Tuesday Oct 07, 2014

Our OpenWorld 2014 journey

Tuesday Sep 30, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Showing our work at the OAUX Exchange

Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Showing our work at the OAUX Exchange

The Oracle Applications User Experience team spent the first day of Oracle OpenWorld 2014, Monday, Sept. 29, at the OAUX Exchange. The day was devoted to sharing our team's work with customers, partners, analysts, and our peers from other teams within Oracle.

We've got lots more planned, and we'll share our experience and plans for the year with you after OpenWorld. But you can follow along and see what people are saying about our work now on Storify.

Let us leave you with one last image. That's Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President of Product Development, during his keynote speech Tuesday morning. Behind him is an image of simplified UI for the Oracle Sales Cloud. We first debuted the simplified UI at last year's Oracle OpenWorld, in 2013. The screenshot in this image shows infolets, which depict our design philosophy of "glance, scan, commit." Read more about it on the Usable Apps website.

Saturday Sep 27, 2014

Day of sharing UX Cloud strategy kicks off OpenWorld for us

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

For the Oracle Applications User Experience team, Oracle OpenWorld 2014 got off to an early start with an invitation-only Applications Cloud UX Strategy & Roadmap Day the week before OpenWorld kicked off. 

We gave partners, customers, and Oracle sales reps a first look at the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) just ahead. About 40 participants had the chance to show, see, hear about, and discuss Oracle R&D efforts behind our upcoming cloud user experiences, including near-production design work and ongoing plans, at Oracle headquarters on Wednesday, Sept. 24. 

The audience included many dedicated OAUX Speakers, Oracle ACE Directors, strategic partners, and key Oracle sales reps and solution consultants who are part of the OAUX Sales Ambassador (SAMBA) program. Several of the participants had been trained already on the Oracle user experience and often speak at user group conferences or write about Oracle frequently.

Audience shot
Photos by Rob Hernandez, Oracle Applications User Experience

Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience, above, set the stage early for a day of sharing and outreach. As he gave an overview of the Oracle user experience strategy, he reminded the audience that a simplified user experience was first launched a year ago for the Applications Cloud at Oracle OpenWorld 2013. “We’re not just talking about what we’ve got anymore, we’re actually showing it,” he said. “When we talk about the roadmap, we have examples of products already released to show you what we mean. This is part of a cultural shift for Oracle – we’re responding more quickly to the market and our users' needs than ever before.” 

He added that what OpenWorld attendees see this year won’t be conceptual. “What you’ll see at OpenWorld is product or will be released soon,” he said. “We’re proud of what we have, and we’re showing it.” 

Questions from the audience centered on how all of Oracle’s applications products, such as HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, ERP Cloud, E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft, are integrating the simplified UI into current releases. The answer is that many updates have been released throughout the past year, and examples of user experience features are visible throughout the application suites. 

But the user experience team always wants to go beyond “when can we get this?”. An example that struck a chord with the audience repeatedly throughout the day was geo-fencing  – concepts around built-in security that is tied to wi-fi access and location. Is anyone else talking about this?, audience members asked. And then they added what we always love to hear: “This is cool.”

There were several breakout sessions throughout the day that highlighted new user experiences in the Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle ERP Cloud, PaaS for Saas and extensibility, and the path to product for many user experience concepts. Visit the Usable Apps Events page to see where you can catch bits of these presentations at OpenWorld this year, or watch our channels (links are available on the Usable Apps website) for new content on the same topics. You can also check back with VoX on these topics – we’ll get something posted as soon as these user experience features are released.

The day ended with a showdown, followed by more cool demos (because that’s what we do best) provided by our own AppsLab (@theappslab), George Hackman, and Laurie Pattison. Our audience was game, and several stepped up to the front of the class to talk about what they had learned and why they had a passion for user experience. 

Gustavo Gonzalez (@ggonza4itc), from left, Oracle employee Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps), Sten Vesterli (@techthatfits), Floyd Teter (@fteter), Lonneke Dikmans (@lonnekedikmans), Debra Lilley (@debralilley), and Oracle employee Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan) pose for a picture of the winners’ circle after a speaker showdown at the end of the OAUX Day. Ultan and Misha judged the competition. All were declared winners and received fabulous wearables hand-picked by the OAUX team. Floyd won the grand prize for including the OAUX design philosophy of “glance, scan, commit” in his presentation.

But in the end, all of the speakers were winners in our book, and everyone took something fun home.

Where can you find us next?

The OAUX team will be on the road in FY 15 (Oracle-speak for June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015), visiting EMEA, LAD, and APAC.  We will have a specific focus on Oracle Applications Cloud partners, and a few of their key customers as follows:

  • Dec 4-5, 2014 - London.  Contact: Ishacq.Nada @ oracle.com 
  • Feb 25-26, 2015 - Sao Paulo, Brazil. Contact: Marcelo.Medeiros @ oracle.com
  • May 4-5, 2015 - Singapore & (tentatively) Hong Kong May 7, 2015.  Contact: John.Pisani @ oracle.com

In addition, we will be at usergroup conferences throughout the year - stay tuned to this blog for updates on that or check out our upcoming events page. 

Not enough for you? Join our quarterly call hosted by Michael LaDuke, michael.laduke @ oracle.com.

We look forward to meeting you in the year ahead!

Tuesday Sep 02, 2014

Seeking Participants for Oracle Applications Sales Cloud User Experience Feedback Sessions

The Oracle Applications Sales Cloud User Experience team is looking for people just like you to provide your feedback on the latest Oracle Sales Cloud user experiences on September 25 or 26, 2014.

Are you a business systems analyst, sales operations manager, sales manager, channel manager, or partner who’s interested in new next generation user experiences? Passionate about making life easier for your customers and partners? This is your opportunity! We are conducting usability feedback sessions on innovative designs of two key areas in our Oracle Sales Cloud applications: Territory Management and Partner Applications.

