Archive for November, 2011

Farewell and Congratulations to my friend and colleage, Marty Moore

My friend and colleage of several years at IBM – Marty Moore – has decided to try his luck at Google. In New York City. In their  Cool new (well new to them) building.

Marty and I worked together on several projects, from Workplace, to Notes 8, to project Vulcan.  I want to publically thank Marty – he’s been a great asset to IBM and just a wonderful, humorous, and reliable person to work with (and the speed with which he can deliver a beautiful mockup intimidates the Hell out of me…).

Here are  some of the highlights of working with Marty.

Marty is tall and in some ways moves  like “Kramer” from Seinfeld…. which always amused me.

I first met Marty when he started working on a project code named “Barcelona” which was all about a new version of Sametime. Bizarrely (is that a word?) enough, I had also just persuaded a guy named Tom Spine to join the Sametime UI design team to work on Barcelona. Tom and Marty (and others like Charlie Hill, who is now the CTO of the IBM Collaboration Solutions group) all worked together on some really cool “Barcelona” designs.  The Bizarre part is – Tom left after a few years at IBM and is now managing a UX team at SolidWorks. Yep. and I now work for Tom. But I digress…

The Workplace years. Marty and Denise Shaw and I holed up in Cambridge, Ma for days and days and came up with the Workplace rich client UI framework. Marty did most of the drawing and I wrote it down. Those ideas eventually really became a lot of Notes 8.

And then he got married. I went to his wedding – it was a lot of fun and we all ate grapes at midnight!

One year for Lotusphere, we did not have a dedicated UX lab – we had UX people peppered throughout the various labs. Marty and I were in the Innovation lab. I made all the UX people wear bright orange safety vests so attendees could identify who was the UX person. Marty was not a fan of that. I wish I had a pic of him wearing one – wait, no- that would be impossible, because he pretty much refused. At least he did not have to wear the 2011 funny hat.

And then he moved to NYC, but I continued to work with him on project Vulcan. Good Luck Marty – I wish you the best.

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Searching in MS Outlook 2010: A disappointment

I spent several years as the design lead for Lotus Notes, and during that time, I often heard “Outlook does it this way”…

with the implication that that meant “better.”  Based on how many glowing things I’d heard about “how Outlook does it”, when I started a new job at which I use Outlook, I was prepared to be  pleased and productive. Heh.

My first and biggest disappointment with Outlook 2010 is the search. It was not easy to figure out how to search “all mail.”

I had to do a Google search and read a blog post to figure it out.  Instead of focusing search choices in the search area – we now get a search “contextual tab”  when I click in the search field. Except I never noticed this new “contextual tab” until I went searching the web  for help.  This is because the “order of operations” is NOT good. Specifically, as you can see from the screenshot below, clicking in the search field affects the contextual tabs ABOVE the search field.  Then you “filter” by choosing things ABOVE the search field. It all feels upside down to me.

 

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Can you “Add Social” after you’ve designed an application?

We have several examples of “individual productivity apps” to which have been added “social capabilities” afterward – for example –

Outlook mail. Then add the Outlook Social connector

Lotus Notes – with an IBM Connections  “status updates” and a “files” and an “activities” sidebar (plus other Quickr connectors to trapping attachments)

Ms Office – with  plug-ins for  IBM Connections in which you can do things like add profile info into a Word document  with one click.

Outlook mail – with a “linked in” plug-in.

Are these kinds of integrations/ re fittings working for you? On the one hand, I think they are very important to help pull users from the way they work into a new way of working.  On the other hand, while these retro-fittings might make sense for applications  that have been around for years.. what about new applications?  For example,  if you were designing a new CRM (customer relationship management) application, or a CAD tool, or PLM system (product lifecycle management) —  can you wait to bolt on the “social” aspects after the other parts have been designed, or do these new social aspects need to be taken into consideration from the very beginning?

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