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Showing posts from March, 2009

Creating Composite Application with Care

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A big part of Notes 8 has been the ability to create and run composite applications. Regardless on how you create composite applications whether the IBM way or Richard's way, you need to really understand the audience that you are developing the application for before you venture into composite applications. Composite applications are great in tying different components together to create a visual relationship between data. For the Notes 8 client this can be done by displaying different components in different frames that are linked together. However, this is not always the best way of displaying the information. For example, netbooks are now very popular with a number of sales staff that we have been working with. The typical screen resolution of netbooks are 1024 x 576 much shorter that the typical laptop with 1024 x 768. Therefore, screen real estate is very precious. As the results, composite applications like the Lead Manager composite application example from IBM beco

I have been Flexed, a New Adventure in UI Design

Over the past couple of months I have been optimizing our IBF 3.0 technology to develop applications. One of the goals of the project is to develop Notes applications with an interface design that is effective for users, especially small business users. The design team and myself have gone through a number of different designs understanding the limitations of the Lotus Notes Basic client. I thought about designing just for the Lotus Notes standard client, but I do not like it because it is big, slow, and the UI is buggy. As many who know me, I would have preferred that IBM revamped the Basic client rather than go with the an Eclipse framework. I understand why IBM went with the Eclipse framework, my I still do not like it. I am a proponent of small and lite clients. The Lotus Notes Basic client is much leaner and faster, but the UI and controlling it even with all the tricks that I and others like Chris Blatnick and Nathan Freeman has come up with is still lacking. This is espe

Balsamiq Mockups is Cool

Over the next few months I will be involved in a number of Notes application projects that will require design interfaces for our clients. I usually sketch out the interface using paper and pencil and then scan it in and store it in a file. I read Daniele Vistalli's blog about "Website designs for lazy developers." He mentioned in his blog about the tool Balsamiq Mockups. I downloaded and tested it out. It is great. It will save me a lot of time. With Balsamiq Mockups I can quickly create it and store it as a file and make changes to the UI design with the client on the fly. Thanks Daniele for the blog. It is also very cheap at $79.00. I just recommended this product to a few other designers that I work with.

Using Icons in your Notes Application

We are currently working on a new interface for our IBF-based product line and our graphics team sent me this link that I would like to share with everyone. It is blog entry about using icons on your web site. However, it can easily be applied to creating interfaces for Notes client applications (both the standard and basic). http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/03/how-to-use-icons-to-support-content-in-web-design/