Session 1: Territory Management Focus

Date: September 25, 2014 or September 26, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Oracle Headquarters, Redwood Shores, CA, USA

Ideal participants should perform some or all of the following tasks (or at least be familiar with these tasks):

  • Define sales territories for your sales organization
  • Maintain territories for your sales representatives (for example, reassign territories)
  • Analyze territory information (for example, coverage)

Session 2: Partner Management Focus

Date: September 25, 2014 or September 26, 2014
Time: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Location: Oracle Headquarters, Redwood Shores, CA, USA

Ideal participants should perform some or all of the following tasks (or at least be familiar with these tasks):

  • Create and maintain partner accounts or partner users
  • Manage leads and opportunities as a partner, through a partner application
  • Manage leads and opportunities that your partners are working on
  • Analyze partner performance

If you’re interested in participating or want more information, contact Georgia.Price@oracle.com.

Registration for these sessions closes on September 12, 2014.

Thursday Aug 28, 2014

‘Simple is the new cool’ in the Oracle Sales Cloud user experience

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle has pivoted quickly to embrace elegant, streamlined simplicity in its cloud user experience strategy. These user experience designs required no changes in the Oracle technology stack. The Applications User Experience (UX) team, which is responsible for the simplified user interface (UI) in the Oracle Applications Cloud, took a hard look at what Oracle already had and said, ”How do we move this into the future?”

Oracle Vice President Jeremy Ashley, who leads the Applications User Experience team, set a challenge to focus on the following:

The user experience you see in the Oracle Sales Cloud, now available in release 8, really starts to expose our team’s focus on a consistent, repeatable, light-touch experience with a guiding design philosophy that we call “Glance, Scan, Commit.”

Oracle Sales Cloud Mobile Oracle Sales Cloud Dashboard
Oracle Sales Cloud for sales reps is available on a smartphone, tablet, and laptop.

Here are some easy-to-digest, quick-hit videos that recap some of the basic use experience features in release 8. 

What are other folks saying about the user experience?

I like this perspective from Floyd Teter (@fteter), of Sierra-Cedar.  “We've all heard it: ‘simple is the new cool’," Floyd says. “It's true. We certainly see it in the UX world. Simple designs for human interaction. Tell me what I need to do, how to do it, and make it easy. If I only had a dollar for every time I heard that mantra ... and when we consider the market moving to the cloud, UX is the major differentiation -- and simple is carrying the day every day.”

ZDNet’s Natalie Gagliordi saw the direction the investment is heading, according to this post on release 8: “Oracle is upping its efforts to improve the user experience of Sales Cloud, announcing Wednesday a new release of the platform with enhancements focused on boosting sales productivity and improving the SFA mobile experience for sales reps and managers.”

J. Bruce Daley cites six key aspects that customers ought to consider when evaluating release 8, and among these is usability. “Oracle beefed up the user interface and gave the product a more consumer-like look and feel,” he said. “User adoption is an area the company is investing heavily in, to improve not only in the way the product looks but also the way it works.”

What’s next, in release 9 and beyond?

Killian Evers
Killian Evers

In July at the Oracle Headquarters Usability Labs in Redwood Shores, Calif., Killian Evers, Senior Director of the Sales Cloud User experience, hosted an Oracle Sales Cloud UX Customer Seminar called “Connecting and Innovating Together.”

The event was targeted to existing Oracle Sales Cloud customers and provided a chance to talk through Oracle’s UX strategy and roadmap, and to take feedback on the design direction. Customers got to see firsthand what Oracle's vision is and provide feedback about their user experience needs. 

Kristin Desmond Tim Dubois Greg Nerpouni

Kristin Desmond, from left, Tim Dubois, and Greg Nerpouni.

Included in the agenda was a review of the newly available UX enhancements in Oracle Sales Cloud Release 8, followed by a discussion with Kristin Desmond, Director, who talked about what’s coming next after release 8. Tim Dubois and Greg Nerpouni delivered a one-two combination with a review of newly available UX extensibility enhancements in release 8 and the forward-looking UX extensibility roadmap.  

Jake Kuramoto
Jake Kuramoto

Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot) of the OAUX AppsLab showed upcoming UX innovations for the Oracle Sales Cloud. Also featured throughout the day were a series of one-on-one usability activities to provide feedback to the Oracle Sales Cloud UX team on novel designs.

Event Poster

Where do I find out more?

If you can’t find us on the road, you can start by checking out a few more videos. The Oracle Sales Cloud team has worked hard to put together easy-to-digest views of what the product looks and feels like.

If you want to see whether you are ready to take on the Oracle Sales Cloud, take a pass through some our Release 8 readiness documentation.

Thursday Aug 21, 2014

Attend Onsite Product Usability Testing or Tour Oracle HQ Usability Labs during Oracle OpenWorld 2014

 By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle OpenWorld  is the world’s largest business and technology event, featuring thousands of sessions, including keynotes, technical sessions, demos, and hands-on labs. Hundreds of exhibitors will be sharing what they’re bringing to Oracle technology at this year’s conference, held in downtown  San Francisco from Sept. 29-Oct. 2. If you are an Oracle customer or partner planning to attend this  annual event, there are several ways to  meet face-to-face with members of the Oracle Applications  User Experience (UX) team. We’d like  to invite you to sign up for a usability feedback session, or  hop on one of our special chartered buses  to tour Oracle HQ’s usability labs. Here’s more  information about these exclusive events.

Onsite product usability testing: Give us your feedback!

Product usability testing is in progress at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.

