Not so long ago, with my interface/application designer’s hat on (yes, I designed the interface and wrote the documentation for this), I posted a whinge about Lotus Notes. Thomas Adrian was kind enough to comment, and I can understand that he was displeased because from what I can see on his site, he’s big on the subject (although, hats off to him his English is better than my Swedish).
Now don’t take this as a personal attack Thomas, but here’s more Lotus Notes inadequacy:
- Copy from an HTML or rich-text document, then paste into a Lotus Notes email. Then wait. And wait. And wait a bit more. After several seconds (or several more) it will eventually paste. Why not immediately? What on earth is taking Lotus Notes so long to paste metatext?
- So you’re typing along quite happily when an alarm window pops up for a meeting. I don’t object to alarms – they’re very useful – but they do introduce when you’re mid-flow. They also respond to key depressions so if it happens that you press ENTER or ‘O’ for OK you suddenly find it’s closed the window and the following stream of characters have been interpreted by whatever underlying application you were running. I’ve very nearly lost work with this happening. Not good. Also, why call it an alarm? Do I want to be alarmed? No. Call it an alert instead, so that I’m alert and alerted, not alarmed.
- Why can’t I delete labels? When I first started using Lotus Notes I would occasionally type the wrong thing or mis-spell words, and anyway my work has changed since I started so I’d like to delete or rename labels please. If it’s possible then please tell me how. But don’t blame me for not finding out how to do it myself because I’ve looked through the online help and the web and apart from finding one other people with the exact same problem, there’s no mention of how to do this.
- And finally, another alarm problem. Why, if I have several at the same time, am I reminded of them all in one alarm? Because to date I also haven’t figured out how then to set different ‘snooze’ times to each alarm because there’s only one ‘snooze’ field. So I have to set them all to the same value, which seems to separate them out into individual alarms, to which I can then set different times.
I shouldn’t have to do this. Irrespective of operating system, I shouldn’t have to wait to cut and paste, or nearly lose work, or be unable to delete labels or take several steps with multiple alarms. The version I use (at work) is at number 7. Why weren’t these usability issues addressed in versions 1 to 6?
Granted, it’s a stable package but as I said before, these usability issues can only be because it isn’t given sufficient priority within the development team. They will probably tell me it’s my fault for not figuring it out, or that there are ways around the problems that I’ve found. Well, I shouldn’t have to figure it out, or work around it. It should just work. Properly.
Give me Outlook any time. No, really.