Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "All Day Long"and "A Long Day's Journey Into Another Long Day" (In which out hero and calendar designer extraordinaire, the incredibly dashing, handsome, witty, and ever so likeable JACK SPEAR, is caught in a calendar timezone meltdown. Will he and the other operatives of the ELITE organization JCN manage to save the world? Only time will tell....).
Moving right along...
So, as those of you in the public beta know we have offline support for federated calendars. We've got a few questions about what Samantha's expectations will be when using them. To whit:
1. Samantha subscribes to a calendar and selects the "View this calendar feed when offline and on a mobile device." After a while, she decides she doesn't really need to see that calendar offline, so she opens the Modify dialog (you can see it below) deselects the checkbox, and clicks ok. At that point, what does Samantha expect to happen (as always, please explain why you think one over the other): a. All of those calendar's entries will no longer be viewable when in offline mode. (i.e. We remove them outright) b. The current entries will be kept and "aged off" and no new entries will be added to the offline experience. (So, the gist is we keep 90 days of entries for each calendar. Rather then outright removing the entries, we basically keep them around and drop them one day at a time (starting with the oldest ones first)).
2. Samantha adds a federated calendar for Ida, her coworker. When online she can see all of the details for Ida's calendar entries (except for those marked Private of course). When Samantha goes offline she expects: a. To see the same details as when she's online. b. To see the "boxes" for Ida's entries but not necessarily see all of the details. (So, Ida's entries may appear with "No details available" in place of the subject, etc.)
3. Would it ever occur to Samantha to create a local replica of Ida's mail file in order to see the details of her calendar offline? Assuming it does occur to her, do you think she could successfully do it on her own? (You'll note I'm picking on poor little Samantha here. Ted (our exec) and Betty (our AA) may actually have a leg up on Samantha in this department).
I'd like to thank the developerWorks folks for hosting us for over 2 years. They have been very responsive to our requests.
As a team, however, we decided to move to the new blog for a variety of reasons, including the fact that we'd have more control over the layout and be able to have little side panels for IdeaJam, and PlanetLotus. Of course, John Lance is also itching to actually use the new blog template that he designed.
We look forward to continued participation of the Notes community over on the new blog.
After Notes 8 was released, we began hearing that users occasionallydidn’t notice important items (like meeting invitations) in their Inbox.
But why?Was itbecause the icons were too small?Was itbecause they were too similar to each other?Or could we improve scanning by removing icons for mail messages thathad already been read?To find out, weconducted a timed experiment: 24participants found target items on 72 Inbox screens that differed from eachother in the icon size, distinctiveness, and whether or not icons were includedfor read messages.We also asked theseparticipants and several other groups of customers which designs theypreferred.
Results showed that we could greatly improve scanning bymaking the icons more distinctive from each other.Making the icons bigger (within ourconstraints) didn’t help.Usersstrongly preferred eliminating the icons for already-read mail messages.
So, in Notes 8.5 you will see an Inbox that’s easier toscan, with 10 improved icons for mail message types. The biggest changes are removing the icon forread mail and using a blue star for unread mail.We also adjusted meeting workflow items sothat the most time-dependent ones (e.g., new invitation, reschedules,cancellations) stand out and those that are not so time-dependant (e.g., aninvitee has accepted your meeting) are subtler.No other changes were made to the icon grid.
Icons are a very tricky, visible part of the userexperience, so Denise Shaw, our visual designer, drew and redrew them moretimes than she can count until we were all satisfied.Now those of us using the new icons find thatwe need a new excuse for missing meetings!
Thanks, Margo Ezekiel (Notes User Experience Designer) and Betsy Comstock (Lead Notes User Studies Team) [Read More]
We're exploring some 'low cost' solutions until we are able to provide a more robust solution to the roaming signature issue. The goal with the designbelow is to provide Samantha with a roaming signatureusing the Notes client. It does not address all issues (i.e. DWA will stillhave its own signature, no support for multiple signatures, etc.) and there aresome backward compatibility issues. What we need to hear from you, iswhether the gain of a roaming rich text signature in Notes outweighs thedownsides of this approach.
The proposal If Samantha had previously selected a plain text or an HTML/image file, wewill import it for her into a new rich text field. There will now only beone field for a signature, which will be rich, and it will roam. Sinceit's a 'low cost' solution, Samantha will only have a 'lite' rich text field,but that will allow her to add attachments, such as a vCard, and also herpicture or company logo.
If you used the Plain Text and HTML/image file as a way to manage 'two different' signatures, you will no longer have this option. You'll have to change the one signature in preferences or manually enter the 2nd signature (through More > Insert Signature... command). How big an issue is this?
If you go to an 8.5 client (and 8.5 template) and then switch back to a previous client, while keeping the 8.5 template, you will no longer have automatic signature support.Unfortunately, the Preferences page will make it seem like there is automatic signature support, so this is a concern.Does anyone have this scenario? If so, why and how often?
If you have different signatures on different machines, we will only retain the signature from the first machine you use with 8.5.How often do people have different signatures on different machines?
You will be able to insert images, attachments, and doclinks. The actual rich 'text' support available in this dialog is very limited (i.e. only red or blue text, only one font, etc.), so Samantha will probably want to create her 'rich text' somewhere else and paste it in. We know this isn't ideal. How big a deal is this?
Any other issues you're concerned about?
Again, we're trying toascertain whether this ‘low cost’ solution to roaming signatures is stillbetter than what we have today, given the issues I’ve listed above.Please give us any feedback on the questionsabove, and at the end a simple Yes or No would be great too!
For those of you using the beta, I'm sure you've noticed that when you start the client, you get tabs for Mail, Calendar, and Contacts (in addition to your Home page and the Getting started page.)
The reason that these 3 tabs show up is that we put them in the Startup folder
We did that so that users would see tabs for the PIM apps right off the bat (that is, to be conceptually similar with another popular mail program that shows users 3 buttons down along the lower left). The dev team has spent time making sure that these tabs are "lazy loaded" -- that is, we put the tabs up there but do not load the application until Samantha, to mimize the effect on startup time. (while the effect has been minimised, there is a teeny time effect).
If you are the Domino admin, I'm sure you already know that you can put things in the startup folder (or take them out) on behalf of your Samanthas when you deploy. IS it a good thing that we put mail, calendar, and contacts there for Samantha (and you?) or would you rather have us take them out and you Domino admins can put them in for your individual deployments? [Read More]
Notes has a feature called "Lock Display" or "Lockout" (press F5 or choose File - Security - Lock Display).
Do you use it? How often?
Do your business end users even know it exists?
We are considering not having that feature in Hannover. If we dropped support of this feature in Hannover would it adversely affect your decision to purchase or deploy it?
We're considering dropping it because Hannover allows for several different window management models-- in addition to having each document open in a tab contained in a main window, you can set a preference to have all documents open in a new window. In such a case, implementing the screen lock feature to apply to all these windows would require more work. It's doable-- but would you rather have us working on new mail, calendar or contacts features?
With the advent of Notes 8.0, we introduced CSS styles in the Inbox. The styles set in CSS override the attributes set in Domino Designer. The question we have for you, is how should we handle personal folders? Right now, there are no CSS styles in the personal folders, so the look of these are controlled by the settings in Domino Designer. This has been a problem for some, in that their Inbox style does not match their Personal Folder style. In particular, the look of a 'read' e-mail in the Inbox (Sent, Drafts, All Docs, Trash) is a dark gray, while the look of a 'read' e-mail in a personal folder is black. This is because the dark gray (in the Inbox) is set in the CSS but is not picked up by the Personal Folders.
Please let us know which of these solutions you prefer:
Keep things as is, with the Inbox (and other system folder/views) different than Personal Folders.
If a user performs an Upgrade Folders command, apply the CSS from the Inbox to the Personal Folders, so that the styles match.
Always extend CSS files to personal folders, so they automatically look the same as the Inbox (and other folder/views).
Thanks, Margo & the Notes Client Mail development team
In Notes today you have the option to "encrypt" a meeting that you are creating. So a few questions have arisen recently that I'd like to get feedback on.
1. Do you (and/or your business users) know what encrypt does when you create a meeting?
2. Do you (and/or your business users) know how encrypt differs from Mark as Private?
3. Do you and/or your business users) know how encrypt affects a meeting that has been delegated? So, the scenario here is Ted (our Manager persona) creates a meeting and selects the encrypt checkbox. What does that mean for Betty (our AA persona)? Does Ted know what encrypt does?
4. Would it be useful if encrypt was also available to Ted for use with nonmeetings (reminders, appointments, etc)?
A few notes about "encrypt"
In addition to protecting the invitations that are being sent , "encrypt" prevents people with edit access to your calendar from viewing/editing the Description field on the calendar entry. It is important to note that the person with Edit access can still see the subject and times associated with the entry and edit those values, so it is different from the Mark as Private function (which hides this information from users with Read Only access to your calendar). Which leads to one final question:
5. How often do you (and/or your business users) use the Description field when creating a Reminder/Appointment/Anniversary/etc?
My dear faithful Notes users, Several people have asked me why we "removed" the CTRL + TAB keystroke in Notes 8. In Notes 7 (and previous versions), the key combination of CTRL+ TAB moves you from tab to tab. In Notes 8 it does not.
The reason is twofold. First, as you probably know, Lotus Notes is really just a big plug-in to Lotus Expeditor. That is, the Notes client now has a "shell' or wrapper of Lotus Expeditor. (Expeditor is based on Eclpise, a Java integration environment). We needed to decide whether to re-implement this behaviour in Lotus Expeditor We decided that compared to many of the other things we had to do, we did not need to re-implement this behavior.
Second, while we knew that CTRL + TAB was a common keystroke to move from tab to tab, in many (most) other applications, CtRL + Tab exists to only distinguish itself from TAB. The TAB key moves you from field to field. However, when you are in a rich text editing field, the TAb key inserts a tab stop. ( A tab stop is usually an indentation of about 5 spaces.) So users needed a way to get "out" of the rich text editing field.
Way back in the early 90's IBM published a guideline called the "CUE" or Common user experience. At the same time, the open software foundation (OSF) was vary popular and convened a group of people to create a common UI Style across IBM, HP, Digital Equipment Corporation, and other companies. The OSF/Motif Style guide said that CTRL + Tab should be used to move users out of a rich text field. I know all this because I lived it-- I was one of the 2 representatives to the OSF from Digital Equipment corporation.
In addition, in Windows 95, 98, 200 and XP, Microsoft has used CTRL + tab in their products to move users out of rich text field. Thus, it is a "de facto' or "common law" standard.
