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Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception
Mat Newman    

That the proliferation of 'Smart' mobile devices - phones, tablets, etc - within the general consumer space has lead to a revolution in the expectations of users is undeniable.

Take the iOS experience as an example. The Mail interface has but 4 (four) buttons. "Back", "Edit", "New" and "Refresh". It doesn't take a genius to work out which button to press.

Unfortunately, it has also lead to a perception that anything with a plethora of features and options is 'un-intuitive', that the extra features lead to confusion and a lack of comprehension as to their value.

Lotus Notes has surely suffered as a result of this 'simplification' of IT.

While the acceptance of technology into the lives of many users who would previously not have considered it is a positive step, recognising that there is still a place for powerful desktop applications - especially for knowledge workers - draws a line in the sand between those who need such applications and those who do not.

A recent tweet highlighted this concept:

#Thought4TheDay Give a user Windows Paint, they're an Artist. Give them Photoshop, they're Confused. Sound Familiar? Email v Notes



For those who require 'more power', the misconception that Lotus Notes is an Email application is always the starting point of a users 'frustrations'.

But it's not that hard to turn around.

It begins with the acknowledgement that Lotus Notes is a Database application (or a client framework within which to run databases) and the software interface itself, the Menu's and tools available, are optimised for managing ANY database that is currently open within the Notes client.  Demonstrate to users that the "Tool-bars" are the same whether Mail, Calendar, To-Dos, Contacts, Notebook, Blog, Forum or any Custom application that is open in Notes, and they begin to understand the consistency of the interface.  Demonstrate that the "Action Bar" contains the options specific to the current application, and users stop looking within Menu's and Tool-bars for commands to perform tasks specific to the current database.

Then demonstrate the integration options available via the Eclipse framework (which I wrote about the other day) and users begin to understand how much more productive and efficient they can be using the Notes client which can bring everything they need together in one place.

Finally, demonstrate the operation of the core PIM databases. Note: I always do this as the last step, once the users gain an understanding of the power of the application in front of them.

Many power users find comfort within the Notes client and recognise how productive they are with 'all the bells and whistles'.  They are also the users who understand the framework, the flexibility and many of the options available to them within Notes. Again, from Twitter:

I thought I'd like going from Lotus Notes to Outlook, but I don't



A little education can have powerful results.  Changing perceptions and raising understanding is part of this process.

There are always going to be users who need education to help raise their level of understanding of the power of Notes, lest they suffer from: the intuitive misconception.

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http://www.matnewman.com/webs/personal/matblog.nsf/dx/why-users-hate-lotus-notes-the-intuition-misconception
Oct 24, 2011
17 hits



Recent Blog Posts
96


IBM Collaboration Solutions Technical Event - Jakarta, Indonesia, 2014
Mon, Dec 8th 2014 2:33a   Mat Newman
Over the past few weeks we've been notifying customers and partners directly of the upcoming IBM ICS technical event being held THIS WEDNESDAY, 10th December, 2014, hosted by Prisma and AVNET, with the full support of the IBM technical team from ASEAN With over 180 registrations so far, we're looking forward to meeting with you all and discussing some of the awesome capabilities that IBM has to offer. If you haven't registered yet, there are still a few places available, please feel f [read] Keywords: admin collaboration connections domino ibm sametime xpages applications development enterprise mobile
216


30th Anniversary of IRIS, and the 25th Anniversary of the Launch of Lotus Notes, 7th December 2014
Sun, Dec 7th 2014 3:10a   Mat Newman
In the past couple of days Ray Ozzie has released an awesome series of Tweets recounting the history of IRIS and Lotus Notes. Coming directly from the founder and creator of Notes, this was a series I had to collate and republish here. Thanks Ray! 1/This Sunday, Dec 7, is the 25th anniv of Lotus Notes AND the 30th of my startup Iris! A brief story, in 22 tweets. pic.twitter.com/Q96GsgVLQd— Ray Ozzie (@rozzie) December 4, 2014 2/In July ’84 I pitched an mail/collab ap [read] Keywords: ibm lotus notes ray ozzie richtext desktop mac server twitter widgets
260


