Take a look at the new icons for the Action Bars. We took your comments about the views to heart, and we did not change any of the metaphors.
Take a look at the new icons for the Action Bars. We took your comments about the views to heart, and we did not change any of the metaphors.
While the rest of the world is busy getting ready for Lotusphere, I am just trying to stay warm. Here in New Hampshire (USA) I am trying to just stay warm. We are in the middle of an "ice storm"-- we had freezing rain, which weighed down all the trees and made driving very slick.
The storm is quite localized to Southern New Hampshire. We lost power Monday at about noon, and we are still without it. And according to the local electric company, we cannot expect power until tomorrow. Yesterday, I had planned to work at home because the kids had the day off due to the Martin Luther King holiday. So once I lost the internet we had fun playing a few board games. I went to work today, and of course, work had power, and lots of other folks were wondering why I hadn't answered their emails yet. ... now, at my house, when we lose power, we lose heat, water, lights (and most important) the internet connection.
I'm at a friend's house now... one daughter is in the shower while I borrow internet connection. And my Lotusphere presentation is still not finished...
This is the view when you turn RIGHT out of my driveway...
and this is the view when you turn left....
Chris Reckling and I will be giving a talk at Lotusphere next week , entitled:
Designing a World-Class User Experience for Lotus Notes 8
The promise of Lotus Notes 8, the next version of Lotus Notes, is that it will deliver a world class user experience in mail, calendar, and contact management, and new capabilities such as activity management and composite applications. But how do you turn a vision statement into designs, plans, and product? Come learn how the design team and the lead designer approached this transformation. Learn about the guiding principles we used, as we explain the decisions behind the features and style you see in the product today.
Of course, if you're attending Lotusphere, I encourage you to come to it (Monday at 3:45 in the Dolphin Northern Hemisphere ballrooms D and E), and if you are NOT attending Lotupshere, you'll be able to hear a podcast of the talk a few weeks after Lotusphere-- the Developerworks podcast planners have asked us to re-present it just for the podcast sometime in February.
During the talk, you'll learn that our design partners have played an influential role. They include, but are not limited to, the following companies:
Australian Bureau of Statistics
We have tried to get design partner representation from a variety if industries and geographies. I'm just not at libery to mention them all publically-- thanks to the companies above for letting me mention them. Of course, the design partners are not the only companies and people who have influenced the design. You'll hear more about the other methods we used, including, of course, this blog!
Read about some new usability feedback techniques we're trying in the User Experience Lab in Oceanic 1 during Lotusphere!
Merry Morse, the co-captian of our User Experience Lab is our guest blogger today.
It's January 12. Yikes.
Lotusphere is only one short week away. We are all very excited about what we will be showing you and we are very anxious to hear your feedback. One way to do that is to visit our User Experience lab, which will be located in Oceanic 1. Our theme this year is Be Heard...We're Listening! And that is just what we have been doing throughout 2006 and plan to continue in 2007.
You have been a huge partner in our Notes 8 design process. Last year at the UX Lab we conducted over 120 sessions on Notes 8 and over 90 sessions on Sametime 7.5, often with 3 or 4 people per session. What you told us last year played an instrumental role in how we designed both of these products. We would like to double that at this year's UX Lab, so we invite you all to come sign up for a session or two.
Here are some of the options you'll have:
Notes 8 "Collaboratory:"Experience a live Notes 8 environment. Play the role of an employee who works at a home goods company we call Renovations, Inc. Provide feedback on applications such as Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Help, Documents, Feeds, Activities. Tell us what you think about the overall experience of using Notes 8. Be heard...We're listening!. This is the new technique. Please come and give it a try.
Beyond Notes 8:We're starting to design areas for our next release of notes. Come tell our lead designers for Calendar and Contacts what you want in the next release of Notes. Check out an early prototype of some new Calendar ideas and give your feedback. Take a peek at new features being considered for Contacts by testing out our new prototypes. Share your thoughts on what's important for the next release of Contacts. Be heard...We're listening!
Your Web conference takes a turn: Help steer! We'd like your feedback on a new web conference experience -- joining, sharing information, and managing the shared experience. Be heard...We're listening!.
New meeting tools, hot off the press:Check out early prototypes of some new meeting tools, and give feedback on the capabilities that would be most helpful to you. Be heard...We're listening!.
