CU: Mary Beth Raven ... The Nitty Gritty of Lotus Notes 8

September 10 2007

Best presentation opening ever! ...

(with the Star Wars opening theme by John Williams going in the background)

"A long time ago in a town 1,440 miles away"

(text crawl just like the opening of the Star Wars movies)

"Notes ... Release 8: A New Hope. It is a period of angst and frustration.
The Notes USER EXPERIENCE does not delight users,
making the struggle against the nefarious REDMOND-based EMPIRE that much harder.

A bold decision is made.
A release known only as HANNOVER will “deliver a world class user experience in mail, calendar and contact management,
and new capabilities such as activity management  and composite applications.”

Only one question remains:


Notes 8"

  • The Mission: Improve Mail, Calendar, and Contacts ... Introduce composite applications ... integration the IBM productivity tools
  • Had to understand the Notes users ... sites visits. Different Industries and countries (not just US)
  • Interviewed Users to Create Personas ... "Knowledge worker" (based in their office, not roaming), Administrative Assistant, Executives that have AA's ... needed to focus on Specific Tasks
  • 8.0.1 will focus on other attributes ... such as roaming
  • Roaming was not forgotten for 8.0.0, but they had to pick a focus. 8.0.1 and "next" will add features for the roaming user
  • Defined "Quality User Experience" ... Visual Style, Usefulness, Execution, Innovation
  • Notes 8 is not a one time deal, but the beginning of a new way to approach Design going forward. The UX team is like the "personal trainers" to the developers. Commitment to a trainer is about changing of a life style.
  • Notes Development knew they needed someone who would latch on to the process and not let it go and keep with the UI Design changes
                that was Mary Beth
                Now, Design is a core part of the process going forward
  • Involving Uses to Create the Visual Style
                came up with 8 brand attributes that IBM wanted to convey
                participated in two studies with wire frames ... this included "mood boards" with color pallets
  • Involving Users to Ensure Usefulness
                prioritized the feature set (28 customers, ~ 200 features)
                answered two surveys (~ 400,  ~ 1,000 respondents)
                responded to the new design blog (~20,000 hits/month)
  • Involving Users in Execution
                prioritized usability issues (we fixed 107), participated in ~ 400 usability tests (in labs and at user's work)
  • Involving Users in Innovation
                Participate in ~ six site visits
                participated in usability tests
                reviewed designs and UI specs = ~ 20 review meetings
  • Ways ~ 1,950 users were involved
  • These are the new features because you chose them!
  • Notes 8 is a big plug-in to Expeditor
                Expeditor provides
                        Title bar
                        menu bar
                        "Open List"
                        tab management
                        toolbar, including search
                        status bar
                        visual change
  • Because of this, some things had to change .. for better or worse
  • Title bar
                no longer shows "menu help"
                tools menu added, moved items from File to Tools where it made sense
                changed "Database" to "Application"
                Created Advanced Menus to hide stuff most users do not need to see
                        (be default, if you install Designer and/or Admin, this should be checked on. Otherwise, it is off at installation/upgrade)
                        They would like to make Advanced Menu as a policy in the future
                window menu visible all the time
                had to change a few mnemonics and shortcuts ... tried to get a hidden "Alt- F - D" added but it did not work
  • Open List
                leverage same mental model as "Start" button in windows
                contents are the same order as your Notes 7 bookmarks
                new things at the bottom
                users can close the home page but also get it back
                applications added to your workspace get dynamically updated in the open list!
                right-click on the Open button to dock it
  • There is a new redesigned Workspace, hope to get it in a future release
  • Tab Management (window management)
                Open each document in it's own window or open each document in it's own tab, group by application
                open each document mode is very similar to Outlook
                user preference and policy for window management
  • Toolbar
                added buttons to the Context Sensitive toolbars and turned on only them
                universal is turned off by default
                        this causes issues because it has editing controls in places you can not edit
                search is now always visible
                        new default search syntax is more "web like"
                        preference if you prefer the old search syntax
                        automatically scoped to "all documents" ($search)
                        can choose current folder
  • Sidebar
                peripheral vision
                easy access
                deploy a variety of plug-ins
                idea came from IBM Research
                        users want to be able to glance at calendar while in the view
  • Because Notes 8 is a plug-in to Expeditor
                several things that "worked" in Notes 7 had to be re-implemented in Expeditor
                several things did not get done in time
                "Open in new Window"
                Ctrl + W does not close a window
                some things on the status bar
  • Status Bar
                edition choices not present
                still have lightning bolt, history, acls, security, and locations
                QuickPick is not there
                        more reasonable places to get to those actions
                        just send mail and just receive mail may get added to the Tools menu in a future release
  • Notes 8 uses the Browser Embedded in Lotus Expeditor
                embedded browser!
                no more notes browser
                end users can no longer pick different browsers for different locations
                users can go to preferences to choose embedded or OS default
                in the future, read the default browser in the OS and use that as the label in the preference
                developers can still choose which browser for preview ... only for Domino Designer
  • No "bookmarks" or "Favorites Menu" in the browser
                create - bookmark only way
                discussion about added dogear support here in the future
  • Sidebar Plugins Contribute menu items to the tools menu
                for accessibility, sidebar plugins should contribute the actions to the panel menu
  • Lock ID
                CTRL + F5 is the shortcut to lock your ID
                Lots of customers asked for F5 to be the refresh key .. F9 still works
                The cover up of the screen has to come from Expeditor, not Notes. There was not time to implement this in 8.0.0
                Investigating options for a future release
  • Visual Theme
                stored in global.css
                its a jar file
                notes.css has notes specific options
                forthcoming DW article on customizing this