Friday, December 18, 2009

Changes Ahead For Interface Matters

The winds of change are blowing here at Interface Matters and in my opinion are way, way overdue. The only excuse I have is lack of time to devote to these changes (or at least lack of desire to devote the time since other things have been occupying my attention of late). I have been wanting to make some changes here for quite some time, and as the new year rolls around, it's probably as good a time as any to make the leap.

First, I want Interface Matters to expand beyond a single voice. This has always been my plan and I have just failed to execute. This site was never designed to be my personal blog. If it had been, I would have called it This is the reason I've tried to limit the amount of personal content and why more posts are article length rather than quick blurbs. My original vision was that this site would serve as a good resource for UI ideas for Lotus Notes developers, something that could be referred to now and again like a well-worn book on your shelf. Although I check traffic very, very infrequently, the notifications I get on occasion show me that people are still downloading the sample databases, so there must be at least some value here. The last couple of years have been light on content in this space, though, since I am not doing day-to-day development anymore. This brings me to the first change.

I'm looking to expand the authorship of Interface Matters and I'm looking to you out there in the Lotus community to help me. I believe there is a lot of richness and value in getting multiple viewpoints on user interface and user experience concepts, and I'd love for this to be the place to get it. There are many innovations happening in the collaborative development space lately and along with these new technologies (e.g. XPages), there are new design and interface challenges. I hope we don't fall into the same trap we did with Notes client apps and make every XPage look exactly like OneUI. I hope these other voices are out there and ready to step up and share with the rest of us. So, the concept is simple. If you have an idea for an article that would fit the mission of Interface Matters and you would like to have it posted here, just send me an e-mail and we'll put it on the map. For now, I'll maintain editorial duties and will still contribute too, but I'd definitely love to open Interface Matters up to more contributors. I've tested the waters a bit in the past with a guest author or two and think it works quite nicely.

That brings me to the second change. I would finally like to move this blog to the Domino platform. I originally started using Blogger because I wanted to explore what other blog engines were out there and Blogger was one of the most popular. I never changed because quite frankly it is so simple to use, but along with this move to mutliple contributors, I'd like to finally design a decent looking blog template. To do so, I need to ask a couple of questions:

1. Any suggestions for Domino hosting?

2. I might open up the design to someone that wants to tackle it. Hmmm...perhaps a contest? Any thoughts?

I really do hope to hear from some of you. I think this site has more potential that it's been showing lately and these updates might just be the thing to spice it up a bit.

With that, I'll sign off and wish you all a fantastic holiday season!

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By Blogger Pierre, at 9:51 AM  

Hi Chris,

This is very interesting. We could help with the hosting (need to check on this one) and I'm personally interested in this content. I love interfaces that are easy to use for the user and have a nice look and feel.

We did some pretty good things on Lotus Notes and also for Domino (web).

Feel free to consider my offer.

kiwi technologies inc.

By Blogger Wayne MacKirdy, at 10:14 AM  

The best Domino hosting service ever

By Blogger Keith Strickland, at 10:24 AM  

+1 for prominc

By Blogger John, at 10:54 AM  

since your an IBMer, I can host this on the blog server side by side with Ed, MB, and all the other IBMers if you want.

By Blogger Richard Moy, at 1:53 PM  

Great guys at

By OpenID quintessens, at 5:17 PM  

for the design, you can just steal it from another sitde. or wait... read this first

good luck

By Blogger dogu, at 7:22 AM  

...people are still downloading the sample databases, so there must be at least some value here....

Well Duh...;-)

Chris, you and a handful of other bloggers are the only ones trying to help people understand how to break out of design ruts and really rethink what they do. Finding your site after seeing you at a View conference several years back was a revelation.

I can't tell you how much I've missed your posts and ideas.
Most blogs tend to focus on code tricks (which are very helpful) but you moved that focus up to the 'how to we make this db easier to use' level and that is incredibly rare.

If you can manage to pull together the site you envision, I can't imagine how powerful that will be.

Good luck.

By Blogger Nick, at 11:35 PM  

Hi Chris,

Can't help with Hosting unless you want it hosted in Thailand or Cambodia!!!!, Yes we have a Domino hoisting facility there.

I would be interested in contributing to the general discussion. I feel that I could add some useful input especially as I am not in Europe or the US. I tend to see that Lotus things are very US or Western Europe centric.

Look forward to hearing from you.


By Blogger Thilo, at 9:48 AM  

Hi Chris,

I'd love to have a forum especially for Notes GUI topics. Not always does it have to be a page long entry and I would also like to contribute to older posts without getting out of focus.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 PM  

Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again - taking you feeds also, Thanks.

By Blogger Chris Blatnick, at 7:07 AM  

Folks...thanks for all of the great comments. I really appreciate them all. If you would like to help author an article (or two, three...), please drop me a line:

By Anonymous Erik, at 8:36 PM  


I use's free hosting, and am happy with them. I was previously a paying customer at 'the other place', and left due to poor customer service. I haven't had to deal with prominic's service yet, but as a non-payer, I still expect it would be better than my previous domino hosts.

Learning the standard domino blog template for customizing was a pita for me though, as the documentation is slim.

Good luck!

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