In Notes 8.5 the Sidebar will be easier to manipulate. Specifically, it will be easier to:
Drag a panel up or down. However, that still left us with the issue that each panel had a title bar that took up space, as shown in the following picture.
So we added the ability to drag a panel down to become an icon at the bottom, or drag it up to be an icon at the top.
In the public beta , you can drag icons DOWN so that the become an "icon bar" at the bottom. As of today's build, you can also drag them up, as shown in the screenshot below:
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Hybrid Selection Model - Keyboarding
" and "How to Tell if Your Boss has a Sense of Humor" (Note: This requires access to your company's public blog, a thesaurus, and (ideally) a secondary source of income...)
Moving right along...
This posting is a bit of a fishing expedition. We're looking to collect some scenarios on how you and your business users might want to share calendar information between themselves, get information from external calendars, etc. We're trying to specifically avoid referring to technology (e.g. iCal) and instead capture what it is that Samantha, Ted, and Betty want to do. That's where you come in, because we really want the examples to be as real world as possible.
Some quick scenarios that jump to mind:
- Ted's wife, Victoria, keeps a family calendar out on Google that tracks their daughter's tennis lesson schedule, school conferences, etc. Ted wants to be able to see that information in his Notes calendar so he can plan around those events.
- Samantha's marketing department has a common calendar that includes significant events, for example, product announcements. She and the other marketing folk can add/delete entries while other groups, such as Engineering, can view the calendar events. Everyone can view the Marketing calendar from within their personal Notes calendars. This way the whole company can be apprised of significant marketing events.
- Samantha's friend, Bubba, sends her an invitation to his Friday afternoon barbecue using evite.com. Samantha wants to easily add the invite to her Notes calendar and have it block out her busy time because she's planning on taking a half day to attend.
- Your suggestions go here - feel free to propose new scenarios or variations/clarifications for the above scenarios.
As always, thanks in advance for your suggestions and input.
We've heard a lot of negative feedback on the new recipient icons:
Here is the explanation of these icons:
The feedback is of 2 types:
- Most people we've heard from are unhappy with the icons themselves (they're too light, they're hard to distinguish at high resolution, they're ambiguous).
- Lots of people are unhappy with their placement (at the right hand side of the view). Since users (and Admins) can customize their views and easily move this column, I'm not going to focus on that issue here. However, end users cannot change the icons themselves, so this is why I think we have to get the 'best' icon set for Notes.
However, we're also concerned that we're only hearing from people unhappy with the icons, and not from others who either like them (and actually prefer them to the Notes 7 circles) or are ambivalent and fine with the new icons.
So, please cast your vote:
- Keep the icons (chevrons) that are in the Beta, because I like them and/or they're an improvement over the Notes 7 (circles).
- Keep the chevrons, but make them darker, bigger, and more distinct.
- Use a different set of icons. I'd suggest: _______________.
- Change back to the old circles. If we go back, we do need to tone the color down to match the new palette. Here's what this would look like:
Thanks for your honest input,
Margo (Notes 8 Mail UI Designer)
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "8.01 Screenshots
" and "If I were an animal, what type of animal would I be?" (Misc trivia 1: Once upon a time a potential employer actually asked me this in an interview (not IBM, thank goodness) Misc trivia 2: The follow up questions was "and if you were a plant....")
Moving right along.
As part of 8.01 we are refreshing the look of the To Dos. So I figured I'd pass along a few screens shots of the works that is going on.
An updated view: <Mary Beth resized the picture on Sept. 17, so now it does not look as good. >
The Updated create form:
And for the wise-acre in the back, the reason my To Do list is so short is I'm just that on top of things (and if you buy that, I've got this wonderful bridge I'd like to sell you. Hardly used...)
Several of the beta testers have mentioned that the sametime icon in the system tray is bothering them because it does not do the exact same things as the "stand-alone" Sametime in the system tray.
I can understand that it is bothersome. But removing it would be shooting ourselves in the foot, I think. I don 't know how many of you are using Notes 8 "in production" -- meaning that is what you use all day. Those of us who DO really REALLY missed the ability to see our "Sametime status" (for example, I set myself to "Do not disturb" and then forget and leave myself that way for 2 days because I don't see the icon in the system tray that reminds me.)
And for folks who might spent much of their day in another tool (say, powerpoint, in front of a customer), it's still really handy to change your status.
We DID discuss having it work exactly like the "standalone" one, and we pretty much universally despised the idea that when you click it, the whole big screen then gets taken up by the Notes window that has the sidebar, etc. That removes her from her work context in a way that other system tray things do not.
