When I first started dabbling in Bootstrap and Font Awesome, I was very excited and loved the look and feel of the framework. When I say dabbling, I mean that at the beginning, I didn’t really think about, how I am actually going to use it. I was just playing around with, getting a feel for how it all works and how I can integrate it with XPages.
But eventually I was faced with the question: What am I going to do with this shiny, new framework; How do I apply it to my daily development work?
I realized, I’ll have to rethink the way I develop my applications. Not necessarily the coding itself, but how do I set up the front-end, the UI, the part that the user will eventually see and will have to deal with on a daily bases.
I was always determined to design the UI of my applications in a way, that would aide the users in completing their daily work, even in the Notes Client (I guess it can be considered a job well done, if a user asks you, if your application is a web application, even though it is plain Notes Client). I was a big fan of Chris Blatnick’s blog Interface Matters and a lot of my UI designs had been inspired by his posts.
I think what I am trying to say is, we as XPages developers need and should also always think about the UI, to make it easy for the users to do their job.
If you don’t know how or what to do, talk to your users; sit down with them and observe them doing their daily work and it might give you ideas as to how to make it even better and easier for them.
The code in the background can be as sophisticated as can be, if the UI makes it hard for users to use an application, they will hate it and those users won’t make good advocates for Domino and XPages.
What is your opinion on this matter?