Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

Apps UX Team on the Road: Oracle Usability Lab, Presentations, and Demos at OBUG Benelux Connect 2013

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

For the fourth year in a row, the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team will be present at OBUG Benelux Connect in Antwerp, Belgium. It’s a one-day event, and the agenda is jam-packed. The Apps UX team is bringing OBUG members a number of activities that will connect them with UX experts, depending on their conference agenda and interests. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get involved.  Here is the line-up: 

User Feedback Sessions

The Oracle Applications User Experience team will conduct user feedback sessions again at OBUG Benelux Connect. All customers and partners in the Benelux region may get involved. Last year at OBUG 2012 in Maastricht, 20 customers and partners participated in UX sessions. The number of Benelux customers and partners who continuously collaborate with the Apps UX team has been growing each year. Oracle customers and partners are invited to participate in a usability feedback session. Get a peek at Oracle’s next-generation enterprise application designs and learn about Oracle’s pioneering user-centered design process. Your feedback will help Oracle develop unbeatable products and solutions. This year, we are looking for the following job profiles to participate: Employees, Product Managers, Sales Representatives, Consultants, Project Managers, and more.

Why participate? 
  • You will have the ability to contribute to and influence product direction and design for Oracle’s next-generation software applications.
  • You can participate early in the lifecycle of a product, rather than after a product is released.
  • You will get an exclusive chance to have your voice heard by the people who are actually designing your work-flows.

How do I Sign Up?
Sessions will be scheduled on an individual basis on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, in Antwerp, Belgium, and will last approximately one hour.  If you are interested in participating, send an email to angela.johnston@oracle.com with the subject “Sign me up for a UX Feedback Session at OBUG Benelux Connect.”

Demo Station: Applications User Experience Innovations
This year, the Oracle Applications User Experience team will run a demo pod on the vendor showcase. Experience first-hand, how Oracle does user research on the eye-tracker.  Find out what user trends Oracle is paying attention to by getting a look at the new simplified experience on the tablet, and learn about the direction of mobile for smartphones. If you are a customer, come discuss the trends and pressures you face around end-user adoption. If you are a partner, come find out about Applications User Experience enablement on implementations and for custom applications.

Applications User Experience Presentations
The Oracle Applications UX team is offering sessions that might interest you. Learn more about the team’s presentations and involvement by visiting UsableApps.

Apps UX Team
These members of the Apps UX Team were at OBUG Benelux Connect 2012 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. You’ll see many of the same faces this year as well, at OBUG Benelux Connect 2013.

Tuesday Feb 19, 2013

The Road Ahead: Trends in the Oracle Applications User Experiences

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience


Photograph by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Apps UX team is keeping its eyes on the horizon of new technologies that may have an impact on the enterprise space.  We take many new concepts and technologies and put them through an internal research, design, and development process to assess which ones may or may not gain traction in the enterprise space.  These areas are not limited to the ones listed below, but the ones below are starting to see some traction within Oracle.

Simplification – We have the explosion of multiple devices with smaller screens to thank for this trend. It’s a trend we can all benefit from in the enterprise space.  At Oracle, there is an analysis under way to really evaluate what the key use cases are, and where it makes sense to offer users a fast, light-touch user experience.  This might be on tablets, and this might be on smart phones. It is a space that is really evolving fast.    

Voice –Apple’s Siri has sparked a renewed interest in voice input technologies.  At first, the inner geek said, “Wow!”  Now that our hearts have stopped racing, we are taking a real look at what this implies in the enterprise applications space. It means thinking carefully about when and where business users really need this kind of capability: Do they need it on a desktop? Do they need it on a smartphone? Do they need it on a tablet?  Why?

Gamification  -- Gamification in the enterprise space is adding immersive, game-like elements to an enterprise application. I have seen some really interesting use cases for gamifying elements of enterprise applications, but I am still waiting for the “wow” in the enterprise space.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s huge in the consumer space, especially in terms of brand marketing to Gen Y and Millenials.  But I agree with technology research company Garnter, and Oracle’s Erika Webb, who say it is all going to come down to the actual, meaningful design – sticking a badge on it does not equal a gamified application.

Tailoring and extending applications user experiences – Oracle has been listening to customers and partners who have taken out-of-the-box Oracle applications user experiences that were well designed and tested, and in extending them, broke the user experience.  So we have been thinking about the kinds of tools customers and partners need to tailor experiences with a light touch, as well as how to address the needs of customers and partners who want more guidance such as user experience design patterns for desktop applications or mobile devices.

You can expect to see more on this blog and on the UsableApps blog as the clouds start to part on the road ahead for applications user experiences.

Friday Feb 08, 2013

Apps UX Team on the Road: Oracle Usability Lab at Alliance 2013 Conference

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

People
Wei Zhou and Gozel Aamoth from the Oracle Applications User Experience team welcome participants at Alliance 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.

Are you or your colleagues planning to attend the Alliance 2013 conference in Indianapolis this year? If yes, we’d like you to know that the Apps UX team will pack their bags and bring the usability lab to this user group conference. For the fifth consecutive year, Higher Education, Public Sector and Federal users of Oracle Applications will have an opportunity to collaborate with usability experts. Sign up for one of our exclusive user feedback sessions to get a peek at next-generation enterprise applications and learn about Oracle’s pioneering user-centered design process.

The usability lab will be open two days: Monday, March 18th, and Tuesday, March 19th, at the JW Marriott Indianapolis Hotel, Room #202. Attend a one-hour session where our usability experts will guide you through practical learning sessions covering aspects of business applications and more.

Who can participate: Employees, Business Analysts, Subject Matter Experts, Managers of all levels, and Students.

Give us your feedback on: PeopleSoft HCM Home Page, PeopleSoft HCM Manager Self Service, PeopleSoft FUSE Campus Solutions, and Fusion Help Design.

How do I sign up: This event fills up quickly, and seats are limited. Advance registration is required. RSVP now by sending an email to Gozel Aamoth at gozel.aamoth@oracle.com.  

To learn more about the team’s presentations and involvement at this conference, please visit UsableApps.

Sunday Feb 03, 2013

Changing of the Guard: A new Face for the UsableApps Site and A New Editor for the UsableApps Blog

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

As Editor-in-Chief of UsableApps, I am mostly asked to sign off on stories and work by writers who are much better than I.  Just check out this thoroughly researched and well-written piece by Kathy Miedema on what mobile looks like across the applications product lines.  Or take a look at the recently updated oracle.com/usableapps, with a whole new area for developers.

Usableapps Home Page
This screenshot of Oracle.com/usableapps shows new organization in the navigation to reflect Oracle’s changing priorities for applications user experiences.