Gotcontent? Share your thoughts on "Geneva:" Tell us what you think about the new content sharing capabilities and collaborative team workspace and discuss your content collaboration needs. Be heard...We're listening!.
Ride the Portal Express: See our latest offering. We have in-line editing, out of box sites and templates, provisioned user groups, and more. Tell us what you think and how your organization uses Portal.
Give us your insight on Lotus ActiveInsight: If you’ve seen the demos, give us your feedback. Share your thoughts on the value of strategy maps. Take part in a color experiment and test the effect on data consumption. Be heard...We're listening!.
Portlet Factory expert or novice?Test it out. We want to hear what you think. Be heard...We're listening!.
Electronic Forms -- Not your Grandma's Paper Forms: The current generation of tools for viewing and designing electronic forms allow you to create highly interactive user experiences. Come test drive an early build of our next release of Form Designer and Form Viewer tools. We have a form for you to design but if you want to bring your own, that would be great too! Be heard...We're listening!.
Industry Solutions for Electronic Forms: Do you manage, design or develop software for an industry in which forms play an important role in central business processes? Think banking (loan applications), insurance (workman's compensation), health care (medical records) and more. If so, tell us about how you use forms in these processes. Be heard...We're listening!.
Test drive the new Lotus social software for business, including our activity-centric collaboration solution Get your opinions heard!Try out our EACH OF OUR social software COMPONENTS for yourself. Let us know what you think about getting started with Web 2.0 and what it would take to deploy this new tool set in your organization. Be heard...We're listening!
Design your own components: Even if you have never used it, try out our component designer, use our training and help, which has been designed with input from our customers. Be heard...We're listening!.
We will have sign-up sheets at the lab. Come sign up early. Last year we had to send people away. Be heard!
And in case you dn't know how to find us:
Lotus is committed to being backward compatible. There are some times, however, when it is a real challenge to be both fully backward compatible and also to improve usability.
Here's a case I ran into yesterday. The new dialog box for replication schedule gives users 2 controls to pick what time to start, and what time to finish. In our usability tests, users found this generally more usable than the previous control (mainly because they did not need to guess on the alphanumeric to use for the range -- the "-" is what to use.)
HOWEVER, the QE team informs me that that the old field actually can accept specific times, not just a range. I did not know that. Nothing in the old UI implied that. Did any of you know that? Do any of you set specific times in a way that you could NOT revise them as a range?
So my dilemma today is what to do about this. The easiest thing from a dev point of view would be to change the field back so that it can accept comma-delimited specific times. But that sacrifices the usability. For backwards compatibility, if anybody DID comma-delimit specific times, we could probably support it, but leave the "from" and "to" fields blank. That looks broken.
And no, I am not going to redesign the dialog to allow Samantha to choose EITHER a range or specific times. Lotus Notes is notorious for giving users so many ways to do a thing that they get overwhelemed with choices.
There might be history here that I don't know, like in some previous version, ONLY specific times were supported. But the case as I see it from Notes 7 to Notes 8 is that there was nothing to lead users to believe that they coudl comma-delimit specific times, so I'm not going to change the new UI. If you have a comma-delimited list of times, we'll support it but leave the fields blank.
Let the commentary begin.[Read More]
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During Lotusphere, the user Experience group will be having a lab in Oceanic 1. As part of that, we'd like you to bring (short) samples of real spreadsheets, presentations, or documents that you've created, and re-create them using the new tools that IBM is including in the next release of Notes.
We'll observe, discuss, and generally get a feel from you what we can improve, what works, and how you like them.
See you there![Read More]
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Join the LotusUserGroup.org Virtual User Group Meeting on January 10th from 12:30 pm to 1:15 pm Eastern Time. Participation is free for members, but pre-registration is required. Register at http://www.LotusUserGroup.org/vug
Mobilize Your Lotus Notes for Handhelds and PDAs
Presented by: Rob Wunderlich, Technology Evangelist, IBM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm (Eastern, GMT-5)[Read More]
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.
Here are 2 screenshots of the Workspace facelift that I mentioned.