The Oracle Applications User Experience team will host an onsite usability lab, where Oracle customers and partners can participate in a usability feedback session, at Oracle OpenWorld 2014. Usability experts, product managers, and user interface designers have teamed up to provide Oracle customers and partners with the opportunity to contribute to and influence application design and direction while test-driving Oracle’s next-generation applications. Your feedback will affect the existing and future usability of Oracle applications, and help us develop applications that are intuitive and easy to use.

What will we test? Participants will get a preview of proposed Oracle product designs for Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Fusion applications for Procurement and Supply Chain, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft applications, Social Relationship Management, BI applications, Fusion Middleware, and more.

Who can participate*? Regardless of your current job title, we have a session that might interest you. These one-on-one feedback sessions are popular, and space is very limited, so contact us  today to learn more.

Dates: Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2014 
Location: InterContinental Hotel, San Francisco, CA 
Time: Advance sign-up is required for this event. RSVP now.

If you have questions about this event, please contact Angela Johnston

Take a tour of the Oracle HQ Usability Lab during OpenWorld 2014

Members of Applications UX team lead Oracle OpenWorld lab tour attendees
to the usability labs at Oracle headquarters in Redwood City, CA.

The Applications User Experience team will be offering a limited number of usability lab tours  at Oracle Headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., during Oracle OpenWorld 2014. Come take a look behind the scenes of Oracle’s research and development work on Thursday, Oct. 2, or Friday, Oct. 3. Receive an exclusive look into how Oracle tests applications designs, and see the direction that Oracle’s enterprise applications are heading, including demos of designs for devices such as the tablet and smartphone.

Round-trip transportation will be provided. Pick-up and drop-off is at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco, next to Moscone West. Spots are limited, so sign up today!

How to reserve your spot

To RSVP, sign up here. For additional questions, send an e-mail to Jeannette Chadwick.

To learn more about our team’s presence at Oracle OpenWorld this year, please visit our website, UsableApps.

*Participation requires that your company or organization has a Customer Participation Confidentiality Agreement (CPCA) on file. If your company or organization does not have a CPCA on file, we will start this process.

Friday Aug 15, 2014

See the latest Applications Cloud user experiences at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

wide shot of crowd training

Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Strategy & Roadmap
This event is for partners, Oracle sales, and customers who are passionate about Oracle’s commitment to the ongoing user experience investment in Oracle’s Applications Cloud. If you want to see where we are going firsthand, contact the Applications UX team to attend this special event, scheduled the week before Oracle OpenWorld.

All attendees must be approved to attend and have signed Oracle’s non-disclosure agreement.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014
Location: Oracle Conference Center, Redwood City, Calif.

jeremy presenting

Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Partner & Sales Briefing
This event is for Oracle Applications partners and Oracle sales who want to find out what’s up with release 9 user experience highlights for: Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, cloud extensibility, and Paas4SaaS. It will be held the day before Oracle OpenWorld kicks off.

All attendees must be approved to attend.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, Calif. , in the Telegraph Hill room.

george secret chamber

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 OAUX Applications Cloud Exchange.
This daylong, demo-intensive event is for Oracle customers, partners, and sales representatives who want to see what the future of Oracle’s cloud user experiences will look like. Attendees will also see what’s cooking in Oracle’s research and development kitchen – concepts that aren’t products … yet.

All attendees must be approved to attend and have signed Oracle’s non-disclosure agreement.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
  1 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, Calif., on the Spa Terrace.

Monday Aug 11, 2014

Oracle Extends Investment in Cloud User Experiences with Oracle Voice for Sales Cloud

By Vinay Dwivedi, and Anna Wichansky, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle Voice for the Oracle Sales Cloud, officially called “Fusion Voice Cloud Service for the Oracle Sales Cloud,” is available now on the Apple App Store. This first release is intended for Oracle customers using the Oracle Sales Cloud, and is specifically designed for sales reps.

The home screen of Fusion Voice Cloud Service for the Oracle Sales Cloud is designed for sales reps.

Unless people record new information they learn, (e.g. write it down, repeat it aloud), they forget a high proportion of it in the first 20 minutes. The Oracle Applications User Experience team has learned through its research that when sales reps leave a customer meeting with insights that can move a deal forward, it’s critical to capture important details before they are forgotten. We designed Oracle Voice so that the app allows sales reps to quickly enter notes and activities on their smartphones right after meetings, no matter where they are.

Instead of relying on slow typing on a mobile device, sales reps can enter information three times faster by speaking to the Oracle Sales Cloud through Voice. Voice takes a user through a dialog similar to a natural spoken conversation to accomplish this goal. Since key details are captured precisely and follow-ups are quicker, deals are closed faster and more efficiently. 

Oracle Voice is also multi-modal, so sales reps can switch to touch-and-type interactions for situations where speech interaction is less than ideal.

Oracle sales reps tried it first, to see if we were getting it right
We recruited a large group of sales reps in the Oracle North America organization to test an early version of Oracle Voice in 2012. All had iPhones and spoke American English; their predominant activity was field sales calls to customers. Users had minimal orientation to Oracle Voice and no training. We were able to observe their online conversion and usage patterns through automated testing and analytics at Oracle, through phone interviews, and through speech usage logs from Nuance, which is partnering with Oracle on Oracle Voice. 

Users were interviewed after one week in the trial; over 80% said the product exceeded their expectations. Members of the Oracle User Experience team working on this project gained valuable insights into how and where sales reps were using Oracle Voice, which we used as requirements for features and functions. 