UsableApps Blog: User Experience for Applications Developers

Every now and then, the applications user experience communication squad throws me a hard problem. This time, it was finding a new editor and a new vision for the UsableApps blog.

Anna Wichansky, former editor of the blog, has experienced such success with the growth of the Oracle Usability Advisory Board, of which she is co-chair, that she is now making that her full-time commitment. Which meant I had to ponder the future of the blog.

Ultan O’Broin will take over as the editor, and deliver what I think is a very timely new focus.  In a face-to-face interview session, I gave O’Broin my take on user experience, and I asked him to share his vision for the Usable Apps blog. 

He plans to write posts for: “customers, partners, builders of our apps, users of our apps who need to be able to articulate what they need from the builders.”

“There are going to be a wide range of topics covered that I will slot into different categories,” he said.   I want to build on the great work that has been done on the existing blog and explore new areas such as: developer productivity, cloud deployment of apps, user experience as part of the development tool kit, as well as user experience science and innovation.

Why the shift in the focus on the blog?  “It is a natural progression from where we are,” he said. “We need to reflect the changing expectations of our customers and their end users.  To users, there is no delineation of enterprise apps and apps you use for your personal business. We are in a world of simplicity and modernization.” 

O’Broin also noted the changing nature of customer expectations. Purchasing an application and implementing it is no longer enough, he said. Now, companies need to focus on the user experience of those application implementations to get the most value from their purchase.  “Customers have an expectation of companies like Oracle,” he added. “They are paying a lot of money, and they want access to our expertise.“

A Blog for Applications Makers


O’Broin, far right, speaks on a panel at the San Francisco Maker Faire in 2012.

O’Broin has been blogging for a few years, “I noticed, in the evolution of blogging, readers want to know how to do things. If you have expertise, you need to share it with the community. You need to give it away. You can’t keep it in your head.”

O’Broin said the blog will talk about what UX is, “but also explain how to do things and why they need to do them, with anecdotally rich examples.” 

The blog will have some guest writers.  People from the ADF team will write about modernizing Oracle Forms, about ADF and internationalization, and partners like Basheer Khan who have taken up design patterns will write about their experience.   

O’Broin said, “I would like to get to a level where developers can talk about it themselves. I want developers to say ‘make it like Google or Apple or Oracle.’”

“There is a maker community around enterprise applications.  I want them them to understand that UX should be part of their tool kit.  We can deliver much more than code.  We can deliver a whole experience. “

To Get Started
Fundamental to getting started as an applications developer in the user experience space is getting up to speed on user experience design patterns.  If you got all the way to the end and are looking to wrap your head around the idea, check out the following:

  • Training events – reach out to the EMEA Platform Technology Solutions team, and soon the NAS PTS team, for training in your area on design patterns and ADF.  It’s an intense but thorough introduction.
  • Listen to the podcast with O'Broin on getting started with developer tools like design patterns.
  • Read the user experience design patterns white paper.
  • Watch Oracle ACE Directors Debra Lilley and Sten Vesterli talk about user experience design patterns on YouTube.
  • Read about the launch of the Fusion user experience design patterns for developers.


Thursday Jan 31, 2013

Fusion HCM: The Next Generation of User Experience for Human Capital Management

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

I follow the trends internal to Oracle and areas of hotspots, and nothing is a hotspot these days like Fusion HCM.  With that in mind, I placed a call to Gretchen Alarcon, Group Vice President, Product Strategy, to get her take on the latest and greatest in Fusion HCM user experiences.  

Be warned, Gretchen is a powerhouse of ideas. You ask her one question, and you need to be ready for the fire hose.  

Gretchen Alarcon, Group Vice President, Product Strategy
Gretchen Alarcon, Group Vice President, Product Strategy

Q: What would you like to highlight for readers about the Fusion HCM User Experience?

Gretchen: There are a couple of ways to think about how we have invested in the user experience of Fusion HCM.

A big investment for us is focusing on the role of the user, and what is best for them, and what they need up front to be productive -- whether that is an HR specialist, or a manager who runs his or her work on an iPad.

For example, how do we help end users who are not HR savvy to engage with HR systems?  If you are a manager and you only interact with HR systems a few times a year, how do we make it so that when you open up Fusion and you get into it, you are guided?  How do all the features get displayed according to what the goal is?  If you are talking compensation management, you are used to working with Excel.  

Let’s take that same format, grids, and content, but add in some more information to highlight exceptions, to give you better information in that moment to help you figure out if this person should be receiving more or less in a compensation adjustment. 


Fusion HCM Manager UI


In contrast, think about a talent review process that’s a lot less structured. Typically it’s more of facilitated discussion. How do visualize information about people to help engage in a conversation? So, be less focused on structuring information.

These are two products for managers with very different end results and features, vs. that of the end user who is trying to do a job.

The other investment is in mobile, in terms of thinking of managers, and how they have moved to tablets, and what they have done.

I think the thing to really think about here is that when tablets were first introduced, there were a lot of questions about who these tools were for, and how did this change things. For many people, the ability to run Fusion, if they are thinking about a tablet as a replacement for a laptop, the fact that it runs in a browser helps.  But if you are thinking about a tablet, and you are a manager, you are not necessarily connected to the Internet at all times.  

You may take a look at your organization and see who is available to attend a meeting. Who you should you give an assignment to? If you are recruiting, you need to look at candidates, and look at top people, and look at where they are from a risk-management standpoint.  

What’s really nice about Fusion TAP, if you are a manager and you do not need to separate out in your mind sales questions and HR questions, you stop opening up all different applications.


Fusion HCM Employee UI


We have also been investing from a social standpoint.  Thinking about ways that people can network, can find mentors, or interact through group spaces.  We want to change the way human capital management works for our customers  --  to make it a tool that enables all sorts of workers.

For example, now in the ERP world, companies are talking about “the system of record” or a “system of engagement.” We think about our social investment as a system of engagement.  We are very good as a system of record, but that information is the recorded thinking.  It doesn't explain how you work, who you work with, how you are productive and influential in an organization.  How do we take those things and think about where it’s contributing to business?  How do we help you with better collaboration if you are working on a goal? How do you let everyone else know how you are doing on a project?

For mentoring, it’s important, but many companies don’t have a formal program.  If I could track someone’s activities, it allows the growth of an informal mentorship process.

How does social change the information we have on an employee, make better decisions about this employee, from a talent management perspective?  For example, finding some skills that are not tracked but would be helpful in preparing them for a promotion?  Our products work to come up with a complete view of your employees and their progress.