This first one shows hover the mail database. Hover is not something that the old Workspace had. Note that we're experimenting with the tab color. Specifically, rather than making the entire tab a color, we've got just a color block at the beginning. The is the same color that your old tab used to be. And we plan to pick up on that color and in the Launch list, make the corresponding folder that color. You can see that we have retained the unread marks and the stacked replicas, but rounded the edges of the chicklets slightly. You can turn on server names if you want.
The second one shows that the Mail 8 database is selected and hover is over bookmarks.
Five things you don't know about me... hum... or would you prefer five things you don't know about Notes?
I've been "tagged" by Nathan Freeman to reveal 5 things that you don't know about me. Nathan's site is undergoing reconstruction, so I suppose I could ignore it. I really think that he was hoping that I'd reveal 5 things that you-all don't yet know about the Notes 8 release.
Maybe I'll just mix them together and you'll have to decide if each one is about me or about Notes :)
1. On-time arrival is uncommon.
2. Sloppiness is common
3. Language support in both English and French is possible
4. This is the 4th year I've chaperoned my daughter's ski club, and our first night of skiing was tonight. I actually ski. I don't just sit in the lodge.
5. I have 2 cats, named Sparkle and Hermione. Hermione likes to sit next to my laptop and look out the window when I work from home.
6. (gratuitous extra one) I still haven't finished the Lotusphere talk I'm giving with Chris Reckling so I should stop doing this and start working on that.
Now that I'm done, it means I can tag a few more people. So I choose my very own boss Chris Reckling, Charles Robinson, and our own IBM Brian Leonard who works on Notes 8(not the one from Sun that has a blog).
Back in June, I blogged about the workspace re-design. However, there's been a change in plans.
We could not implement the re-design in time for the public beta. And while I think it's a good design, the fact that "not in time for public beta" means that we have almost no chance at all to get feedback from users while using their REAL data really made all of us nervous. (That, and the fact that if a major piece of code doesn't get "done" until the last minute, then chances are that it will be buggy).
So, we have postponed the big re-design of the workspace. Instead, Lotus Notes 8 will include a few visual tweaks to update the look. Yes, you will still be able to see the server names, and I think the magic key combo to show filenames will still work (I wanted to make that a proper menu item, but we're running out of time so that won't happen).
Other VERY GOOD news is that we are have already implemented the part of the workspace/bookmark redesign (now called the "launcher" or the "open list") that dynamically updates the "open list" with databases that you have added to your workspace. (hooray!!). So now you'll really be able to get 2 ways to "visualize" your Notes applications-- spatially on the workspace or "list-wise" in the "open list." You won't have to choose one or the other.
I'll try to post pictures of both soon. In the meantime, I need to start working on my lotusphere presentation, which is due tomoorw... hum, in a few minutes, make that "Today"![Read More]
I was looking forward to a very low-key, relaxing Christmas vacation. The other side of the family is the one with the Microsoft salesman. My side is made up of mainly Social Workers and public school teachers. No need to defend or sell Lotus Notes there.
... or so I thought.
On Christmas Day, after driving for 6 hours from New Hampshire to upstate New York, I was chatting with my 25-year -old neice Ashley. She graduated from Syracuse University (Go Orangemen! I got my Master's there!) a year and a half ago, and is working as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company.
So here I am, exhausted mother-of-2, up late playing Santa claus, then driving-- yes I did the 6 hrs of driving--and rewarded with 2 glasses of wine... just finally getting into the "vacation" groove.... and Ashley says that what she hates about work is the computer stuff. Specifically, Lotus Notes.
Merry Christmas to me. She honestly did not know that I work on Notes. Honest. She knew that I worked at IBM, but that's about it.
So I nonchalantly say (as nonchalantly as I can with that feeling in the pit of my stomach plus the exhaustion and the wine and all) "Really? What's so awful about Lotus Notes?"
She ( I paraphrase) says that it's just "weird" compared to all the other programs and things that she uses (and this "kid" grew up with IM and cell phones and texting etc). And then she says that the WORST part is that her boyfriend makes FUN OF HER when she says she has to "go replicate."
Then I told her that my job was to re-design Lotus Notes. Her eyes got wide. "Here's my card" she said "I know lots of people who would be HAPPY to tell you what to change!"
Well, her boyfriend might still make fun of her for repiclicating after we ship Notes 8, but I sure hope that she'll find many of the other parts of Notes that we've changed in Notes 8 a lot less "weird."