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 entries as "The Side Calendar Real Estate Mambo
" and "Famous Shakespearean Candy References" (Fun tip: Macbeth's sweet of choice? Licorice Whips (it's all in the subtext))
Moving right along...
The Notes 8 Month view currently displays only the text of the entry without a background. The question is should we be using the background that we are using in the other views? Keep in mind that when the default calendar colors are applied the text for the different entry types appears in different colors (Note: You do have to click the Restore colors button on the Calendar>Colors preference tab to have these colors appear. We don't update the colors automatically for 8).
Visually, we're talking about this:
Thanks in advance and remember to keep your eyes open for my next blog entry "Tales from the Tub" (just gotta get the old laptop wrapped in plastic here...)
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?"
For those of you using the beta, you'll notice that we made a few changes to the View menu as well. Specifically, we added a menu called "Advanced Menus." This item is OFF by default (although it may not have been in the beta).
You advanced users will need to know to go turn it on, so spread the word. When the "Advanced Menus" item is unchecked, we hide a bunch of menus that end-users have complained about. This de-clutters the menus a bit.
Eventually we would like to give you a mechanism to control all of the menus. In the mean time, we feel that this cleans things up, and also makes it easy for a help desk person to tell a user to "Turn on the advanced menus" in case Samantha ever needs them.
Because Notes 8 has had so many changes to the Mail and Contacts template, I plan to change the flag for
"Do not allow replace/refresh to modify" the "About this Database" and "Using this Database" documents and the template icon.
This flag has been turned ON for all Help & About documents in the templates, and also the template Icon. This has been the case since at least R4, when customers complained that every time we updated our Help/About documents (or Icon), their customizations were being overwritten.
From the IBM point of view, we would be doing a disservice to our customers if we did NOT refresh these documents to match the functionality that we are now shipping.
I do realize that you might have customizations of your own that you do NOT want overwritten-- but then YOU can go turn on the flag.
This means that in Notes 8, when Samantha replaces her mail template (by hand or automatically), we'll also replace the information on the "Using this Application" and the "About this Application' document.
Please disseminate this information to your teams and plan accordingly.
There is a preference (in the Notes Client section) for "Mark documents as read when opened in preview pane":
My question is about the default setting for this preference:
Should this preference be checked ON by default or OFF? It seems that a lot of you on the forum have gone into the Preferences to turn this ON and we're wondering whether that should be the default.
I just got the following email from Andrew Robinson (one of our developers) who says that you can already customize error messages if you want to.
The feature that you're requesting here already exists, I implemented it in 6.55 originally...
This modification allows a user to add the line "err_XXXX=<override text>" to their notes.ini file in order to override the text of Notes error 0xXXXX..
The Notes error code for "The server is not responding, please contact your administrator..." is 0x0807. With this enhancement, adding the line "err_0807=This is a test" will make the text "Custom Error 0x0807
: This is a test" appear in the error dialog when a server is down in Notes. This can be used to override the text of any Notes error text of which the hex code is known.
The hex code for "Unable to find path to server..." is 0x0803, so adding the line "err_0803=Custom Text Here" to notes.ini will customize this message.
We are revising some of the error messages, and the guideline that I'm using is to tell Samantha:
- What went wrong
- Why (optional)
- What to do about it.
Often, there is nothing Samantha can do because someone else has to do it (e.g. the Domino admin)
For example, one of the messages is about how the thingy is not a known TCP/IP host. So we revised as follows:
Unable to find the server. Check that your network connection is working.
If you have a working network connection, click Trace to discover where it breaks down,
and then contact your system administrator with the information.
[ Trace... ]
[ OK ]
Now, the dev team is telling me that they have had NUMEROUS customer requests to REMOVE "contact your system administrator" from any of the error messages. Because they get too many help desk calls.
So I ask you, in cases like this just what to you expect Samantha to do? Do you REALLY want us not to give her any direction so that she just sits and wastes company time?
I'm really tempted to change it to:
Whatever you do, do NOT call the help desk because they really do not want to help you. Maybe you should just take the rest of the day off.
It seems like the help desk tail is wagging the company dog here. Enlighten me if there's something I'm missing.
As you have probably noticed, the File - New pullright menu item is pretty long, and what you are seeing is not what we want in the final shipping product in terms of the order of the items in the New -> pullright.
The plan is that when you are in a Notes context, that the Notes-related choices should be at the top. (Message, Calendar Entry etc)
When you are in the context of any of the IBM Productivity Tools, the choices for Spreadhseet, Document, and Presentation should be at the top.
And the Sametime contributions should pretty much always be at the bottom.
CTRL+M should always open a new mail message, even the context of the IBM Productivity Tools, but it does not do that in the beta.
Several of you have noticed the lack of Double right click in the public beta, and Nathan Freeman pointed out how to turn it on via some magic setting.
After conferring with development, I entered a bug report to re-add the preference.
It will not work in all windows. It will not work for the spreadsheet, presentation or document tabs, or the embedded browser.