So we need some other ideas. IF we automatically floated the Sametime panel, well, then it's floating and she didn't really want that. So we should either ask her, or "automagically" restore it. when she opend the main window. At the moment, I'm thinking, maybe post-8.0, if she double clicks, a cool thing might just be to put up the "type to find a name" search box, right near the system tray.
Nathan Freeman of OpenNTF.org commented on his blog that he doesn't think I'm asking the right questions. http://www.openntf.org/nathan/escape.nsf
If I may summarize, he doesn't want to have to answer questions about each little menu item. He just wants complete control over all menu items. And preferences. I can understand that, and given Lotus Notes' role as an integration platform, it is a reasonable request.
So, we hear ya. If we were to embark on such an endeavor, we might not be able to provide you with the ability to customize all of everything all at once.
Which is most important to you:
1. Controlling all user preferences via policy?
2. Controlling all menus via some mechanism (may or may not be via policy?)
If we had to deliver policy-controlled preferences in chunks across various releases, which ones are the most important?
- Template ones (mail and calendar)
- Instant Messaging
- Location preferences
- Status bar preferences
If controlling the menus is more important, do you want to control each menu item via Domino policy?Or would it be wiser to have "menu sets" where you turn on "the mail menus" or things like that?
Let me know. Cause if we can make it happen, we want to start with the things that matter most to you.
Well hello there! John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Week Numbers In Calendar
" and "String Theory, Temporal Physics, and the Notes Calendar" (Teaser: in an alternate universe you've already read this/will never read this/your boss is a Borg
Moving right along...
In an effort to better conserve the real estate in the side calendar we are looking at introducing a few changes, which you can see in the screen shot below:
1. We are looking to relocate the time range to the first line and indent the subject etc. below the time range. This will allow more of the subject to show by default. A possible downside is that Reminders will require two rows (1a).
2. We will remove the Time/Subject header since it no longer applies, which will help offset some of the vertical real estate loss.
3. We will indent the awareness icon under the left hand margin of the subject.
4. We will maintain the current wrapping/scroll bar behavior, however since the subject will be further to the left this behavior will be more palatable. Still, once we move the subject we may tweak the wrapping algorithm (i.e. we don't want the horizontal scrollbar to appear by default if it can be avoided).
Thanks in advance, and remember to keep your eye out for my next entry: "Blogs: Does anyone actually read the text below the screen capture?"
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.
- Where are you storing you chat histories using Sametime - locally on your computer, or in the Notes Mail file? Why this choice?
- Do you switch this preference back and forth between locally vs. mail file for any reason?
- Do you see any reason to sync the chat history content between your locally saved chat histories and your mail file?
(or to federate both in either the mail file chat history view or the standalone Sametime chat history view?)
- Is there any reason to keep the option to automatically save locally, instead of the mail file?
- Do you run the standalone version of Sametime, in addition to Notes 8, with the embedded Sametime? If so, why do you run both?
Thank You for your input.
Sametime Product Design
It's the eve of DNUG (Deutsche Notes User Group) and ILUG (Irish Lotus User Group). Maureen Leland and I have been corresponding on our various talks-- she's going to DNUG, I am at ILUG. I hope she's having as much fun as I am. (Is it safe to let your boss know you love your job and your user community?)
I'm sitting in the conference hotle lobby with 11 over attendees, mainly business partners. I've met a few new faces-- ok, the faces are not new because I have seen them on their own blogs or on twitter... but it is nice to meet them in person.
Theo Hesslemans just arrived with a bagful of fabulous buttons that say " Read my blog" with the Notes logo. Our very own Denise Shaw of the Notes 8 design team designed the buttons. and many thanks to Theo for having them made up!
Hello. This request is not about UI, but about another important part of the UX, and in many cases, the very first experience people have with our products. Please give us your opinions about the Notes and ST product information pages on the IBM Web site.
The IBM/Lotus Web Team is now redesigning the content and layout of all the product information pages. They are trying to address the difficulty customers said they have with 1) finding information and 2) getting information that helps them make decisions. We want to make sure they get ongoing customer input as they revamp these pages.
So, here are links to three current Lotus product pages. Please take a look at one or all of them and then tell us what you think by answering the questions that follow.Lotus Sametime pageLotus Notes pageLotus Domino page
1. When you come to a product information page, what information are you looking for?
2. Do you find what you want on these pages? What's missing?
3. If there's too much info, what would you remove?
4. Anything else that would help improve the usefulness of these pages?Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you
Lotus Notes users have several (perhaps too many) choices to make when they reply to a mail message. One of those choices is "Reply with Internet-Style History."