So, dear customers, in Notes 8 we decided to have CTRL + Tab simply move users out of a rich text field. To navigate between various tabs, we gave you several options: 1. The Window Menu, press Alt +W and you'll post a menu of all the open tabs. Or, press CTRL F8. I realize that this means re-learning, and that is not always easy. Thank you for making the effort to re-learn this keystroke.
Patient followers: Symphony is introducing Mail merge. As part of mail merge, there's an email feature that integrates with Notes. This feature allows Betty to compose a single document, and insert fields from a datasource (aka list of recipients). For example, the letter would be the same with exception of the greeting and/or address block.
One of the options available to Betty after composing the document is to send an email using Notes. The information that will be provided for the email (To, cc, bcc, subject fields and the attachment) is all provided in a dialog from the context of Symphony (see example below). The only option available in this release will be to send the document as an attachment.
Figure: The Mail merge dialog for filling out who to send the merged documents to
As far as the integration with Notes, Betty will only interact with Symphony, and the email will be sent in the background (Betty will never see an actual email form).
What do you think should happen in stand-alone symphony if Notes is not already running? Launch Notes and show the form? Launch notes but do not bring it to the front, do not show the form, jsut send the mail?
Should these emails be listed in the outgoing mail database?
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) [Read More]
Notes 8.5 will bring Samantha an improved user experience for setting large fonts.
First, as in previous versions, you can go to your operating system and say to use large fonts. And this will make the font in your title bar and menu bar larger.
Now, in Notes 8.5, there is a new preference, and she can choose to use normal, large, or extra large fonts, as shown in the picture below. This changes the fonts in the views (including java views) and forms to large font.
I do realize that Samantha has to go to 2 places to set large font, which is not ideal (but it's a little bit friendlier than an ini setting...). And yes, there is a third place that she can go to set the font family-- the preference called "Basic Notes Client Configuration", which has a "Default Fonts" button that lets Samantha choose her default serif or sans serif font. We did not put the new control there because that dialog pertains ONLY to the "traditional" Notes client, where this new Large font preference pertains to both the old and the new java parts of the client. Also, I wanted to completely replace that default fonts dialog because it is not clear to Samantha which fonts get affected where, plus she cannot set the point size... but we did not get to fix that part in this release.
I've tried to illustrate what you have to set where in the following picture:
As you have heard, Lotus guru, strategist, blogger, favorite Canadian and friend Alan Lepofsky has left IBM after 14 years with Lotus. Although he is not going far away (nobody is far away in this socially-networked world!) We simply can't let him slip out the door without a proper celebration.
Since the commute to Orlando for karaoke and sake at Kimonos would be a bit rough, and insurance wouldn't cover an ultimate frisbee tournament, we have decided to celebrate in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Please join us on Wednesday July 23rd at
Flat Top Johnny's in Kendall Square (walking distance from the Cambridge office) to celebrate Alan's time at IBM and his new adventure. The party starts at 5pm, so feel free to drop by whenever is best for you. Rumor has it Johnny's has Canadian beer on tap, so the fun will probably continue well into the night.
I wish to extend my congratulations to my friend and colleague, Alan Lepofsky on his new career move from IBM to SocialText.
There has been quite a range of blog entries about what his move means... and what it means (to me, at least) is that those of us in the CSCW (remember that acronym? Computer-supported cooperative work) community have a collective mission to support and improve how people collaborate-- by giving them new computer tools and capabilities. It does not matter if we work for Lotus, IBM, TeamStudio, Socialtext, Lotus911, SNAPPS, Pavone, Joe's garage, BinaryTree, or whatever... we are all motivated by trying to use computer technology to help people collaborate.
.. and that's what it is all about. And I think that is one of the great parts of the whole social network "revolution." I interact with Rocky Oliver just as much now that he's with Teamstudio as when he was an IBM employee... and I can say almost the same about Bob Balaban... and I am hopeful that I will be able to say the same thing about Alan Lepofsky. He's a resource -- and a friend -- and when I ask for assistance, he'll provide it... not because he's "an IBMer", but because he and I are both members of a community that shares a vision of supporting collaboration via computer technology.
Several of you have asked if we will fix how we show sort order in the Inbox and other views.
I had a meeting today with the Mail interaction designer (Margo Ezekiel), and two developers to discuss how we plan to show sort order in the "Hannover" release. In general, one of our "rules of thumb" is that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Is the current method of displaying sort order broken? Some would say no, others would say yes.
Here is the situation that causes the most consternation. A user such as Samantha clicks to sort her inbox by date, and she sees that she is sorting it in descending order.
So, she thinks, "I want to sort is in ascending order now", and clicks that little downarrow in the Date column header and she expects the solid triangle to point up, and the mail messages to be sorted in ascending order. Instead, when she clicks, she gets this:
"Hum," she says to herself, "The little arrow still points down. But it's not filled in. None of the little arrows are filled in. So how is it being sorted?And how can I get it to sort in ascending order by date?" She looks closer and it seems to her that it IS sorted ascending by date ... are the column headings lying to her?
THE ANSWER (I think). The Date column can be sorted descending or use the "default" order, which in this case is the order in which the mail messages arrived (Oddly enough, in this case, I think, most of the time, that equates to ascending, which might add to the confusion). So, I think that in my example above, the "Date" column is still the one that's being "sorted", except that the sort order is the "default order", which is not necessarily a "sort order", it's just an "order".
Samantha, however, just wants to find the blasted email from Ted about how she needs to make end-cap displays of toilets appeal to homeowners so that they sell all the overstock toilets that they have. Thus, she has neither the time nor the inclination to figure out email sort order. She just needs to find that mail, or her career is, almost literally, in the toilet.
Now, strictly speaking, any user of Domino Designer could fix all this confusion by going to the following box and selecting "both."
When I discovered this, I ran gleefully to the cafeteria in search of the dude who owns the mail template (it was lunchtime), to get him to pick "both." Ha. It appears that turning on "both" to sort ascending and descending is a big impact to performance and increases the size of the mail file because it creates a separate index. (I might not have this entirely right, so don't quote me.) The bottom line is, from a developer's standpoint, there is a perfectly logical reason why we don't allow ascending and descending sorting. From a developer's standpoint, it's also perfectly logical that if none of the little arrows are filled in, then the view must be using the "default sort."
But the majority of our users are NOT developers. So what should we do for the Hannover release?
I doubt very highly that we can make the changes so that it does not impact performance and mail size. Do we just continue the way Notes 7 shows sort order (or not)? Do we highlight the "sorted" column, even if the sort "order" is "the default order", and then display some other graphic that is neither an up or down arrow? (in addition to or instead of the v to mean that "this is a sortable column"??)
Our current plan is to indicate the column being "sorted by" with a highlight as shown below, and to indicate the sort order (if any) with an arrow. We do not plan to show the little v to indicate if a column is sortable. We thinks this produces less visual clutter and has the potential for less confusion.
As most of you know, the Hannover release of Lotus Notes takes Lotus Notes and makes it into a big plug-in to Lotus Expeditor (the IBM version of the Eclipse rich client platform). In doing so, we continue to encounter Lotus Notes features that may or may not have particular value to re-implement in Expeditor.
Today's issue is the user preference for allowing a right double click of the mouse to close your current window tab.
Do you use it? How many of your business users use it?
To be perfectly honest, I am inclined to drop this from the Hannover client. Here is the rationale:
We are trying very hard to ensure that everything is KEYBOARD accessible, because some folks have a hard time using a mouse. And indeed, most advanced users tend to keep their hands on the keyboard rather than the mouse. Samantha ( and advanced users) will still have the following ways to close a window tab:
As a presenter and "speedgeeker" at the Irish Lotus User Group 2008, I want to extend my thanks to the organizers of the event. I am sure that it was a great deal of work, but it ran flawlessley from my point of view.
I was able to not only present and speedgeek, but also gather feedback about Notes 8.5 beta from an international audience. That's important to me and the design team, and it was perfect timing since the public beta had just been announced.
I know they are all exhausted (and they must be a little insane because they just announced UKLUG )
First, please note that since Paul Mooney and Warren Elsemore gave me the official English dictionary, I have been trying to be sensitive to the spelling needs of the non-Americans, and have been using the letter "u" more often in my blog posts.
Now to me real question: In a response to this post about the sidebar, Randy Castle said that clicking on of the little "minimized on the bottom" icons made all of the little titlebars appear. Here is Jamie's response (she's the developer who worked hard to bring you this feature!)
The only time that would occur is if you have 2 icons remaining in the iconbar. I programmatically made it such that you would never have only one icon in the iconbar since the iconbar would be taking up as much room as a titlebar**. So, whenever the user removes the 2nd to last panel from the iconbar (either by pressing an icon or via drag), both icons come out of the iconbar, but the last one remains collapsed. I also did this because I thought it would be consistent with dragging things into the iconbar...when dragging, you can never just drag one panel into the iconbar (initially, that is...before the iconbar has any items in it).
** the one exception to this is if a person uses the Minimize to Icon menu item and the iconbar doesn't have any items. Since it would not make sense to add two things to the iconbar at this point, only one panel will get added.
For example, the 2 pictures below are trying to illustrate that I have 2 icons in the icon bar at the bottom. I click the My Widgets icon, and that opens the My Widgets panel and simultaneously changes the bottom icon bar to the titlebar for the "Day at a Glance" because the titlebar and the icon bar take up the same amount of space so we may as well give you the greater flexibility of the titlebar.
But, maybe we were being too smart for our own good. So play with your 8.5 beta a bit, tell us what you think. We still have a small window of opportunity to change the behaviour.
Thanks for all of your commens about the new view icons, painful as they were to read :( ... and I read them ALL and I read Nathan's (LOL! "another clock face, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"??? )
That's exactly why I posted them here, so this has been a great affirmation of the blog. The Development team has NOT checked the new icons in.
I can't say exactly what we'll do because some of the people I need to coordinate with are on vacation for the rest of the year, so it might be a few weeks before I can give you a full update on the new plan for view icons. I'll do my best to give you some red icons back (among other things), especially since many of you probably got all red and the face and your blood pressure went up looking at the icons.
The unexpected gift was that many of you said that such a change would BREAK the applications. Hooray! -- not hooray that the icon change would break the application, but that so many of you feel that UI bugs are REAL BUGS! Thank you for your support!
Hi, my name is Alex Song. I'm the product designer for the search component in "Hannover". I'm here to show you some of the changes and additions we're making to Notes search.