This means that it is inconsistent, and the inconsistency pained me greatly. However, here's the rationale: Only the advanced users know about it, and several of you have said you'd rather have it for some tabs rather than no tabs. Most (un, ALL??) business users are unaware of this preference and most likely will not be perturbed by this inconsistency. This is exactly the kind of compromise I wanted to avoid. I feel soiled, dirty, a bit like a politician....
Things we Hid in the Edit Menu in Views
Undo (Only available if previously haddone something that is undoable in a view)
Things we removed entirely:
Properties. We moved it to the File menu to have a consistent place for it.
Quote Selection (my very first posting was about this menu item! almost nobody knew what it was)
Things we changed:
Copy as Link - moved it into the Copy as -> pullright. This was to cognitively group it with the other Copy things.
It's only officially the first business day of the public beta and we've had over 4,000 download
and about 500 comments in the public beta forum here: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd8forum.nsf
Here is what we changed on the File menu and why. These changes will take a little bit of getting used to for all you experienced users. Our target user for these changes was, of course, Samantha, and new users -- all those NEW CUSTOMERS coming from other products.
We added an "Open" pullright and put "Lotus Notes Application" on it together with a few other things because Notes 8 is truly the "mother of all integration clients", it's not just about Notes databases anymore. Notes apps are just one of many things you can open. I am sure that the power users among you will quickly adapt.
We changed "Database" to "Application." because many end users have complained that Notes "exposes the plumbing" and uses "geeky" terms. This was one of them.
Also note that with the exception of "Open", the Application pull-right is the same as the old Database pull right. We did NOT put "Application" in the File - New -> pull right because we reserved the "new" pullright for things that business users do. Business users like Samantha are not ALLOWEdDto create new database applications, so we kept it on the Application pull-right.(and it's an "Advanced Menu" so Samantha should never see it. More abotu that in another post)
We added "Make Available Offline" as a choice, and you'll notice that if you already HAVE an offline (local) replica then we DISABLE the menu item. The idea here is make make it as easy as possible for those business users to take data offline (make a local replica.) Power users can still use File - Replication - New Replica to either make a local replica or a server replica.
We changed "Mobile" to "Locations" and simplified it by providing fewer options.
We consistently put "Properties" in the same place (on the file menu as compared to having Doc properties on the fiel menu and other properties on other menu items) and it was supposed to open up doc properties or view properties depending on what was open, but it looks like we have a bug in the beta where it consistently opens doc properties.
We changed "Close All Open Window tabs" to "Close All" mainly because now that we have 3 different window management models, it's easier to use the shorter term and, in general, since we say "Close" and not "Close the Window Tab" further up, it was consistent.
Exit. We did not re-implement the CTRL + Q for Exit in the Expeditor platform. I know some of you have looked for it already. Since your fingers are probably trained to do Alt - F - X for MS word and just about every other product, please try it for Notes, and if after a few weeks you REALL REALLY still want CTRL + Q we can see if we have time to add it.
I am finally getting to download my vacation pictures from Hawaii, and I thought it might be fun to give you a little glimpse into what my family and I do for fun. (these are my flickr pix of the trip)
My husband is a fanatical geocacher. (For more info see http://www.geocaching.com/ )
So while others might talk to you about Maui sunsets, weddings on beaches,or golfing, me, I got the the "cache tour" of Maui. We stayed in 3 different places (Kehei, then Wa'ianapanapa state park near Hana, and finally in Ka'anapali). This meant that we maximized our geocache-finding potential.
While Mark (the husband) found lots of geocaches, the geocaching highlight of the trip... well there were 2 highlights (hummm maybe lowpoints...:)
1. the " 4th waterfall or bust" cache
2. the "swim into the dark cave" cache
(I do not know the real names of these caches if you are looking for them on the website. I give them names based on my perspective as a 45-year-old totally-out-of-shape computer geekette mother of 2. )
The next piece of info is that my sister and her husband came to Hawaii with us. They have no kids. Just dealing with kids on vacation can be an ordeal, but no, we had to subject them to the "Hike past 4 waterfalls on the way to remote hana village with 2 kids and bugs and rocks mosquitoes and 2 downpours." This is kinda how it went:
We got up nice and early one day to drive from Kihei to Hana. The "Hana highway" is supposed to be a beautiful 3-hour incredibly scenic drive with lots of waterfalls and ocean views. Mark (remember, he's the husband) had already planned that we'd do this cache on the way. So we're supposed to hike into this rainforest and find a tupperware box hidden in the woods, based on some latitude and longitude coordinates from a web site. The "joy and reward" is simply to write your name in a log book and hide the box again. Off we go. All 6 of us. The mom, the dad, the older sister the youger sister, the aunt and the uncle.
We pass waterfall 1.
and waterfall 2
at waterfall 3 there's 20-ish foot cliff that you have to scramble up, with the help of a knotted rope. My brother-in-law took pictures but I certainly do NOT want to show you any of me-- by then filthy from the mud-- trying to haul my butt up over a mini-cliff while clinging to a muddy rope....
