Getting Started with IBM Notes 9 - Part 2: Introducing the Masthead

Mat Newman  April 9 2013 08:21:15
With the introduction of IBM Notes 9, one of the major design goals was to implement the IBM "One UI" experience with an updated interface to the Notes client. Within the FRAMEWORK utilised by the OneUI design principals, major navigation elements are located across the top of the 'page'.  Feedback supplied to IBM designers also indicated that many users 'lost' the quick links to their Personal Information Management (PIM) applications (Mail, Calendar, Contacts, To-Dos, etc) with the introduction of the "Open" button with the release of Notes 8.*.

I have also had feedback from many users when Notes 8.* was introduced, saying they missed the "Bookmark Bar" and it's single-click access to Bookmarks.

Getting the "Bookmark Bar" back in Notes 8/9 is quite simple, just right-click the "Open" button and choose "Dock the open list"

Enter the Masthead:

IBM Notes 9.0 - the all-new IBM Notes 9 Masthead

The masthead combines two of the older features from the Notes 8.* standard client - The Open Button, and the Search toolbar - and introduces new short-cut icons for quick access to:
  • Mail,
  • Calendar,
  • Contacts,
  • Home,
  • Workspace,
  • Discover, and
  • Thumbnails

You may notice two glaring omissions from the Masthead, To-Do's and your Notebook, never fear, in a coming post I'll show you how to add them back!

In addition to the new short-cut icons on the masthead, IBM have also introduced some new keyboard short-cuts to access common PIM features too!
  • Ctrl+1: Open MAIL
  • Ctrl+2: Open CALENDAR
  • Ctrl+3: Open CONTACTS

IBM have not enabled all of the new Masthead short-cut icons by default, but it's easy enough to turn them all (or whichever you like) on or off by using the VIEW menu within the IBM Notes 9 client:
  1. Click on the VIEW menu
  2. Point to "Show Shortcut buttons",
  3. Choose the Buttons you want to appear on the Masthead (Figure:2).

Figure 2: Turning Masthead short-cuts on or off
IBM Notes 9.0 - turning Masthead short-cuts on and off

The new Masthead is available in the IBM Notes 9 client as part of the "IBM Social Theme".  If you install Notes 9 and choose not to use the "IBM Social Theme" the short-cut buttons will still appear, but will be located on the "Window Tab" bar along with the Open button and application "Tabs".  Without the "IBM Social Theme" selected, the Search toolbar will also revert to being just another "Toolbar" across the top of the Notes client window.

Interestingly, if you turn the "Search" toolbar off in this configuration, and then switch back to the "IBM Social Theme", the search bar will appear back on the Masthead again.

One of the fantastic features of the Masthead is that it can be customised to suit your own environment, that is: a developer within your organisation can add links and buttons to your own frequently used applications to the Masthead.  I'll be showing you how to do this in an upcoming post.

The new IBM Notes 9 Masthead, a great new addition to the Notes 9 client interface.



1Oliver Regelmann  04/09/2013 17:03:30  
Getting Started with IBM Notes 9 - Part 2: Introducing the Masthead

I don't really see the added value of redundant bookmark icons that consume valuable vertical space instead of just using the same icons on the left. Instead IBM should've made it easier for admins to add and manage the old bookmarks. Or provide something like the pinned tabs of modern browsers.

2Ravi  04/10/2013 6:24:40  
Getting Started with IBM Notes 9 - Part 2: Introducing the Masthead

Can this be enabled by desktop policy?

3Mat Newman

04/10/2013 13:22:47  Getting Started with IBM Notes 9 - Part 2: Introducing the Masthead

@1, Oliver: The OneUI design provides a consistent User Interface across *all* IBM software applications, the new Masthead fits within that framework by providing navigation between the 'Major' features within the Notes client. As mentioned in this post, IBM have included most of the frequently used options within the Notes client - there's even a "Workspace" option - and these can be extended within your own organisation to include your own links. I agree that providing an easy way to manage the old Bookmarks via policy would also have been a great option. With regard 'pinning' Tabs, this can be achieved in Notes via preferences using: "File -> Preferences -> Windows and Themes -> On restart, reopen any tabs that were open when I closed the client". Alternatively, if users Right-Click the tab they want opened at Start-Up, choose "Bookmark" and then bookmark the tab under "More Bookmarks -> Startup" the tabs will be "pinned" and will appear on the Window Tabs every time the client is started.

@2, Ravi: Do you mean enabling the "IBM Social Theme" or choosing which icons which appear in the Masthead?

Mat Newman IBM Champion

4Robin K Mullins  07/12/2013 3:02:38  
Getting Started with IBM Notes 9 - Part 2: Introducing the Masthead

Is there a way to add more links to the masthead besides those shown? I would love to have my ToDo list and my Notebook available in the same way as mail, calendar, etc.

5David  08/19/2013 13:55:54  
Getting Started with IBM Notes 9 - Part 2: Introducing the Masthead

yes, the masthead consumes valuable vertical space! How do I turn it off? I hate it when vendors supply something like a unified toolbar but dont let you turn it off! Do I have to hire a developer to turn it off?

6Fabio  04/23/2014 9:44:06  
Getting Started with IBM Notes 9 - Part 2: Introducing the Masthead

It's fair enough that people may have actually liked the new Masthead but I for one did not. So it would also be fair if IBM provides the users with the option to turn the Masthead on or off. Maybe there is a way but I did not find one yet. For now all I could do was disable all buttons but the bar just remains there. Even the search box can't be removed.

Mat Newman

THE Lotus Notes Guy. Productivity Guru. Social Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. IBMer. Views are my own.

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