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User Interface Q4U: What does your dream home look like?

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When I was young, I used to wile away time dreaming of what my future ideal home would look like and where it would be. It tended to include things like curved floating staircases, open concept rooms, lots of art, and was usually located in some exotic or ultra-cool location on the planet nowhere near my humble digs on the prairie in Southern Alberta, Canada. Those delusional notions have since given way to more practical ones of home as a place that suits some fanciful desires, yes, but much more pragmatically it fits my physical needs and where I need to be at this point in time.

My Web or “virtual” home shares similar characteristics but instead of the physical traits or choices of bricks versus siding or a WC on the main floor, my virtual home has the distinction of being a collection of feeds, links, and graphical displays of data: that is, home is the central place where I collect the various resources and dynamic content I consider important in my day.

Defined in terms of work, a virtual home should be the place that brings together what is important to you in one centralized and dependable location and that ultimately helps you get things done. It is the place where you want to start your day, and visit frequently throughout, because it collects and exposes you to the kind of information you want and need to stay in touch with people, with technologies, with ideas, with news, and with the flow of events and items that are important for you to be aware of or act on in the course of your day.

As the Jazz Foundation Web UI team starts to re-envision what home is in the context of a multi-product environment, one that brings together resources and dynamic content from a variety of Rational Jazz web product sources and allows seamless launch and entry points into product-specific pages, I am interested in learning from all readers and those using Rational requirements, development, and testing products, what your personal* dream home looks like.

  1. In your first encounter with your new personal home, what content would you consider ideal as a place to help you get started?
  2. Does your role play a part in what you consider your ideal home? If so, in what way? More specifically, what kinds of changes would you expect to happen in your home page if you switched from one role to another?
  3. Is your personal home solely a dashboard or does it contain other kinds of presentations besides dashboard viewlets? If so, please describe.

Both general musings and specific comments about the nature and content of your personal dream home are welcome.

I will also be covering this and related topics in greater depth during the design feedback sessions at the Rational VoiCE of the Client event this week. If you are there and have time to come by and provide input on early designs, drop by the Wakefield Room to sign up.

Either through your responses to this blog or through direct interaction at VoiCE, I’d love to hear from you.

* A personal home is one that is your private virtual space. It could be shared with others if you chose to do so, but it is primarily about the kind of content you personally want to see and have access to yourself. We distinguish a personal home, or “dashboard”, from more public shared Project Area and Team Area dashboards, each deserving special consideration.

Kimberley Peter
Jazz UI Design Team