Friday, April 11, 2008

Get The Best Of Lotusphere While In Your Pajamas!

Besides being a snappy dresser, Lotusphere Comes To You is so nice, it's taken time out of it's busy schedule to make life easy for you. Why leave the comfort of your easy chair when you can get a private showing while still wearing your jammies? For details, see below. This public service message is brought to you from the fine folks at LotusUserGroup.org.


LotusUserGroup.org is hosting Lotusphere Comes to You Online. This is an
online event series featuring updated presentations from Lotusphere 2008
and even one or two new sessions. Designed to bring anyone who couldn't get
to Orlando the critical information and the excitement they missed, this
series will help you get more from your existing IT investment and boost
collaboration across your enterprise.

The first of the series is:

Lotus Notes and Domino — The Road Ahead
Presenter: Ed Brill, Business Unit Executive, WW Lotus Notes/Domino Sales
Leader

How do we top Lotus Notes and Domino 8? Learn about the roadmap for 2008
and beyond, giving you a glimpse into planned innovations for upcoming
releases, intended to reduce the cost of managing and storing your email,
offer additional deployment options, and drive continued optimization of
employee productivity. We'll describe important initiatives designed to
reduce the costs of running Lotus Domino in many areas including security,
identity management, directory openness, storage reduction, administration,
quality of service, 64 bit support and web application server. You should
leave this session with a clear understanding of the Lotus Notes and Domino
strategy and future roadmap, to help you plan future deployments.


April 28, 2008
IBM Lotus Sametime Strategy and Roadmap: The Future of Unified
Communications and Collaboration
Presented by: Dave Marshak

May 12, 2008
The Business Value of Web 2.0 and Enterprise Portal Solutions
Presented by: Jon Raslawski

May 19, 2008
IBM Lotus Connections and Mashups
Presented by: Suzanne Minassian and Nicole Carrier

May 26, 2008
IBM Lotus Domino Designer
Presented by: Maureen Leland

June 23, 2008
Desktop of the Future
Presented by: Ed Brill and/or Alan Lepofsky


All the Lotusphere Comes To You Online sessions are free but require pre-registration. Sign up for as many as you like. You have to be a
LotusUserGroup.org member, but membership is free.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sample Database From Lotusphere 2008

I've been remiss in posting here lately since I'm still working on getting up to speed in my new job. Next week, I'll be in Chicago for a few days working on a Dashboard Frameworks project. This is a really cool tool and I hope I get to both use some Domino data in building the dashboard as well as expose it for consumption in Notes 8. We'll see how that goes.

Since I've been absent, I forgot to point you to the sample database from the Interface Matters Advanced session at Lotusphere. Hopefully you already found it on Nathan's site, but if not, you can get the database here.

Thanks again to all who attended and sorry for the long delay. Some new posts coming (soon, I hope).

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lotusphere 2008...Wrapup

(Editor's note...wrote this a few days ago...but as usual too busy to be timely!)


Wow...what an amazing week @ Lotusphere. I still can't believe there are naysayers out there regarding the work being done at Lotus and IBM. We'll be here for a long time and I'm certainly looking forward to being along for the ride! There are many, many great recaps of the week to be found on the internet already, so I won't rehash any of that. From the UI perspective, I am glad to hear that people are getting the message that Lotus is committed to repenting for UI sins of the past. The "OneUI" initiative is a great step forward and will arm us with the necessary ammunition to fight back when the critics decry the "ugliness" of Lotus applications. I've seen or been involved in many potential migration situations which basically came down to the fact that the decision makers thought that Notes was ugly and hard to use. I won't argue that point about older versions, but still many of the "problems" postulated by these decision makers were issues that could have been easily rectified through user training or minor template modifications. Why are so many companies still using these old versions of Notes and thus perpetuating this "pain and suffering" on their users? Because Lotus Notes is rock solid and it works. However, we need to convince these companies to move to Notes8 so that they can not only realize all the incredible advances from a technology standpoint, but so they can also see the gains to be made from the people side. Notes8 creates a compelling user experience and offers many productivity enhancements as well. When you move to Notes8, your users will be happier and more efficient and this in and of itself should help justify the upgrade, since the process is pretty trivial for most companies. We can thank Lotus Notes' long history of backward compatibility for that. I don't mean for this to turn into a commercial for Notes, but after this week's announcements at Lotusphere, Notes becomes even more compelling and hopefully we'll see even more of our friends upgrading now that the first point release (8.0.1) is almost available. Things like LiveText and widgets are going to make the exerience even that much better...I can't wait! Of course, the "OneUI" idea involves the other great Lotus products as well and I'm sure we can expect to see more improvement on this front as we move forward.