For example, we learned that Oracle Voice needed to recognize product- and industry-specific vocabulary, such as “Exadata” and “Exalytics,” and we requested a vocabulary enhancement tool from Nuance that has significantly improved the speech recognition accuracy. We also learned that connectivity needed to persist as users traveled between public and private networks, and that users needed easy volume control and alternatives to speech in public environments. 
We’ve held subsequent trials, with more features and functions enabled, to support the 10 workflows in the product today. Many sales reps in the trials have said they are anxious to get the full version and start using it every day.
“I was surprised to find that it can understand names like PNC and Alcoa,” said Marco Silva, Regional Manager, Oracle Infrastructure Sales, after participating in the September 2012 trial.
“It understands me better than Siri does,” said Andrew Dunleavy, Sales Representative, Oracle Fusion Middleware, who also participated in the same trial.

This demo shows Oracle Voice in action.

What can a sales rep do with Oracle Voice?
Oracle Voice allows sales reps to efficiently retrieve and capture sales information before and after meetings. With Oracle Voice, sales reps can: 

Prepare for meetings
View relevant notes to see what happened during previous meetings.
See important activities by viewing previous tasks and appointments. 
Brush up on opportunities and check on revenue, close date and sales stage.

Wrap up meetings
Capture notes and activities quickly so they don’t forget any key details.
Create contacts easily so they can remember the important new people they meet.
Update opportunities so they can make progress. 

These screenshots show how to create tasks and appointments using Oracle Voice.

Our research showed that sales reps entered more sales information into the CRM system when they enjoyed using Oracle Voice, which makes Oracle Voice even more useful because more information is available to access when the same sales reps are on the go. With increased usage, the entire sales organization benefits from access to more current sales data, improved visibility on sales activities, and better sales decisions. Customers benefit too -- from the faster response time sales reps can provide.

Oracle’s ongoing investment in User Experience

Oracle gets the idea that cloud applications must be easy to use. The Oracle Applications User Experience team has developed an approach to user experience that focuses on simplicity, mobility, and extensibility, and these themes drive our investment strategy. The result is key products that refine particular user experiences, like we’ve delivered with Oracle Voice. 

Oracle Voice is one of the most recent products to embrace our developer design philosophy for the cloud of “Glance, Scan, & Commit.” Oracle Voice allows sales reps to complete many tasks at what we call glance and scan levels, which means keeping interactions lightweight, or small and quick.

Are you an Oracle Sales Cloud customer? 

Oracle Voice is available now on the Apple App Store for Oracle customers using the Oracle Sales Cloud. It’s the smarter sales automation solution that helps you sell more, know more, and grow more. 

Will you be at Oracle OpenWorld 2014? So will we! Stay tuned to the VoX blog for when and where you can find us. And don’t forget to drop by and check out Oracle Voice at the Smartphone and Nuance demo stations located at the CX@Sales Central demo area on the second floor of Moscone West. 

Monday Aug 04, 2014

Applications User Experience Beacons Developer Challenge Promotes Innovation, Collaboration

By DJ Ursal, Oracle Applications User Experience

The entrepreneurial spirit came alive during the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) Beacons Developer Challenge recently. There was a true sense of collaboration, not only at the participant level but at an organizational level too. We saw a lot of creativity and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with emerging technologies.

As host of the event, it was a wonderful opportunity to network with best-of-the-best minds within Oracle. We believe beacons are a game-changer in connectivity and the next big technology of the future. This functionality leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, allowing you to add geofencing capabilities to your application design. Instead of using satellite-based signals to track your users’ locations, highly localized BLE signals from a variety of signal emitters provide a more granular level of interaction with applications.

The Beacons Developer Challange was a 60-hour mobile app-building contest, held in July at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif..The purpose of the Challenge was to give developers, designers, and internal entrepreneurs the chance to work together to build apps, bring awareness to “the Internet of things”, as well as to promote collaboration across Oracle. Participating organizations included: Fusion Technical Architecture, BlueKai Development, Siebel development,Oracle Internet of Things (IoT) Organization, North America Sales consulting group, Fusion HCM Development, Apps Usability and the Oracle Product Development College Hire Program.

North America Applications Sales Consulting team as they set out to conquer the developer challenge. 

Oracle Product Development College Hire team takes time out for brainstorming.

The challenge was focused on location-aware enterprise business scenarios, and teams chose their own platform on which to develop a mobile app. We limited this competition to one beacon platform, using iBeacons from Estimote, however others are available such as Gimbal and Raspberry Pi. We wanted to make sure that single-member teams had a fighting chance too, so there was no restriction on the size of the team. To ensure a level playing field, all participants were provided with the same set of sample data to be used for creating their mobile app. Each application was evaluated by judges based on the following criteria:
  • Execution of Entry: How fully developed and implemented the entry is. Does it use the data provided and beacons?
  • Business Value: How useful would the entry be in a business context?
  • User Experience: To what degree does the entry demonstrate new and innovative uses of beacons and Oracle data? Is it a pleasure to use?

Judges included Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), second from left, the vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, Jayant Sharma, Director product management, and Mark Vilrokx (@mvolrokx). Not in the picture, Ed Jones, John Hsieh, Dj Ursal and Laurie Pattison.

After two and half days of hard work and coding, nine projects were demoed to our panel of judges at the end of the week. Great ideas were showcased, and choosing the top three proved to be difficult.

Awards and Certificates. 

The first place award went to a solo entry, team Swift, that showcased the power of a framework that was location-aware, using iBeacons. In second place, The AppsLab (@appslab) team implemented a location-aware, social application for the enterprise that connected local employees together to better manage their interactions in the workplace by sharing information, such as location. Team OCH1 came in third with their app that utilizes beacons to change the way we look for resources in the office.

The Apps UX Beacon Developer Challenge was sponsored by the Oracle Product Development College Hire Program, Oracle Facilities and Oracle Spatial and Graph. A big thank-you goes to our fantastic on-site support staff, which included people from across different organizations within Oracle.

The Apps UX Beacon Developer Challenge event staff.

At the end of the day, it was not about the prizes, but building passion for creating new ideas and concepts, new experiences, in a fun and engaging manner, and promoting an innovative social network that allows one to connect with like-minded people, crossing organizational boundaries.