Once over the mini-cliff, we hop from rock to rock as we make our way up the stream bed. We get almost to the destination - but to actually GET to the cache, we need to swim across the pool of ice-cold water, climb up the rocks and walk over to yet another waterfall. So we did. All 6 of us. We left our backpacks on the shore and swam. (and yes it was raining!)
We're lucky nobody made off with the car keys and clothing. Mark found the geocache and made an entry in the log book. It took us about 2 hours to do this one hike. We originally had 6 planned for the day, but after that, we just drove the rest of the way to Wai-anapanapa state park and collapsed on our respective pools of mud. Geocache Higligh #2
This one was actually much easier, tho a bit more scary at first. Mark was prepared. He'd bought a waterproof headlamp so that he could swim into a lava-tube cave now filled with water, and then find the cache. Of course the kids wanted to go with him. So did Unlce Mike. The water was freezing. My sister and I stayed on shore and took pictures. (OK, then I jumped in and swam into the cave to check on the kids when they did not answer me. Just a little excitement... you think maybe your husband and kids have drowned in a cave.. kinda puts the whole F5 issue into perspective....)
.. and yes, that's the top of my head as I watch Uncle Mike and the 2 kids swim off into a cave. And they found the cache and it was "really cool."
... I hope you find the upcoming public beta "really cool" and I am sure you'll let me know what we can do to improve it!
As Ed Brill has already told you, the "beta 2" (also called "public" beta) should be available early next week. Watch this website.
Once this beta is available, I'll post lots and lots of pictures to this blog, and I'll also assume that MOST of you are downloading and installing the beta (tell me if you are not!!)
We'll see how things develop. My assumption is that this blog might become LESS active as most of the conversation will move to the feedback forum (url to be posted soon.). But we'll see.
Internally today I have seen messages such as the following:
Notes 8 Beta 2 FVT Sign Off Complete - WHAHOOO!! <eom> (from our project manager)
"As of 4:05 PM today, the Hannover, Activities, Designer, and Instant Messaging FVT (functional verification test) teams have exited the Final Regression test phase for Notes 8 Beta 2.
Congratulations to all of the test teams, and those who have supported their effort, in meeting the goals of this very aggressive schedule and achieving this critical milestone." (from our test lead.)
I'm actually getting all choked up. It's exciting and scary... one thing I know for sure.. we're all in this together. This is a TERRIFIC community and I can count on you to give me both the good and the bad information that will ultimately make this a better product.
Hey Notes community,
Wow, you did a GREAT job responding to the guest bloggers! And the guest bloggers learned that it's really easy to be a guest blogger, so expect more of that to come!
I had a really wonderful 2-week vacation (holiday as many would say). And yes it is ironic that my vacation consisted of many of the things I complained about during the ice storm, 9e.g. no phone, no internet, etc. but it was indeed warm in Maui).
My husband, 2 kids, sister and her husband, spent 2 weeks on Maui, and I highly recommend it! I'm returning relaxed and full of optimism for Notes 8. I had only about a thousand mail messages. that's not bad at all considering I was gone for 2 whole weeks.
Upon my return, I discovered that my terrific boss Chris Reckling of InsideLotus fame,
has been promoted to being our second-line manager in the design group. Go Chris, this is a great opportunity!
I also learned (I was assumimg this) that the daily builds are getting ready to be released as a wider beta. I am on an evaluation team. I download the daily build and help to determine if it's ready for the wider beta. It was really exciting to download a build yesterday and see how much progress was made in my two weeks of absence. I have downloaded the most recent bilild and I'm evaluating it on behalf of users such as yourself. (I'd also post hawaii pix but the blogger software tells me that i am out of space, I'll figure it out eventually).
Many thanks to the guest bloggers!
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
My name is John Lance, yet another guest blogger (you lucky folks you). You may remember me from such short films as the "Lotusphere 2007 User Experience Lab Buzz Board" and "Home Taxidermy for Fun and Profit" (for those of you who are Simpsons
fans and like me can hardly wait for the movie
that was a rather humorous gag reminiscent of the golden days of Troy McClure
. If you're not a Simpsons fan, well, it can only get better right?)
Moving right along....
There have been requests around displaying the week number in the Calendar views. Unfortunately this is post 8.0, but in the spirit of continousingly gathering feedback I'd like to try to get some clarification around the feature. So, the questions are....
1. There has been a request for Week numbers both in the date picker as well as in the views. The date picker might look like following. Would you and your users find this useful (assuming there is a preference for hiding the # column as well as displaying it)?
2. If the date picker has the Week number, is there still a need to display the week number in the views (for example, the one week view)?
3. Assuming you still want the Week number in the views, what format would you like? For example, is "Week 12" sufficient or do you and your users want to see "Week 12 of 52"?
4. If we support weeks, do you also want us to support the Day number and the Month number? And the same question about format applies (for example, Day 9 of 365 and Month 3 of 12)?
Thanks in advance, and remember to keep your eyes open for my straight to DVD biopic: "Legend: The Rise and Fall of Elmer Fudd" (teaser: it wasn't just rabbits he was hunt'in)