The most noticeable change is that we have added a global search toolbar in the upper-right. If you are looking for that e-mail sent to you two weeks ago or that meeting that is scheduled two months from now, you can simply type your search in the global search bar and get your results back in a tab. Speaking of typing your search in, you can enter your search keywords in Hannover like a typical web search. This means that a search for "rock band" will yield results with both words and rank those results higher than other results with either "rock" or "band" by itself.
Another thing you might notice about the global search bar is that you can click on the icon to the left of the search field. A menu of different search engines will pop up when you click on the icon, allowing you to search your mail, calendar, contacts, and even your favorite web search engine. This menu will be somewhat customizable so you can add third-party search plug-ins. I'd also like to point out that there is an option to search "All Mail" which looks beyond just your inbox. This is equivalent to searching the "All Documents" view in Mail. In addition, you'll still have the option to search your current view (not displayed in the image above) so you can search just the inbox if that's all you need.
So what do I see when I get back my results? When you perform a search in "All Mail", "All Contacts", or "All Calendar", your search results will appear in a new tab. Your results page will contain the familiar search bar that exists in Notes 7 so you can still perform advanced searches (you can even get to advanced search from the global search menu). You'll also notice the "Recent Searches" bar on the left. This is your search history. It shows a list of your previous searches, and it remembers which search engine you used. Clicking on any of the search keywords in the list will run the search for you. You can hide your "Recent Searches" or disable them completely from the preferences as well.
How do you feel about the changes to search? What do you think is the top issue with searching in Notes today? Let me know by posting your comments.
One of the things we tried to improve in Notes 8.5 was the "manipulatability" of the sidebar panels. So please try out the new sidebar. Specifically, please do one or more of the following:
Open 3 or more sidebar panels. More is better.
Drag to make them taller or shorter.
Check to see if there are any new menu items on the "Panel menu" (the one drop-down menu thing we provide in the title bar of each sidebar panel).
IMPORTANT! If you are using TWITNOTES as a sidebar panel, well, the new features won't work, so remove twitnotes (You don't have to uninstall it, just remove it from the sidebar, I think). ther emight be other home-grown sidebar panels thta break it as well.
Let me know what you think/what we can improve.
I'll post pictures and details of how it is supposed to work, etc. in a day or so, but before I blog about the details of this new sidebar that you can manipulate more easily, I want you to just play with it.
If you follow me on twitter, you know that I was on vacation last week. We rented this house on the shores of Seneca Lake, in upstate New York, with my father, sister, and their spouses, dogs, children. We had a great time.
I have returned just in time for John to take a week off, so our shared design studio is quiet.
While I was gone, we had STRING FREEZE for Notes 8.5. This means that all the files with translated words got packed up and sent off to the translators. After this, it is really hard to change any of the words, because the file has to go back out and get translated again. Very expensive. So we try not to do that.
In the Hannover release we are redrawing all of the view icons. It's been quite a few years, and it was time for an update. As you can see below, we are going for a softer palette, not quite as bright.
Now, when I say "view icons" I mean the icons that app devs can use in database views. In our redraw, we concentrated on their use in Mail, Calendar and Contacts. But of course, we are also mindful of the fact that you use these icons in your custom applications as well.
To that end, we tried in most cases to keep the metaphor, but just update the visual. There were a few cases, however, where we felt that the metaphor was out of date or did not work well in Mail/Calendar/Contacts.
So take a look at the new icons. They are the first grid below. The Second grid is the existing icons. Pay special attention to the following, because we change the metaphors:
0, 10 -- changes from the "finger with a string" to an alarm clock
0,160--changes to a clock type thing from a person with a hand raised
1, 80 -- changes from the X to a different kind of "do not" type international symbol
6, 160-- (mood stamp for "joke") changes from eyeglasses to a "drama mask"
9, 160 -- indicator for "private" changes from the red hand to an envelope with a special seal on it.
I realize that this means that you'll have to take a look at your existing applications that use these icons and see if the new icons still make sense. That's why I'm letting you know now so that you have plenty of time to prepare.
Today we have a guest blog from Noy Wanderski, the User experience designers for the Address book (Contacts).
The Hannover Address Book/Contacts experience will be quite a change from previous versions of the Notes Address Book.
One of the major changes is to the contact forms. Both contact forms and group forms have been updated with a new visual design. For example, there’s now a header area for the contact name and picture.
One of the big changes is read mode versus edit mode for the forms. Read mode will show only the information that you’ve entered for a contact. This means there will be no more blank fields of information when you’re looking at a contact record.
Figure: Contact form in Read Mode
Figure: Contact form in Edit mode:
Figure: Group form in read mode:
Figure: Group form in Edit Mode
Another big improvement is the option to enter several e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses per contact. Users will be able to enter up to five e-mail addresses, ten phone numbers, and three mailing addresses. The label for each of these fields is also quickly editable and customizable.
Since users have the option to enter so many fields of information per contact, we’re also providing the ability to set a "primary" e-mail address and phone number for each contact. The primary e-mail and phone number appear in the header area of the read mode form. The primary e-mail address will also be the default address for that contact when you’re addressing mail.
I’m currently investigating methods of displaying the primary fields within the form and I’m interested in hearing which style you think is the most usable.
I posted some images below of both read and edit modes of each of the forms as well as a couple of images with different primary indicators.
Please keep in mind the icons aren't final. Which of the threemethods of displaying the "primary" fields below do you prefer?
Workspace, workspace, is everything they say And nothing that I'd rather see Where else can you stack a half a million squares All at a quarter to three Then arrange the icons, ooh, those lovely chicklets, Shows it's got a lot of style But it's still that great old rep-li-cation That really really drives em wild!
They say the Heart of Lotus Notes is still beating. And from what I've seen, I believe em. Now, old Redmond says we're barely breathing But the heart of Lotus Notes, the heart of Lotus Notes is still beating!
E-mail, IM, and the new Contacts Are something everyone one should use New side-bar and the new ver-ti-cal view Are all things you should cho-ose Then you open new apps. Those great new comp apps Shows that Notes has a lot of flash But it's still that great old rep-lic-ation That lets us kick old Outlook in the ***!
They say the Heart of Lotus Notes is still beating. And from what I've seen, I believe em. Now, old Redmond says we're barely breathing But the heart of Lotus Notes, the heart of Lotus Notes is still beating!
(Tarcio!) <sax riff>
Big Banks, small ones too, pharm-a-ceut-i-cals, yeah, Finance, and Ed-u-cation Hewitt, Turtle, Lotus911uhn, Penumbra, all the busi-ness part-ners, Everywhere there's users, real live users, folks with a million styles But it's still that great old rep-li-cation That really really drives em Wild!
They say the Heart of Lotus Notes is still beating. And from what I've seen, I believe em. Now, old Redmond says we're barely breathing But the heart of Lotus Notes, the heart of Lotus Notes is still beating!
In <shout your company name here!> <again!> Heart of Lotus Notes!
(1st verse) We're in to replication Wikis and data stores I feel a premonition These apps are gonna take me far We've got comp applications New views and mail re-call Spreadsheets and presentations You're gonna love it all
You can build the perfect form Or design apps to your fame Our brand new editors will help you Optimize your game Life will never be the same!
(chorus) Co-la-bor-a-tion! We're living la vida Lotus Lotus Notes, Sametime We're living la vida Lotus Quick-r, and Portal we help you keep your focus So-cial net-work-ing We're livin la vida Lotus Livin la vida Lotus Livin la vida Lotus
(2nd verse) Started up some activities Wrote me some blogs as well They helped my job and they helped my projects They're gonna make my communities gel
I used some video to talk to people far and near and chat emoticons to make my conversations clear I'm a software pioneer!
(chorus) Co-la-bor-a-tion! We're living la vida Lotus Lotus Notes, Sametime We're living la vida Lotus Quick-r, and Portal we help you keep your focus So-cial net-work-ing We're livin la vida Lotus Livin la vida Lotus Livin la vida Lotus!
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)
In Notes 8, (and previous versions) the default for "Reply" includes any attachment that might be in the message. We are considering changing the default to "Reply without Attachment" for the Notes 8.0.1 maintenance release.
My colleage Jeff Eisen has brought up a couple of important points, however, and we'd like your feedback. He's concerned that a maintenance release is not the place for this kind of change (for example, we do not update the documentation in a maintenance release, and thus the only place where a change like this is documented is in the release notes, which end users.)
We do not want your help desk people and admins to bear the wrath of users who hit "reply" and assumed the attachment was going with it, and then lost data.
For those of you who want to leverage a Notes 8 look and feel in your templates without building the outline view and action bars etc. from scratch, please note that Chris Reckling posted a Notes template on his InsideLotus blog that pretty must follows the look and feel style conventions that I outlined in the User Experience design guidelines
One of our internal teams (LanguageWare-- they provide the spellchecker and some stuff for Live Text, and other stuff) is going to betaking a full week out to focus entirely on "entity extractiondevelopment" which is geekspeak for "recognizing what a word is"-- "Hannover" being a city OR a development project, things likethat. So if you have some entities which you really would like tosee included please let us know.
By entities we mean any named thing in text, like projects,technologies, people, times, companies, organizations, places,addresses, legal jargon, ... etc.. this is your chance to suggestsomething a bit more off the wall, or even very mainstream and domainspecific.
Here are some things I know Samantha would want to be automatically identified:
Dates/Times and roles (due date, sent date, event date, etc.)
Relative Dates/Times: "today", "tomorrow", "noon next Tuesday", etc.
The Notes 8.5 public beta 1 is at the moment planned to be available to you around 9 am eastern time Friday morning.
This is not a guarantee, just a heads up, so that those ofyou in, oh, say, Australia, can stay up late and keep pushing the refresh key on your browser so that you can win a beer from your geek mates for being the first one to download it... that kind of thing.
As we speak to customers, we are hearing about the growing use (some call it their "addiction to") of Blackberries and other PDAs. This has made us curious about a few things regarding how people at your company use them and how you use them.
What is the current % of employees who use PDAs at your company?(a ballpark figure is fine, e.g. less than 10%, maybe 50% etc)
Are there any company policies that restrict usage to certain job levels or roles?
What are the main things that other people at your organization DO with their PDAs?
Has the use of PDAs reduced the amount of printing? (and if so, what gets printed less?)
Is there a push to get people onto these devices?
Do you see shift coming in the next year toward this?
Your own usage:
If you don't use a PDA now, do you see yourself getting one soon?
If you use a PDA now, which one do you use?
What are the main things you do with it?
What are the biggest changes you see in your usage of a PDA vs. a larger-screen computer?
Does the ability to sync data to a PDA lessen the amount of printing you do? For example, do you look at your meetings on the PDA instead of printing out your schedule?