Q: As you talk to customers about Fusion HCM what kinds of reactions are you getting?

Gretchen: I think there are a couple of differing reactions. There are still many companies that haven’t seen it.  There is a lot of interest overall. What’s interesting is when a customer comes in with a specific point of view.  I visited a customer last spring who asked a lot about analytics.  They asked if we had an app; I showed Fusion Tap and where we are going.  

She said, “That’s it. That’s what I’ve been asking for.”

The market is ready for what we have, and we know it meets their needs.

We now also have an opportunity to surprise them in the mobile and social spaces, in ways they may not have thought to transform their HR processes. There is a lot of positive feedback from our customer base.

Q: What else are you working on related to user experience?

Gretchen:  One of the areas that we continue to invest in is how we unify the user experience with Fusion, since Taleo is our acquired company. We have done a lot, and Taleo has done a lot.

It is has inspired us to think about where we want to go next with usability. Products like HCM we are very much influenced by consumer applications. The users of these products: what are they used to using, and are they coming off of a commercial website, and how can we help them feel that it’s in line with what else they use.

We are also putting some emphasis on areas that we want to extend, like the 9-box. As we are getting them rolled out to customers, they are asking for new ways of using Fusion.  How they structure an employee profile is changing, from a 9-box to a 12-box, or performance vs. potential to performance vs. labor costs.  Customers are taking what we have given them and wanting us to expand on it.

Q: How do you feel about the new face of Fusion?

Gretchen: The goal post continues to move.  Differing users have very differing ways they want to engage the system.

The original design of Fusion was great for power users, and users who needed to make use of wide-screen displays.  We wanted to find a way to give access to casual users working across devices.

The first area of implementation is employee self-service.  What are the 20% of activities you do 80% of the time?  Such as, if you are on a 15-minute break and you need to look up your pay slip because you are re-financing the mortgage your house.

Fusion HCM Simplified User Experience
Fusion HCM’s new simplified user experience

Our next focus is manager self-service. We are going to take on those same questions. One area we see managers coming in and out often is the ”company directory.’’ For example, if I want to give an assignment to somebody, but I need to see what else they are working before I pass this assignment out.

Q: What is the response to this new user interface from customers?

Gretchen: They love it. We have shown FUSE. We have done several design reviews, and we have updated our demo system to show this new UI.  They like the layout and say “my people will get it” and “it’s simple.”  When we are selling to HR users, they are buying for their own productivity, but they are also thinking about how they will engage employees.  It helps them feel confident that we are looking at this as a complete process -- not just a back-office process, but serving the entire enterprise.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

If you want to find out more about what’s coming, check out the HCM blog.

If you want more information, visit the Fusion HCM website.

Editor’s note: This document is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into a contract or agreement.

Wednesday Dec 19, 2012

Building Great-Looking, Usable Apps: A two-day workshop applying Oracle’s best UX practices in ADF

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

event artwork

I have been with Oracle for more than 12 years. It is a company that has granted me extraordinary creative freedom to help deliver compelling experiences for customers.

I am beyond proud to talk about one of the experiences we just took for a test drive. Recently, we delivered a first-of-its-kind, three-team collaboration, train-the-trainer event in Reading, U.K., on building great-looking, usable apps based on Oracle Fusion Applications -- using the ADF tool kit.

A new kind of workshop
Kevin Li, Platform Product Director, asked the Oracle Applications User Experience VP, Jeremy Ashley, if the team had anything to help partners and customers build applications that looked like Oracle Fusion Applications. He was receiving this request from European partners and customers.

Some quick conversations ensued, and the idea for the workshop was born: We would conduct an experiment.  We would work with feedback from the key Platform Technology Solutions (PTS) trainers under Andre Pavanello, Director, Platform Technology Solutions, in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. We would partner with the ADF team lead by Grant Ronald, Director of Product Management, and leverage the Applications UX expertise in Ashley’s team.

The goal: Create a pilot workshop that in two days would explain to an ADF developer how to leverage the next-generation user experience best-practices developed for Fusion Apps.

Why? Customers who need integrations with Oracle Fusion Applications, who are looking for custom applications that need to co-exist with Fusion, or who quite simply want a next-generation design for a custom app, need their solutions to reflect the next-generation research and design.

Building an event for an ADF developer
The biggest hurdle was figuring out where to start.  How far into user experience country do you take an ADF developer? How far into ADF do you need to go if you are a UX professional?

After some time in the UX kitchen, the workshop recipe looked like this:
Mix equal parts:

ultan presenting
Ultan O’Broin, Oracle Director of Global User Experience, explains the trouble-ticket wireframe design exercise.


Lynn Munsinger, Oracle Senior Group Product Manager, talks about the follow-on trouble-ticket ADF coding exercise. 

For spice, add:
•    Debra Lilley, Fujitsu and ACE director, showcasing some of the latest ADF design work in the new face of Fusion Applications. 
•    Partner show-and-tell of example apps they have built with FMW and ADF that are dynamic, beautiful, and interactive.


Debra Lilley, Oracle ACE Director and Fujitsu Fusion Champion, on the new face of Fusion built with ADF, and Fusion extensibility with composers as a window into “the possible.”


The taste test
This first go-round of the workshop was aimed squarely at ADF developers and partners.  We were privileged to have participation and feedback from:
•    Sten Vesterli, Scott/Tiger S. A., Denmark
•    John Sim, Fishbowl Solutions, U.K.
•    Josef Huber, Primus Delphi Group, Munich
•    Thaddaus Weindl, Primus Delphi, Group, Munich
•    Praveen Pillalamarri, EiS Technologies, Bangalore
•    Balaji Kamepalli, EiS Technologies, Bangalore
•    Plinio Arbizu, Services & Processes Solutions S. A., Mexico
•    Yannick Ongena, infoMENTUM, U.K.
•    Jakub Ciszek, infoMENTUM, U.K.
•    Mauro Flores, infoMENTUM, U.K.
•    Matteo Formica, infoMENTUM, U.K.


From left: Richard Bingham, Oracle; Mauro Flores and Mateo Formica, infoMENTUM, collaborate during the workshop.

Why is this so exciting?  Oracle has invested heavily in the research and development of the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience. This investment has been and continues to be applied across the product lines. Now, we finally get to teach customers and partners how to take advantage of this investment for custom solutions.

This event was a pilot to test-drive the content, as well as a train-the-trainer event that our EMEA colleagues will be using with partners who want to build with Fusion Apps design patterns.

What did attendees think?
"I liked most the science stuff, like eye-tracking, design patterns and best-practice (color, contrast),” Josef Huber said. “It was a very good introduction to UI design, and most developers and project managers are very bad in that.  So this course would be good for all developers and even project managers."


