Designing the User Experience for Lotus Notes andSametime
Administering the Sametime Product Suite -- WIll Fred Adams get a promotion, or hire a new person, or??
With Sametime Connect, Sametime Gateway, the just-shipped Sametime Advanced, and the upcoming Sametime Unified Telephony, how is Fred Adams, our Messaging and Collaboration System Administrator, going to handle all the growth for this product suite?
Will Fred Adams get a promotion or be told to hire a new person?
Will Ida Engel be the second line support person for all this Sametime stuff, or will the support staff get expanded?
In your organization will Fred’s job grow to include WebSphere Application Server administration for the Sametime product suite (Sametime Connect, Sametime Advanced, Sametime Unified Telephony, and Sametime Gateway) or will he hire a new person to handle the Telephony Application Server aspects of administration, or, is your company already using WAS and will the WAS administrator take over these responsibilities?
For Unified Telephony, whoever handles the Telephony Application Server will also need to work closely with Telephone Switch Network Administrator (SNA). Will Fred bring in a junior SNA to help work with the organizations SNA? The information collected from the Telephone SNA would be used to help configured the Telephony Application Server and the Sametime by the new hire or by Ida. Users who need to be provisioned would be provisioned by Ida or the likes of Ida working on the WebSphere Application Server.
Knowing Fred and Ida – how does your organization plan to change to handle the numerous Sametime products?
Who would administer Sametime Advanced, Sametime Unified Telephony and Sametime Gateway"
Do you think we need a new persona for someone who adminsters all these Sametime products or is it Fred Adams our Messaging and Collaboration System Administrator persona?
We'd prefer to have a conversation with some of you about this, to understand your environments better. If you have time for a 20-40 minute conversation, please contact Michelle McDevitt, our Sametime Administrations UI Designer, at Mcdev@us.ibm.com
You can also feel free to post a response.
Hello, Notes Users. I have a few questions for those of you saving Sametime chat histories in Notes 8. Notes 8 allows you to automatically save Sametime chat histories to either your mail file or locally.
Thank You for your input.
Sametime Product Design[Read More]
Try this url to get to the Sametime download-- the URL I had works OK, but then you have to go click the "Try" tab.
This should take you directly.
First, to Charles Robinsons' point: Hannover is the code name, Notes 8 is the version. Lotus Expeditor is the platform on which some of Notes 8 is based (The menu bar, toolbar tabs, the sidebar, and views for the PIM pass, everything else is the Notes framework ). Lotus Expeditor is based on Eclipse. I should, indeed, be more careful in my use of terminology.
Second, Matt asked if the admin can control which sidebar plugins get deployed - yes. So You don't need to worry about your users checking BBC every 15 minutes, of course, Matt, I expect YOU to be using the feedreader to check MY postings :)
As I said in my previous post, Hannover allows plug-in mini applications to appear in the sidebar as panels. As your company or 3rd parties create more and more of these useful applications, we want to provide a way for our end users to have some control over displaying them. (Note: We plan to let Admins control which ones the end users can pick from, this posting is about the Samanthas of the world, I'll probably have another about deployment of plugins.)
A single vertical column quickly gets filled with these applications, even when they are closed. Please take a look at the following FOUR options to provide some scalability for displaying or hiding these application panels (keep in mind, these are initial mockups and do not represent final UI ).
Also, keep in mind that both conceptually and technically, the Hannvoer sidebar and the Sametime client are bascially the same thing. So when you are making your choices below, consider what you'd want in a Hannover Sidebar AND in the next version of Sametime.
The overall idea: Give Samantha a list of all the sidebar panels she HAS and let her choose which ones to see in the sidebar at any time. The second idea is to allow her to save and name various "sidebar layouts" so that with one choice she can switch between "sidebar A" with panels 1, 2, and 3, or "sidebar B" with panels 4, 5, 6, and 7... that kind of thing.
Is that kind of scalability necessary for Hannover? We do not have plans at the moment to tie these sidebar layouts to Notes Locations, although it is certainly something that makes sense to consider.
