Designer) and Betsy Comstock (Lead Notes User Studies Team) [Read More]
Hi Folks, We are adding support for large icons to Notes 8.5 (in addition to the small ones that ship with Notes 8 and 801). We plan to have a context menu item on the open list, and a preference.
Figure: Use large icons in the context menu on the Open list. I'ts a "check mark" menu item, like "Dock the Open List"
Here is the preference. Notice that I put it on the Windows and Themespage. I know that there used to be a preference on the BasicNotes client Configuration page. However, this new preference applies to Expeditor, Syphony, andLotus Notes, so it does not make sense to have it on the BasicNotes client configuration page any more. For example, if Samantha is using "standalone" Symphony, she needs to be able toset large icons on the Open list for the 3 Symphony editors. TheBasic Notes Client Configuration preference won't be there. Yeah,I am a bit worried that people will not find it there. The other optionis to make a whole page just for that.
Figure: the new "use large icons preference" in the Windows and Themes preference page
We've heard a lot of negative feedback on the new recipient icons:
Here is the explanation of these icons:
The feedback is of 2 types:
Most people we've heard from are unhappy with the icons themselves (they're too light, they're hard to distinguish at high resolution, they're ambiguous).
Lots of people are unhappy with their placement (at the right hand side of the view). Since users (and Admins) can customize their views and easily move this column, I'm not going to focus on that issue here. However, end users cannot change the icons themselves, so this is why I think we have to get the 'best' icon set for Notes.
However, we're also concerned that we're only hearing from people unhappy with the icons, and not from others who either like them (and actually prefer them to the Notes 7 circles) or are ambivalent and fine with the new icons.
So, please cast your vote:
Keep the icons (chevrons) that are in the Beta, because I like them and/or they're an improvement over the Notes 7 (circles).
Keep the chevrons, but make them darker, bigger, and more distinct.
Use a different set of icons. I'd suggest: _______________.
Change back to the old circles. If we go back, we do need to tone the color down to match the new palette. Here's what this would look like:
Thanks for your honest input, Margo (Notes 8 Mail UI Designer)
In the Hannover release we are redrawing all of the view icons. It's been quite a few years, and it was time for an update. As you can see below, we are going for a softer palette, not quite as bright.
Now, when I say "view icons" I mean the icons that app devs can use in database views. In our redraw, we concentrated on their use in Mail, Calendar and Contacts. But of course, we are also mindful of the fact that you use these icons in your custom applications as well.
To that end, we tried in most cases to keep the metaphor, but just update the visual. There were a few cases, however, where we felt that the metaphor was out of date or did not work well in Mail/Calendar/Contacts.
So take a look at the new icons. They are the first grid below. The Second grid is the existing icons. Pay special attention to the following, because we change the metaphors:
0, 10 -- changes from the "finger with a string" to an alarm clock
0,160--changes to a clock type thing from a person with a hand raised
1, 80 -- changes from the X to a different kind of "do not" type international symbol
6, 160-- (mood stamp for "joke") changes from eyeglasses to a "drama mask"
9, 160 -- indicator for "private" changes from the red hand to an envelope with a special seal on it.
I realize that this means that you'll have to take a look at your existing applications that use these icons and see if the new icons still make sense. That's why I'm letting you know now so that you have plenty of time to prepare.
One of the purposes of this blog is that the actual release of Notes 8 should have no surprises. I want to involve the user community in every possible phase, and be clear about what is and is not happening in the release.
To that end, I do want to let you all know that, to my knowledge, there are no plans to distribute CDs for a public beta at Lotusphere. I do not want folks being disappointed. IBM hasn't said we'd have one available at Lotusphere. You will, however, be able to see and use a recent build of Hannover in the Meet the Developer lab, in our User experience lab, and elsewhere.
My husband is a fanatical geocacher. (For more info see http://www.geocaching.com/ ) So while others might talk to you about Maui sunsets, weddings on beaches,or golfing, me, I got the the "cache tour" of Maui. We stayed in 3 different places (Kehei, then Wa'ianapanapa state park near Hana, and finally in Ka'anapali). This meant that we maximized our geocache-finding potential.