Team Anonymous (from left): John Sim, Fishbowl Solutions; Flavius Sana, Oracle; Josef Huber, Primus Delphi Group; and Mireille Duroussaud, Oracle. They were the winners of the wireframing design exercise

Sten Vesterli, of Scott/Tiger, said he attended to learn techniques he could use in his own projects. He wants to ensure that his applications better meet the needs of his users, and he said sessions during the workshop on user interface design and wireframing were most useful to him.  “Go to this event to learn the art and science of good user interfaces from people who really know how to do it,” he said.



Sten Vesterli, Scott/Tiger, listens to Angelo Santagata, Oracle.

Plinio Arbizu said the workshop fulfilled his goals, thanks to the recommendations given in how to design user interfaces to facilitate the adoption of applications among the final users. “The workshop combined these recommendations with an exercise that improved the technical comprehension, permitting the usage of JDeveloper to set forth our solutions,” he said.

He added: “The first session that I really enjoyed was the five Fusion design principles. It was incredible to discover how these simple principles were included in Fusion Applications, and I had been using many of them applying only ADF components.  Another topic that I enjoyed a lot was the eight recommendations about the visual design of UIs. The issues that were raised in that lesson are unknown to the developers and of great value to achieve an attractive presentation layer to the end users.  Participate in this workshop, and include these usability features in your projects and in this manner not only to facilitate and improve the user productivity, but also to distinguish you as a professional who takes advantage fully of the functionalities offered by Oracle technology.

Praveen Pillalamarri came to the workshop to learn about the difficulties faced in UI and UX development, and how this can be resolved with the help of ADF.  He said he also appreciated the opportunity to talk with other individuals who came to the workshop. Pillalmarri said, “The way we looked at things in terms of work and projects were sharpened.  UI and UX design knowledge was quite interesting, especially the minute things which we ignored in the UI or UX design.”


From left: Plinio Arbizu,
Services & Processes Solutions S. A., works with Richard Bingham, Oracle; Balaji Kamepalli, and Praveen Pillalamarri, both of EiS Technologies.

Ready to spread the word
In EMEA, Oracle customers and partners have access to three world-class trainers via Platform Technology Solutions: Mireille Duroussaud, Flavius Sana, and Angelo Santagata. Contact Andre Pavanello if you would like to experience this workshop firsthand, or you have customers or partners who would benefit from the training.

We are bringing the event to the U.S. in spring 2013. If you have interest in this kind of a workshop, leave a comment below.

For those who want to follow the action, join the ADF Enterprise Methodology Group run by Oracle’s Chris Muir. Ask questions and continue with the conversation in this forum, or check blogs.oracle.com/usableapps for topics emerging from the workshop.




Monday Nov 12, 2012

Where can you find the Oracle Applications User Experience team in the next several months?

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

November is one of my favorite times of the year at Oracle. The blast of OpenWorld work is over, and it’s time to get down to business and start taking our messages and our work on the road to the user groups. We’re in the middle of planning all of that right now, so we decided to provide a snapshot of where you can see us and hear about the Oracle Applications User Experience – whether it’s Fusion Applications, PeopleSoft, or what we’re planning for the next-generation of Oracle Applications.

On the road with Apps UX...
In December, you can find us at UKOUG 2012 in Birmingham, UK:
UKOUG, UK Oracle User Group Conference 2012

December 3 – 5, 2012

ICC, Birmingham, UK


In March, we will be at Alliance 2013 in Indianapolis, and our fingers are crossed for OBUG Connect 2013 in Antwerp:

Alliance 2013
March 17 - 20, 2013 

Indianapolis, Indiana

OBUG Benelux Connect 2013

March 26, 2013

Antwerp, Belgium



In April, you will see us at COLLABORATE13 in Denver:


Collaborate13
April 7 - April 11, 2013

Denver, Colorado



And in June, we round out the kick-off to summer at OHUG 2013 in Dallas and Kscope13 in New Orleans:


OHUG 2013
June 9 -13, 2013

Dallas, Texas

ODTUG Kscope13

June 23-27, 2013

New Orleans, LA


The Labs & Demos
As always, a hallmark of our team's presence at these conferences is our mobile usability labs. If you haven’t seen them, they are a great way for customers and partners to get a peek at what Oracle is working on next, and a chance for you to provide your candid perspective.

Based on the interest and enthusiasm from customers last year at Collaborate, we are adding more demo stations to our user group presence in the year ahead. If you want to see some of the work we are doing first-hand but don’t have a lot of time, the demo stations are a great way to get a quick update on the latest wow-factor we are researching. I can promise that you will see whatever we think is new and interesting at the demo stations first.

demostation
Oracle OpenWorld 2012 Apps UX Demo station

For Applications Developers
More and more, I get asked the question, “How do I build an application that looks like Fusion?” My answer is Fusion Applications Design Patterns. You can find out more about how Fusion Applications developers can leverage ADF and the user experience best-practices we have developed for Fusion at sessions lead by Ultan O’Broin, Director of Global User Experience, in the year ahead.


Ultan O'Broin, on Fusion Applications Design Patterns

Building mobile applications are also top of mind these days. If you want to understand how Oracle is approaching this strategy, check out our session on mobile user experience design patterns with Mobile ADF.  In many cases, this will be presented by Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo, Senior Manager of Mobile User Experiences, and in a few cases our ever-ready traveler Ultan O’Broin will be on deck.

Lynn Rampoldi
Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo, left, will do presentations on Mobile User Experience Design Patterns.

Applications User Experiences
Fusion Applications continue to evolve, and you will see the new face of Fusion Applications at our executive sessions in the year ahead, which are led by vice president Jeremy Ashley or a hand-picked presenter, such as one of our Fusion User Experience Advocates

Edward Roske
Edward Roske, CEO of InterRel Consulting, 
and a Fusion User Experience Advocate

As always, our strategy is to take our lessons-learned and spread them across the Oracle Applications product lines. A great example is the enhancements coming in the PeopleSoft user experience, which you can hear about from Harris Kravatz, Senior Manager, PeopleSoft User Experience.

Fusion Applications Extensibility
We can’t talk about Fusion Applications without talking about how to make it look like your business. If tailoring Fusion Applications is a question in your mind, and it should be, you should hit one of these sessions. These sessions will be led by Killian Evers, Senior Director; Tim Dubois, User Experience Architect; and some well-trained Fusion User Experience Advocates.

Find out more
If you want to stay on top of where and when we will be, you can always sign up for our newsletter or check out the Events page of UsableApps.