From a personal perspective, this was a different Lotusphere for me than in years past. For one, this was my first LS as an IBMer, so that meant some different activities during the day and in the evening. I participated in some customer meetings with Lotus executives and spent time with several customers at night. I was also busy prepping for and giving various presentations. Bruce and I got to deliver the UI Worst Practices session not once, but twice and I really enjoyed that one. A classic (and completely unplanned) moment occurred in the session that was being videotaped. Bruce was in the middle of talking about writing good error messages when the presentation came out of slide show mode and message popped up that his machine was now running on reserve power. Turns out he forgot to plug his Mac in and it was running out of juice! Luckily, Apple's error messages are pretty good, so this provided a perfect example to illustrate Bruce's point. It was also funny to see him fumbling with the cord as we tried to get back on track! :-) On Wednesday, Nathan and I got to provide back to back sessions on UI design and theory. The first session (BP216) was more about basics to keep in mind, while BP217 was a demo and show and tell bonanza. We spent almost the whole time in the Notes client or Designer. Unfortunately, we both *love* to talk about this stuff, so of course we needed more time. We actually had a 30 minute break in between sessions, but level set the audience at the beginning that we might just keep talking through the break and that people were free to talk, ask questions, get snacks, etc. We did end up pretty much talking the whole two and a half hours, which was great fun for me. I love introducing people to this ideas and seeing them run with it and I could have stayed up there the rest of the day. It's become pretty clear to me that this is the space I really want to be in...more as an evangelist and consultant around UI design and best practices. Now my goal is to figure out how to map out that path in my career plans...

For those of you looking for the slides, here are the final packs for BP214 and BP216 in both PowerPoint and ODS formats. We need a few more days to pull together the updated slides for BP217 as well as the downloadable demo database that has everything we showed, so please stand by for that.

BP214 - Yikes...It Looks Like That?! Powerpoint | ODF
BP216 - Interface Matters: Basics of UI Design Powerpoint | ODF

I hosted a Birds of a Feather session around designing the user experience on Monday night. That is definitely an unfortunate timeslot, as it's really hard to compete with free food and drinks and the Product Reception as well as various parties. We did end up with a group of about 8 people or so and exchanged some good ideas. If we do it again next year, I'll see if I can campaign for a better time/day.

It was great seeing old friends at Lotusphere as well as meeting new ones. I feel especially humbled by the kind comments of people who came up and introduced themselves as readers of this blog. For those of you who take the time to read here and those that came to my sessions, I just want to say thank you again. Your time is precious and the fact that you devoted an hour or two to listen to our presentation means a great deal to me. I love teaching and sharing new ideas with other people and nothing makes me happier than hearing about how you have been able to make things better at your job by the little tricks and techniques that my colleagues and I have shared. Thanks also for the great comments on the evaluations...you make me blush! ;-)

I'm going to take a few more days to distill specific product thoughts down into some posts that might be useful, as well as polish off the advanced UI slides, so don't forget to check back here or better still, add Interface Matters to your RSS feeds. :-)

Here's to Lotus, IBM and all of us. I think we're off to a fantastic 2008...Cheers!

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Show Your True Colors...BleedYellow!

It's here kids...

BleedYellow.com is live, thanks to our friends at Lotus911.

Now let's all go and play.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hey...Get Some Free (inter)Face Time

As mentioned by Chris and Mary Beth today, the UX lab is doing something very cool and very unique at Lotusphere this year. Read on for details...


The Lotus UX Lab is going to offer a one-time opportunity for our customers at Lotusphere 2008 - "The 15-minute Usability and Design Evaluation" - in the User Experience Lab, Rm. Asia 4. We'll only be doing this from 1-5 pm on Monday afternoon.