While Mark (the husband) found lots of geocaches, the geocaching highlight of the trip... well there were 2 highlights (hummm maybe lowpoints...:) 1. the " 4th waterfall or bust" cache 2. the "swim into the dark cave" cache (I do not know the real names of these caches if you are looking for them on the website. I give them names based on my perspective as a 45-year-old totally-out-of-shape computer geekette mother of 2. ) The next piece of info is that my sister and her husband came to Hawaii with us. They have no kids. Just dealing with kids on vacation can be an ordeal, but no, we had to subject them to the "Hike past 4 waterfalls on the way to remote hana village with 2 kids and bugs and rocks mosquitoes and 2 downpours." This is kinda how it went:
We got up nice and early one day to drive from Kihei to Hana. The "Hana highway" is supposed to be a beautiful 3-hour incredibly scenic drive with lots of waterfalls and ocean views. Mark (remember, he's the husband) had already planned that we'd do this cache on the way. So we're supposed to hike into this rainforest and find a tupperware box hidden in the woods, based on some latitude and longitude coordinates from a web site. The "joy and reward" is simply to write your name in a log book and hide the box again. Off we go. All 6 of us. The mom, the dad, the older sister the youger sister, the aunt and the uncle.
We pass waterfall 1. and waterfall 2 at waterfall 3 there's 20-ish foot cliff that you have to scramble up, with the help of a knotted rope. My brother-in-law took pictures but I certainly do NOT want to show you any of me-- by then filthy from the mud-- trying to haul my butt up over a mini-cliff while clinging to a muddy rope....
Once over the mini-cliff, we hop from rock to rock as we make our way up the stream bed. We get almost to the destination - but to actually GET to the cache, we need to swim across the pool of ice-cold water, climb up the rocks and walk over to yet another waterfall. So we did. All 6 of us. We left our backpacks on the shore and swam. (and yes it was raining!)
We're lucky nobody made off with the car keys and clothing. Mark found the geocache and made an entry in the log book. It took us about 2 hours to do this one hike. We originally had 6 planned for the day, but after that, we just drove the rest of the way to Wai-anapanapa state park and collapsed on our respective pools of mud.
Geocache Higligh #2 This one was actually much easier, tho a bit more scary at first. Mark was prepared. He'd bought a waterproof headlamp so that he could swim into a lava-tube cave now filled with water, and then find the cache. Of course the kids wanted to go with him. So did Unlce Mike. The water was freezing. My sister and I stayed on shore and took pictures. (OK, then I jumped in and swam into the cave to check on the kids when they did not answer me. Just a little excitement... you think maybe your husband and kids have drowned in a cave.. kinda puts the whole F5 issue into perspective....)
.. and yes, that's the top of my head as I watch Uncle Mike and the 2 kids swim off into a cave. And they found the cache and it was "really cool."
... I hope you find the upcoming public beta "really cool" and I am sure you'll let me know what we can do to improve it!
I was on vacation last week, visiting my father with the kids, and boating near his home in the 1,000 Islands (well, actually, the week was rather rainy, and we only went out in the boat one day. We tried to hike in Wellesley Island state park another day, but got caught in a a thunder-and-lightning storm that scared us all into returning to the nature center. We did get to see an Osprey couple in their nest, a great blue heron, and lots of wild turkeys, though.
As of Monday morning I've returned to work, and I'm part of a "release jury" of users who download/install and use specific builds (we call them "release kits") to determine if they are ready to be the final and official "Notes 8 release."
And several of you asked about the Notes 8.0.1 plans. We are beginning to work on that as well and I hope to post a few tidbits abotu 8.0.1 plans soon. (Well, after we get an official "it's done" build... most of my time is spent using/testing/looking at the candidate release kits at the moment.)
One of the things we tried to improve in Notes 8.5 was the "manipulatability" of the sidebar panels. So please try out the new sidebar. Specifically, please do one or more of the following:
Open 3 or more sidebar panels. More is better.
