Adding databases automatically (or not)
In Notes, when Samantha opens a database that isn't already on her workspace, the database is added automatically to the current workspace page. In Hannover, there can be no notion of "current location" for the launch list. In addition, users are not unanimous in their appreciation of this feature -- many users don't want databases to be added to the workspace automatically. Nonetheless, existing Notes Workspace users will have an expectation that databases will be added automatically, and we need to respect this expectation.
Preferred solution: Ask Samantha if she wants to add new databases (a dialog plus a preference setting)
When Samantha opens a database (by clicking a doc, view, or database link, by selecting File - Database - Open, or in any other way), we should detect whether that database already exists on her launch list/workspace. If it doesn't, then when she closes the database, open a variation of the "Add Bookmark" dialog giving her the opportunity to bookmark it. We should do this on close and not on open, because when Sam is first opening a database, she may not have a clue whether she wants to bookmark it or not -- she hasn't seen it yet!
And here's the related preference:
So.. what do you think? our Chief engineer (Jeff Eisen) is not so keen on this-- only because the "right" thing to do might be to eliminate this annoying dialog and instead implement a really good search, but I am on the fence about this-- it would be a domain search-- does Samantha know what that means? and even if she did, would she remember file names correctly?
P.S. Thanks to jennifer Smith for this design.
I am working with Chris Majoros and Matt Hatem (Matt and I gavethe "themes" talk at Lotusphere) and Carrie Tracy ( visual designer--she and I gave the "Design Directions" talk together atLotusphere) on a "Mac" visual theme for Lotus Notes 8.5 on the Mac.
In addition to working on the visual part, we are toying with the ideaof reducing the number of toolbar buttons in the toolbars,because, as you Mas users know, the Mac toolbars are generally prettysparse. For example, Mac toolbars do nto generally have things likePrint, Save, etc. Should we pare down the toolbars on the Mac?
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Refreshing To Dos
" and "Great TV Moments of My Childhood" (#4 = Mr. Hooper
defending Sesame Street
from an invasion of Klingons
using only the letter G
(as in "ghuh Daq Hegh DaH, Klingon dog!"). And my congratulations to the Alpha geeks who understood that without the benefits of a translator
Moving right along....
So we're re-examining the exporting of Contacts to different formats (vcard, CSV, TSV, and Structured Text). Specifically we're looking at some of the options that appear on the dialog and wondering how much Ted A) Understands these options and B) Needs to really be concerned about these options.
Of particular interest:
1. When exporting a VCard does Ted has the option to Export a Character Set (below). So, again, the question is does Ted know the difference between these two things? Does he care? Should we just pick one as the default and not give him the option (and which default would you pick?)
2. When exporting contacts to a CSV format Ted gets to choose to Export Character Set and the Level of Detail to incorporate (below). Keeping in mind that we are specifically focusing on Contacts (and not other cases where you would want to export to CSV) does Ted know/care about these different options? Are there defaults we can choose and simply hide the options from him (and what would they be?)
3. When exporting contacts to Structured Text format Ted gets our familiar Export Character Set option, plus a Separator Between Documents and Word Wrap options (below). Again, in the world of Contacts do these options make sense to Ted?
Thanks in advance for the feedback.
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Week Numbers Redux
" and "My Favorite Last Words" (including: "Arrrrrghhh" - Quint
in Jaws "Arrrrghh" - Emperor Palpatine
in Return of the Jedi, and "This actor is much better then that Booth fellow we saw last week - arrrgh" Abe Lincoln
in Ford's Theater)
Moving right along....
We are looking at the selection model in Notes 8, particularly in the Inbox. We have heard some requests for the classic Notes gutter selection/checkmarks to be reintroduced, so we are considering two different options for post 8.0 releases:
1. A very black and white situation where you either use the Notes 8 windowy selection model OR the classic Notes gutter selection model (think Preferences).
2. A hybrid model whereby we integrate the two approaches as follows:
- We add a check column to the Inbox (the gutter).
- If Samantha selects an email in the Inbox by clicking in the Name, Subject, etc columns we follow the Windows selection model.
- If Samantha selects an email using the gutter then we follow the Notes gutter selection model.