Our friend and colleague, Cynthia Ice, passed away earlier this week.She was an accessibility expert and tester-- a tireless advocate foraccessibility for Lotus Notes and other products, starting with Notes 5I believe.
Every blind user of Lotus products, and every salesperson who has towork with accounts that require accessibility, owe Cynthia Ice a greatdebt. Her work is described a bit in the following article in USA Today.
Her life had great purpose-- to make software usable for people withdisabilities. Please help her to continue to accomplish her purpose byfixing an accessibility bug in her honor. All you Notes app devs around the world -- if all your databasesare 100% accessible, that's great. But chances are, they are not. So take a few minutes to make sure that all your menu items havemnemonics (underlined access keys), or that a screen reader reads yourform in the proper order.
IBM developers -- take a look at your spr queues and see if you haveany accessibility ones, and see if you can find some extra time to fixone -- for Cynthia. [Read More]
Samantha, a Promotions coordinator at "Renovations" (a fictitious company)
Ted, the VP of merchandising at "Renovations"
Betty, Ted's AA
Hannover is for
Samantha Daryn, Promotions Coordinator
Samantha works in the Marketing department of Renovations, a chain of home improvement stores. Samantha is the Promotions Coordinator, reporting to Marketing Manager Amadou Alain. She is based in Chicago, at Renovations headquarters, but travels periodically to industry events, marketing events, and Renovations store locations.
Samantha's Work goals
As promotions coordinator, Samantha's main job is to create and manage promotion programs that boost sales and customer loyalty for the Renovations stores. She also has to increase brand awareness of a line of power tools called "Power Renovations". Promotions programs include Web site content, newspaper inserts, catalogs, exhibits, in-store displays, and special events, and may feature purchase incentives such as discounts, rebates, and contests.
Her interpersonal work goals include:
•Staying in touch with her team and customers, staying organized and having good relationships with the people on her team and with customers.
Samantha is responsible for:
•Designing promotions programs and producing promotional material. Samantha works closely with a visual designer; a copywriter, and the web master and outside consultants.
•Coordinating promotional activities with goals of the advertising and marketing departments
•Collaborating with Renovations store managers on the display and administration of in-store promotions.
•Evaluating promotions by ROI (Return on investment)and brand recognition
•Budgeting and financial reporting
Samantha's Work Day
Samantha's day is frequently full of meetings. She and her colleagues meet regularly to discuss the status of their projects, and she attends planning and status meetings with Marketing management. She also meets with Renovations store managers to collaborate on promotion plans, placement, and execution.
Samantha uses an IBM Thinkpad T30 laptop running windows XP, and a Mac PowerBook G4 (15 inch monitor) . The IS department loaded the IBM Thinkpad with the following:
•Lotus Notes 6.5 client with mail, calendar, and contacts applications. She's a bit frustrated with mail and contacts compared to Outlook, which she used at her last job. She uses seven other Lotus Notes databases (She has local replicas of the first two). The IS dept created the local replicas and the replication schedules for her; she has no idea how to make a local replica of any of the others or how to change the schedule)
•IE 6.0, to keep tabs on competitors' web sites as well as the Renovations site. She uses Google Maps when she needs directions for visits to store locations, and is also a veteran online shopper.
•Microsoft Word 2002 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2002. She is a real power user of Powerpoint.
•Lotus Sametime 2.5
The IS department put Lotus Notes and several Adobe products (Illustrator, Photoshop) in the Mac so that she could work closely with the visual designers in her department.
In addition to her laptop, Samantha has her own computer at home, on which she uses Hotmail, MSN Messenger, AOL Intant Messenger, and Skype IP phone to keep in touch with friends. She also has a personal cell phone and a PDA, which she often uses for work-related activities. And, of course, she never goes anywhere without her iPod.
Hannover is for
Ted Amado, VP of Merchandising and Marketing
Ted is the highly-respected, busy, competitive head of Merchandising and Marketing at Renovations, a chain of home improvement stores. He is based at headquarters in Chicago, where he spends about 80% of his time in scheduled meetings. Ted travels on business about 25% of the time.He depends on his Administrative Assistant, Betty Zechman, especially to manage his calendar and travel.
Ted’s Work Goals
As VP of Merchandising and Marketing, Ted’s main goal is to increase profitability and generate new revenue streams through delivering excellent promotional activities, both inside the Renovations stores and in outside media and special events.He sees his role as setting longer-term strategy and doing whatever is needed to keep his direct reports successful implementing projects such as improving store atmosphere, developing and delivering advertising, promotions, special point of sale displays, etc.
Ted manages by motivating and leading his employees.He seems to know everyone, and uses his relationships to accomplish business goals.He is often the “face of the company” to outsiders, and enjoys the spotlight.
Ted’s Work Day
Ted arrives at work around .He first scans email to “check the pulse” of his responsibilities. Ted gets over 100 email messages a day and many include large attachments. Ted attends to as many as he can and sorts them into folders for Betty to handle, projects he’s working on, and people he needs to meet with.Often there are phone calls, voice messages, or Sametime chats about urgent items.Ted keeps track of his work by making sure everything is on his calendar.He checks to make sure he’s ready for today’s meetings, checks an email folder named “Urgent” and occasionally prints out information he’ll need. He also looks ahead at the meetings for the rest of the week.
Ted spends at least 80% of his usual work days in meetings. Betty schedules the meetings, taking care to allow time for Ted to get from one to the next.She understands his work and priorities well, and therefore knows which meetings and people to squeeze into his schedule.In any day, Ted may have 10 or more meetings scheduled, but that may change drastically during the day as new issues arise that require Ted’s attention.
When Ted travels, Betty takes a more active role in scheduling, monitoring Ted’s email for important issues, routing or handling any she can, and alerting Ted to anything he might need to know about immediately.
Ted hates surprises and makes sure he’s up to date on business and consumer trends.At free moments during the day, he peruses newspapers, trade publications, analyst reports, websites, etc., and forwards interesting items to his staff, often with a request for an individual to follow up or get more information.
Ted uses an IBM Thinkpad T41 with the standard Renovations set of software, including Lotus Notes 6.5 with mail, calendar, and contacts applications. Ted also has access to several Notes databases with sales, corporate finances, project management, and Ted’s specialized database of merchandising vendors; some have reports or views tailored for his personal use.Ted often depends on others on his staff to create summary slides and status reports based on information in these databases.If anything goes wrong, he calls his IT person to fix it.This is not because he’s uncomfortable with the technology; it’s that it’s just not a good use of his time.
Ted also uses PowerPoint and Excel.He has a cell phone and Palm Pilot.
Ted was the first in his family to graduate from college and he still wears his University of Chicago class ring.Soon after joining Renovations, he earned his MBA.He’s the recipient of the Merchandising Innovation Award for 2004, which is on display in his office.
Ted and his wife Victoria, an art gallery administrator, and their 16-year-old daughter Valerie live in Skokie, a diverse suburb north of Chicago.They love to play tennis.
Hannover is for
Betty Zechman, Executive Administrative Assistant
Betty Zechman is Executive Administrative Assistant to Ted Amado, VP of Merchandising and Marketing at Renovations.Betty manages Ted’s calendar, email, travel, and whatever else she can to support him in his responsibilities.Betty also provides indirect support to the Senior Managers of the Business Development Division.
Betty’s Work Goals
Betty supports Ted Amado in whatever capacity he needs, managing his calendar and inbox, providing support information for meetings, making travel arrangements, etc.She supports Ted and his senior managers by helping to create spreadsheet reports and presentations.Betty also leads the team of administrative assistants, and makes sure their hardware, software, and training needs are met.
Betty really wants everyone to be well taken care of.She is highly efficient, trusted, and knowledgeable about Renovations’ business and Ted’s responsibilities and priorities.
Betty’s Work Day
Betty arrives in the office around .Her low-walled cubicle is right outside Ted’s office.She has a large paper calendar on her desk and yellow stickies on and around her monitor.Betty checks her voicemail, scans Ted’s mail and calendar, and then her own.She makes sure there are no changes to Ted’s calendar since last night and updates it if needed.Meeting changes come via the phone, email, or Sametime rather than as Notes calendar invitations since Ted has little free time and other entries must shift to accommodate changes.
When something urgent comes up, Betty contacts Ted right away.If he’s offsite or not in the office yet, she calls his cell phone. If he’s in a meeting, she uses Sametime or walks to the meeting and speaks to him directly when the meeting ends.When Ted’s schedule changes for later that day, Betty makes the change in Notes and also contacts Ted if she thinks he might not see it there in time.
Aside from all the calendar work she does, Betty helps make sure that Ted has everything he needs for his meetings, such as information from email, lists of attendees, and directions if he’s offsite. She prepares monthly report spreadsheets and transforms Ted’s draft PowerPoint slides into more polished presentations.She sets up meetings with other management team execs, suppliers, analysts, and other people inside and outside Renovations and she organizes larger meetings by doing everything from managing materials to ordering lunch.Betty also sometimes routes email or replies to it on Ted’s behalf (cc-ing Ted), especially when he's traveling.She sorts email he needs to take care of into folders: “Urgent”, “Read”, and “Personal.”She also deals with email Ted has sorted into folders for her: “Edit” or “Print.”
Betty is Notes savvy in both mail and calendar but hates repeating meetings.She wishes she could use the group calendar but needs something that would allow her to see what everyone is doing all at once.Her own mail isn’t as organized as Ted’s.She uses her inbox as a to-do list and only files items when they are finished.
Betty's Work Tools
Betty’s primary computer is an IBM ThinkCentre desktop workstation running Windows XP. She also has an IBM T30 Thinkpad that she uses when she is out of the office to keep all of Ted’s information current.
Lotus Notes 6.5 is her email and calendar tool. Betty loves Sametime Instant Messaging and could not live with out it.
She uses MS Word, PowerPoint, and Internet Explorer 6.0.
Betty also has to use “Reserve” an internal room scheduling application (web-based).
Betty is the mother of two daughters, both married and on their own.She also has two grandsons, Ryan and Joey. Betty’s husband is an environmental engineer nearing retirement.They spend vacations and long weekends at their family’s little cabin on Castle Rock Lake, Wisconsin, where they enjoy swimming and teaching their grandsons to fish for muskies and walleyes.
Last year I had the privilege of presenting at both. This year, ILUG asked first, so I'm going to ILUG.
DNUG speakers include Kevin Cavanaugh, Brent Peters and Bob Picciano.
ILUG speakers include Alan Lepofsky, Ed Brill, Myself and a few other hard-working and fun-loving IBMers. Notice how ILUG got all the good IBM bloggers :)
ILUG is free, and I think there are a few spots left, so hurry on over to their website to register.
