–Engage

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

Now, I’ve seen it all … And truly believe that Lotus Notes sucks …

I am here today to give two SCREAMING examples of why Lotus Notes should be banned from the universe, or IBM should just practice what they preach for their own product-line. … What have these people been smoking??????


So, yesterday I just wanted to find a way like I can in Entourage/Outlook to up the font size, when someone sends me an e-mail message with text that is too small. Ya know + or + . Pretty simple, no brainer. Shoot! even Entourage puts increase font size on the tool bar.

Guess what!?! In Lotus Notes the application that touts it can do more than anybod, CAN’T do this most simple and most needed thing. Not only can you not do this, but while you can easily select the fonts for sans-serif, serif, monospaced, etc. you can’t then choose their sizes. Who has ever seen a font selection dialog that doesn’t include size (let alone color and style).

Now, you can (in Windows version only) go into the .INI file … Yes!!!!! they still think that it is 1992 and people are using Windows 3.1x. In that file you can find the variable string and change it so that for every message and doc type (calendar entries, to-dos, etc.) the font size will be increased by X value. … Ok, I get it from an accessibility perspective, but uh, what about the rest of us! and Let’s go back to the fact that you have to find, open, and edit a TEXT FILE!!!!!

Ok, but the fun doesn’t stop there. So today, I see an icon on my Inbox view next to a message. I have never seen this icon before and it’s location and shape didn’t help me either. So I thought, I’d roll over it and see what happens. I mean if there was nothing there, I might be a little upset at that mistake, and would have accepted it, but when I did roll over it and waited a bit (maybe a little too long IMHO) I found this:

View of Lotus Notes

Do you guys see what I see in the tool tip? It actually says “Widget Icon”!!!!!!!

Holy Cow! My design team here at work had to take 10 minutes of laughing hysterically.

Now, some of the other great tooltips we saw were:
For the paper clip which usually means that there is an attachment with the message, it says, “Paperclip Icon.”
For the exclamation point that means that a message is high priority, the tool tip says, “Exclamation Point Icon.”

All, anyone can say is wow! … Then after the laughter ends, you can just look at that IBM designer in your mind and point a discouraging finger at them and just say, “For shame.” … “Please hand in your UPA, SIGCHI, or other association card at the door.” … Sheesh!

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  • Robb Beal

    It gets worse!

    In Windows, try opening an attachment (double click), making some changes, and saving. Now, logout and log back in. Your changes are gone! (The file you made changes to was in your temp directory.)

  • http://www.clarkson.edu/~johndan/datacloud/archives/001460.html datacloud

    More Interface Fun With Lotus Notes

    At Synaptic Burn, David Heller offers some examples of why the usability meter climbs into the "Sucks" zone in Lotus Notes. Do you guys see what I see in the tool tip? It actually says “Widget Icon”!!!!!!! Holy Cow! My design team…

  • http://www.edbrill.com Ed Brill

    @Robb — That has been addressed in Notes 6, where you can “open” or “edit”. Even better in Notes 7 where you can “open with” etc.

    As for dave’s original post, it sounds like the Mac client code needs better icon documentation. I’ll pass the feedback along.

  • http://www.randomarchitecture.com robert

    My first internet gig was for a company that specialized in deveoping notes apps. What unbelievable piece of crap it was then and it seems like not much has changed. What was true then (and probably still) was that so many companies had invested in lotus notes that they felt tied to it just to avoid the cost of switching platforms. All those icons are a joke. We couldn’t figure out what half od them meant. And we were developers.

  • Gary

    http://www.lotusnotessucks.4t.com contains many examples of why notes sucks

  • david

    lotus notes just sucks. there is no other way to put it. the only people that like it are a) ibm, because they make money out of it (even though they should be paying people to use it) and b) notes developers (snigger) because their out-dated skill sets are supported as long as large companies cannot afford to put this mamoth piece of shit to bed.

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