Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

ID102 - Designing a World-Class User Experience for IBM Lotus Notes

Mary Beth Raven and Chris Reckling presented on why the Notes 8 client is how it is. MBR shared the 4 attributes of  a world class user experience:
  • Visual Style: the icons, the colors, the visual details
  • Usefulness: day to day task oriented work rather than tool oriented
  • Execution: Attention to detail, aspiration to details
  • Innovation: Add new features to get the work done, faster, more accurate and enjoyable

Visual Style
Raven shared why they used personas who use Notes in a specific context to achieve specific goals. She used my favourite story about the princess and the moon to explain that you have to get into the mind of your users. ( ISO 9241-11 anyone). With the help of surveys and study groups the usability team first settled on a colour schemes. After that with the help of wire frames the base layout was born. Taking the possibilities of implementation into account the Notes8 Beta as of today was born.

A lot of steps were involved here. A key point was not to phrase "the user can" but "In R8 Samantha can..", so the personas were used extensively. The step in detail:
  • Prioritize features starting from 4000 feature request: Focus groups, surveys, Sticky notes exercises
  • Design and hold Design Reviews: Online documents, Paper specs, Prototypes, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
  • Users First Program: Visit customers
  • Usability Test, and Re-Test > 475 test so far.
  • Blog and gather feedback
Then MBR showed a few of the new features including the search, the start button and the side preview.

  • Attention to detail
  • Delighting users with the experience
  • Fix usability bugs
  • Design Review
  • Usability Testing

  • Work closely with the IBM Research Lab (contributed Activity centric computing)
  • Usability test on new features
  • New features: Conversations, Filter dialogue, Sidebars (put things into your peripheral vision --- I want a wide screen now!), Grouped tabs

I think putting users on centre stage is a welcome departure from the featuritis of previous years towards better software.

What I liked
MBR rocks!

What I didn't like
IBM should have started doing this years ago

Posted by on 22 January 2007 | Comments (0) | categories: Lotusphere


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