Our usability team is conducting usability tests of the Notes 8 shipping product. One of the issues they've uncovered is that many users do not notice the "snap" control (the little arrow) so that they can snap the preview closed (or snap the sidebar closed.). The problem is shown in the following picture.
So we are trying to make it more visible without using up any more screen real estate. We have several ideas, and Sheri Branco is going to be running some quick tests in the next week.
Here are three of the options we'll be testing. Which one is the most noticeable without drawing any undue attention to it?
Added gray around the arrows (which will change to orange on hover, just like in Notes 8)
... I'd tell you which one I think will work best, but in this case, it's Sheri's test results that really matter.
Designing the User Experience for Lotus Notes andSametime
Matching: lotusnotesafter8 X
As most of you know, Samantha, Ted, and Betty are the design personas that we used to design Lotus Notes 8.
We plan to continue using the persona technique for the next few versions of Lotus Notes, and we plan to update the personas by doing more end-user interviews to make sure the skills we give them are relevant to those of our target users. .
We have a few questions for you, however. Will you be deploying Lotus Connections or Lotus Quickr to the same people that are getting Lotus Notes and Sametime?
Should we use the same personas to design Connections and Quickr? (For the most part, we feel we should use the same ones already for Notes and Sametime).
The answer might be that yes, you plan to deploy Connections and Quickr to the same user base at your company-- but maybe we need new/different personas, or updates to the existing ones. Here are a few guesses that I'd like you to refute or validate.
Perhaps we need to focus more on the fact that Ted is a roaming user (which means, strictly speaking, that he will probably not use Notes 8) and make sure we do what is necessary to allow him to upgrade to Notes 8. Or maybe we need to focus on a new hire-- someone younger and less experienced than Samantha at some things, yet more experienced in social networking because such a new hire might already have a Myspace page and use Facebook and have all their photos on Flickr.
I'm hoping for lots of comments on this one! The design team for Connections and Quickr will be monitoring your responses as well.
A while ago I asked you wanted us to do with the Sametime icon in the system tray.
We have charted your responses in the following pie chart. I am not saying that the approach that most of you wanted is what we'll be able to deliver, but certainly, we have a good undertanding of what you want. In this particular case, I must say I was a bit surprised. I thought the "QickFind" would be more popular. I will admit, it's what I want in both Sametime and Notes, but it's not about what I want... it's about what YOU want.
In Lotus Notes 8, you have the ability to use Sametime Connect as a sidebar plug-in. We retained the icon in the system tray so that even when you are in other applications, you can quickly glance to the system tray to check on your "status" (e.g. available, away, in a meeting, do not disturb).
One thing that we did change between the "standalone" Sametime and the integrated Sametime is that in the standalone one, when you single-click the icon in the system tray, we restore the Sametime window, BUT in the integrated version, we did not do this. We felt that restoring the big Notes window with Sametime in the sidebar violated the intent of a quick click on a system tray icon.
Post-8 we are investigating what to do to make this situation more usable. Please let us know which of the following you think would best meet the needs of your users (and why) . Or suggest something different.
1. Single-click DOES restore the entire Notes window, and, if the Sametime sidebar was not expanded, we automatically expand it, as shown in the following picture:
2. Single-click pops up only the "quickFind," as shown in the following picture:
3. Single-click pops up a dialog that asks if you want to open your Sametime list in a separate window so that in the future, when you single-click the icon in the system tray, you get just the Sametime window. (And if it is already "floating", then we just pop up the floating Sametime window)
The user experience (UX) team is trying out some different collaboration ideas. Until now, we've had separate offices or cubicles. But we are lucky enough to have secured a large conference room in Building 5 of Westford, Mass to be our new UX team conference room. As you can see from the picture below, we've set up tables and phones, and several of us have decided to "live together" in the room. This includes members of the Notes, Connections, and Sametime UX teams. We also have several team members who work at home, but they have committed to coming to the UX conference room on Tuesdays.
The purpose of this experiment is to foster more opportunistic collaboration among the team-- not just the design team, either. Now that development and QE know that the UX team is together in one spot, they are starting to drop by more often with questions and comments. (The fact that the "candy basket" is there might also help the drop-in rate...).
At one end of the room is a conference table, and we now have a dedicated space for all design meetings. Having a large, locked conference room also means we can put designs and ideas on the wall and "walk thru them" with developmers, writers, QE (and vice presidents and directors...). IBM security policy does not allow leaving such things up on a cube wall.
We've also got some CSCW-type ideas for uniting us more closely with remote team members (mainly, the Quickr team in Raleigh, and Joe Scherpa from the Sametime team in Colorado). They include persistent chats, persistent online meetings, and/or persistent audio connections.
Of course, as you can see from the picture below, we also brought in Betty, Samantha, and Ted to remind us who we are designing for.
(And just in case you were worried, we know we are not designing for the Yellow warbler that is also in the picture below. But it's cute and it warbles when you squeeze it...we need a LITTLE fun....)
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?