The Oracle Apps UX developer challenge mission is to fuel innovation and promote collaboration by connecting people, ideas, and technologies from various organizations across Oracle. By collaborating in the developers challenge and working together, the employees got a chance to contribute  their best skills while learning from the other members of the team. Team members learnt from each other by sharing information, discussing options, debating the best solution, and by actively using skills on developer challenge project.

Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

Just a Little Bit of Technology Awesome: Oracle HQ & Java Host Launch CMU event

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

I got to see a giant monkey robot.

In June at the Launch CMU event, a research and technology startup showcase at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood Shores, Calif, the giant monkey robot was part of an event called “Revealing Roboburgh.” There were about 150 attendees, mostly alumni from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).  According to Michelle Kovac, Director, Java Marketing, the goal of the event was to align venture capital funding with innovations to accelerate the commercialization of university projects.  

The Monkey Robot, I mean CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform).

We are always interested in emerging technology and new ideas, and part of our charter is to pay attention to emerging technology trends. We never know how these things might translate for enterprise users.  I attended to look for things that were both fun and improve the quality of life.

Co-worker Kathy Miedema and I understood the value of the event from a consumer perspective immediately.  We walked in during the middle of a presentation on a robotic child bounce seat, robotic self-folding stroller, and robotic self-installing car seat by 4Moms. If my kids were small, I would totally buy all of that. I also thought it was pretty awesome to see a “print-your-own circuit board” by AgIC, which was instant circuit board prototyping, for making circuit boards in your own home or office.

Kathy said she was interested in the medical innovations and medical devices.  There was some cool stuff around joint replacements and dietary monitoring.

Back to the robot – it is a pretty amazing concept. It’s actually called the Tartan Rescue C.H.I.M.P., CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platforms. It is CMU’s bid in the DARPA challenge to build robots that can respond to man-made and natural disasters, like the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident during an earthquake in 2011.

I was enthused to see Oracle co-sponsoring this event with the CMU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and I can’t wait to see what they bring next year!

Friday Jul 11, 2014

Meet us at the OTM User Conference 2014 in Philadelphia

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

The 2014 OTM Conference, Aug. 10-13 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is designed to bring together users and potential users of the Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) software to share knowledge, ideas, and experiences, according to the conference website. More than 400 people are expected to attend to meet with Oracle representatives and collaborate on ideas for future upgrades. 

For the first time, members of Oracle Applications User Experience team will host an onsite usability lab at this conference. If you and your colleagues are registered to attend this conference, we invite you to sign up for a usability feedback session and take your conference experience to the next level. 

Get Involved: RSVP now to sign up to participate in a usability feedback session. 
By participating in user feedback sessions, you will gain knowledge about new designs and functionalities directly from the source, and you may ultimately influence the direction of Oracle Transportation Management products. We are looking for Transportation Planners, Transportation Managers, and Business Analysts to provide feedback on the OTM Shipment Visibility mobile application and Shipment Manager desktop application.

The purpose of these feedback sessions is to confirm whether new product design concepts would meet real user goals and needs, and to identify what needs to be improved from a usability standpoint.

Jennifer Howell, a Principal Consultant, HR Technology, at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, talks about her experience during a customer feedback session at the Oracle Applications User Experience on-site lab during the Oracle HCM Users Group (OHUG) Global Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, in June 2014.

The one-on-one feedback sessions will be run on Monday, Aug. 11, and Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Conference room Franklin. Space is limited, and advance sign-up is required for this event. If you have questions or wish to recommend your colleagues or customers, please contact Alisa Hamai.

RSVP now

*Participation requires that your company or organization has a Customer Participation Confidentiality Agreement (CPCA) on file. If your company or organization does not have a CPCA on file, we will start this process.

Please visit the Usable Apps Events page  to learn more about our team’s presence at future conferences. 

Friday Jun 27, 2014

More Wearables: A wearables design jam out-of-house with EchoUser and FATHOM

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team hosted its first Wearables Design Jam with people outside of Oracle in May. Members of the team headed up to San Francisco for the event, which was held at EchoUser, a user experience (UX) design and consultancy firm and a collaborator on UX with Oracle. Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps), OAUX Director and partner outreach dynamo, was the host. This reprised event updated an earlier internal event, also the first of its kind here, on wearables. Our goal, as before, was to get design teams thinking about the enterprise use cases for wearable technology.

O’Broin shows off wearable ears.
Photos by Rob Hernandez.

Ultan said at the event: “The goals for the day were to build a relationship with a partner in the wearables and innovation space - to see if we could work together in a way that was mutually beneficial and to increase the awareness of users in this space. We are ahead of the curve and ready to offer optimal user experiences, and the technology is there. This is a pilot event because we want to do more of this. We want to work out the methodologies so we can take it on the road. I’d like to try this next in the UK, and in a culture that hasn’t been exposed to the wearable hype, and try it in countries that are very conscious of what goes on in the public and private sphere, like Germany, and try it in Asian countries as well.” 

Ultan said the event was great. “People entered into the spirit of openness, their own experiences, their own background - and they applied it in a fun and meaningful way," he said.

Ultan and Anthony Lai (@anthonyslai), of the TheAppslab team at Oracle (@theappslab), delivered a level-setting presentation on the state of the art for wearables, including examples of Google Glass. Attendees were from Oracle, EchoUser, and FATHOM, a 3D-printing company in the Bay Area.  

Veronica De La Rosa of FATHOM, Carol Chen of EchoUser and Aylin Uysal of Oracle develop on-boarding concepts that incorporate wearables.