ILUG is a lot more relaxed than Lotusphere, where we are not allowed to do things like toss out give-aways into the audience during our talks. ILUG has to such restrictions, and in fact, in some sessions they hand out beer when you walk in the door! While I do not plan to give out beer, I do plan to bring several give-aways to bestow upon the Lotus faithful. This might be in the form of a "pop-quiz" about what is coming in Notes 8.5. The desgn team and I have posted quite a bit of what is coming in Notes 8.5 to this blog, so read our former posts to prepare (hint: It also never hurts to know the names and job roles of our design personas, especially new newer ones, like Ida, Fred, Raj, Michaela and others...)
The "Central Triage" meetings have been going on regularly for quite some time now. That is, each area has local triage meetings to triage bugs, and then we we get close to things like public beta, we move to a central triage, where representatives come together .
We are right now talking about one team (the "single log on"initiative) who managed to get thru this central triage beta process so far without any bugs! Their manager is checking into that to confirm it-- would be cool, and fun to reward them. Of course, then the challendge would be for you beta testers to find as many single log on bugs as possible :)
Speaking of the public beta, it should be soon. We take every day (and every bug) as it comes. I am hoping that it will be in time for DNUG and ILUG next week, , because then not only can I demo it, but you can fiddle with it as well.
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.
Please note: 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....
The Notes/Domino 8.5 public beta is now available. The forum with all the details (download, release notes, etc.) is at http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd85forum.nsf
I and the rest of the design team monitor that forum, and thus, most of the discussoin will move there; this blog might not be that active for a bit because all the action is taking place over on the feedback forum.
We are planning on doing some usability testing with external users. We have plans to go to customer sites to do usability testing of Notes 8.5, using our "Renovations on the road" approach that Betsy Comstock and the user studies team came up with. As I am sure you all know, Renovations is where Samantha, Ted and Betty work.
We take Renovations on the road by traveling to the customer site, where they have reserved offices or conference rooms for us, and we set up the server (we named it "the big bad wolf") and 3 clients (who are of course named Piggy1, 2 and 3). Then real end users at the customer site come and participate in usability tests. The mail, calendar and contacts are all to do with Renovations topics.
Of course, the ideal thing is to have users install the betas and use it on their own mail, but you admins are very protective of your end users and you don't usually let them install things like "public beta 1" :) so for business end users, we have found that "Renovations on the road" is the next most useful approach.
The closing sessoin of ILUG is commencing. There's still a lot of energy-- one sponsor is throwing out "stress ball brains" and people are having fun.
The "Customising the look of Notes 8" session (Volket, Paul et. a., notice the proper English spelling of "Customising") went well and was well attended for a 9 am session on the last day.
Then the "Linking Notes to the world with Live text" was also well attended. It was an after lunch sessoin adn the room was warm, so the session was a bit quieter than I wanted. Actually, Andrew Davis did most of the presentation, and kept asking for folks to "Stump" him with wiidget requests. Nobody during the session could... but then he spent the next hour with somebody trying to buidl something and he just announced that he's been stumped. Poor Andrew. But he'll forget about it soon once John Head buys him all that beer he deserves :)
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.
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.
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...)
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)
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)
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.
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!
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?
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.
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?
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> Internet <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.
In Notes, when Samantha opens a database that isn't already on her workspace, the database is added automatically to the current workspace page. In Hannover, there can be no notion of "current location" for the launch list. In addition, users are not unanimous in their appreciation of this feature -- many users don't want databases to be added to the workspace automatically. Nonetheless, existing Notes Workspace users will have an expectation that databases will be added automatically, and we need to respect this expectation.
Preferred solution: Ask Samantha if she wants to add new databases (a dialog plus a preference setting)
When Samantha opens a database (by clicking a doc, view, or database link, by selecting File - Database - Open, or in any other way), we should detect whether that database already exists on her launch list/workspace. If it doesn't, then when she closes the database, open a variation of the "Add Bookmark" dialog giving her the opportunity to bookmark it. We should do this on close and not on open, because when Sam is first opening a database, she may not have a clue whether she wants to bookmark it or not -- she hasn't seen it yet!
And here's the related preference:
So.. what do you think? our Chief engineer (Jeff Eisen) is not so keen on this-- only because the "right" thing to do might be to eliminate this annoying dialog and instead implement a really good search, but I am on the fence about this-- it would be a domain search-- does Samantha know what that means? and even if she did, would she remember file names correctly?
For the Hannover project, we're employing a design technique called "Using Personae." (Personae = Latin plural of Persona, a voice or character representing the user) My summary of the technique is that we create one or more believable fictional characters based on a bunch of interviews with real users, and then try to keep those characters in mind throughout the design of the product.
This idea was first popularized by Alan Cooper in his book The Inmates are Running the Asylum. (1999). We have used this technique before for the design of Sametime 2.0 and 2.5. We started by holding a reading group of the book.
(Conducting the reading group was in itself an interesting exploration of geographically dispersed collaboration, since the development teams were in Kentucky, Israel, and Massachusetts. We'd pick a person to summarize a chapter each week, make a few slides, and put them on the whiteboard of our Sametime meeting room. We'd also ONLY use the IP Audio available as part of the Sametime product. I think one of those reading group meetings was also the first time I had a Sametime video meeting. At any rate, by the time we finished the book, we felt like we should give this "persona" idea a shot.)
Using personae appears to be a popular technique right now. At the annual ACM CHI (Computer-Human Interaction)(http://www.chi2006.org/ )conference taking place this week, there's a panel discussing the use of this technique.
Since a focus for Hannover is improving the end-user experience, we focused on creating several business end-user personae. Yes, the Domino administrator and App dev Designer users are very important to us. But we get to hear from you a lot-- at Lotusphere every year, at the Notes user group meetings, and so on. I have never met a real, live business end user at Lotusphere. So we decided we needed to concentrate on those business end users. (You know, the ones who look at you funny when you say the word "replicate".)
We (Betsy Comstock, Sheri Branco, Deb Maurer, Jennifer Smith) set about to conduct a series of interviews with real business end users. Based on the Hannover goals, we knew we wanted to interview several executives and their AA's so that we could create an "executive/AA pair." We know that this type of "work dyad" has special Notes usage and needs. We also wanted to create an individual contributor.
Thus, three personae - "Ted Amado, VP", "Betty Zechman, AA" and "Samantha Daryn" were created. Now, we know that it's virtually impossible to boil down 125 million users into 3 fictional characters. But keeping 3 specific people in mind is sometimes a LOT easier than keeping the "mass of 125 million faceless users across the globe" in mind.
And we also know that these characters are very "Western-culture centric". We've worked with some of our user research colleagues in IBM Japan to have them conduct interviews of Japanese end users and share that information with us.
In my next posting, I'll introduce you to my "three imaginary friends" (as some of the developers have called them). In the mean time, feel free to read more about this technique at the following web sites:
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...) [Read More]
Is itpainful for your organization to deploy new versions of the Lotus Notes Client,because your IT department has customized the Mail template?
We want tounderstand what your template customizations are and the reasons behindeach.For example, “Do you customizeyour template to show Last name, First name in the Inbox?If so, why do your users need/want this?”
Roughly how many customizations do you make to your mail template?
Do you make the same customizations for all your users or do you deploy multiple customized templates?
List your most important customizations.
Why are these particular customizations needed (i.e. what’s the use case)?
MargoEzekiel, UI Designer, Notes Mail Client BetsyComstock, User Studies Lead, Notes Client
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Refreshing To Dos" and "Great TV Moments of My Childhood" (#4 = Mr. Hooper defending Sesame Street from an invasion of Klingons using only the letter G (as in "ghuh Daq Hegh DaH, Klingon dog!"). And my congratulations to the Alpha geeks who understood that without the benefits of a translator.)
Moving right along....
So we're re-examining the exporting of Contacts to different formats (vcard, CSV, TSV, and Structured Text). Specifically we're looking at some of the options that appear on the dialog and wondering how much Ted A) Understands these options and B) Needs to really be concerned about these options.
Of particular interest:
1. When exporting a VCard does Ted has the option to Export a Character Set (below). So, again, the question is does Ted know the difference between these two things? Does he care? Should we just pick one as the default and not give him the option (and which default would you pick?)
2. When exporting contacts to a CSV format Ted gets to choose to Export Character Set and the Level of Detail to incorporate (below). Keeping in mind that we are specifically focusing on Contacts (and not other cases where you would want to export to CSV) does Ted know/care about these different options? Are there defaults we can choose and simply hide the options from him (and what would they be?)
3. When exporting contacts to Structured Text format Ted gets our familiar Export Character Set option, plus a Separator Between Documents and Word Wrap options (below). Again, in the world of Contacts do these options make sense to Ted?
Hi Folks, We are adding support for large icons to Notes 8.5 (in addition to the small ones that ship with Notes 8 and 801). We plan to have a context menu item on the open list, and a preference.
Figure: Use large icons in the context menu on the Open list. I'ts a "check mark" menu item, like "Dock the Open List"
Here is the preference. Notice that I put it on the Windows and Themespage. I know that there used to be a preference on the BasicNotes client Configuration page. However, this new preference applies to Expeditor, Syphony, andLotus Notes, so it does not make sense to have it on the BasicNotes client configuration page any more. For example, if Samantha is using "standalone" Symphony, she needs to be able toset large icons on the Open list for the 3 Symphony editors. TheBasic Notes Client Configuration preference won't be there. Yeah,I am a bit worried that people will not find it there. The other optionis to make a whole page just for that.
Figure: the new "use large icons preference" in the Windows and Themes preference page
I'm standing on the "lab floor" of the Lotus Advisor conference, trying to write this entry in between giving demos of Hannover.
The time is coming for me to make some decisions about a "Getting Started" or "Welcome Page". Here are the options:
We use the current Lotus Notes Home Page mechanism in bookmarks.nsf. Some of the issues here are:
We'd put "getting started" information on what we call the "Setup" page (you have probably not seen this page in a long time), but users who have customized their home page (or who have set something else as their home page, like the Workspace), will not see such information. The current startup page from Notes 7 looks like this:
Should we change that so we FORCE users to see the new information? DO you want the ability to decide whether to force users to see that information? The information might be something like this; the content is subject to change
Option 2: We use Eclipse mechanism, whereby we have a separate tab for a "Getting Started" page, written in HTML. Users see it, and can close it, and then get back to it from the Help menu. It's totally separate from Bookmarks.nsf.