This gif gives you a rough sense of what this experience might feel like (Samantha shift clicks to select multiple mails, then clicks on a single mail, then clicks on the gutter of a single mail):
Samantha will also be able to drag in the check column to select multiple items. There is a slight change in that if Samantha drags too far and then backtracks the selection is removed. In the Notes selection model once Samantha drags over an item it is selected/deselected - she cannot "pull back" if she goes too far:
The biggest impact is that in classic Notes you could check several items and then put the selection rectangle on something that was not selected. This would allow you to do things like Open the selected item without opening the checked items, which is a little hard for Samantha to grasp (in fact, we've gotten some negative feedback from users who do not understand why doubleclicking on the boxed item does not also open the checked items). The confusion is certainly understandable when you consider that when Samantha then does a Copy Selected as Table the checked items are included in the table, but not the item that has the box around it. So the hybrid model will not
allow for this:
Other things to keep in mind about the hybrid model:
- If you scroll down so that the selected items are not on the page, and then click on an item, we follow the above selection rules.
- If you delete in the Inbox we will not support Logical deletes (ie X's in the gutter) but continue using the Trash Can.
Question: If you could upgrade current databases to include a trash can rather then the current X logical deletes, would you want to?
And for the wise guys in the audience: No, selecting something will not automatically change the date. That is a mockup thing.
Thanks in advance.
Is itpainful for your organization to deploy new versions of the Lotus Notes Client,because your IT department has customized the Mail template?
We want tounderstand what your template customizations are and the reasons behindeach. For example, “Do you customizeyour template to show Last name, First name in the Inbox? If so, why do your users need/want this?”
- Roughly how many customizations do you make to your mail template?
- Do you make the same customizations for all your users or do you deploy multiple customized templates?
- List your most important customizations.
- Why are these particular customizations needed (i.e. what’s the use case)?
MargoEzekiel, UI Designer, Notes Mail Client
BetsyComstock, User Studies Lead, Notes Client
The "About This Application" and "Using This Application" documents for the Mail template (Mail8.ntf) and the Contacts template (Pernames.ntf) have been updated for 8.0. However, you will not see
these updated documents in applications created prior to 8.0.
The reason is that in previous releases, the templates had the "Prohibit design refresh or replace to modify" property on those design elements. Note that this was a customer requested change to the templates, back in R4. Of course, I wasn't working on Notes then, and we're not sure exactly what the use cases were for making this change.
I suspect this was because many of you customized your templates and provided customized "about" and "using" documents and you didn't want them to get stomped on. In Notes 8, we have made many changes to Mail and Contacts applications AND to the "about" and "using" documents, so now some of you might be between a bit of a rock and a hard place, because you are going to WANT the updates we made to these documents.
Now you know, so that you can plan accordingly.
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
I'm standing on the "lab floor" of the Lotus Advisor conference, trying to write this entry in between giving demos of Hannover.
The time is coming for me to make some decisions about a "Getting Started" or "Welcome Page". Here are the options:
- We use the current Lotus Notes Home Page mechanism in bookmarks.nsf. Some of the issues here are:
- We'd put "getting started" information on what we call the "Setup" page (you have probably not seen this page in a long time), but users who have customized their home page (or who have set something else as their home page, like the Workspace), will not see such information. The current startup page from Notes 7 looks like this:
- Should we change that so we FORCE users to see the new information? DO you want the ability to decide whether to force users to see that information? The information might be something like this; the content is subject to change
- Option 2: We use Eclipse mechanism, whereby we have a separate tab for a "Getting Started" page, written in HTML. Users see it, and can close it, and then get back to it from the Help menu. It's totally separate from Bookmarks.nsf.
- Users would see 2 separate tabs-- one for "Getting Started" and one for "Home"
- If we supply this, we'll still provide the Home page stuff (note: We're making the terms consistent so that we always refer to it as the Home Page (rather than our current mix of Home Page and Welcome Page). So once Samantha closes the Getting started, she'll see the Notes Home Page.
- Option 3: Forget about the idea of supplying any "Getting Started/Home page" information, just take users right to their mail (Or calendar).
One of the new mail features is the ability to recall a mail message that you have sent.
This feature is controllable by user policy. That is, a Domino administrator can set up a user policy so that this feature is "off" (and thus totally hidden) from Samantha.
Throughout the beta, this "recall mail' feature has been ON by default. a Domino administrator has to turn it OFF specifically if he or she does not want the ability to recall mail.
We have made a concerted effort to "turn on my default" all of the new features in Notes 8. Notes has a bit of a history of adding features and then turning them OFF by default, making users or admins take extra steps (for example, did you know that the mail "recipient indicators" --also called the 'to-ness" icons--have been around for several releases, but end users had to go turn them on???)
So, we made a general rule to turn ON all the new features. IS the an appropriate setting for a new feature such as "recall mail"?
ALSO, just in case you DO NOT USE USER POLICIES:
You can control and apply message recall settings using a mail policy settings document or a Server Configuration document. If there is no policy in place, the values in the Server Configuration document are used to establish the message recall settings. If those message recall fields on the Server Configuration document do not contain values, the default settings are used.
