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Latest 7 Posts
Had Fun Being a “Guest Reviewer” in a Harvard Business School Class
Fri, Nov 7th 2014 144
Reflections on Two years as a UX Director
Wed, Oct 8th 2014 84
Reflections on One Year as a UX Director
Tue, Oct 8th 2013 88
Looking for a good prototyper – I have a fun job for you!
Thu, Jul 11th 2013 65
Preparing for the big annual user conference
Sun, Apr 28th 2013 70
Performance appraisals written and delivered….
Sat, Apr 27th 2013 69
April 15, 2013: Patriot’s Day Redefined
Mon, Apr 15th 2013 58
Top 10
Had Fun Being a “Guest Reviewer” in a Harvard Business School Class
Fri, Nov 7th 2014 144
Reflections on One Year as a UX Director
Tue, Oct 8th 2013 88
Reflections on Two years as a UX Director
Wed, Oct 8th 2014 84
Preparing for the big annual user conference
Sun, Apr 28th 2013 70
Performance appraisals written and delivered….
Sat, Apr 27th 2013 69
Looking for a good prototyper – I have a fun job for you!
Thu, Jul 11th 2013 65
Transition to UX Director: is NO management continuity a blessing or curse?
Thu, Jan 3rd 2013 61
In Memory of My Great-Aunt Claudette, My First and Best Mentor
Sun, Oct 28th 2012 60
Managing Your Manager when You Are the Director
Fri, Jan 11th 2013 59
April 15, 2013: Patriot’s Day Redefined
Mon, Apr 15th 2013 58

Mary Beth Raven
Blog Title MaryBethRaven
Blog Description Bringing passion and humor to user experience design
Blog URL http://www.MaryBethRaven.org
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Landed Here Nov 28, 2007
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Recent Blog Posts

Had Fun Being a “Guest Reviewer” in a Harvard Business School Class
Fri, Nov 7th 2014 7:53a   Mary Beth Raven
Over the past 2 weeks, I had the opportunity to be a “guest reviewer” in Professor Tom Eisenmann’s  product management class  at the Harvard School of Business. The students had formed groups and come up with products ideas, and my role was to provide feedback on the design of their software product. Several other UX designers had been invited, too, so that each team had 30 to 45 minutes to really do in detail into their product. Here I am with Professor Tom and one of the studen [read] Keywords:

Reflections on Two years as a UX Director
Wed, Oct 8th 2014 7:00p   Mary Beth Raven
Wow. Two years as a director of user experience at EMC. I am shocked that it appears that it’s been an entire year since I did a personal blog post! Yikes, how can this be!!?? This past year, my team and I blogged at our EMC UX design site: uxblog.emc.com, and from a personal perspective I note that instead of blogging, I tend to just post longer personal updates on my facebook page. I am sure there are media pundits, sociology researchers, and  philosophy gurus who can explain why that i [read] Keywords: ibm blogging community database facebook

Reflections on One Year as a UX Director
Tue, Oct 8th 2013 8:20p   Mary Beth Raven
Congratulations to my team for enduring me for a year! It has been an eventful year for me at EMC. I started as the director of User Experience Design in the ASD (Advanced Software division) one year ago today – with lots of plans to increase customer input and to leverage social media to inform the design of products. We have made some good progress. I have one designer who said she worked here for 9 years and had not done a customer visit. Within 3 months of me starting – she had d [read] Keywords: lotus notes

Looking for a good prototyper – I have a fun job for you!
Thu, Jul 11th 2013 1:50p   Mary Beth Raven
I have an open Requisition for a user interface prototyper, and I’m so excited that I can’t wait for the recruiter to get it on LinkedIn, so I’m posting it here. Please share with people whom you think would be a good fit! Interested parties can send reply here with a link to their LinkedIn profile or web site, or send resumes to EMCUSabilityTesting at EMC dot com. The EMC User Experience Design team is dedicated to optimizing EMC’s products for the entire product life cy [read] Keywords: application css development dojo enterprise interface linkedin profile twitter