Option 1 - a vertical widget showing icons for the panels. Yes, this looks like the "skinny mode" that I showed in the previous post, but now, in his case, clicking on one turns the panel on or off in the sidebar. You would be able to turn the vertical panel on or off as well.
Option 2 - a pulldown menu above the sidebar that shows the available panels, and which ones are turned on.
Option 3: We add menu items to the the pull-down menu that already exists on each of the "mini-titlebars"
Option 4: toggle the vertical navigator on from the pulldown menu, and use the pulldown menu to switch layouts.
Here's the proposed Save layout:
One last comment for clarity: The screenshots in my PREVIOUS posting were actual screenshots of working code. Today's posting is just pictures. None of this has been implemented yet.[Read More]
I haven't told you much about the Hannover sidebar. The Hannover release wil have a sidebar that is configurable in several ways.
First, the admin can choose to deploy it-- or not deploy it at all. The Admin can also choose which eclipse plugins to include in the sidebar.
We are planning that several plugins will be provided as part of Hannover. They might include:
The "Day at a glance" is really a mini-view into your calendar, like this:
... and you have hover to get additional information:
And, at least for beta, we prepopulate the feeds with a few we want you to read :)
Yes, the sidebar is resizable-- you can drag it wider, or snap it to a skinny mode, or shut it entirely.
You can turn on or off any one or more of the panels.
You can open more than one panel at a time (but pay no attention to the controls at the top of each title bar right now, we are changing them, they are not working out well in the beta testing.)
Or, you can float one or more of the panels.
Best of all, you can write Eclipse plug-ins of your own and deploy them if you want. Hannover should support signed plugins. Security remains a top priotiy. If you have already written plug-ins for Sametime, they will most likely work in the sidebar as well.
I have been remiss in blogging about the "other half" of the title of this blog: Sametime. My baby. I joined Iris in 1997 as the second person on a new team to take a research project called "Praire Dog" and make it into an Instant Messaging product. The hiring manager/director of the project was sufficiently influenced by Irene Greif (Group manager for the Cambridge -- then Lotus-- Research group) to pay attention to user experience from the outset, and thus hire a user experience designer early on.
Of course, Sametime has had is user experience challenges. Soon after I joined, the plan changed, and IBM purchased 2 companies at the same time (heh heh, get it??) Ubique in Rehovot, Israel provided the instant messaging portion of the product and Databeam in Lexington, Kentucky, provided the application sharing/web conferenging portion. So I didn't get to design a product from the ground up. I got to shove 2 very differnet products together.
After working on Sametime for about 5 years, I was ready for a change, and I think, Sametime was ready for some fresh design blood. So please, allow me to introduce the new Sametime user Experience Team to you.
Amy Travis is the designer for the web conferencing portion. She sits in Westford, MA, and comes to us with design experience on a variety of products, including portal team spaces. Amy hs an amazing attention to detail, and terrific usability testing stamina-- at our annual Lotusphere conference in January this year, she personally conducted something like 30 usability tests in 4 days. She didn't even get up for lunch--we'd have to bring her food. She was mobbed with people who wanted to test Sametime and she wanted to give everybody a chance!
Josef Scherpa is the designer for the instant messaging portion. He sits in some room in his house in Colorado (with a fabulous view, I suppose, but I can't be sure). He used to sit in Westford, MA, but he fell in love and got married and somehow that took him to Colorado. He's also a great skier. Before he moved to Colorado we were on a racing team together. We had a lot of fun, and, thanks to him (the only actual fast skier), our team did not come in last. (I, however, won free wax because I had the slowest racing times of anybody!)
The new Sametime 7.5 Connect client, which is in beta right now, was heavily influenced by an internal instant messaging project. Joe had the opportunity to start with that design and refine and improve it.
Michelle MCdevitt is the designer for the real-time gateway/administration for Sametime. I think this is Michelle's first admin design project. She is, however, an installation design guru, because she also works on both server and client install. She can quote you chapter and verse from the IBM install guidelines. (Pity that Lotus doesn't follow more of them, like the install directory.)
I hope to be able to introduce you to the visual designers and user researchers in another post.