Users would see 2 separate tabs-- one for "Getting Started" and one for "Home"
If we supply this, we'll still provide the Home page stuff (note: We're making the terms consistent so that we always refer to it as the Home Page (rather than our current mix of Home Page and Welcome Page). So once Samantha closes the Getting started, she'll see the Notes Home Page.
Option 3: Forget about the idea of supplying any "Getting Started/Home page" information, just take users right to their mail (Or calendar).
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?
The "About This Application" and "Using This Application" documents for the Mail template (Mail8.ntf) and the Contacts template (Pernames.ntf) have been updated for 8.0. However, you will notsee these updated documents in applications created prior to 8.0.
Why? The reason is that in previous releases, the templates had the "Prohibit design refresh or replace to modify" property on those design elements. Note that this was a customer requested change to the templates, back in R4. Of course, I wasn't working on Notes then, and we're not sure exactly what the use cases were for making this change.
I suspect this was because many of you customized your templates and provided customized "about" and "using" documents and you didn't want them to get stomped on. In Notes 8, we have made many changes to Mail and Contacts applications AND to the "about" and "using" documents, so now some of you might be between a bit of a rock and a hard place, because you are going to WANT the updates we made to these documents.
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Week Numbers Redux" and "My Favorite Last Words" (including: "Arrrrrghhh" - Quint in Jaws "Arrrrghh" - Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, and "This actor is much better then that Booth fellow we saw last week - arrrgh" Abe Lincoln in Ford's Theater)
Moving right along....
We are looking at the selection model in Notes 8, particularly in the Inbox. We have heard some requests for the classic Notes gutter selection/checkmarks to be reintroduced, so we are considering two different options for post 8.0 releases: 1. A very black and white situation where you either use the Notes 8 windowy selection model OR the classic Notes gutter selection model (think Preferences).
2. A hybrid model whereby we integrate the two approaches as follows:
We add a check column to the Inbox (the gutter).
If Samantha selects an email in the Inbox by clicking in the Name, Subject, etc columns we follow the Windows selection model.
If Samantha selects an email using the gutter then we follow the Notes gutter selection model.
This gif gives you a rough sense of what this experience might feel like (Samantha shift clicks to select multiple mails, then clicks on a single mail, then clicks on the gutter of a single mail):
Samantha will also be able to drag in the check column to select multiple items. There is a slight change in that if Samantha drags too far and then backtracks the selection is removed. In the Notes selection model once Samantha drags over an item it is selected/deselected - she cannot "pull back" if she goes too far:
The biggest impact is that in classic Notes you could check several items and then put the selection rectangle on something that was not selected. This would allow you to do things like Open the selected item without opening the checked items, which is a little hard for Samantha to grasp (in fact, we've gotten some negative feedback from users who do not understand why doubleclicking on the boxed item does not also open the checked items). The confusion is certainly understandable when you consider that when Samantha then does a Copy Selected as Table the checked items are included in the table, but not the item that has the box around it. So the hybrid model will not allow for this:
Other things to keep in mind about the hybrid model:
If you scroll down so that the selected items are not on the page, and then click on an item, we follow the above selection rules.
If you delete in the Inbox we will not support Logical deletes (ie X's in the gutter) but continue using the Trash Can.
Question: If you could upgrade current databases to include a trash can rather then the current X logical deletes, would you want to?
And for the wise guys in the audience: No, selecting something will not automatically change the date. That is a mockup thing.
Notes 7 shipped with 5 toolbars on by default, I think. (Universal, editing, address, navigation and the context-senstive one). We're focusing on the "PIM" (personal information management, e.g. mail calendar and contacts) experience in Hannover, and for that experience, I think shipping with 4 toolbars turned on is too much.
Now, ideally, I'd like to give you the ability to totally customize the toolbars and govern that through policy, so that you could give the lawyers in your company a different set of toolbars than the accountants, and that kind of thing. That total customization is the direction we plan to go, and using an Eclipse rich client platform takes us in that direction. But we won't be able to give that to you yet in Hannover.
So, here are 2 proposals, which do you prefer, and of course, you can suggest other things.
1. Four toolbars on 2 rows: Editing, Universal, and the new search one on the first row, and the context-sensitive one on the second row. (and of course, if you have created a custom toolbar, we'll turn that on also, and try to fit it on the first row, and if it won't fit, then we'll put it in a third row)
2. 2 toolbars on 1 row: The context-sensitive ones (with a few important items added, such as new, print, and in the case of edit mode, cut, copy, paste and copy as link), and the new search one (and same caveat about the custom toolbars).
In a view, you'd see the first row below (with search right- justified at the end).
In a document, you'd see the second row (Again, with search at the end)
Now, one issue with just 1 row is that in our new IBM Productivity Tools (they are a word prcessor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool, and are shipping as part of Hannover), there will be 2 rows of toolbars. That means that the row of tabs will move up and down as Samantha switches between a tab that is for, say Mail, and a tab for the IBM Spreadsheet. If it weren't for this "moving" problem, I'd go with this choice, because it displays fewer icons (e.g. I don't want to make Samantha look at a "paste" icon in a view if it will never be enabled)
Here is a sample of what they might look like in Mail and in the Spreadsheet. Yes, in the squished picture below, it looks like we could fit the second row into the first in a mail view. But then in a document (message) the editing context-sensitive toolbar is a lot longer, so it seemed to make more sense to put it on the second row consistently. The IBM Productivity Tool design lead (Jodi Rexford) and I have coordinated so that the items in the first row (in option 1) are in a consistent order across Notes and the IBM productivity tools, e.g. always starting with cut, copy, paste. If we did the "context-sensitive only" route of option 2, we'd lose that consistency.
In the Hannover release we will have user policies for almost every user preference. In the user policy user interface in the Domino admin client, we have a setting for "how to apply the policy," as shown in the following example:
We've heard that the choice" Do not change" is confusing to some users. Thus, I'd like your opinion about the best way to change this.
Here are some options, feel free to suggest others. I do not think the label "How to apply this setting" is particularly clear, and I am thinking of changing it to one of these 2 labels:
How to apply this user preference
How to apply this setting to user preferences
As you can see above, currently there are 3 choices in the drop-down. Here are some ideas for different wording:
Do not apply
Set initial value
Set and prevent changes
Do not change the user's preference
Set initial value
Set and prevent changes
Do not apply
Set and hide preferences UI
Here is what we intend the 3 values to mean-- which of the above choices came closest in your mind as you were reading them?
Dot not change (meaning, do not change the value that Samantha gave it)
Set initial value (meaning, you might pick a different default than we do, but then let Samantha change it)
Set and prevent changes (meaning, you have absolute control, you set the value and then this part of the preference user interface is hidden from Samantha.)
Hey folks, 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. He writes:
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.
I'll be doing a series of postings about various menus and menu items, and then move on to other topics. The design team is working on menus right now, so they are fresh in our minds, and I like a "top-down" approach anyway-- start with menus, then maybe move to toolbars, tabs, action bars etc until we get to status bar issues :)
Thanks for the more than 50 comments from my first posting, in which I asked how you felt about the "View - Quote Selection" menu item.
Based on the responses, it appears that we have a cultural split, and our Asian users use the Quote Selection and many others don't. So, I will try to follow up with some of our Asian users. In the mean time, I'll not remove it, although I'm going to try to simply HIDE it in a view (since it is never enabled in a view), and that's about it.
Today's question: the Properties menu items.
On the File menu, there is a "Document Properties..." menu item, and then on the Edit menu there is also a "Properties..." menu item that is context-sensitive and gives you the properties for the current "thing" (e.g. Table, Document, Database, etc.).
I was thinking of just having one "Properties..." menu item, making it context-sensitive, and putting it near the bottom of the File menu. Opinions?
One of the new mail features is the ability to recall a mail message that you have sent.
This feature is controllable by user policy. That is, a Domino administrator can set up a user policy so that this feature is "off" (and thus totally hidden) from Samantha.
Throughout the beta, this "recall mail' feature has been ON by default. a Domino administrator has to turn it OFF specifically if he or she does not want the ability to recall mail.
Why? We have made a concerted effort to "turn on my default" all of the new features in Notes 8. Notes has a bit of a history of adding features and then turning them OFF by default, making users or admins take extra steps (for example, did you know that the mail "recipient indicators" --also called the 'to-ness" icons--have been around for several releases, but end users had to go turn them on???)
So, we made a general rule to turn ON all the new features. IS the an appropriate setting for a new feature such as "recall mail"?
ALSO, just in case you DO NOT USE USER POLICIES:
You can control and apply message recall settings using a mail policy settings document or a Server Configuration document. If there is no policy in place, the values in the Server Configuration document are used to establish the message recall settings. If those message recall fields on the Server Configuration document do not contain values, the default settings are used.
Please let us know ASAP (as in, within 12 hours) because we are at the very end of our development cycle and our window for changin ANYTHING is getting slammed shut... soon!
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:
Sametime instant messaging
"Day at a glance"
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.
In my previous post I told you that the DWA template and "regular" template are merged, and that there will be an entry in the Replicator page to "synch Contacts" between the Contacts that are stored in a user's mail file (which is the way DWA did it) and the separate pernames.nsf (Contacts), which is the way the "regular" template did it.
One of the reasons we merged the templates was to allow people like Ted (our VP of marketing persona) to delegate his contacts to Betty, his AA. So if they are all in his mail file, he can delegate them. Thus, now, the Delegation of Contacts feature is closely associated with this synch of contacts between mail and pernames.nsf. This means that if Ted delegates his mail to Betty, he'll automatically delegate his Contacts also (if we turn on the synching things automatically). Is that going to be a problem? Think about Your execs, who have not yet been able to delegate contacts... and suddenly -- poof! all the AA's have access. It might be a wonderful thing and all the Domino IT folks will be praised. (personally, I am of that opinion), However, if Ted has been storing the names of all the people with whom he has engaged in, well, let's just say "Private activities" (which may or may not involve women's shoes, Charles...),or, say, the name of his sex therapist, marriage counselor, or Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor... and suddenly Betty has this list, well, IBM certainly does not wish to make any VPs look foolish on account of a magically shared personal contacts book....
On the other hand, I figure, if Ted is going to trust Betty with his Mail and Calendar, then he'd probably trust her with his Contacts as well (and we do want to make it possible for him to set some Contacts as "private only"... but we can't fit it in just yet...).
Thus, perhaps now you understand the debate we're having about turning it on automatically. And yes, it should be governed by a user policy, which will have to wait for a future release.
One other thing-- the Contacts entries count toward your mail quota, so if we turn it on, everybody's contacts will count toward their mail quotas. Is that OK? (and yes we are considering putting all the contacts in the mail file, not for 8.0, but perhaps for a future release.)
