Hello Friends! I thought it would be fun to try a little experiment here and develop a group writing project that would allow us to define best practices around the user experience using the Lotus Notes client. While I don't believe in absolutes, there are many ideas which will almost universally improve the user experience. Let's see if we can document some of those.
Here's what I propose. Like all the things I work on, this is pretty simple! ;-)
1. Pick one (and only one) idea or technique that you'd like to represent as a user experience best practice. What we are looking for here is to focus on the Notes client, as there's tons of stuff out there regarding UX best practices for the web. (Many of those are applicable in any software environment, actually, so it's good to be aware of them).
2. Share this idea via your blog, leave a comment here, or send me an e-mail. I'll create a special area (perhaps a wiki?) where this information can be consolidated after people have had a chance to comment on the various concepts.
This will be a community controlled effort to get the initial entries together, so if your entry generates a lot of "boo hiss", we'll choose to leave it out. If we get enough people to participate, we'll end up with a nice little resource that the entire community can use.
I believe a focus on the user experience from the standpoint of the everyday Notes developer is even more important now than ever before due to the efforts that IBM is putting into this area. The last thing we want to do is expose our ugly old apps in the beautiful new Notes 8 shell. It will be like "putting lipstick on a pig"!!! Perhaps this group resource will be a place where developers can go to draw inspiration for their next project.
Along with the "Best Practices Guide for the User Experience", I was thinking of creating a "Lotus Notes Interface Gallery". Think of this as a place to show off your best work, again with the goal of providing inspiration (and perhaps some bragging rights) to other developers who might not be comfortable in anything other than the 3-pane UI model. For all its warts, there are some excellent examples of Notes UIs out there, and I think it would be cool to get them all together in one place. What do you think? A dedicated sub site here or something more generic, such as Flickr? Let me know your thoughts and feel free to send me submissions.
Well...This is a community all about collaboration and it's what we do best. So, please, if you are interested, consider playing along. This could be fun AND educational! Cheers...