Monday Oct 29, 2012

Apps UX Launches Blueprints for Mobile User Experiences

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

At Oracle OpenWorld 2012 this year, the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team announced the release of Mobile User Experience Functional Design Patterns. These patterns are designed to work directly with Oracle’s Fusion Middleware, specifically, ADF Mobile.  The Oracle Application Development Framework for mobile users enables developers to build one application that can be deployed to multiple mobile device platforms.

blue print

These same mobile design patterns provide the guidance for Oracle teams to develop Fusion Mobile expenses.



Application developers can use Oracle’s mobile design patterns to design iPhone, Android, or browser-based smartphone applications. We are sharing our mobile design patterns and their baked-in, scientifically proven usability to enable Oracle customers and partners to build mobile applications quickly.

A different way of thinking and designing.
Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo, Senior Manager of Mobile User Experiences for Apps UX, says mobile design has to be compelling. “It needs to be optimized for the device, and be visually rich and simple,” she said. “What is really key is that you are designing for a user’s most personal device, the device that they will have with them at all times of the day.”

Katy Massucco, director of the overall design patterns site, said: “You need to start with a simplified task flow. Everything should be a natural interaction. The action should be relevant and leveraging the device. It should be seamless.”

She suggests that developers identify the essential tasks that a user would want to do while mobile. “They need to understand the user and the context,” she added.



A sample inline action design pattern

What people are saying
Reactions to the release of the design patterns have been positive. Debra Lilley, Oracle ACE Director and Fusion User Experience Advocate (FXA), has already demo’ed Fusion Mobile Expenses widely.  Fellow Oracle Ace Director Ronald van Luttikhuizen, called it a “cool demo by @debralilley of the new mobile expenses app.” FXA member Floyd Teter says he is already cooking up some plans for using mobile design patterns.  We hope to see those ideas at Collaborate or ODTUG in 2013.

For another perspective on why user experience is such an important focus for mobile applications, check out this video by John King, Director, and Monty Latiolais, President, both from ODTUG, or the Oracle Development Tools User Group.

In a separate interview by e-mail, Latiolais wrote: “I enjoy the fact we can take something that, in the past, has been largely subjective, and now apply to it a scientifically proven look and feel. Trusting Oracle’s UX Design Patterns, the presentation really can become one less thing to worry about. As someone with limited ADF experience, that is extremely beneficial.”


King, who was also interviewed by e-mail, wrote: “User Experience is about making the task at hand as easy and error-free as possible. Oracle's UX labs worked hard to make the User Experience in the new Fusion Applications as good as possible; ADF makes adding tested, consistent, user experiences a declarative exercise by leveraging that work. As we move applications onto mobile platforms, user experience is the driving factor. Customers are "spoiled" by a bevy of fantastic applications, and ours cannot disappoint them. Creating applications that enable users to quickly and effectively accomplish whatever task is at hand takes thought and practice. Developers must become ’power users’ and then create applications that they and their users will love.”


Thursday Oct 18, 2012

Introducing the New Face of Fusion Applications

By Misha Vaughan and Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

At OpenWorld 2012, the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team unveiled the new face of Fusion Applications. You may have seen it in sessions presented by Chris Leone, Anthony Lye, Jeremy Ashley or others, or you may have gotten a look on the demogrounds.

Fuse Home
This screenshot shows the new Oracle Fusion Applications entry experience.


Why are we delivering a new face for Fusion Applications? Because, says Ashley, the vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, we want to provide a simple, modern, productive way for users to complete their top quick-entry tasks. The idea is to provide a clear, productive user experience that is backed by the full functionality of Fusion Applications.

The first release of the new face of Fusion focuses on three types of users. It provides a fully functional gateway to Fusion Applications for:

  • New and casual users who need quick access to self-service tasks
  • Professional users who need fast access to quick-entry, high-volume tasks
  • Users who are looking for a way to quickly brand their portal for employees

The new face of Fusion allows users to move easily from navigation to action, Ashley said, and it has been designed for any device -- Mac, PC, iPad, Android, SmartBoard -- in the browser.

Fuse Employee Directory
The Oracle Fusion Applications Employee Directory.

How did we build it?

The new face of Fusion essentially is a custom shell, developed by the Apps UX team, and a set of page templates that embodies a simple design aesthetic. It’s repeatable, providing consistency across its pages, and requires little to zero training.

More specifically, the new face of Fusion has been built on ADF. The Applications UX team created pages in JDeveloper using local tasks flows bound to existing view objects. Three new components were commissioned from ADF, and existing Fusion components were re-skinned to deliver a simple, modern user experience.

It really is that simple – and to prove that point, we’ve been sharing our story around the new face of Fusion on several Oracle channels such as this one.

Want to know more?

Check the VoX blog for our favorite highlights from OpenWorld, which included demos of the new face of Fusion.

And take a look at these posts from Ace Directors Debra Lilley, and Floyd Teter. Special mention to Floyd for the first screen shot credit. Also a nod to Wilfred vander Deijl for capturing the demo to share as part 1 and part 2.

We will also be hitting upcoming user group conferences with our demos, and you can always reach out to one of our Fusion User Experience Advocates for a look.


Thursday Oct 11, 2012

Our Favorite Highlights from OpenWorld 2012

By Kathy Miedema and Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team’s activities around OpenWorld expand every year, but this year we certainly raised the bar.  

Members of our team helped deliver three, separate, all-day training events in the week prior to OpenWorld. Our Fusion User Experience Advocates (FXA) and Applications UX Sales Ambassadors (SAMBA) have all-new material around the Oracle user experience to deliver at conferences in the coming year - Fusion Applications design patterns, mobile design patterns, and the new face of Fusion. We also delivered a hands-on workshop sharing user experience tools for our customers that is designed to answer this question: "If I have no UX staff, what do I do?"

We also spent the weeks just before OpenWorld preparing to talk about the new face of Fusion Applications, a greatly simplified entry experience into Fusion Applications for self-service users, CRM users, and IT managers who want to change the look and feel quickly. Special thanks to Oracle ACE Director Floyd Teter for the first mention of our project.

Jeremy Ashley
Jeremy Ashley, VP, Oracle Applications User Experience

Customers may have seen one of the many OpenWorld session demos of the new face of Fusion, which will be available with Fusion Applications soon. It was shown in sessions by Oracle's Chris Leone, Anthony Lye, and our own Vice President, Jeremy Ashley, among others.  