Please let us know ASAP (as in, within 12 hours) because we are at the very end of our development cycle and our window for changin ANYTHING is getting slammed shut... soon!
In the Hannover release we will have user policies for almost every user preference. In the user policy user interface in the Domino admin client, we have a setting for "how to apply the policy," as shown in the following example:
We've heard that the choice" Do not change" is confusing to some users. Thus, I'd like your opinion about the best way to change this.
Here are some options, feel free to suggest others. I do not think the label "How to apply this setting" is particularly clear, and I am thinking of changing it to one of these 2 labels:
- How to apply this user preference
- How to apply this setting to user preferences
As you can see above, currently there are 3 choices in the drop-down. Here are some ideas for different wording:
- Do not apply
- Set initial value
- Set and prevent changes
- Do not change the user's preference
- Set initial value
- Set and prevent changes
- Do not apply
- Set once
- Set and hide preferences UI
Here is what we intend the 3 values to mean-- which of the above choices came closest in your mind as you were reading them?
- Dot not change (meaning, do not change the value that Samantha gave it)
- Set initial value (meaning, you might pick a different default than we do, but then let Samantha change it)
- Set and prevent changes (meaning, you have absolute control, you set the value and then this part of the preference user interface is hidden from Samantha.)
Notes 7 shipped with 5 toolbars on by default, I think. (Universal, editing, address, navigation and the context-senstive one). We're focusing on the "PIM" (personal information management, e.g. mail calendar and contacts) experience in Hannover, and for that experience, I think shipping with 4 toolbars turned on is too much.
Now, ideally, I'd like to give you the ability to totally customize the toolbars and govern that through policy, so that you could give the lawyers in your company a different set of toolbars than the accountants, and that kind of thing. That total customization is the direction we plan to go, and using an Eclipse rich client platform takes us in that direction. But we won't be able to give that to you yet in Hannover.
So, here are 2 proposals, which do you prefer, and of course, you can suggest other things.
1. Four toolbars on 2 rows: Editing, Universal, and the new search one on the first row, and the context-sensitive one on the second row. (and of course, if you have created a custom toolbar, we'll turn that on also, and try to fit it on the first row, and if it won't fit, then we'll put it in a third row)
2. 2 toolbars on 1 row: The context-sensitive ones (with a few important items added, such as new, print, and in the case of edit mode, cut, copy, paste and copy as link), and the new search one (and same caveat about the custom toolbars).
- In a view, you'd see the first row below (with search right- justified at the end).
- In a document, you'd see the second row (Again, with search at the end)
Now, one issue with just 1 row is that in our new IBM Productivity Tools (they are a word prcessor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool, and are shipping as part of Hannover), there will be 2 rows of toolbars. That means that the row of tabs will move up and down as Samantha switches between a tab that is for, say Mail, and a tab for the IBM Spreadsheet. If it weren't for this "moving" problem, I'd go with this choice, because it displays fewer icons (e.g. I don't want to make Samantha look at a "paste" icon in a view if it will never be enabled)
Here is a sample of what they might look like in Mail and in the Spreadsheet. Yes, in the squished picture below, it looks like we could fit the second row into the first in a mail view. But then in a document (message) the editing context-sensitive toolbar is a lot longer, so it seemed to make more sense to put it on the second row consistently. The IBM Productivity Tool design lead (Jodi Rexford) and I have coordinated so that the items in the first row (in option 1) are in a consistent order across Notes and the IBM productivity tools, e.g. always starting with cut, copy, paste. If we did the "context-sensitive only" route of option 2, we'd lose that consistency.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
I'll be doing a series of postings about various menus and menu items, and then move on to other topics. The design team is working on menus right now, so they are fresh in our minds, and I like a "top-down" approach anyway-- start with menus, then maybe move to toolbars, tabs, action bars etc until we get to status bar issues :)
Thanks for the more than 50 comments from my first posting, in which I asked how you felt about the "View - Quote Selection" menu item.
Based on the responses, it appears that we have a cultural split, and our Asian users use the Quote Selection and many others don't. So, I will try to follow up with some of our Asian users. In the mean time, I'll not remove it, although I'm going to try to simply HIDE it in a view (since it is never enabled in a view), and that's about it.
Today's question: the Properties menu items.
On the File menu, there is a "Document Properties..." menu item, and then on the Edit menu there is also a "Properties..." menu item that is context-sensitive and gives you the properties for the current "thing" (e.g. Table, Document, Database, etc.).
I was thinking of just having one "Properties..." menu item, making it context-sensitive, and putting it near the bottom of the File menu. Opinions?
