Yesterday I was in a meeting with my current clients. Two of the people in the meeting were IT Manager (ITM) and Project Manager (PM). I got the gig by virtue of this site and the ITM being aware of it. ITM is pro-Domino. PM cares about the end solution and not the technology used. However, the PM is well aware of ITM's preference to use Domino, which is half the reason I expect I won the bidding over other non-Domino competitors.
Anyway, PM had been reading The Guardian on the train in and had kept a page to show the ITM. I think you know the page I am talking about (yes, it was in the printed version too). They both spent a while laughing about it and then I think (as I read the situation) they stopped in case they offended me. To break the air I then said "Don't worry, I hate Notes too" and they both continued to laugh.
It might seem like an odd thing for a consultant and Lotus professional to say as part of the small-talk at the beginning of a meeting with clients. So, why did I say it? Well, apart from the obvious reason that I do have strong feelings of hatred towards the Notes client, it was to make a point. With a nod toward the demo of the site I'm building them, which was being projected on the screen in front of us all, I went on to say "This is not Notes though. This is Domino!". I can't remember exactly what I said following that but I hope it put PM's mind at rest. It can't be easy to get so far in to the project to read a news article saying that everybody in the world hates the product they've chosen to build their site on.
Something PM would have picked up on in the article is that Notes usability is something of an oxymoron. This is bound to have set alarm bells ringing as one of the major remits of the project is that it has to be "usable". For this reason I spent a large part of the budget on having clear:left come in and consult on how best to achieve this. After numerous Information Architecture meetings and a round of actual user testing we've arrived at a prototype like no other Domino-run website I've ever seen. It's certainly changed the way I think about developing websites with Domino.
I have no doubt that the client will absolutely love what Domino, I (Rockall) and clear:left will deliver. All I wanted to do by saying what I said was put PM's mind at rest between now and launch. Also I wanted to get a cheap laugh, which it did. My approach to doing business is down-to-earth to say the least (it must be the Northerner in me). I tell it like it is and I think people prefer that to any obvious sign of being sold something.
Rather naively I thought I could come home from the meeting and break the story to the world, thinking that nobody else would have read this section of the paper that day and blogged about it. However, as you probably know, it's on the web and there's currently a whole furore of hyperbole underway. I'm staying right out of all that.