Preparing for the big annual user conference
Sun, Apr 28th 2013 7:50a   Mary Beth Raven
I am in charge of the User Experience Design (UXD) presence at our big annual conference – EMC World, which starts in a week, in Vegas. I am certainly no stranger to user conferences, having attended/presented/done usability tests at 15 Lotusphere conferences and 1 SolidWorks conference. But I’ve never been in charge of the entire UXD presence before. EMC has several different divisions, and we all get together to create one unified UXD presence at EMC world. I’m the directo [read] Keywords: collaboration ibm lotusphere blogging facebook mobile twitter

Performance appraisals written and delivered….
Sat, Apr 27th 2013 8:30p   Mary Beth Raven
A few months ago I blogged about writing performance appraisals for people that I hardly know.   I felt a little uncomfortable writing these appriasals since I’d only known my staff for 3 months. But certainly, I have often been on the receiving end of such reviews myself over the years. Luckily, my predecessor had left written drafts of the reviews. But, as luck would have it, my employer decided to change the format of the reviewes this year, so it was a little harder for me to fit the [read] Keywords: notes


April 15, 2013: Patriot’s Day Redefined
Mon, Apr 15th 2013 7:30p   Mary Beth Raven
Growing up, Patriot’s Day had always been about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his poem about Paul Revere’s Ride. Over time, it has also been associated with a baseball game at Fenway park and the Boston Marathon. I grew up in New York, and when I was an adult, having moved just outside of Boston, I was finally able to watch more Patriots’ Day festivities.  The first year that I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation was the first year I had Patriots’ Day off from work [read] Keywords: wiki

My Transition to UX Director: Writing Appraisals for People I Hardly Know
Tue, Jan 15th 2013 8:00p   Mary Beth Raven
I like to write. I’ve never been one who suffered with writer’s block. But that’s usually when I am writing about Design, methodology, or strategy. But now I have to write appraisals for people I hardly know. I met most of them in October. It’s a little scary because I want to be fair to them all. To their credit, they all submitted self-appraisals, and I have a write-up on each one from the former manager. I”m also glad that I asked them each to give me at least 2 [read] Keywords:

Managing Your Manager when You Are the Director
Fri, Jan 11th 2013 5:30p   Mary Beth Raven
YAY! This Monday, I had a new hire first-line manager start – she will manage 10 of my 14 staff, the others will report to me. So that means I have only 5 direct reports (including the new manager). A big difference from managing 14 people directly! So far, so great. It felt great to offload a bunch of simple paperwork things – like the bi-weekly timecard (online) approvals, and the writing of quarterly goals, etc. I am really looking forward to being able to focus on UX Strategy for [read] Keywords:

Should Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) be in the UX group?
Mon, Jan 7th 2013 8:10a   Mary Beth Raven
For most of my design career, I did not have a subject matter expert (SME) to work with when I was  designing a user experience.  Of course, I have limited experience – at Digital Equipment Corporatoiio FTP Software, Iris/Lotus/IBM. None of those companies had subject matter experts to help with the design. For example, when working on DEC Fortran, I didn’t have Fortran progammers hanging around to tell me how they worked. When I worked at Iris/Lotus/IBM I worked mainly on end-user [read] Keywords: ibm lotus development email instant messaging network server

Transition to UX Director: is NO management continuity a blessing or curse?
Thu, Jan 3rd 2013 9:10a   Mary Beth Raven
When I accepted my new job, I knew that the previous director had chosen to go to Red Hat, and that the one manager who would be reporting to me planned to retire soon. Well, she retired the Friday before I started. I told myself that it was a great opportunity to create a great new management team. I did, however, also entertain the thought that I might be crazy for taking the job and not having any kind of management continuity. I started the job with a whole bunch of direct reports, and no ot [read] Keywords: red hat

Director of User Experience: My First 90 Days
Wed, Jan 2nd 2013 5:40p   Mary Beth Raven
I started a new job as director of user experience design as a large high-tech firm last October, and I’ve decided to blog about my experiences going from being an individual contributor for about 14 years, to a director of user experience design (UXD). I read several of the “First 90 days” books, like this one “Your First 100 Days in a New Executive Job: Powerful First Steps on the Path to Greatness” and “The New Leader’s Action Plan”  and  got [read] Keywords: community database enterprise

