We're making a few improvements to the user experience of replication in the Hannover release.
Our goals are this:
- Make it eaiser for end users to figure out how to make a local replica
- Make it easier for end users to figure out how to set a replication schedule (and that it's based on location)
- Standarize our terms for "options" and "settings" (we picked "options").
First, we've added a new menu item to the file menu-- "Make Available Offline...." This is specifically for making a local replica. We'll still have the old UI for making "any old replica on a server or locally". (Our tests indicated that most end users were stopped in their tracks when the first field on the "New Replica" dialog said "Server: Local". It just twisted their brains.)
Second, we're adding a "Change Schedules" menu item to the Replication pull-right. I'm a bit on the fence over this, so give me your opinions. Right now, users need to go to the replication page and click a thingy that looks like a URL link, OR edit their location document from the personal name and address book (or choose "Edit Current..." in the status bar. ) Our interpretations of the currnet UI are that functionality from the replication page is generally hidden, and that getting to that functionality via the location documents is tough because most users don't know that location documents is where those options are stored. So we're trying to make it more obvious. But maybe we won't need to, because I've also added a "Change Schedules" button to the new "Make Available Offline" dialog.
The dialog that Samantha sees if she clicks either the Change Schedules menu item or the "Set or Change Schedules" button in the new dialog is the following: (And yes, you can still get to it from the personal name and address book.)
I am hoping that the dialog above will help educate users that the schedulesare set based on location. We've done 2 rounds of usability tests with this dialog, and they can set their schedules, but most participants still thought they were setting a schedule for a particular database.
Now, some of you may have seen a prototype at Lotusphere that we were testing, and we've changed a few things since then. At Lotusphere we were thinking of combining the "New Replica" and "New Copy" dialogs and giving users a choice one they launched the dialog. We've abandoned that idea because for those of you who DO know the difference, it just flummoxed you-all and caused you to not complete your tasks.[Read More]