Leone reinforced the importance of user experience as one of three main design principles for Fusion Applications, emphasizing that Fusion was designed from the beginning to be intelligent, social, and mobile. User experience highlights of the new face of Fusion, he said, included the need for "zero training," and he called the experience "easy to use." He added that deploying it for HCM self-service would be effortless. 

lab tour
Customers take part in a usability lab tour during OpenWorld 2012.

Customers also may have seen the new face of Fusion on the demogrounds or during one of our teams' chartered lab tours at the end of the week. We tested other new designs at our on-site lab in the Intercontinental Hotel, next to Moscone West.

demopod
Applications User Experience team members show eye-tracking and mobile demos at OOW.

We were also excited to kick off new branches of the Oracle Usability Advisory Board, which now has groups in Latin America and the Middle East, in addition to North America and EMEA.  

And we were pleasantly surprised by the interest in one of our latest research projects, Oracle Voice, which is designed to enable faster data input for on-the-go users. We offer a big thank-you to the Nuance demopod for sharing the demo with OpenWorld attendees. 

For more information on our program and products like the new face of Fusion, please comment below. 





Friday Sep 28, 2012

Apps UX Unveils New Face of Fusion at OpenWorld 2012

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team is getting ready to unveil the new face of Oracle Fusion Applications at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 in San Francisco next week.

Jeremy Ashley

Photos by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience
Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of Oracle Applications User Experience, shows the new face of Fusion Applications to a group of trainers at Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.

Our team spent the past 6 months working on this project, which embraces simplicity with a modern, productive user experience that aims to help our applications customers rapidly scale deployment of essential self-service tasks and speed adoption by users who need quick access to do quick-entry tasks.

We have spent the week before OpenWorld at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, conducting training sessions with Fusion UX Advocates (FXA), Oracle UX Sales Ambassadors (SAMBA), and members of the Oracle Usability Advisory Board (OUAB). We showed the new face of Fusion to customers, partners, ACE Directors, and people from our own sales organization. Next week during OpenWorld, they will be showing demos alongside our team members. To find them, look for the Usable Apps t-shirt, with this artwork:




You can also get a look at the new face of Fusion during OpenWorld at the following sessions and demopods:

GEN9433 - General Session: Oracle Fusion Applications—Overview, Strategy, and Roadmap

Presenter: Chris Leone, Senior Vice President, Oracle

Monday, Oct. 1, 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. in Moscone West 2002/2004

AND

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 10:1 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. in Moscone West 2002/2004

CON9407 - Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management: Overview/Strategy/Customer Experiences/Roadmap

Presenter: Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President, Oracle

Monday, Oct. 1, 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. in Moscone West 2008

CON9438 - Oracle Fusion Applications: Transforming Insight into Action

Presenters: Jeremy Ashley, Vice President Applications User Experience, Oracle; Katie Candland, Director Applications User Experience, Oracle; Basheer Khan, founder and CEO of Innowave Technology, an Oracle ACE Director for both Fusion Middleware and Applications, and a Fusion UX Advocate

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. in Moscone West 2007

CON9467 - Oracle’s Roadmap to a Simple, Modern User Experience

Presenter: Jeremy Ashley, Vice President Applications User Experience, Oracle

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. in Moscone West 3002/3004

On the demogrounds: Come to the Apps UX pods for a look at enterprise applications on mobile devices such as smart phones and the iPad, and stay for a demo of the new face of Oracle Fusion Applications.

Our demopods will also feature some of the cutting-edge tools in Oracle’s arsenal of usability evaluation methods.

The Exhibition Hall at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 will be open Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 1-3. The demogrounds for Oracle Applications are located on the lower level of Moscone West in San Francisco. Hours for the Exhibition Hall are:

· Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

· Tuesday, 9:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.

· Wednesday, 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday Sep 22, 2012

Find the best OpenWorld sessions for learning about UX highlights

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience 

vox image

Have you clicked through the Oracle OpenWorld 2012 catalog? It’s amazingly dense, as usual. But one thing we noticed this year is that nearly half of the sessions mention some component of user experience, which is a sea change in our world. It means that more people understand, appreciate, and desire an effective user experience, and it also means that Oracle’s investment in its next-generation applications user experience, such as Oracle Fusion Applications, is increasingly apparent and interesting to its customers.

So how do you choose the user experience sessions that make the most sense for you and your organization? Read our list to find out which sessions we think offer the most value for those interested in finding out more about the Oracle Applications user experience.

If you’re interested in Oracle’s strategy for its user experience:

  • CON9438: Oracle Fusion Applications: Transforming Insight into Action
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2007
  • CON9467: Oracle’s Roadmap to a Simple, Modern User Experience
    3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON8718: Oracle Fusion Applications: Customizing and Extending with Oracle Composers
    11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4; Moscone West – 2008
  • GEN9663: General Session: A Panel of Masterminds—Where Are Oracle Applications Headed?
    1:45 - 2:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone North - Hall D

If you’re interested in PeopleSoft/PeopleTools:

  • GEN8928: General Session: PeopleSoft Update and Product Roadmap
    3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON9183: PeopleSoft PeopleTools Technology Roadmap
    4:45 - 5:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON8932: New Functional PeopleSoft PeopleTools Capabilities for the Line-of-Business User
    5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 3007

If you’re interested in E-Business Suite:

  • GEN8474: General Session: Oracle E-Business Suite—Strategy, Update, and Roadmap
    12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 2002/2004
  • CON9026: Latest Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 User Interface and Usability Enhancements
    1:15 - 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2016

If you’re interested in Siebel:

  • CON9700: Siebel CRM Overview, Strategy, and Roadmap
    12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West – 2009
  • CON9703: User Interface Innovations with the New Siebel “Open UI”
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2009

If you’re interested in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne:

  • HOL10452: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 User Interface Changes
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; Marriott Marquis - Nob Hill AB
  • CON9160: Showcase of the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne User Experience
    1:15 - 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; InterContinental - Grand Ballroom B
  • CON9159: Euphoria with the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne User Experience
    11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; InterContinental - Grand Ballroom B

If you’re interested in Oracle Fusion Applications user experience design patterns:

Functional design patterns that helped create the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience are now available. Learn more about these new, reusable usability solutions and best-practices at the Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF demopods during Oracle OpenWorld 2012. Or visit the OTN Lounge between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to talk to Ultan O'Broin from the Oracle Applications User Experience team.   

  • Demopod location: Moscone Center, South Exhibition Hall Level 1, S-207
  • OTN (Oracle Technology Network) Lounge: Howard Street tent

On the demogrounds:

Head to the demogrounds to see new demos from the Applications User Experience team, including the new look for Fusion Applications and what we’re building for mobile platforms. Take a spin on our eye tracker, a very cool tool that we use to research the usability of a particular design. Visit the Usable Apps OpenWorld page to find out where our demopods will be located.

lab photo
Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience
A tour takes place in one of the usability labs at Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.