MIT Music Hack day – Summary from Barbara Duckworth and Jen Lamere
Mon, Dec 31st 2012 3:20p   Mary Beth Raven
This past November,  my daughter Barbara and her friend Jen Lamere participated in Music hack  day at MIT.  I am posting this summary here for them so that they have an online place to link to (and because I am proud of them!). It’s so cool that there are fun opportunities like this for kids these days! Here is a video of them demonstrating their project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KozsJ-pIID4 Their summary: Barbara and Jen attended MIT’s Music Hack Day [read] Keywords: javascript

In Memory of My Great-Aunt Claudette, My First and Best Mentor
Sun, Oct 28th 2012 5:40p   Mary Beth Raven
My great-aunt Claudette Forand Schofield passed away this weekend, at the respectable age of 97.  She was my first mentor in that, growing up in the 60′s, most of the women I knew stayed at home with the kids. Aunt Claudette, however, was a full-time nurse at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, in addition to being a farmer’s wife.  From her I learned that is was OK — even terrific– to have a passion for something – in her case, nursing- in addition to your family. Yet, [read] Keywords:

Thank you, SolidWorks, it was great, but time for a new adventure at EMC
Sun, Oct 7th 2012 6:50p   Mary Beth Raven
In my time as a user experience designer at SolidWorks, I got to design Facebook integration into the Student edition (what fun!), attend SolidWorks World, and speak at the local New Hampshire SWUGN.  I also got to work on the design of a whole bunch of super secret stuff that I can’t tell you about  some of which will be announced at the next SolidWorks world! While SolidWorks was a fine place to work, I have been wooed away from there to become the director of User Experience (UX) a [read] Keywords: community facebook integration mobile

What do the American Presidential election and #SXSW have in common?
Wed, Aug 29th 2012 7:20p   Mary Beth Raven
Everyone knows that the United States of America has a presidential election this November. And everyone who’s connected to the internet knows that the South by South West (SXSW) conference  is allowing people to vote on conference sessions until the end of August. In other words,  between the presidential election and SXSW, I am constantly barraged with requests (supplications/shameless begging in some cases)  for my VOTE. What if a presidential election were run like an SXSW panel [read] Keywords:

Does social media make crime detectives like Sherlock Holmes obsolete?
Wed, Jun 13th 2012 7:13p   Mary Beth Raven
I have been enjoying watching the BBC production of a modern Sherlock Holmes http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/sherlock/ In these episodes, Sherlock uses a cell phone and texts all the villains. And Dr. John Watson writes a blog about their exploits. Watching the series has started me wondering if really, in today’s society, with big-data analysis and social meida – is a genius like Sherlock still valuable? In Victorian times – when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced Sherlock [read] Keywords: facebook networking twitter

What do I have in common with 102 teenages and 50 gallons of juice?
Fri, Mar 9th 2012 2:30p   Mary Beth Raven
The “Fast for Social Action” is taking place this weekend at  St. John Newumann Church in Merrimack, NH. We have 102 teenages signed up to go 30 hours with no food to raise money.  (They can drink juice though.) The money goes to 6 area agencies. Each of the agencies comes and does a presentation during the 30 hours, so the kids learn where the money is going.  This is the 16th year we’ve done it – and I’ve volunteered in som eway each year. In the past few, my k [read] Keywords: community facebook twitter

Summary and impressions from my first SolidWorks World Conference
Thu, Feb 16th 2012 1:10p   Mary Beth Raven
I am on my way back to the east coast after my first SolidWorks World. I am very fortunate that even though I’ve worked for SolidWorks for only 5 months, I was able to attend. I had a two-fold purpose for attending: Conduct some usability tests and speak with Keri Prasky in a breakout session. I conducted 18 one-hour usability sessions over 4 days (some were a bit shorter, some were longer).  I had a wonderful time with each test. My favorite part was learning what you all use SolidWork [read] Keywords: ibm lotus lotusphere facebook twitter

Meet more of the UX team!
Tue, Feb 14th 2012 1:10p   Mary Beth Raven
Come and meet Chin-loo Lama in the Usability lab in the Hilton Bayfront rom 312 And while there you can also meet Julie Casanave! Or, if you don’t have time to come to us, when you see us in the halls, just stop and say hi! [read] Keywords: facebook twitter

