Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lotus Knows? … Not all the time!

I’ve been using IBM Lotus Domino Designer a lot recently, after quite a few months of irregular use.

I often wonder what IBM’s usability specialists are doing with their time when they allow certain things to go feral and linger on to cause us continuing pain.

Perhaps a lot of the IBM/Lotus people who, over the decades, have developed Notes don’t actually use it much in the manner that we practitioners out in the field do. They do it in spades for Notes Mail and the like, but seem to have forgotten to do so for the Domino Designer product.

I’m got a toothache today, and am not happy about having to visit the dentist again! I had hoped that last month’s visit was the last time I’d have to see the insides of a dental surgery for a good while. So maybe that’s the reason behind my rant today, I’m usually much more affable!

Anyhow, I’ve been using the application “Refresh Design” function quite a lot of late, perhaps dozens of times per day, and I’m getting totally annoyed by the following dialog and extremely tired of having to click on the Yes button time after time:

imageWhat is patently missing is the “Don’t show this again” or “I know what I’m doing” option that I’ve suggested, highlighted in yellow. This option is a common feature of similar dialogs in all sorts of software, even in other parts of Lotus Notes, so I’m not asking for too much am I?

And of course I’m asking the Notes design team to make this available in Domino Designer as soon as possible, and to systematically review other dialogs that we weary end users are presented with many times per day, and ensure that the same option is present in them.

IBM continues to invest in Lotus Notes, they assure us, so why not divert a very modest amount of time and people resource to do this streamlining? I’m pretty sure it will generate a big payback and a ton of appreciation from us!

Please add your own similar requests below, for IBM’s consideration …


  1. As somebody who has used this feature a billion times:

    Try using the keyboard shortcuts. You'll never miss the extra keystroke.

    When you DO accidentally click or fat-finger the wrong option, you'll be REALLY glad that dialog's there. :-)

  2. Fair point, Erik, but even if you do inadvertently REFRESH the design I reckon that this generally won't cause much of a problem -- although I concur that in some cases it might. This is why I'd feel fairly comfortable if there were a "Don't show this again" option for the Refresh Design dialog.

    Of course, if you fat-fingered the REPLACE design option that would quite drastic! But due to all the frantic screams from users you'd discover your mistake very quickly and could then recover by replacing again using the proper design template.

    On the point of using the keyboard shortcut for "Refresh Design" I went a-hunting but couldn't find it anywhere I looked. It's not in the Notes 8.5.1 Help nor the Domino Designer 8.5.1 Help, as fas as I could ascertain. And it's not in the Domino Designer "Key Assist" (Ctrl+Shift+L) either, which is pretty much Eclipse-centric.

    Pray tell me where the "Refresh Design" and "Replace Design" and similar developer-centric keyboard shortcuts are all described.