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Comments (10)

1 localhost commented Permalink

I am a Notes Developer for a 500 bed hospital, so a great deal smaller than the case study, but we face similar situations. I've developed some custom solutions in Notes that tackle some of what you have said.

Notes started out slowly for us, but has become a valuable tool when it comes to patient care and user collaboration. I'm at thfc@_hotmail.com (remove the underscore) if you want any more info.

2 localhost commented Permalink

One of the key requirements that I can identify is the need for an integrated document management system that is fully integrated with the email and the office (MS Office and OpenOffice).

A significant amount of emails is about reviewing documents, or about ideas that should go into a document, or revisions of the document, and even asking where on earth is the document on the network drive. There should be a way to associate all email discussions pertaining to a set of document easily from within the collaboration environment.
The other thing about managing collaboration and information in emails is that it's hard to find what you need. Forget about filing by folders, because sometimes the email content touches on so many aspects that it's hard to decide how to file it. Tagging would be better. Couple that with a fast search engine and you don't really need folders any more :-)

3 localhost commented Permalink

Sounds very much what I have been trying to accomplish for the last three years. The back office technology is there to accomplish it but the user experience is still too cumbersome. Too many clicks to do a simple task and the end user will not do it.


4 localhost commented Permalink

About attachments in mail and in teamroom:

Notes is a database application. I have never understood why attachments (and even forwarded emails) are send and stored as copy and not just linked to the original attachment in the database. I know that there are multiple databases and db servers involved, but that's just an addressing and access control problem, IOW just work (but that's a major issue in software development: there are plenty of ideas and rules how to make it more usable, just not the money to implement it).

5 localhost commented Trackback

So basically you're saying that Joe needs Quickr Enterprise.

Joe should probably also download my Lotusphere presentation, since it has some fairly extensive user experience analysis on a patient management application.

6 localhost commented Permalink

Hi Merry,

Perhaps a bit off topic, but one thing I've always wondered is does IBM do local language user consultations?
I would assume that most Notes users are non-English speakers, or perhaps about half and half. Would a Japanese user for example have different 'pet peeves' or useability issues than an American or Australian?
Notes seems to be very popular with German and Japanese companies, for example. Are only English-speaking Germans and English-speaker Japanese consulted, or how does it work? Could IBM be missing a competetive advantage in non-English speaking countries?

7 localhost commented Trackback

Well, I think one of the major problems when dealing with millions of customers is that you don't have the resources and time to instruct users how to use a tool. Most of them don't even read documentations if you provide them.

If you want users to do things smart and efficient, you need to prohibit the methods of doing them in any other way. For example, if a user wants to send an file attachment to other users, the mail program should automatically store the attachment in a shared database, first checking by the file's CRC32 checksum if the attachment in question exists already in that shared database, and then only send a http:// link to the recipients. The shared database attachments could be marked as public or recipients only, and public access would always win a conflict situation if the same attachment has been sent multiple times with different access rights.
What comes to number of clicks and keypresses, you will probably need a system analytics to hunt down the most efficient way of working for a specific user or groups of users with a specific application. Most "standard" applications don't consider the mouse clicks and keypresses as the primary goal for user friendliness and business effectiviness of the application, and in most cases a custom made application has proven to be the best solution.
Custom application development should be as easy as installing a standard application and configuring it to use all the required add-ons and interoperability with other applications, systems, business and user needs (most standard application fail in those requirements horribly anway), and it should pay back within months for the development costs, considering that every minute of using an standard application which does not work fully optimized to your business needs creates waste costs.
Notes and Domino makes these kind of developments possible, but still the learning curve to create custom applications cost effectively is far from what it could be. For one, when you make a Notes application (which goes pretty fast and easy), you still need a lot of skills and work to make it work on the web as well. There was a major improvement from Notes 4.6 to 5.0, but since then the development of web application development seems to have stagnated -- in most cases you still need to do custom agents and HTML forms to produce the web pages, as Domino can not convert existing Notes content directly to the web in a optimal and wanted way.

8 localhost commented Permalink

While doing things rapidely in Joe's organisation is certainly a critical problem, I also think that there a numerous "productivity" oriented minor improvements that could be done to ease users' life. I've sumitted a dozens of such to technical support (like provide a repeat key in editor "à la MS Office"), but very few have been implemented. The ease of creating a document and sending a link rather than an attachment is another example.

I also agree with Luke that IBM should consider non-US users too.

9 localhost commented Permalink

About mail and archives, why not present these to the users as one lot of 'mail'. I just access my mail and various archives without having to go between the various locations...as I don't care.

I can then search for mail, and again, regardless of location it's shown to me.

10 localhost commented Permalink

Worth mentioning is that collaboration often go cross teams.

i.e. when developing a new product, the full document would relate to the product developing it, but parts of it would follow the different disciplines as well, so cross-team collaboration should be looked after.
As well as dynamic looking into information, not just the traditional notes way of storing the information several times.

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