Meet the UX team in the usability lab at SolidWorks World, 2012
Tue, Feb 14th 2012 12:20p   Mary Beth Raven
SolidWorks World 2012 is in full swing as we enter the second full day of sessions. The UX (user experience) team has already been had at work doing usability testings all day Saturday and Sunday. We continue to run usability tests  on e-drawings, sustainability, costing, Simulia, Community forums, Tree view, and other topics. If you are scheduled to be a participant, thank you! If you are not scheduled, we have a few slots left (I am free at 3:30 if you want to do community forum testing).   [read] Keywords: community facebook twitter

Lotusphere 2012 from the inside out
Sun, Jan 29th 2012 8:00a   Mary Beth Raven
Lotusphere 2012 is  just a memory now (well, a memory enhanced by instagram  and flickr and other  photos sites…). For 14 years I attended as an “insider” – an IBM employee.  This year was my first year not as an IBM employee; I was the guest of business partner panagenda. During my 14 years as an IBMer, I participated in various ways.  My first several years were as the Sametime UI designer.  We had a pedestal on the showcase floor my very first year. My second yea [read] Keywords: ibm lotusphere notes sametime facebook twitter

Lotusphere: Stop by booth 508 for free copy of The View
Thu, Jan 12th 2012 8:20a   Mary Beth Raven
To those of you attending Lotusphere 2012 in Orlando next week, I’ll have several copies of The view, Vol 17 Issue 2 from 2011, to give away. The contents of this issue are: Version Control for Domino Designer  (Julian Buss) 7 Ways to Ease users’ Transition from MS Outlook to Lotus Notes (Mary Beth Raven) Lotus Votes! A Ready-Made Function for Your Notes 8 Users (Richard Thompsen) Mobilizing Domino Data using Kryos Velocity AppXtender (John M. Wargo) Xpath: A Flexible Solution for [read] Keywords: domino lotus lotusphere notes xpages apple applications facebook google iphone outlook twitter xml

Collective Intelligence, Collective Compassion
Sun, Jan 8th 2012 8:00a   Mary Beth Raven
In a previous post, I argued that as users of social media and as people striving for collective intelligence, that the “Borg” character from Star Trek is something we should aspire to.  Certainly, the idea of being able to immediately and seamlessly work together to solve a problem quickly or react to a situation in new and different ways, is something that we as human communities want to do. It would have been great to have this kind of “borg-like” learning and respons [read] Keywords: facebook twitter

Star Trek’s Capt. Picard was wrong. The Borg are not our enemy. They are what we aspire to be.
Sun, Jan 8th 2012 7:00a   Mary Beth Raven
In the TV series  Star Trek: the Next Generation  (and Movie First Contact),   the crew of the Starship Enterprise fights against an enemy called “The Borg.”  The Borg are depicted as cybernetically enhanced humanoids of various races, organized as a “hive mind” collective that can think and learn together.  The Borg sound byte is: “We are the Borg. We will add your biological and technical distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resi [read] Keywords: collaboration ibm enterprise facebook twitter wiki

Why I am going to Lotusphere even though I no longer work for IBM
Fri, Jan 6th 2012 11:10a   Mary Beth Raven
I’m going to Lotusphere 2012 (and IBM Connect)  because I want to! Lucky for me, panagenda invited me to help staff their booth (408!) on the showcase floor. I haven’t staffed a booth since Sametime 1.0 – back before the new big dining hall was built. We were in some kind of a tent the whole time. I am thrilled at panagenda’s offer because it will be a great way to catch up with many of you, and because their Marvel client is a good way to manage the Notes client. There [read] Keywords: collaboration ibm lotus lotusphere notes notes client sametime community facebook twitter

Can we crowdsource some books for my kid’s school?
Thu, Jan 5th 2012 8:01p   Mary Beth Raven
Hey folks, If you have one or more of the following books taking up space on some shelf…, and you do not need it any more, please send it to my daughter’s charter school in New Hampshire, USA.  A charter school gets little funding, so they are always looking for help in various ways. The number is the number of copies they need. Just take it to the post office/Fed ex, whatever is cheapest and mail it to: Books NH Academy for Science and Design 316 Daniel Webster Highway Merrimack, [read] Keywords: facebook office twitter wiki

