One of the biggest changes for all Notes users of the Hannover release will be that the bookmark bar has been replaced by a "Launcher" button.
Just in case you are not sure what the bookmark bar is (since we don't label it), it's the yellowish vertical bar that runs down the left-hand side of the Notes window. In the picture below, the first item is the Contacts (Personal Address Book), but I think for most people it's Mail, Calendar, and then Contacts
There were only a few issues with the bookmark bar that we're trying to address with the Launcher.
The first is that some users just don' t seem to see it or understand that it's clickable. The second is that it does not scale well. After Samantha has added a few more icons over there, she runs out of space and we give her some arrows to scroll.
So, take a look at one of our initial designs for a Launcher instead. Samantha now clicks the "Launch" button and down comes a menu, complete with pull-rights for nested items. We're not finished with this yet; we plan to do some usability testing over the summer.
The plan was to have the first level of items be exactly the same items that are on your bookmark bar. Now that we're also adding support for three IBM producitivity tools (Spreadhseet, word processor and presentation tool), we'll have to put those choices on there somewhere as well.
Samantha should be able to drag and drop them to re-order them. And she'll have a context menu on each, with choices such as
- Open Replica ->
- Open in New Window
- Always Open in New Window
- Database ->
- Replication >
- Change Icon (we hope AA's liek this so they can change the icon of the 6 different mail files they manage)
- Set as Home page
If you look carefully at the picture above, you see 3 dots next to the selected item "Favorite Bookmarks". That is supposed to be the visual to tell you you can float that pull-right, as shown in the following picture. I think the floating is a really cool feature, especially if we succeed in being able to let users dock such a thing in the toolbar. But I am worried that the dots might not be enough to let users know they can float it. We're trying very hard to use that consistent visual throughout the UI to let users know they can float something. Opinions?