Friday, January 30, 2009

Lotusphere 2009...Some Quick Thoughts

Another Lotusphere is in the can and I can echo many of the voices in our community by saying Best. Lotusphere. Ever! Perhaps due to my IBM job now, Lotusphere has a different flavor and between speaking and various job related events, I didn't get to attend nearly as many sessions and labs as I wanted to. I'm amazed at the number of sessions available this year that were of super high quality and I wish I could have seen them all. I think a highlight for me was Benjamin Zander's appearance at the Closing Session. I can't imagine anyone leaving that room not being inspired to start "radiating possibility"!

I've leave out my thoughts and comments about products and strategy since I don't want to sound like I'm just echoing the party line. Suffice to say that I'm energized about the portfolio. I think it's a fantastic time to be a Lotus customer or to be looking to become one! ;-) I also realize, more than last year even, that I have to get back to doing full-time development. It's what I'm good at and what I have a passion for, so I'll be looking at ways to do that within the halls of Lotus (hey template team...need a hand? ;-)

I was honored once again to be chosen to be a speaker at third year now! This still really blows my mind to be up there with these other great folks and I'm humbled to get to work with them and call many of them friends. This year, I presented on the principles of good interface design with Tom Duff, some Web 2.0 UI patterns with Nathan Freeman, hosted a lightly-attended but lively UI BOF and did some speedgeeking. I had a blast and have to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone that attended one of my sessions. I hope you found at least one nugget that you could take back and start using.

If you are looking for the downloads, they'll be up soon. In fact, I just posted the speedgeeking database. In the next post, I'll include our presentations as well as the sample database from AD212. There are some cool design patterns there and I look forward to introducing you to them, especially if you didn't make it to the 'Sphere this year.

Speedgeeking: The Amazing Tabbed Table

I had the pleasure of being able to participate in Speedgeeking this year at Lotusphere and while it's hard on the voice, it's really a lot of fun. For those not familiar with speedgeeking, it's much like speed dating. Each presenter is at a separate table and groups of attendees spend 5 minutes getting a "crash course" in whatever that presenter's topic is. After 5 minutes, they go to the next station and so on for 1 hour. To keep it fun and lively, an MC is continually calling out the time and rowdily making people move along. It's a bit of a challenge to distill a topic down into a meaningful 5 minute pitch and presenting the same content (loudly) 12 times straight is certainly harder than it seems, but the effort is totally worth it.

As I promised to the attendees of that speedgeeking session, I'm including my sample database here to play around with. If you didn't get to attend, then read on to learn more about "The Ever Amazing Tabbed Table: Cool UI Tricks Anyone Can Do" (and by anyone, I mean developers...admins couldn't handle this ;-)

Get the database here

I think tabbed tables are an excellent design element for making good UIs in Lotus Notes. I'm continually amazed at the uses that you can come up with for this versatile element. For speedgeeking, I demonstrated four popular design pattern uses for the tabbed table, primarily focused on their programmatic aspect.

So what will you find in the sample database? Four cool techniques including:

Fade In/Fade Out

Fade In/Out Example

Wizards Example

Rotating Headlines

Headlines Example

Elegant Navigation

Navigation Example

All of these techniques are extremely easy, can be setup in a few minutes and can be used over and over again. To me, simple is elegant. I hope you enjoy and find some new uses in your own applications.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Come Say Hello At Lotusphere's almost time for our annual pilgrimage to Orlando, and like most of you that are going, I can't wait! For those of you that can't make it, I've been in your position as well...totally bummed about it...and all I can say is that at least this year, more than ever before, you'll get to live viscerally through the many social networking mechanisms that people in the community will be taking advantage of. I know that's not nearly as good as being there, so we'll raise one (or two or...) in your honor.

I still have a lot of planning to do, but there are a few places that I absolutely know I'll be come next week, else my co-presenters will be a little bit annoyed. ;-) If you'd like to catch one of my sessions, make your way over to:


1:00 - 2:00 BP108 - Getting to Wow...Interface First Design for IBM Lotus Notes Developers (co-presented with Tom Duff) - SW 7-10


8:30 - 9:30 AD212 - 1o Web 2.0 User Interface Design Patterns for IBM Lotus Notes and XPages (Co-presented with Nathan Freeman) - SW 5-6

10:00 - 11:00 BP108 - Getting to Wow...Interface First Design for IBM Lotus Notes Developers (co-presented with Tom Duff) - SW 5-6

6:00 - 7:30 Speedgeeking - This is a fun one. I'm doing "The Ever Amazing Tabbed Table..Cool UI Tricks Everyone Can Do". - Dolphin Pacific Hall B


5:45 - 6:45 BOF204 - Designers Unite: Developing A Dynamic User Experience in IBM Lotus Notes - SW Mockingbird 1-2


11:30 - 12:30 GURUpalooza

As far as those social networking things go, I'll be trying to play along as well, so if you want to follow me, you can find me on:

Twitter: chrisblatnick
Brightkite: chrisblatnick
Twitpic: chrisblatnick

I'm looking forward to really using the last two after finally getting a phone that can take advantage of them.

I hope to see you there! Feel free to stop me and say hi if you see me.