New capabilities and increased storage now offered in IBM Connections Cloud in the November 2014 update
Thu, Nov 27th 2014 8:59p   Mat Newman
Today IBM announced a plethora of new features and capabilities on IBM Connections Cloud (Formerly IBM Smartcloud), beginning with increased storage capacity for Smartcloud Notes/iNotes and IBM Connections Files. My favourite highlights from this update: 50 Giga Byte Notes/iNotes Mail Database (Mail/Calendar/Contacts/To-Do/Notebook), 1 Terra Byte IBM Connections Files, and Audio and Video calls on Mobile Phones (previously only a feature on Tablets) Enhanced social capabilities, bette [read] Keywords: connections ibm inotes notes database integration mac mobile
301


Happy 25th Birthday IBM Notes
Wed, Nov 26th 2014 11:57p   Mat Newman
Yep, it's today. IBM Notes (nee: Lotus Notes) turns 25. What an amazing milestone! Happy Birthday Lotus Notes! [read] Keywords: ibm lotus notes
189


Really excited to have 2 sessions accepted for IBMConnectEd
Wed, Nov 26th 2014 6:38p   Mat Newman
Received notification overnight that I've had 2 sessions accepted for IBM ConnectEd conference in Orlando, Florida from the 25th - 28th of January, 2015. The first is #UserBlast; A session that I've really enjoyed putting together over the last few years to showcase the power and capabilities of the IBM Collaboration Platform, of course featuring the IBM Notes client. This year I'm going back to the format from a couple of years ago and doing 40 tips in 40 minutes, and the big highlight i [read] Keywords: admin collaboration ibm lotus notes notes client application desktop linkedin profile
249


Mail reimagined for a NewWayToWork
Tue, Nov 18th 2014 12:55a   Mat Newman
In just a few short hours, IBM will be launching the evolution of Mail; reimagined for a new way to work. Stream “A New Way to Work” live Even if you won’t be in the auditorium, you can still enjoy the event. Register now to watch live as experts, authors and futurists share their visions for “A New Way to Work.” Talks will stream live 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. USA: Eastern Standard Time (EST). Replay will be available on demand approximately 3 hours after the li [read] Keywords: ibm twitter
390


Where does Mail.Next come from
Sun, Nov 16th 2014 3:17p   Mat Newman
In the past few weeks I've been asked a lot of questions as we approach the signature event launch of IBM Mail Next this week on November 18th. If you haven't registered yet for the event on the 18th, do yourself a favour, the link is HERE (http://www.ibm.com/social-business/us/en/newway/event.html) The key to understanding IBM Mail Next is very simple; Mail.Next is NOT a new mail client, Mail.Next is a new way of working! So where does IBM Mail Next come from? I've put togeth [read] Keywords: collaboration connections domino ibm inotes lotus notes notes client sametime applications development enterprise integration interface server




326


A hidden GEM - Creating links from IBM Connections that will open in the MOBILE APP rather than a browser!
Thu, Oct 30th 2014 8:26a   Mat Newman
Remember the absolutely awesome Google Chrome Extension for IBM Connections that I wrote about a little while ago? No? Ok - go refresh yourself on it HERE (Link: http://www.matnewman.com/webs/personal/matblog.nsf/dx/ibm-connections-search-plugin-for-chrome-browser ) You're back. Now for the good stuff. Did you know that this extension has a hidden feature that will create a link for you from an IBM Connections site THAT WILL OPEN IN THE CONNECTIONS MOBILE APP and not a browser? Yep! A [read] Keywords: connections ibm notes traveler application email google linkedin mobile profile wiki
115


A quiet farewell Lotus 1-2-3, Organizer and Smartsuite
Sun, Oct 5th 2014 11:45p   Mat Newman
Last week a fairly significant date passed without much fanfare: The Withdrawal From Support (WFS) for some of the best desktop software ever created in Lotus 1-2-3, Lotus Organizer and the Lotus Smartsuite office package. This - of course - followed on from the announcement that these iconic products would be withdrawn from marketing effective the 11th of June, 2013. WFM is the term used to signify that a product will no longer be available for purchase by customers. WFS means that a prod [read] Keywords: ibm lotus symphony applications desktop development integration office openoffice
177


IBM Notes Traveler 9.0.1.2 now available on the Play Store - more new features and a fix
Mon, Sep 29th 2014 7:02a   Mat Newman
Really pleased to advise that the latest update for IBM Notes Traveler client is available NOW on the Play Store There's a couple of great new features that now enable you to reply without history, and choose whether to include attachments (even those you haven't downloaded!) in your reply email messages. Great to see the development team is including new features with almost every new release of the IBM Notes Traveler client! Importantly: For those of you who have reported 'latency [read] Keywords: ibm lotus notes traveler development email google




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