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Let's banish 16-color Notes database icons! (and other graphical goodies)


A picture named M2

Better graphic support in the Notes client and Domino Designer has been long overdue for a very long time, but it seems IBM is finally taking the idea(s) seriously. Mary Beth Raven recently blogged that IBM is evaluating whether and how to proceed with enhancing DB/Application icons to support high-resolution graphic formats such as png. A lot of folks have chimed in with excellent thoughts on how this should be done, and more importantly, why it should. As with any business decision, investing in fixing this issue needs a clearly stated justification. If you care about this issue, please please comment on her blog and vote/comment on both of the ideas below. I'm happy to report that since she posted that blog entry, the first idea below has become the single most popular one on IdeaJam in the Notes Client Idea space. The second idea is second in popularity behind DXL round-tripping in the Domino Designer idea space. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep piling on to show we *really* want this enhancement yesterday.

This first one is nominally about general improvements in graphics support, but has sparked a ton of recent comments focused on the database icon:

And this idea is actually just about the database icon but from the perspective of Domino Designer:

Let's face it, the 16-color Notes DB Icon is a seriously embarrassing limitation that takes all the steam out of a conversation about how "modern" Notes is now. From the standpoint of trying to convince folks who long ago concluded that Notes is legacy 1990s software, showing essentially the same old workspace full of crap icons is killer (and not in a good way). Better graphic support throughout is important, but the db/app icons are currently a huge lost opportunity to make a second "first impression" on such folks (to say nothing of fodder for criticism from MS).

We shouldn't have to apologize for anything about our favorite software product, and lingering things like db icons, the dated workspace (I love the workspace, but it's too rigid for 2009), the flaky replicator page, and various 64KB limits hinder my willingness to reintroduce Notes to those who have written it off. I fear losing them for another 5 years if they notice the key things like this that *haven't* changed in the last 15.

Oh, and we haven't even talked about the impression this "feature" makes on new developers, who probably see how limited their icon choices are and wonder if this is a platform they should invest time in.


1 - Hi,

I think I also pasted some of my ideas concerning db icons on Ideajam but then I get honed by some people who believe IBM should focus on Notes core competence (presentation is just a layer for them to distribute horrible user experiences).

I would say include an image cruncher that crunches images to a reasonable format. I believe there must already be something available because on a field you can specify that the field should contain thumbnails of your image file.

So before 8.5.1 I hope IBM manages to include 16 beyond colors otherwise I will be using 16 color images for the next couple of years.

yuk! Emoticon

2 - Submitted my comments / approval back in November '07. Maybe we'll get this with 8.5.2? Emoticon

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