What will the Samoans’ Online Calendars Do?
Fri, Dec 30th 2011 5:00p   Mary Beth Raven
As many of you have heard, Samoa is changing time zones and losing a day. What will their online calendars do? As Flemming Christiansen pointed out in his blog post, users of Notes may have a patch.  I am enjoying the news coverage.  Because, when John Lance and I were working on Lotus Notes and the Notes calendar, we’d compe up with all sorts of use cases…. For example: Samantha is flying backward over the internatoinal date line on  the same day as Daylight savings time kicks i [read] Keywords: lotus notes facebook planetlotus planetlotus.org twitter

Social Media, Social Justice — Social Ignorance???
Tue, Dec 20th 2011 8:10p   Mary Beth Raven
Last Sunday I taught 2 classes at my church about “Social justice”  (the idea of creating a society based on justice and equality). I thought it might be fun for these high-school kids to tie it in with Social media, so I planned to talk about the Arab spring and the role Facebook played, and Occupy wall street. Well. The first class has 27 kids. Almost all of them had facebook accounts. But. Not ONE of them had heard of the Arab spring or the role that Facebook played. I was a bit [read] Keywords: facebook twitter

Social Justice, Social Media
Wed, Dec 14th 2011 7:40a   Mary Beth Raven
I agreed to teach a high school religious education class next Sunday night. The topic is “What is Social Justice and  what can we do to achieve it.” Since it’s with High schoolers I want to incorporate a “Social meida” component and get them talking/thinking about how, if at all, using social media can help achieve Social justice. I’ve jotted some ideas below, but please – add your thoughts and comments as well! The story of  Twestival – talk ab [read] Keywords: facebook twitter

See you at #LS12
Mon, Dec 5th 2011 8:40p   Mary Beth Raven
Congratulations to my friends who were notified today that they have speaker slots at the IBM Lotusphere 2012 (#LS12) conference. (And condolences to those who were not chosen!)  I participated in 12 Lotusphere conferences as an IBMer. And I loved each one of them.  I spoke at most of them — perhaps 8 or 9.   My first speaking gig was 1999, when Sametime was a brand new product. My last was last year, when I did a Show and Tell with Jamie Liu about extending Notes, Sametime and Symp [read] Keywords: collaboration ibm lotusphere notes sametime show and tell symphony community facebook twitter widgets

Farewell and Congratulations to my friend and colleage, Marty Moore
Fri, Nov 18th 2011 5:30p   Mary Beth Raven
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 He [read] Keywords: collaboration ibm lotusphere notes sametime facebook google twitter

Searching in MS Outlook 2010: A disappointment
Tue, Nov 8th 2011 7:00p   Mary Beth Raven
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 se [read] Keywords: lotus notes facebook google outlook twitter vm

Can you “Add Social” after you’ve designed an application?
Fri, Nov 4th 2011 3:39p   Mary Beth Raven
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 ad [read] Keywords: connections ibm lotus notes quickr application applications facebook office outlook profile twitter

A blog about collaboration and social media adoption
Thu, Oct 27th 2011 7:58p   Mary Beth Raven
I’ve been blogging for about  6 years, mainly on Www.NotesDesignBlog.com. That blog was mainly to gather feedback from our many constituents about the design of Lotus Notes, including the integration of various social business features such as  microblogging in the sidebar. That blog was very specific to certain technology. In this blog I’d like to explore and discuss some (technology-agnostic) issues concerning getting people to “do” social business/adopt social media [read] Keywords: collaboration lotus notes blogging facebook integration twitter

Internal online communities: create as many as you want?
Thu, Oct 27th 2011 5:26p   Mary Beth Raven
I had a conversation today with someone who wanted to increase the use of the internal collaboration communities at her company. By “collaboration communities” I mean online communities that you find in IBM Connections, IBM LotusLive,  or a discussion forum as you might find in Jive, or a Socialtext Workspace ( I am trying to be technology- agnostic ). One of the things we discussed was whether or not the employees could just make any kind of new community at will, or whether the cr [read] Keywords: admin collaboration connections ibm community email facebook twitter workspace

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