Here's the deal: you can bring in one application, working, and with data ideally, (Notes, Web, Sametime, Portal, Quickr, Connections, Expeditor, any Lotus product) and we'll have someone look at it and make suggestions for 15 minutes. The benefits to you are threefold:
1. You can get some quick feedback with practical suggestions from our expert user experience design team.
2. You can take away a handy list of "things to look for" in the form of a guide with some knowledge about how to apply them at home.
3. While you are in the lab, you can sign up to provide US with feedback about many of our products.

Now, to be honest, there's only so much you can do in 15 minutes, so don't expect a complete re-design! However, our aim is to set you on the right path by showing you how to approach the process of creating satisfying user experiences in your applications. The best thing to do is to be ready to show us your app in less than 5 minutes and keep an open mind. If it's a large application, then you might want to narrow down the area that is giving you a particular problem.

Summary
What: The 15-minute Usability and Design Evaluation
When: Monday, Jan 21, 1 - 5 pm. First come, first served. Time strictly enforced.
Where: Dolphin, Asia 4 - Lotusphere 2008
Why: Take home some quick tips to make your users happy and productive.


Since I'm not a designer, I'm going to be on hand as the resident tech weenie. That means I'm the killjoy who says "Nope...can't do that in Notes". ;-D Just kidding...I'll really be there to help confirm that it CAN be done in Notes or offer suggestions from the technical side of things. Should be fun and a great opportunity for you to meet with the folks with the real talent, the UX team.

Thanks to Chris for asking me to participate and my manager Gary for letting me get out of some sessions! ;-)

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Lotusphere 2008...I'm A Returning Alumn

For the second year in a row, I have the honor of speaking at Lotusphere and in this case, presenting with two excellent gentlemen. If you find some time in your schedule, please join me and Bruce in:



or me and Nathan in:




Sharp-eyed readers will note that the Interface Matters sessions are back to back. That's right...2 whole hours of UI goodness! :-) Nathan and I are getting the old team back together. We've reprised some info from last year and will be showing several new techniques and ideas.

BP214 with Bruce is new and of course based on the venerable "Worst Practices" sessions introduced by Messrs. Buchan and Mooney. I can't promise we'll be nearly as funny ('cause let's face it...their accents just rock), but Bruce is a great presenter and I'll learn a lot from him. The session is chock full of good information about what *not* to do when designing your interface, so I hope you can stop by.

As I mentioned last year, if you catch me in the hall or sitting in the lobby or something, please stop by and say hello. I love talking about all aspects of Notes development (as well as all other sorts of geekery), so don't be shy.

17 days to go. I can't wait! :-)

Update: Whoops...forgot that the BoF from last year is back again too. Hopefully Nathan and Bruce will join me in co-moderating.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Viral Upgrading

Hi All. Long time, no see. I haven't been writing a lot of code lately since I'm still ramping up my knowledge at IBM, but I *am* working on some stuff for Lotusphere. I'll be doing three sessions this year; two with Nathan and one with Bruce. How I end up lucky enough to speak with these guys, I do not know. Anyway, more on that to come. For now, I want to talk about "Viral Upgrading".

The Notes 8 client represents a significant shift in the way IBM views the user experience. Over the years, I've made my name as a consultant and in-house developer by working to develop good looking, easy to use applications on top of a client that was never very attractive or user-friendly. That has changed greatly, my friends, and it's time to capitalize on this fact. One thing I've observed over time is that in many IT environments, if the users start clamoring about something enough, they usually get their way. I suggest using this to your advantage within your company if you're traditionally kind of slow on doing upgrades. Start rallying the ground troops by exposing them to the new features of Notes 8 as much as possible. One great way to start is to point them at this new video on YouTube.



Other things you might try: Leave fliers showing the new interface and features lying around in conference rooms, organize "lunch and learn" sessions to show off the new look, share blogs like Alan's Lotus Notes Hints, Tips & Tricks.

The more you can get users excited about the new functionality available in Notes 8, the more they will want to upgrade. I've been talking to customers and a lot are really looking forward to getting the new version of Lotus Notes! That's pretty exciting in my book, and I hope you find it so as well. So kick off your viral upgrade campaign...and best of luck to you!

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