Do Wednesday mornings get much better?

Do I give Lotus Notes enough love? Does it deserve any? To be honest, it doesn’t get any at all from me. In fact, most of the time I hate it with a passion bordering on clinical insanity.

Occasionally, though, there’s a little ray of metaphorical sunshine.

Holy Crepuscularity, Batman!

I’ve posted before on the joy of the tooltip that is perfectly informative and yet utterly useless at the same time.

It’s seemed as if Lotus (or IBM) have a standard that requires icons to have a tooltip, but the designers leave it to the developers to figure out what text should be displayed in the tooltips themselves. (Actually, they probably don’t call them “tooltips” at all, what with the snazzy comic-book voice-bubble shape and everything). If the developers are nine-to-five cubicle drones then they’re going to exercise minimum levels of creative thought and frankly, the feeble result is less than surprising.

The other day I spotted two more closely-related gems, again offering a beautifully terse description of what they are, when I was rather hoping to discover what they mean. Cue vocal expressions of Joy.

Here’s the first:

It’s clearly a “Collapsed Twistie Icon” and I’m glad they were able to make it so clear. What it signifies is less transparent, neither does my mouse pointer change shape to give me any clue as to whether or not something might happen should I be brave enough to click on it. Some icons, such as the “Message replied to Icon”, for example, do nothing, mutely displaying their feebly-composed tooltip (how about “you replied to this message” as a more useful alternative, perhaps wirh a click taking you to the reply?)

I clicked. Turns out this indicates that there’s a threaded “conversation” to be displayed and my action causes the thread to be expanded. What do you think the icon changes to?

Genius.

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