At our labs, on-site and at HQ:

We are also recruiting participants for our on-site lab, in which we gather feedback on new user experience designs, and taking reservations for a charter bus that will bring you to Oracle headquarters for a lab tour Thursday, Oct. 4, or Friday, Oct. 5. Tours leave at 10 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. from the Moscone Center in San Francisco. You’ll see more of our newest designs at the lab tour, and some of our research tools in action.

For more information on any OpenWorld sessions, check the content catalog, also available at www.oracle.com/openworld. For information on Applications User Experience (Apps UX) sessions and activities, go to the Usable Apps OpenWorld page.


Friday Sep 14, 2012

Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Design Patterns: Feeling the Love after Launch

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

In the first video by the Oracle Applications User Experience team on the Oracle Partner Network, Vice President Jeremy Ashley said that Oracle is looking to expand the ecosystem of support for Oracle’s applications customers as they begin to assess their investment and adoption of Oracle Fusion Applications. Oracle has made a massive investment to maintain the benefits of the Fusion Applications User Experience.

This summer, the Applications User Experience team released the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience design patterns.
Devices with xy graph
Design patterns help create consistent experiences across devices.

The launch has been very well received:

Angelo Santagata, Senior Principal Technologist and Fusion Middleware evangelist for Oracle,  wrote to the system integrator community: “The web site is the result of many years of Oracle R&D into user interface design for Fusion Applications and features a really cool web app which allows you to visualise the UI components in action.”  Grant Ronald, Director of Product Management, Application Development Framework (ADF) said: “It’s a science I don't understand, but now I don't have to ... Now you can learn from the UX experience of Fusion Applications.”

Frank Nimphius, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle (ADF) wrote about the launch of the design patterns for the ADF Code Corner, and Jürgen Kress, Senior Manager EMEA Alliances & Channels for Fusion MiddleWare and Service Oriented Architecture, (SOA), shared the news with his Partner Community.

Oracle Twitter followers also helped spread the message about the design patterns launch:

@bex – Brian Huff, founder and Chief Software Architect for Bezzotech, and Oracle ACE Director:
“Nifty! The Oracle Fusion UX team just released new ADF design patterns.”

@maiko_rocha, Maiko Rocha, Oracle Consulting Solutions Architect and Oracle FMW engineer:
“Haven't seen any other vendor offer such comprehensive UX Design Patterns catalog for free!”

@zirous_chad, Chad Thompson, Senior Solutions Architect for Zirous, Inc. and ADF Developer:
Wow - @ultan and company did a great job with the Fusion UX Patterns

What is a user experience design pattern?
A user experience design pattern is a re-usable, usability-tested functional blueprint for a particular user experience.  Some examples are guided processes, shopping carts, and search and search results.  Ultan O’Broin discusses the top design patterns every developer should know.

The patterns that were just released are based on thousands of hours of end-user field studies, state-of-the-art user interface assessments, and usability testing.  

To be clear, these are functional design patterns, not technical design patterns that developers may be used to working with.  Because we know there is a gap, we are putting together some training that will help close that gap.

Who should care?
This is an offering targeted primarily at Application Development Framework (ADF) developers. If you are faced with the following questions regarding Oracle Fusion Applications, you will want to know and learn more:

•    How do I build something that looks like Fusion Applications?
•    How do I build a next-generation application?
•    How do I extend a Fusion Application and maintain the user experience?
•    I don’t want to re-invent the wheel on the user interface, so where do I start?
•    I need to build something that will eventually co-exist with Fusion Applications. How do I do that?

These questions are relevant to partners with an ADF competency, individual practitioners, or small consultancies with an ADF specialization, and customers who are trying to shift their IT staff over to supporting Fusion Applications.

Where you can find out more?

Online
Our Fusion User Experience design patterns maven is Ultan O’Broin. The Oracle Partner Network is helping our team bring this first e-seminar to you in order to go into a more detail on what this means and how to take advantage of it:


Webinar: Build a Better User Experience with Oracle: Oracle Fusion Applications Functional Design Patterns
Sept 20, 2012 , 10:30am-11:30am Pacific
Dial-In:  1. 877-664-9137 / Passcode 102546

International:  706-634-9619  
http://www.intercall.com/national/oracleuniversity/gdnam.html

Access the Live Event or via web conference, access http://ouweb.webex.com  
and enter this session number: 598036234

At a user group event
The Fusion User Experience Advocates (FXA) are also getting some deep-dive training on this content and can share it with local user groups.


At OpenWorld

Ultan O'Broin Chris Muir
Ultan O’Broin               Chris Muir

If you will be at OpenWorld this year, Ultan O’Broin will be visiting the ADF demopod to say hello, thanks to Shay Shmeltzer, Senior Group Manager for ADF outbound communication, and he'll be at the OTN lounge:

  • Monday 10-10:45, Tuesday 2:15-2:45, Wednesday 2:15-3:30 
 
  • Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF,  Moscone South, Right - S-207

  • “ADF Meet and Greet,” OTN Lounge, Wednesday 4:30

And I cannot talk about OpenWorld and ADF without mentioning Chris Muir’s ADF EMG event: the Year After the Year Of the ADF Developer – Sunday, Sept. 30 of OpenWorld. Chris has played host to Ultan and the Applications user experience message for his online community and is now a seasoned UX expert.

Expect to see additional announcements about expanded training on similar topics in the future.

Friday Sep 07, 2012

User Experience Highlights in PeopleSoft and PeopleTools: Direct from Jeff Robbins

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience 

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts on the user experience (UX) highlights in various Oracle product families. The last posted interview was with Nadia Bendjedou, Senior Director, Product Strategy on upcoming Oracle E-Business Suite user experience highlights. You’ll see themes around productivity and efficiency, and get an early look at the latest mobile offerings coming through these product lines.

Today’s post is on the user experience in PeopleSoft and PeopleTools. To learn more about what’s ahead, attend PeopleSoft or PeopleTools OpenWorld presentations.

This interview is with Jeff Robbins, Senior Director, PeopleSoft Development.


Jeff Robbins

Q: How would you describe the vision you have for the user experience of PeopleSoft?
A: Intuitive
– Specifically, customers use PeopleSoft to help their employees do their day-to-day work, and the UI (user interface) has been helpful and assistive in that effort. If it’s not obvious what they need to do a task, then the UI isn’t working. So the application needs to make it simple for users to find information they need, complete a task, do all the things they are responsible for, and it really helps when the UI just makes sense.