In a post-8 version Lotus Notes and Domino Designer, we want to give developers the opportunity to turn on or off the "instant spell check" feature on a per-field basis. (I can't guarantee WHICH post- 8 version...)
(Instant spell check is this one, with the wavy lines:
As you might have noticed, in Notes 8, none of the plain text fields are getting automatically spell checked, only the rich text ones.
Domino Designer users might see a new check box on the property box for enabling instant spell check, as shown in the following picture:
And business users like Samantha might see the Tools - Instant Spell Check menu item toggle on and off depending on where the input cursor is, as shown in the following picture:
However, I am hoping that since the developers will set "spell check on or off" in meaningful ways, that for Samantha, instant spell check will seem to be "on" at the right time, and "off" at the right time.
How do you want us to set the defaults? I am tempted to have Domino Designer turn on the instant spell check for all rich, rich text lite, and plain text fields and put the onus on you developers to turn it off. This means less work for us for some of our templates-- like the subject field in a mail message. Or, does it make more sense for us to turn it on for rich text and rich text lite, but leave it off for plain text, and you go turn ON the plain text spell checking?
This is a DRAFT persona. If you are a web developer (or can get one to read this) please feel free to post comments on whether this persona is accurate. Or come to the UX lab in Asia 4 at Lotusphere and talk to us about her.
Michaela is a Web Developer for Renovations. She actually has 2 jobs - during the day, it's her responsibility to put content on the company's internet and intranet sites, and make it look elegant and professional. And on the weekends, she free-lances in website development for small companies and non-profits who have no IT departments.
She has a degree in Computer Science, but she very candidly admits that the skills she uses in this work are those that she learned mostly on her own, not at school. "School was all theory, which, I guess, is important for building a conceptual framework, but the really useful knowledge came from reverse engineering other web pages". She has an intense curosity about everything and is highly motivated to overcome any challenge given to her.
Skills and Methods
If she needs to lay out a page, she uses Dreamweaver, but when a quick edit is all that's needed, she sometimes just fires up the file in a text editor. She has heard of XMLSpy and someday would like to investigate it, but says frankly that EditPlus gives her all of the contextual help that she needs for quick code edits when she doesn't need to work with the visual layout.
When she comes across something cool on another site that she wants to learn, she views the code and searches on the key terms. She keeps abreast of new technology by visiting and reading feeds from different technical news sites. "Often", she says, "one spark of innovation there is enough to spin me off into a whole new feature for my sites".
She's also well-versed in the Eclipse framework from her student days, and she is thrilled that Rennovations is so invested in it. She says it really helps when she is coding in multiple languages. She doesn't get a chance to use it much in her side-work.
Recently, however, she has faced some added challenges. While data storage in MySQL is adequate for her free-lance weekend job, Renovations uses an enterprise-wide RDBMS, and her database skills are not strong enough. She is trying to learn about Oracle with the data architects, but it will take her some time to feel comfortable navigating the enterprise schema. And just last month, she was asked to do some HTML code in a product called Domino, which is an enigma to her. A company expert, Raj, is working with her to understand this schema-less database and to understand about the quirky way that HTML is rendered in Domino. "Passthru HTML" doesn't make sense to her and she would like to be able to use pixels or ems for sizing images and tables, so that she can make use of all the other code she has written previously to make her pages "elastic".
It might seem that Michaela would not have much spare time, but she has a very active social life, too. She loves sports and movies (in fact, she dreams of being a film-maker one day), and spends time networking with her friends in the real world and in virtual worlds of FaceBook and MySpace. She uses texting more than email. She has an idea to create a new kind of social network for people to be able to connect more easily with others from their native countries, and stays up late at night to work on her ideas.
I haven't told you much about the Hannover sidebar. The Hannover release wil have a sidebar that is configurable in several ways.
First, the admin can choose to deploy it-- or not deploy it at all. The Admin can also choose which eclipse plugins to include in the sidebar.
We are planning that several plugins will be provided as part of Hannover. They might include:
- Sametime instant messaging
- "Day at a glance"
The "Day at a glance" is really a mini-view into your calendar, like this:
... and you have hover to get additional information:
And, at least for beta, we prepopulate the feeds with a few we want you to read :)
Yes, the sidebar is resizable-- you can drag it wider, or snap it to a skinny mode, or shut it entirely.
You can turn on or off any one or more of the panels.
You can open more than one panel at a time (but pay no attention to the controls at the top of each title bar right now, we are changing them, they are not working out well in the beta testing.)
Or, you can float one or more of the panels.
Best of all, you can write Eclipse plug-ins of your own and deploy them if you want. Hannover should support signed plugins. Security remains a top priotiy. If you have already written plug-ins for Sametime, they will most likely work in the sidebar as well.