Drag to make them taller or shorter.
Check to see if there are any new menu items on the "Panel menu" (the one drop-down menu thing we provide in the title bar of each sidebar panel).
IMPORTANT! If you are using TWITNOTES as a sidebar panel, well, the new features won't work, so remove twitnotes (You don't have to uninstall it, just remove it from the sidebar, I think). ther emight be other home-grown sidebar panels thta break it as well.
Let me know what you think/what we can improve.
I'll post pictures and details of how it is supposed to work, etc. in a day or so, but before I blog about the details of this new sidebar that you can manipulate more easily, I want you to just play with it.
I know that in the past few months I have not posted that manydesign questions for Notes 8.0.1 for several reasons. First, of course,since it's a point release, we didn't do that much new design work.Second, I've been working with development on a feature that I neededto keep confidential.
The good news is that I only have to wait a few more days before I can tell you about it, and even usability test it in the UX lab in Asia 4!
<update! Ha ha I don't have as many days to wait as I thought! my original picture gave me 14 days. But it's less!>
The Notes/Domino 8.5 public beta is now available. The forum with all the details (download, release notes, etc.) is at http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd85forum.nsf
I and the rest of the design team monitor that forum, and thus, most of the discussoin will move there; this blog might not be that active for a bit because all the action is taking place over on the feedback forum.
We are planning on doing some usability testing with external users. We have plans to go to customer sites to do usability testing of Notes 8.5, using our "Renovations on the road" approach that Betsy Comstock and the user studies team came up with. As I am sure you all know, Renovations is where Samantha, Ted and Betty work.
We take Renovations on the road by traveling to the customer site, where they have reserved offices or conference rooms for us, and we set up the server (we named it "the big bad wolf") and 3 clients (who are of course named Piggy1, 2 and 3). Then real end users at the customer site come and participate in usability tests. The mail, calendar and contacts are all to do with Renovations topics.
Of course, the ideal thing is to have users install the betas and use it on their own mail, but you admins are very protective of your end users and you don't usually let them install things like "public beta 1" :) so for business end users, we have found that "Renovations on the road" is the next most useful approach.
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "All Day Long"and "A Long Day's Journey Into Another Long Day" (In which out hero and calendar designer extraordinaire, the incredibly dashing, handsome, witty, and ever so likeable JACK SPEAR, is caught in a calendar timezone meltdown. Will he and the other operatives of the ELITE organization JCN manage to save the world? Only time will tell....).
Moving right along...
So, as those of you in the public beta know we have offline support for federated calendars. We've got a few questions about what Samantha's expectations will be when using them. To whit:
1. Samantha subscribes to a calendar and selects the "View this calendar feed when offline and on a mobile device." After a while, she decides she doesn't really need to see that calendar offline, so she opens the Modify dialog (you can see it below) deselects the checkbox, and clicks ok. At that point, what does Samantha expect to happen (as always, please explain why you think one over the other): a. All of those calendar's entries will no longer be viewable when in offline mode. (i.e. We remove them outright) b. The current entries will be kept and "aged off" and no new entries will be added to the offline experience. (So, the gist is we keep 90 days of entries for each calendar. Rather then outright removing the entries, we basically keep them around and drop them one day at a time (starting with the oldest ones first)).
2. Samantha adds a federated calendar for Ida, her coworker. When online she can see all of the details for Ida's calendar entries (except for those marked Private of course). When Samantha goes offline she expects: a. To see the same details as when she's online. b. To see the "boxes" for Ida's entries but not necessarily see all of the details. (So, Ida's entries may appear with "No details available" in place of the subject, etc.)
3. Would it ever occur to Samantha to create a local replica of Ida's mail file in order to see the details of her calendar offline? Assuming it does occur to her, do you think she could successfully do it on her own? (You'll note I'm picking on poor little Samantha here. Ted (our exec) and Betty (our AA) may actually have a leg up on Samantha in this department).