Home > Usability > Choosing the obvious route or just pick at random

Choosing the obvious route or just pick at random

As I’ve probably written about here on this blog, I’m really amazed how poorly IBM has succeeded with the UI for Lotus Notes. In many cases you’re prompted with a warning when Notes instead could have helped you out. But that is just one of the problems. For example:

  • If my cursor is in the TO field in an e-mail and I click the Add attachment butcon, I’m prompted that I should place the cursor in the Message field and try again. Well, why not helping a poor girl out and move the cursor there? If I by mistake clicked the butcon by mistake I can still cancel the command in the dialog box.
  • If I’m viewing a message in the e-mail list and I want to toggle Mark As Read I push the INSERT button on the keyboard. How about that! That is so un-intuitive that I cannot even imagine how this came about! Not only is this button placed on so different places on different keyboards that you often have to look for it: what connection does INSERT have with Read/Unread?
  • In every e-mail client I’ve used, CTRL+N is used for a new e-mail. But no, this would be what you could expect. Instead you use CTRL+M, which I use in Microsoft Powerpoint for a new slide. I can get that since I use that command all the time but most people don’t. So why pick that?
  • Settings can be found in the File Menu. That’s a charmer. I’ve seen that in…. Not so many programs but just to make things more wonderful there are tabs under tabs under tabs.
  • You cannot view week numbers in the calendar. You can change the colors in the client but week numbers. No, that would be useful so that’s out.
  • If you’ve marked an e-mail as read in the Windows client, it’s still marked as unread in the web client. And vice versa. At least it’s the same in both clients. But it make sense that an e-mail becomes unread just because you see it in another client?
  • When you reschedule a meeting, you cannot search for free rooms. If someone suggest a new time and you agree on the proposal, you’re not prompted to see if the room is available on the new time. So, then you have to re-schedule again.
  • If you have an invitation and there has been changes to the invitation you must open the original request first and then move down the list. Yes, you can change the setting so there is an automatic processing but I want to see if a change fit me before agreeing…

I could go on and on. But to summarize: IBM should look into hiring a group of professionals called usability experts. And if they have some of these on board, they are not very good at what they are doing, no one listens to them or they are just sadist enjoying the latest feature bringing me headache every day. At least I know a program which UI we can use as bad example.

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Categories: Usability
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