There are a few features in GroupWise 8 that we have received some push back. Let’s talk about them and work together to see if there is common ground or even a better solution!
Auto-Accept of Appointments
New to GroupWise 8 is the ‘default’ functionality that says – any appointment that I schedule AND I invite myself to – will be automatically accepted and moved directly into my calendar. As we watched end-users who schedule a lot of appointments, the feedback we heard was – “why make me accept appointments that I schedule AND that I invite myself to?” These end-users said, “This is just extra work and does not help me be productive” They further stated that, “100% of the time, any appointment that I schedule and invite myself to, I ALWAYS accept. Why can’t the software ‘accept’ it for me? It is obvious I am planning on going to the meeting, I scheduled it!”
Change can be hard :)! We understand and know that this is ‘different’ from previous versions. We are still hopeful that after end-users ‘know’ what is going on – they simply say, “Of course, that makes perfect sense. That is what I was going to do anyway. Thanks for saving me a few clicks!” In fact, one purpose of blogging on this topic is to solicit any other perspectives besides the one – “this is different and not the same as it used to be – hence I don’t like it!” If that is the ‘only’ reason, then I am not sure if it is very compelling. I promise to keep an open mind!
We also considered the view of a new user to GroupWise and how competitive products work. We have not found a single new user of GroupWise who has stumbled over this functionality.
We have also considered providing an option. I will go out on a limb and say that is what most feedback will probably be. Simply…if some users like it one way and other users like it another, then simply provide an option. In general, this is a good philosophy and in many many cases, this is exactly what we do. However, it is never that simple. First of all, we would need to ultimately provide the option in every client. Windows, Linux/Mac, WebAccess. Shortly after we provide that, the request would come that the administrator wants the option to set it, lock it and control it. Then 3rd-parties would request API support for the option so that they could incorporate it into their solutions and account for it in their products. This also has localization costs and usability costs. Some might argue we already have way too many options. Most of which are never touched by 80% of our user base.
These are all good reasons, but if the problem is simply – because it is different – then there are more pressing issues to solve and features to provide.
One semi-related feature to mention is one we call “On accept, continue to display the item in the Mailbox”. We recognized that there are some users – usually ones who do not receive/attend a lot of meetings – that never accept appointments because they are ‘moved’ to your calendar. We wanted to provide the functionality that allow a user to ‘Accept’ an appointment so that other attendees could expect their attendance while leaving the Calendar item in their mailbox. Look for this option in Tools | Options | Calendar – its on the General tab.
Reply to Selected Text
New to GroupWise 8 is the capability to select some text in a message you are readying and when you hit ‘Reply/Forward’, ONLY that text is included in the new message. Some users have found this new feature to be one of the most ‘productive’ features in all of GroupWise 8. While others have told us that this is the ‘dumbest’ feature in the entire product. Sometimes you just can’t win!!
Some users struggle because they did not realize or did not remember that they had selected text when they hit ‘Reply/Forward’. Then when the new message appeared and not all of the text was included, they become very frustrated.
This is another feature that is included in most of our competitor’s products. This feature was included because it was requested by many customers and end-users. It was a relatively easy feature to implement and therefore became a feature that we have highlighted and advertised as one ‘we’ really like.
Of course, it is again – a change in functionality. Some users digest change very easily and can adapt and embrace rather quickly. Other users will resist change no matter how compelling and useful the new functionality ‘could’ be.
Many have provided feedback about how to provide the best of both worlds. Provide an option is a common theme. One idea is to provide the ‘selected text reply’ feature only on the right-click menu, once the text is selected. This has some merit. Other ideas?
Let’s first discuss these features and see if there are some insightful solutions. There may be other features you would also like to discuss or ask – What were they thinking? I would be happy to let you peek inside our design decisions and help us provide even better solutions!