In July we took our Template Experience conversation directly to HCL at Chelmsford to meet with customers and partners at their three day factory tour. Carl (usability/UI) and I plus Fadil (HCL UX design) and Felix (HCL UX design) had the chance to show our wireframe work so far and get feedback. We also met with the HCL development teams to discuss where we are.
We have currently been working on producing wireframes which we showed at the factory tour. The purpose of wireframes in our case was to play with what features and elements would appear on each page to get the best use out of a limited mobile phone screen. Thanks to your survey feedback we had a good starting point to model out how to display the most used features. For instance we discovered that search would be a primary method for finding documents and that many of you revisit the same documents either for reference or looking for updates each time you go into the database.
Here are a few wireframes we have been talking about. These are conceptual ideas for discussion, not fixed designs but I think they illustrate the path we are now on.
Some of the features we are considering are
“helpful” – this would be a toggle that changes colour to identify if a particular document was helpful. There is no count, a document is helpful whether 1 person or 50 people find it so.
“track” – this would be a quick way to track a document you are interested in. Again a toggle where the first click would enable tracking for 1 week, the 2nd click for 1 month and the 3 would turn on tracking permanently.
On the tablet we have more space to work with – here is a sample design
So having gathered our first piece of feedback and used that to construct some initial wireframes we wanted to focus on delivering a mobile discussions template as soon as possible. Preferably in the v11 beta timeline.
To develop for mobile phone and tablet we need a framework which in this case would be the Nomad platform (otherwise known as HCL iDMA), that is under continual development by Maxx Sutton and his team at HCL. Like all the development at HCL their work is a continual and interative process where products and code are released as fast and as soon as they are ready. Right now the Nomad platform does not have the programmatic capability to do many of the things we are showing above (such as swipe gestures), but we don’t expect them to. We are working with Maxx and team to share things like our wireframes and other feature ideas as we design them so they can try and include that programmable functionality in Nomad.
This means that the first version will not have the features shown above because we are running alongside with the Nomad team. As they add the programmability we will add the features to our template and similarly as we come up with features we would like , they will try and add that programmability into Nomad. By working together in this way we can all develop and deliver original (and hopefully groundbreaking) solutions faster.
That’s how HCL’s agile approach works.
By following this development path, it also gives us the ability to really work with your feedback. If something we try doesn’t work, this approach will let us re-evaluate our decisions and change course if needed.
We’re going to continue to think big about what we want and continue to ask you to do that too as we come up with design ideas. You are going to continue to see new versions of the discussions template alongside new versions of the Nomad platform as it progresses.
We look forward to sharing more and hearing more over the coming weeks.