Do you users know what it does and/or why they would want to use it? In our usability tests, the participants have been puzzled by the term, and we'd like to improve the term.
Choosing this menu item creates a reply in plain text and puts a > in front of each line (hence the "Internet-Style" part). However, since the users in our tests didn't seem to think that phrase meant anything, we're considering changing it to one of the following:
- Reply Using Plain Text
- Reply and Add >
Any other thoughts or ideas?
(And no, I didn't finish the Squirrel costume... sewing machine broke... need to go to a friend's to borrow one... but at least I have the big furry tail cut out and pinned together... Halloween party Friday night... the pressure is on! :) )
OVERVIEW of Locations (and I'm vacation all next week, so no posting)
In Hannover, Samantha Daryn (a design persona) will be able to:
- Use a few simple locatoins (e.g. Online and Offline, Travel, and Home)
- See all her old locations from Notes 7 if she had a bunch of custom ones, exept a few that we are consolidating (e.g. the 2 "home" ones)
- Manage her locations in a comprehenisble way (from a spot off the menu tree as compared to Notes 7 where it is buried in the personal name and address book)
We will keep the Notes concept of "Locations" but reduce the number of them. OLD TERM New Term/mapping
Office (network) Online
Island (disconnected) Offline
Travel (notes direct dialup) Travel (should we remove?)
Home (notes direct dialup) Home (should we remove?)
Home (network dialup) <remove>
Samantha will still see a "picklist" of locations in her status bar, and be abe to "Edit Current..." from there. (however, choosing Edit Current will bring up a dialog now).
We're simplifying the menus by changing "Mobile" to "Locations" and having fewer choices:
Choosing "Switch to Location..." brings up the same dialog as "Choose Current Location" used to.
Choosing "Manage Locations" brings up the following dialog:
And Choosing "New" or "Edit" brings up basically the following dialog (remember, we're now hiding the internet browser and the instant messaging tabs because they have preferences elsewhere):
Advanced users can still go to the Personal Name and Address book, and under "Advanced", get to the locations stuff.
(We really wanted to find a way to hide it for basic users, but our plates are getting full with all the other stuff we're doing, so we're hoping that these changes above will at least get Samantha off to a better start.)
A few questions:
1. Should we pare down to just 2 locations by default (online and offline) or go with the 4 listed above?
2. What should we do about the "Edit Current Time/Date..." dialog, which used to be on the menus? It's this one:
We could keep the menu item, Make it a tab in the "Edit Location" dialog, or invoke it from a button in the "Locations" preferences dialog. How many of your users still use that?
3. How important is it that we hide the Advanced stuff in the personal nab? Would having it still be there ruin any simplified experience? (of course, there are still things in the Advanced pernab that are not on this Locations redesign.)
Let's save the discussion of whether to keep the term "Locations" for another day. Thanks. I look forward to having LOTS of responses and opinions when I return from my week of vacation!
I am working with Chris Majoros and Matt Hatem (Matt and I gavethe "themes" talk at Lotusphere) and Carrie Tracy ( visual designer--she and I gave the "Design Directions" talk together atLotusphere) on a "Mac" visual theme for Lotus Notes 8.5 on the Mac.
In addition to working on the visual part, we are toying with the ideaof reducing the number of toolbar buttons in the toolbars,because, as you Mas users know, the Mac toolbars are generally prettysparse. For example, Mac toolbars do nto generally have things likePrint, Save, etc. Should we pare down the toolbars on the Mac?
Back in June, I asked how many of you used the Lock display feature, and I proposed a new way to deal with it in Hannover. I got over 70 responses to that posting (one of the record-breaking ones). The responses to our Hannover Plan (which was to lock the entire Operating system on Windows) was mixed. Thus, we've had a great deal more discussion of this feature since then.
Here is a revised plan on which we'd like your feedback.
When Samantha chooses a Lock Notes ID menu item, we will Lock the user credentials and break any connections to any servers. We will NOT put up any new blocked screen thingy over the display (this is because we cannot "block" the display of absolutely anything and everything that might show up in the new Hannover shell, like the IBM Productivity Tools). We do not want to block just Notes windows and have Samantha think that everything is blocked.
Thus, we'll allow a "Lock Louts Notes ID" function that locks her Lotus Notes ID and severs the Domino server connections. This means that whatever was on her screen at the time is still visible. She just needs to re-authenticate to continue using a Notes Database. ( And she can probably continue to use any of the IBM Productivity Tools, like the Spreadsheet, because it does not require authentication.) This is more like the Notes user experience in release 5.
Let the commentary begin.