Attendees then broke into teams of three and four to brainstorm on enterprise wearables concepts. They sketched, drew, debated, and produced an idea for an enterprise wearable use case in 2 hours. All teams delivered a 5-minute pitch at the end of the day to judges Mick McGee (@micklives), CEO, EchoUser; and Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), VP, Oracle Applications User Experience. Teams pitched employee on-boarding wearables, shipping delivery driver wearables, and retail worker wearables.

Mick McGee, EchoUser, and Jeremy Ashley, Oracle, discuss the design themes emerging around wearables.

Mick and Jeremy gave comments on the team presentations, which are recapped here: 

Mick: “There was a theme of people interaction and people connection, enabling our interaction with work colleagues. where you can actually get around the social stigma of using wearables to connect. I like the idea of interaction in different, small, productive ways. One thing that stuck out to me in talking to Jeremy was all the small gains in end user experiences – that will be the killer app.”  

Jeremy: “I agree with all of those points, especially the small gains. There are different cultures where being tracked is actually motivating, e.g., you being monitored while you are doing a safety check, so you want to be monitored. In another environment, you may not want to be tracked; the level and type of tracking needs to be different. I think understanding role by role where the comfort level is, is important.”  

Mick: “If you recall the iPhone days, that was only 7 years ago. There was a big platform change, from my perspective, all this investment going on, this next platform is right around the corner. Enterprise has more of a chance, to me, than consumer for this kind of technology because they make us work better. I’m excited to see where wearables goes.”

Jeremy:  “It’s exploring what is already in the environment, and leveraging what we might consider mundane tasks, and automating them. These are the small gains that we are going to get with this kind of technology. I like the idea of things happening around you -- rather than going to websites to onboard, giving a device – eyelashes, a ring, or whatever -- where they can have a personal on-boarding experience.”

Mick: “I see a lot of potential in these ideas to help the end-user consumer, especially to help reduce the social stigma associated with these technologies.” 

So which idea did the two execs think had the most enterprise merit?

Jeremy: "The Thought Box was the best solution. It would have a high impact using existing infrastructure, with off-the-shelf parts, and would greatly enhance the whole experience, and could viably be done now.  And it combines many small gains. That would be, overall, a big impact." 

The winning team, Thought Box: Kimra McPherson, EchoUser; Amaya Lascano, EchoUser; and David Haimes, Oracle. With Jeremy Ashley and Mick McGee in the background.

The Thought Box team pitched a wearable designed to be worn by a shipping delivery driver – such as a UPS or DHL driver. The wearable, such as a pair of sunglasses, would provide detailed information about the shipping delivery location such as:
Whether any hazards exist
Whether the recipient is home
Step-by-step directions to the location 
How to be more efficient in the delivery based on past experience
How to be safe, such as using a trolley when moving a heavy load up a steep grade
Sending alerts to the recipient when the driver is close
Taking a picture of the package at the drop location and sending it to the recipient
Even integrating construction details.

This device is aimed at making small efficiency gains that can scale across the whole business. 

The Thought Box concept and pitch sketches

The overall benefit of this wearable concept was aimed at making faster and more reliable deliveries to increase a driver’s rate of success. The related goal is also reducing customer calls, because of the real-time trouble-shooting.

My personal favorite wearable technology of the day: 
I personally was delighted by the idea of custom wearables designed by Team ConneXtion, and modeled by Aylin Uysal below.

Aylin models wearable eyelashes, intended to aid new hire on-boarding.

How do you find out more?
The Oracle Applications User Experience team is going to be going on the road in the year ahead.  If you want to chat with us about our experiences with wearable technologies, along with other technology we see on the horizon, feel free to find us at an upcoming event on UsableApps.  

If you will be at OOW 2014, so will the Apps UX team. Come find us!

Wednesday Jun 11, 2014

So, how is the Oracle HCM Cloud User Experience? In a word, smokin’!

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle unveiled its game-changing cloud user experience strategy at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 (remember that?) with a new simplified user interface (UI) paradigm.  The Oracle HCM cloud user experience is about light-weight interaction, tailored to the task you are trying to accomplish, on the device you are comfortable working with. A key theme for the Oracle user experience is being able to move from smartphone to tablet to desktop, with all of your data in the cloud.

The Oracle HCM Cloud user experience provides designs for better productivity, no matter when and how your employees need to work.

Release 8 
Oracle recently demonstrated how fast it is moving development forward for our cloud applications, with the availability of release 8

In release 8, users will see expanded simplicity in the HCM cloud user experience, such as filling out a time card and succession planning. Oracle has also expanded its mobile capabilities with task flows for payslips, managing absences, and advanced analytics. In addition, users will see expanded extensibility with the new structures editor for simplified pages, and the with the user interface text editor, which allows you to update language throughout the UI from one place. If you don’t like calling people who work for you “employees,” you can use this tool to create a term that is suited to your business. 

Take a look yourself at what’s available now.

What are people saying?
Debra Lilley (@debralilley), an Oracle ACE Director who has a long history with Oracle Applications, recently gave her perspective on release 8:

“Having had the privilege of seeing a preview of release 8, I am again impressed with the enhancements around simplified UI. Even more so, at a user group event in London this week, an existing Cloud HCM customer speaking publically about his implementation said he was very excited about release 8 as the absence functionality was so superior and simple to use.” 

In an interview with Lilley for a blog post by Dennis Howlett  (@dahowlett), we probably couldn’t have asked for a more even-handed look at the Oracle Applications Cloud and the impact of user experience. Take the time to watch all three videos and get the full picture.  In closing, Howlett’s said: “There is always the caveat that getting from the past to Fusion [from the editor: Fusion is now called the Oracle Applications Cloud] is not quite as simple as may be painted, but the outcomes are much better than anticipated in large measure because the user experience is so much better than what went before.”

