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?
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.
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 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]
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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...)
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 "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.
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)