I haven't been able to spend a lot of time blogging or participating in our community sites in the last few weeks - in fact I've barely managed to read my e-mail. I do have an excuse though - I've only been in the country for about 3 days out of the last 3 weeks, and it's pretty hard to keep up with these types of things when you're on the road.
After my Australian adventure, I got just enough time at home to do about 3 loads of washing before repacking the suitcase with slightly warmer clothes for a trip over to Quebec City in Canada, with my partner in
crime product management Don Smith. Don and I were hosted by our good friends at CGI who are doing some great work with many local Quebec customers using .NET and patterns & practices. But before I talk about the work stuff, first let me say that Quebec is awesome and if you haven't been there, you should! The city was beautiful, the food fantastic, and Steven, Dominic and the rest of the CGI guys showed us a fantastic time 🙂
But we were there for work, and we had a great opportunity to visit many customers to find out about about what they were doing, and what we should be doing to make their lives easier. Much of the discussion was around a new project that Don will be spilling the beans about soon on his blog, so I won't ruin the surprise, other than hinting that it's a new deliverable a little like this one.
I also used the trip to kick off a slight change in focus in my role at p&p - I'm trying to spend more of my time looking at how we can get a more consistent and compelling user experience across all p&p deliverables. This really involves finding out about how people use our stuff, what they want to achieve with it, and how easy we make it - things like packaging, documentation structure, training materials, tools and ease of navigating across content types can all make a huge difference in the user experience. I got some great input from lots of people in Quebec, but I'd love to hear from you too. I'll get more specific about the areas I'm looking at in the coming weeks, but if you have any thoughts on the p&p user experience (not just in Enterprise Library, but in anything we do), please let me know - this is the only way we can tell what we should be doing! 🙂
Tom & Don try out the self-service beer taps at a Quebec bar