Herman Slange, Technical Manager with Oracle Applications partner Profource, agrees with that comment. “We use on-premise Financials & HCM for internal use. Having a simple user interface that works on a desktop as well as a tablet for (very) non-technical users is a big relief. Coming from E-Business Suite, there is less training (none) required to access HCM content.  From a technical point of view, having the abilities to tailor the simplified UI very easy makes it very efficient for us to adjust to specific customer needs.  When we have a conversation about simplified UI, we just hand over a tablet and ask the customer to just use it. No training and no explanation required.”

Finally, in a story by Computer Weekly  about Oracle customer BG Group, a natural gas exploration and production company based in the UK and with a presence in 20 countries, the author states: “The new HR platform has proved to be easier and more intuitive for HR staff to use than the previous SAP-based technology.”

What’s Next for Oracle’s Applications Cloud User Experiences?
This is the question that Steve Miranda, Oracle Executive Vice President, Applications Development, asks the Applications User Experience team, and we’ve been hard at work for some time now on “what’s next.”  I can’t say too much about it, but I can tell you that we’ve started talking to customers and partners, under non-disclosure agreements, about user experience concepts that we are working on in order to get their feedback.

We recently had a chance to talk about possibilities for the Oracle HCM Cloud user experience at an Oracle HCM Southern California Customer Success Summit. This was a fantastic event, hosted by Shane Bliss and Vance Morossi of the Oracle Client Success Team. We got to use the uber-slick facilities of Allergan, our hosts (of Botox fame), headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a presence in more than 100 countries.

Photo by Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience
Vance Morossi, left, and Shane Bliss, of the Oracle Client Success Team, at an Oracle HCM Southern California Customer Success Summit. 

We were treated to a few really excellent talks around human resources (HR). Alice White, VP Human Resources, discussed Allergan's process for global talent acquisition -- how Allergan has designed and deployed a global process, and global tools, along with Oracle and Cognizant, and are now at the end of a global implementation. She shared a couple of insights about the journey for Allergan: “One of the major areas for improvement was on role clarification within the company.” She said the company is “empowering managers and deputizing them as recruiters. Now it is a global process that is nimble and efficient." 

Deepak Rammohan, VP Product Management, HCM Cloud, Oracle, also took the stage to talk about pioneering modern HR. He reflected modern HR problems of getting the right data about the workforce, the importance of getting the right talent as a key strategic initiative, and other workforce insights. "How do we design systems to deal with all of this?” he asked. “Make sure the systems are talent-centric. The next piece is collaborative, engaging, and mobile. A lot of this is influenced by what users see today. The last thing is around insight; insight at the point of decision-making." Rammohan showed off some killer HCM Cloud talent demos focused on simplicity and mobility that his team has been cooking up, and closed with a great line about the nature of modern recruiting: "Recruiting is a team sport."

Deepak Rammohan, left, and Jake Kuramoto, both of Oracle, debate the merits of a Google Glass concept demo for recruiters on-the-go.

Later, in an expo-style format, the Apps UX team showed several concepts for next-generation HCM Cloud user experiences, including demos shown by Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot) of The AppsLab, and Aylin Uysal (@aylinuysal), Director, HCM Cloud user experience. We even hauled out our eye-tracker, a research tool used to show where the eye is looking at a particular screen, thanks to teammate Michael LaDuke.

Dionne Healy, HCM Client Executive, and Aylin Uysal, Director, HCM Cloud user experiences, Oracle, take a look at new HCM Cloud UX concepts.

We closed the day with Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), VP, Applications User Experience, who brought it all back together by talking about the big picture for applications cloud user experiences. He covered the trends we are paying attention to now, what users will be expecting of their modern enterprise apps, and what Oracle’s design strategy is around these ideas.  

We closed with an excellent reception hosted by ADP Payroll services at Bistango.

Want to read more?
Want to see where our cloud user experience is going next? Read more on the UsableApps web site about our latest design initiative: “Glance, Scan, Commit.”

Or catch up on the back story by looking over our Applications Cloud user experience content on the UsableApps web site. 

You can also find out where we’ll be next at the Events page on UsableApps.

Friday May 09, 2014

Apps UX attends OHUG Global Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Author Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience 

OHUG Global Conference 2014  is a weeklong networking and learning opportunity for anyone working with Oracle Fusion Applications, PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Taleo products. The annual event will take place at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, June 9-13, 2014. 

If you and your colleagues are registered to attend this conference, you already know you’ll have access to technology sessions, product demos, exhibitors, partners, and more. But it is important for you to learn and see as much as possible. We invite you to attend our presentation to learn more about Oracle HCM Cloud and the Oracle user experience strategy, or to sign up for a usability feedback session to take your conference experience to the next level. 

Attend an Applications UX Presentation: Oracle's HCM Cloud User Experience Strategy

Simplicity, mobility, and extensibility are the themes driving the Oracle Applications User Experience team’s next generation of Oracle user experiences. Oracle’s HCM Cloud is a first-class example of what this strategy looks like today, and will look like tomorrow, for both employees and managers. See what the new simplified UI looks like, and learn about the vision for the next generation of mobile user experiences. Oracle is also focused on maintaining the quality of the experience delivered in these new user interfaces once customers extend their Oracle application. Understand how Oracle is creating a trained ecosystem of customers and partners who are educated about the science, tools, and investment behind building high-quality, consistent, proven user experiences.

Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm 
Location: The Mirage Hotel, Conference room Barbados A
Session ID: 14194

Get Involved: RSVP  now to sign up to participate in a usability feedback session.

By participating in user feedback sessions , you will gain knowledge about new designs and functionalities directly from the source, and you may ultimately influence the direction of Oracle HCM products. Attendees will get a preview of mobile and desktop applications for Oracle HCM Cloud, Taleo, PeopleSoft, and more.