Productive – PeopleSoft is a tool used to support people to do their work, and a lot of users are measured by how much work they’re able to get done per hour, per day, etc. The UI needs to help them be as productive as possible, and can’t make them waste time or energy. The UI needs to reflect the type of work necessary for a task -- if it's data entry, the UI needs to assist the user to get information into the system. For analysts, the UI needs help users assess or analyze information in a particular way.

Innovative – The concept of the UI being innovative is something we’ve been working on for years. It’s not just that we want to be seen as innovative, the fact is that companies are asking their employees to do more than they’ve ever asked before. More often companies want to roll out processes as employee or manager self-service, where an employee is responsible to review and maintain their own data. So we’ve had to reinvent, and ask,  “How can we modify the ways an employee interacts with our applications so that they can be more productive and efficient – even with tasks that are entirely unfamiliar?”  Our focus on innovation has forced us to design new ways for users to interact with the entire application.

Q: How are the UX features you have delivered so far resonating with customers? 
A:
Resonating very well. We’re hearing tremendous responses from users, managers, decision-makers -- who are very happy with the improved user experience. Many of the individual features resonate well. Some have really hit home, others are better than they used to be but show us that there’s still room for improvement.

A couple innovations really stand out; features that have a significant effect on how users interact with PeopleSoft.

First, the deployment of PeopleSoft in a way that’s more like a consumer website with the PeopleSoft Home page and Dashboards.  This new approach is very web-centric, where users feel they’re coming to a website rather than logging into an enterprise application.  There’s lots of information from all around the organization collected in a way that feels very familiar to users. In order to do your job, you can come to this web site rather than having to learn how to log into an application and figure out a complicated menu. Companies can host these really rich web sites for employees that are home pages for accessing critical tasks and information.

The UI elements of incorporating search into the whole navigation process is another hit. Rather than having to log in and choose a task from a menu, users come to the web site and begin a task by simply searching for data: themselves, another employee, a customer record, whatever.  The search results include the data along with a set of actions the user might take, completely eliminating the need to hunt through a complicated system menu. Search-centric navigation is really sitting well with customers who are trying to deploy an intuitive set of systems.

Q: Are any UX highlights more popular than you expected them to be? 
A:
We introduced a feature called Pivot Grid in the last release, which is a combination of an interactive grid, like an Excel Pivot Table, along with a dynamic visual chart that automatically graphs the data. I wasn’t certain at first how extensively this would be used. It looked like an innovative tool, but it wasn’t clear how it would be incorporated in business process applications. The fact is that everyone who sees Pivot Grids is thrilled with that kind of interactivity.  It reflects the amount of analytical thinking customers are asking employees to do. Employees can’t just enter data any more. They must interact with it, analyze it, and make decisions. Pivot Grids fit into this way of working.

Q: What can you tell us about PeopleSoft’s mobile offerings?
A:
A lot of customers are finding that mobile is the chief priority in their organization.  They tell us they want their employees to be able to access company information from their mobile devices.  Of course, not everyone has the same requirements, so we’re working to make sure we can help our customers accomplish what they’re trying to do. 

We’ve already delivered a number of mobile features.  For instance, PeopleSoft home pages, dashboards and workcenters all work well on an iPad, straight out of the box.  We’ve delivered a number of key functions and tasks for mobile workers – those who are responsible for using a mobile device to manage inventory, for example. 

Customers tell us they also need a holistic strategy, one that allows their employees to access nearly every task from a mobile device.  While we don’t expect users to do extensive data entry from their smartphone, it makes sense that they have access to company information and systems while away from their desk.  That’s where our strategy is going now. 
We plan to unveil a number of new mobile offerings at OpenWorld.  Some will be available then, some shortly after.

Q: What else are you working on now that you think is going to be exciting to customers at Oracle OpenWorld?
A:
Our next release -- the big thing is PeopleSoft 9.2, and we’ll be talking about the huge amount of work that’s gone into the next versions. A new toolset, 8.53, will be coming, and there’s a lot to talk about there, and the next generation of PeopleSoft 9.2.  We have a ton of new stuff coming.

Q: What do you want PeopleSoft customers to know?
A:
We have been focusing on the user experience in PeopleSoft as a very high priority for the last 4 years, and it’s had interesting effects. One thing is that the application is better, more usable.  We’ve made visible improvements. Another aspect is that in customers’ minds, the PeopleSoft brand is being reinvigorated. Customers invested in PeopleSoft years ago, and then they weren’t sure where PeopleSoft was going.  This investment in the UI and overall user experience keeps PeopleSoft current, innovative and fresh.  Customers  are able to take advantage of a lot of new features, even on the older applications, simply by upgrading their PeopleTools. The interest in that ability has been tremendous. Knowing they have a lot of these features available -- right now, that’s pretty huge.

There’s been a tremendous amount of positive response, just on the fact that we’re focusing on the user experience.

Editor’s note: For more on PeopleSoft and PeopleTools user experience highlights, visit the Usable Apps web site.

To find out more about these enhancements at Openworld, be sure to check out these sessions:

GEN8928     General Session: PeopleSoft Update and Product Roadmap
CON9183     PeopleSoft PeopleTools Technology Roadmap
CON8932     New Functional PeopleSoft PeopleTools Capabilities for the Line-of-Business User
CON9196     PeopleSoft PeopleTools Roadmap: Mobile Applications
CON9186     Case Study: Delivering a Groundbreaking User Interface with PeopleSoft PeopleTools

Sunday Aug 26, 2012

Only 5 days left...your vote is needed!

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

It is a bit early for the voting season here in the U.S., but there is a very important (to me) voting window now upon us. Until Aug. 31, the public gets to vote on submissions to South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin, Texas, in March 2013. This is a thought-leading software conference discussing the up-and-coming trends in industry.

I have attended the interactive and the music portions of SXSW before, but I have never attempted a submission. This is my first year trying. 

I am building on the themes from this conversation on simplicity with Jeremy Ashley for Oracle OpenWorld 2012. The SXSW session will be a chance to share best practices for moving designs that focus on simplicity successfully through an organization.

Please take a moment and cast your vote.  Help me get Oracle on the roster at SXSW!
There are only five days left to vote!

SXSW

My colleague Ultan O’Broin has also submitted, and I encourage you to vote for his sessions as well. 

About

Check here for opinions, updates, and events from Oracle's Applications User Experience team: Applications Cloud, E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Siebel, PeopleSoft, and more.

Misha Vaughan
Misha Vaughan, Director, Applications User Experience
@mishavaughan on Twitter

Learn more about us at
Usable Apps