So now that you have all this information, do you REALLY want us to set up the Contacts synch to be ON by default? Please provide not only a yes or no, but also the company you represent, the approx number of users affected, and whether you've got people who have ONLY used the "regular" mail template in the past (as compared to the DWA one).
This is a DRAFT persona. If you are a web developer (or can get one to read this) please feel free to post comments on whether this persona is accurate. Or come to the UX lab in Asia 4 at Lotusphere and talk to us about her.
Michaela is a Web Developer for Renovations. She actually has 2 jobs - during the day, it's her responsibility to put content on the company's internet and intranet sites, and make it look elegant and professional. And on the weekends, she free-lances in website development for small companies and non-profits who have no IT departments.
She has a degree in Computer Science, but she very candidly admits that the skills she uses in this work are those that she learned mostly on her own, not at school. "School was all theory, which, I guess, is important for building a conceptual framework, but the really useful knowledge came from reverse engineering other web pages". She has an intense curosity about everything and is highly motivated to overcome any challenge given to her.
Skills and Methods
If she needs to lay out a page, she uses Dreamweaver, but when a quick edit is all that's needed, she sometimes just fires up the file in a text editor. She has heard of XMLSpy and someday would like to investigate it, but says frankly that EditPlus gives her all of the contextual help that she needs for quick code edits when she doesn't need to work with the visual layout.
When she comes across something cool on another site that she wants to learn, she views the code and searches on the key terms. She keeps abreast of new technology by visiting and reading feeds from different technical news sites. "Often", she says, "one spark of innovation there is enough to spin me off into a whole new feature for my sites".
She's also well-versed in the Eclipse framework from her student days, and she is thrilled that Rennovations is so invested in it. She says it really helps when she is coding in multiple languages. She doesn't get a chance to use it much in her side-work.
Recently, however, she has faced some added challenges. While data storage in MySQL is adequate for her free-lance weekend job, Renovations uses an enterprise-wide RDBMS, and her database skills are not strong enough. She is trying to learn about Oracle with the data architects, but it will take her some time to feel comfortable navigating the enterprise schema. And just last month, she was asked to do some HTML code in a product called Domino, which is an enigma to her. A company expert, Raj, is working with her to understand this schema-less database and to understand about the quirky way that HTML is rendered in Domino. "Passthru HTML" doesn't make sense to her and she would like to be able to use pixels or ems for sizing images and tables, so that she can make use of all the other code she has written previously to make her pages "elastic".
It might seem that Michaela would not have much spare time, but she has a very active social life, too. She loves sports and movies (in fact, she dreams of being a film-maker one day), and spends time networking with her friends in the real world and in virtual worlds of FaceBook and MySpace. She uses texting more than email. She has an idea to create a new kind of social network for people to be able to connect more easily with others from their native countries, and stays up late at night to work on her ideas.
We could not implement the re-design in time for the public beta. And while I think it's a good design, the fact that "not in time for public beta" means that we have almost no chance at all to get feedback from users while using their REAL data really made all of us nervous. (That, and the fact that if a major piece of code doesn't get "done" until the last minute, then chances are that it will be buggy).
So, we have postponed the big re-design of the workspace. Instead, Lotus Notes 8 will include a few visual tweaks to update the look. Yes, you will still be able to see the server names, and I think the magic key combo to show filenames will still work (I wanted to make that a proper menu item, but we're running out of time so that won't happen).
Other VERY GOOD news is that we are have already implemented the part of the workspace/bookmark redesign (now called the "launcher" or the "open list") that dynamically updates the "open list" with databases that you have added to your workspace. (hooray!!). So now you'll really be able to get 2 ways to "visualize" your Notes applications-- spatially on the workspace or "list-wise" in the "open list." You won't have to choose one or the other.
I'll try to post pictures of both soon. In the meantime, I need to start working on my lotusphere presentation, which is due tomoorw... hum, in a few minutes, make that "Today"!
Good user interaction design is really all about re-design-- re-design based on user feedback. Thus, my primary purpose in this blog is to post questions to the millions of Notes users out there so that I can better understand how you use Notes.
This blog is not the only way that I and the rest of the Notes design team are gathering feedback. We're working with several design partners in various industries, we've posted several surveys, and we get our usability test participants from people who have volunteered to participate by registering at this site: https://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/usentry.nsf/register?openform
My goal is to blog three times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) about the design of "Hannover" and Sametime.
Today's Question: On the Edit menu, when do you use the menu item called "Quote Selection"?
Never Once a day or more About Once a week About Once a month Less than Once a month
How would you feel if we removed that menu item? (And if you can't figure out what it does, I'll tell you in my next post).[Read More]
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.
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "Mapping Imported Contacts"and "My Favorite Party Animals" (tip: monkeys are overrated, bulls are expensive, and goliath bird eating spiders get you a clear path to the buffet every time (of vital importance for those of us that wear extra large Lotusphere shirts)).
Moving right along...
We're hard at work here in Lotusville making it so that Samantha can subscribe to other calendars from her Notes calendar (i.e. she can see entries from other calendars in her Notes calendar). One particularly interesting side effect involves All Day Events.
Currently when Samantha creates an All Day event in her Notes calendar the event appears in the nontimed event area (that area at the top of the calendar) and the column has a light fill of the same color. When Samantha adds her personal google calendar (or Ted's calendar) she gets to pick a color for those calendars. Right now, any all day events on those calendars also colors the day. And, if you happen to have multiple all day events from multiple sources you wind up with a blend in the column.
So, should All Day Events from other calendars actually color the column, or should they just appear at the top in the nontimed event area?
Pink (on left) is from another calendar - Yellow (on right) is an All Day event on Samantha's calendar.
As many of you know, we are improving the roaming user experience so that it's supported in the standard client. We are creating some user policies so that Fred the Domino admin can specify that Ted Amado (our roaming user) sees NO roaming user upgrade dialog boxes at all-- it just happens. Fred can also specify that Ted does see dialogs, and we want to improve on the existing dialogs.
Here are some draft dialogs. I am on the fence about how much to tellTed in these dialogs. On the one hand, I know that people don't readdialogs so I want them to be pretty short. On the other hand, if Fredhas decided that Ted gets to see what is going on, then maybe Tedreally does want the details. So here goes.
DIALOG 1: More info ____________________________________________________ IBM Lotus Notes ____________________________________________________ Your Lotus Notes administrator had made you a "roaming user" so that you can get your Notes data on different computers. To complete the roaming process, information needs to be replicated with a server now. This might take some time.
Do you want to replicate that information now?
[ Yes ]
[ No, ask me the next time I start Notes ] _____________________________________________________
DIALOG 2: Less info _____________________________________________________ IBM Lotus Notes _____________________________________________________ Your Lotus Notes administrator had made you a "roaming user" so that you can get your Notes data on different computers. It might take a few minutes to set you up as a roaming user.
Do you want to finish the setup now?
[ Yes ]
[ No, ask me the next time I start Notes ] _______________________________________________________
Questions: Do we need to supply MORE info, like that it isContacts, Personal Journal, and Workspace that are getting replicated? or does Ted not really care about that? At the moment, I am inclined togo with more info because if Ted doe snot care, then FREd can just setthe "Do it without any dialogs" option and the people who get thedialogs might be the savvy kind that want to know?
Thanks for your comments and suggestions for what else to hide (or not) as part of the advanced menus. I noticed that several of you requested that we do NOT hide the "new replica" menu item. PLEASE note that RIGHT AT THE TOP LEVEL of the file menu, we have added a menu item called: Make Available Offilne..., as shown in the following picture.
The pictue above shows what Samantha will see in the Replication pull-right when the Advanced menus are turned OFF. (yes, we considered putting "Make Available Offline... "in the Replication pull-right, but normal users like Samantha do not know what the heck replication is to begin with, and we were trying to make it easier for her to discover how to create a local replica all by herself.)
And here is the dialog that she'll see when she picks that menu item. Notice that we're trying to teach her, by giving her sentences like "Make the thing available off-line by creating a LOCAL REPLICA.)
So, this menu item is SPECIFIC for making a LOCAL REPLICA ONLY, whereas the general "New replica" dialog was for making any kind of replica... and we noticed in our usability tests that most users got REALLY confused because our old "new replica" dialog asked for a SERVER name... it just flummoxed them from the start. (Here is the "new replica" dialog to refresh your memory):
so the idea is that ADVANCED users can continue to use this dialog to make a local replica, or a server replica (and I am told that 99.9% of business users would NEVER be allowed to make a server replica) if they want, but most business users will never have to encounter the above dialog.
So let me know if I am wrong about business users being allowed to make a server replica. And maybe in another post I'll tell you how I really feel about the face that we have replication defaults AND replication options AND a regular and hi-priority replication schedule that is based on your LOCATION... It is a huge usability challenge, and we hope that we made a few positive steps. [Read More]
A while ago I asked for your opinions on what would be best for the toolbars. I am trying to pare them down to 1 row by default for the "Samantha's" of the world. We had a few design issues because the new IBM Productivity tools (Spreadsheet, presentation too, and Word Processor) have 2 rows by default, and that meant a "jumping" tab row.
So, here's my next idea: Move the tab row abover the toolbars, as shown below. Then any app can have as many rows of toolbars as they think appropriate for their specific application.
Here are 2 screenshots of the Workspace facelift that I mentioned.
This first one shows hover the mail database. Hover is not something that the old Workspace had. Note that we're experimenting with the tab color. Specifically, rather than making the entire tab a color, we've got just a color block at the beginning. The is the same color that your old tab used to be. And we plan to pick up on that color and in the Launch list, make the corresponding folder that color. You can see that we have retained the unread marks and the stacked replicas, but rounded the edges of the chicklets slightly. You can turn on server names if you want.
The second one shows that the Mail 8 database is selected and hover is over bookmarks.
Wow, I think we broke our feedback record on this response - 100 responses and counting...
Thanks for all the great feedback. As usual, it's very helpful for our planning.
It seems there's almost universal agreement that we should change the default meaning of Reply. This will cause us to re-word the other options in the Reply drop-down menu, in the Views & Forms in both Notes and DWA. We realize that the 'terms' will now be different from what was offered in previous releases, and we want to make sure that this won't really confuse our users.
So, here's the new proposal for the Reply menu:
Reply = Reply with History, no Attachments
Reply with Attachments = Reply with History & Attachments
Reply without History = Reply without History and without Attachments
Thanks, Margo Ezekiel, Notes Mail Client UI Designer
Hi all, John Lance here. You may remember me from such past blog postings as "We're Talk'in Time Zones!" and "Donnie Darko: Time Traveling Superhero or Our Next Notes Calendar Persona?" (teaser: And will Ted be replaced by Frank, the giant bunny rabbit?)
Moving right along...
Today we'll talk about some post Notes 8 designs, specifically around the week numbers. We've already talked about how week numbers might appear in the date picker. Today I want to focus on displaying the week numbers in the views themselves.
We're looking to take the current Notes 7 approach of having the footer at the base of the different views with the Day # # of days left etc. formats but we're thinking about a few tweaks that I figured I'd float by you all.
As a quick reminder, this is essentially what we are talking about:
A few variations we are considering:
1. Allow users to pick whether they see Days, Weeks, or Months in the footer regardless of the view (most likely off the little drop arrow you seen in the screen above). So, rather then always seeing Day # in the day view (which is what Notes 7 does) you would be able to see Weeks in the Day or Two Day view if you or your users wanted. Good idea/Bad idea?
1a. Assuming you and your users want to be able to switch between the different formats, what would be the default? Weeks in all views or Days in Day views, Weeks in Week views, and Months in Month views?
1b. If you want the default to be Weeks in all views, do you always want us to keep the footers in sync across the views? So if Samantha selects Weeks in the Day view, and navigates to the Two Day view, does she see Weeks or does she see Days?
2. Would you and your users like to be able to customize the countdown to be to something other then the end of the year? So rather then # of days left (until the end of the year) would you like # of days (until the end of the quarter).
On May 2nd, Stu Downes asked if we could look at improving our support of multiple monitors.
He's not the only one. Ken Norland of Countrywide has been asking for 2 years, and John Head of PSC spent a great deal of time with us during Lotusphere 2006 (our yearly "user group" type conference in Orlando), discussing the importance of making Lotus Notes easy and useful to use when a user has 2 monitors hooked up.
I'm happy to say that we maybe able to address improving our support of multiple monitors. I cannot provide any specifics or make any promises, but the IBM Distinguished Engineer in charge of the Hannover release (Jeff Eisen) has taken an interest in Lotus Notes on multiple monitors lately, and he's been looking into making some improvements.
Wow, 75 responses. You folks scare me a little, because you had more to say about F5 than about the Workspace redesign.
I've read all the responses (and so have various developers and dev managers) and we had a meeting to discuss, and here's what we've decided:
1. We want to give you configurable function keys but can't fit it in with all the other things for Hannover. So we're taking note for a future release.
2. The Lock Display feature will invoke the windows Lock computer function.
3. To invoke it, users will continue to use the menu or the F5 key.
4. The Sametime 7.5 implementation automatically puts you into "away" mode when your windows computer goes into "lock Computer" mode.
Given the variety of responses, there is no way we could make everyone happy (OK, Nathan, I know, configurable function keys would make ALMOST everybody happy). We do appreciate the responses and pay attention to them, even if what you learn here is sometimes disappointing. I'd rather have you learn about it now and be able to prepare for it than be surprised after the product ships.
Thanks again for all of your feedback and your passion for Lotus Notes!
I'm working with Matt Hatem and other developers on the re-designedWorkspace. (Since I made that posting, clearly some things have changed,like we call the Launcher the "open list" and our plan for the "type tofind" feature is that it will mimic the one you see in the Notes 8 openList)
I know that in the past, IBM provided not only the Workspace,but also a "Gridded Bookmarks" feature-- at least that's what we calledit internally. In Notes 7, you get to the "Gridded Bookmarks" byright-clicking on the Bookmark bar, and choosing the menu item "Displayas Workspace." the context menu item looked like this (from the old Bookmark bar):
My understanding (from talking to internal people) is that the "GriddedBookmarks" did not quite "get it right" and that is why people stilluse the "old workspace". I want to make sure that our newWorkspace design does not end up in the same situation, so I want tounderstand why the "gridded bookmarks" never seemed to replace theworkspace.
So, if you were to click "Display as Workpace" on the folder labeled"Applications" in the bookmark bar (labeled databsaes in Notes 7), you'd see something like this (these are my bookmarks, of course,yours would be, well, yours...). The idea is that the sub-tabs yousee-- Applications, General, Domino Design, HR and MIcs, Ligal, PIMapps, those are the tabs in the old workspace.
An advantage of the "Gridded Bookmarks" was that you woudl get a"checklet" (a square) for everything on your bookmark bar-- alink to a view, a link to a document, a URL, etc. NOT JUST thedatabase. For example, as you can see in the following figure, any item in my Favorite Bookmarks gets a square, even if it's not adatabase.
Here are some of my assumptions, please, PLEASE let me know if they arecorrect, and of not, please give me more info. Becasue if youdon't, this workspace re-design we're working on might be a flopand we'll all suffer.
Assumptions on why these gridded bookmarks never replaced the Workspace 1.Nobody knows it exists. It's only on a right-click and nobody everfound it (the new desing REPLACEs the workspace option, and should bein the same place as the old workspace option) 2. The gridded bookmark tabs did not retain the color and color was soimportant that it was a deal-breaker (the new design retains the colors) 3. You single-click to launch it, compared to the double click in theworkspace. that just felt wrong (new design has double click) 4. Once you "drill down" several levels of nesting, you don't know howto "go back up" because this little control over in the upper right wasunclear: (new design uses a tree control on the left, as you can see inthe Workspace re-design link above)
Thus, if we make sure we solve the problems above, we have a shot atmaking our new, re-designed workspace good enough that you'llmove to it from the old workspace? IF not, what else do we have to do? Also, Margo and I are having a contest to see if I get more responsesto this than she got to the feedreader posting. Please don't disappointme :)
As some of you noticed, the productivity editors included for free in Notes 8 include the ability to export to the .pdf format. So you'll be able to export and documents written in the document editor, presentations, and spreadsheets, into .pdf format.
This is exactly what Chris reckling and I did with our Lotusphere presentation, it was as simple as choosing one menu item:
Please note that in Notes 8 you will not yet be able to export Notes documents written in the Notes editor to .pdf format. we're just beginning to plan for Notes 8.1 How important is it for you to be able to export Notes documents to .pdf files? [Read More]
To continue my questions about the Notes selection model (we are thinking of making it available as a preference), is it best to retain the entire selection model, and if not, which parts can we ditch? I am inclined to retain the SELECTION part of the Notes model, but get rid of the FOCUS part-- I mean, the part where you can have FOCUS without SELECTION. The first picture below shows that the first item has BOTH the focus and the selection. The second item has only the selection.
HOWEVER, the "fun" begins when Samantha encounters things like the following picture:
She wants for forward the "ACM Online Purchase" information to the accounting department. But she is not sure WHAT exactly will get forwarded when she clicks "Forward" from here. She certainly doesn't want to send them her Google password! And she seems to often accidentally move the wrong message to a folder. When this happens she utters an unkind word about Lotus Notes.
The worst time, however, was when she thought she was replying to one mail from her boss, and instead it concatenated all of her selected documents and forwarded them on! She almost has a heart attack! Especially because one of them said something very very unpleasant about what a complete idiot her boss was!
As you can tell from my examples, I think that "Focus without selection" violates the prime directive of user interface design, which is: Don't Make Me Look Stuipd!
Of course, maybe there are millions of happy users out there who are going to miss this bit about Notes selection/focus. If there are, please let me know now so that *I* will not look stupid by removing this feature.
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.
A few days ago we talked about a hybrid selection model that integrates aspects of both Windows and the classic Notes approach. As part of that discussion keyboarding was touched lightly upon, but I have been asked to get some clarification on the behavior you would expect.
In Notes classic Samantha could select a set of items and when she pressed the up/down arrow the selection would be retained.
In Windows Samantha has to press the "ctrl" key to retain her selection while pressing arrow keys. If she doesn't the selection moves to the next item above/below the items she had previously selected.
We are saying that the hybrid model will follow the Windows keyboard conventions. So - good or bad thing?
How often do any of your (or your business users) use this feature:
View - Document Preview - Zoom Preview?
It "zooms" the preview into taking up the entire tab, but the tab label is still for the view, not the document that got zoomed. We're thinking of removing this, because we suspect that it's quicker to just open the document, and doing so does not have the usability ramifications of providing a "misleading" tab title.
A few weeks ago I provided you with several options for different ways to help users manage lots of different panels in the sidebar (we are providing 3 or 4 by default but we assume business partners will be writing lots more of them).
We have some conflicting goals-- how do we make it "discoverable" that Samantha can turn on or off different sidebar panels, while at the same time, making the most of screen real estate?
Here's a new proposal.
By default, an organize panels section is expanded, displaying a vertical list of available plugins. Available = plugins that have been installed to the user's Notes client.
Users see a list of available plugins and may toggle them on or off in the sidebar.
Users may also turn off the vertical navigator by collapsing via the "Organize Panels" label.
The panel manager is a new sidebar panel that provides additional user capabilities.
Users may toggle on and off available sidebar panels (like they can in the vertical panel list).
In the future, this area aids in discovering new plug-ins to install, with sections listing new plugins, favorites, etc...
Saved Sidebar layouts are enabled view the single pulldown menu tab at the top of the sidebar.
Hi, Margo here again, this time to talk about some designs post 8.0.
The current Inbox context menu (aka right-mouse menu) is long, and well, not that 'contextual' or useful. We need to first gather some information from you, on how you personally use the context menus, and how you think your users will use it. After I gather this feedback, I'll post some design proposals and you can give your opinion later on those too.
Do you or yourbusiness users frequently use and depend on these to be in the Inbox context menu... (or to put it more bluntly, if we remove these commands, will you be angry)?
'Document Properties' (Section A)? why do you use this for Mail?
Any of the commands in Section B (Cut, Copy, Copy as Document Link, Copy Selected as Table, Paste)? why do you use this for Mail?
Any of the commands in Section C (Open, Edit, Forward, Print)?
Any of the commands in Section D (Open in New Window, Create Bookmark)?
Any of the commands in Section E (Reply, Reply to All, Add Sender to Contacts, Copy into New)?
Any of the commands in Section F (Quick Flag, Move to Folder, Block Mail from Sender)?
Any of the commands in Section G (Add to Activities, Show Related Activities)
Are you an Admin, App Developer, Business User, or other type of user?
Hint: Just copy this list and paste it into your response; list only the commands you commonly use on the Inbox context menu and will be really unhappy if they're not there anymore (you may still use these commonly from somewhere else - i.e. keyboard shortcuts, Action bar, main menu, toolbar icons)
Thanks! Margo (Notes 8 (and beyond) Mail UI Designer)