Regardless of your current job title, we have a session that might interest you. Here are just a few job profiles we are looking for: employees and line managers, hiring managers, talent recruiters, benefits administrators, business analyst, and more. The main purpose of the feedback sessions is to confirm whether new product design concepts would meet real user goals and needs, and identify what needs to be improved from the usability stand point.

UX Members of the Oracle Social Cloud team conduct an eye-tracking analysis
on Oracle Social Relationship Management application during a recent user group conference.

Date: Tuesday-Wednesday, June 10-11, 2014. The one-on-one feedback sessions are very popular, and this event fills up quickly.   
Location: The Mirage Hotel, Conference room Bermuda B
Sign Up: Advance sign-up is required for this event. RSVP now.
Questions: If you have questions or wish to recommend your colleagues or customers, please contact Jeannette Chadwick.

*Participation requires that your company or organization has a Customer Participation Confidentiality Agreement (CPCA) on file. If your company or organization does not have a CPCA on file, we will start this process.

Please visit the Usable Apps Events page to learn more about our team’s presence at future conferences.

Friday May 02, 2014

Thank you, Oracle Partner AMIS, for an excellent Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Expo

Author Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

We recently co-hosted an OAUX Expo in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands (near Amsterdam) on March 18, 2014 with Oracle partner AMIS. The goal of the event was to excite and inspire attendees about the future of Oracle technology and Oracle Applications Cloud by leading with our work on the Oracle user experiences.  We wildly exceeded my own expectations about the event. Students walked away excited about careers with Oracle technology, partners walked away with a sense of how they could grow their businesses, and customers walked away with confidence in Oracle’s UX investment strategy.

The timing was quite lucky, as this was the first event where attendees got to see the newly available Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 user interface.

A personal thank-you to Lucas Jellema, Amis CTO, who was enthusiastic and inspired enough to spark this project.

To get a recap of what you missed, AMIS CTO Lucas Jellema (@lucasjellema) blogged live about the event, which drew nearly 500 attendees. Just prior to the event, Bob Rhubart (@OTNArchBeat) of OTN Archbeat hosted a video
interview that previewed the event nicely, with Lucas and our VP, Applications User Experience, Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), on the Oracle user experience vision and strategy.

What did you miss?

Here is a recap in pictures of the event. Photos by Rob Hernandez, Oracle Applications User Experience. 

The Oracle Applications User Experience and AMIS teams pose just before the big day for a snapshot.

Ultan O’Broin talks about wearables and enterprise use cases.

Aylin Uysal discusses the future of Oracle HCM Cloud user experiences.

VP Jeremy Ashley and Amis CEO Paul Uijtewaal discuss Google Glass.

 Lonneke Dikmans listens poised to talk about UX Direct and Oracle’s UX best practices. 

Killian Evers leads a discussion about the next generation of the Sales Cloud user experience.

Vlad Babu, one of our Apps UX Sales Ambassadors, talks with attendees about UX Direct and UX design patterns for building great looking usable apps for the Cloud.

A few lucky attendees got to see what’s behind the door to the secret chamber.

Noel Portugal shows off Google Glass.

George Hackman demos forward-looking user experience concepts.

Jeremy Ashley, Lucas Jellema, and Sten Vesterli rest their weary legs after hours of presentations.

One of our own UX Sales Ambassadors, Edward DeWolf, demos the new simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud.

Jake Kuramoto draws observers into a huddle as he shows some user experience concepts.

Find out where the UX team will be next if you want to see what we are working on

If you would like to read more:

• Take a look at where it all started.

• Read the latest on our cloud tailoring strategy.

Thursday Mar 20, 2014

Simplified UI and the Oracle User Experience in Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8

With the launch of Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 this month, the Oracle Applications User Experience team gets another opportunity to talk about its simplified user interface (UI) and how our usability research is moving the Oracle user experience forward. 

The simplified UI is the modern, intuitive, streamlined interface for the Oracle Applications Cloud that brings to the surface frequently performed tasks, works across platforms, and requires no training. Oracle debuted this simple, mobile, and extensible interface in Oracle Applications Cloud Release 7, in Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud. That release in Fall 2013 illustrates the interface's focus on quick-entry, light-touch, contextual tasks that are tailored by role.

Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 is an extension of the same themes of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility that set the simplified UI apart. Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud can now take advantage of these user experience enhancements:

  • Expanded simplicity: Additional self-service, quick-action tasks are brought to the surface in this latest release, enabling more people in your company to easily access the essential information and actions that support the way they work in the cloud.
  • Expanded visualizations and analytics: Additional infographic-inspired, tablet-friendly, and interactive visualizations and embedded analytics appear throughout the UI in this release.
  • Expanded extensibility and customization: Not only can you rebrand the simplified UI with your own company logo and watermark and add unique company news and announcements to the simplified UI home page, but you can now restructure and rename the available functional areas and pages. 
Here's a look at just a few highlights in the simplified UI in Release 8.

Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 Simplified UI Entry Experience

Time entry
Time in Oracle HCM Cloud Release 8

Sales Campaigns
Sales Campaigns in Oracle Sales Cloud

Succession Plans
Succession Plans In Oracle HCM Cloud

Dashboard in Oracle Sales Cloud

Settings Structure
Settings in Simplified UI: Structure

Check the Usable Apps web site to read more about the user experience in the Oracle Applications Cloud.  

Monday Mar 17, 2014

Meet the Apps UX Team in Las Vegas during COLLABORATE14

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

COLLABORATE14, a technology and applications forum for the Oracle community, will take place at The Venetian and the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, April 7-11, 2014.

If you are an Oracle customer and scheduled to attend this conference, there are several ways to meet face-to-face with members of the Oracle Applications User Experience team: sign up for a usability feedback session, visit our demo pod, or attend our presentation on tailoring applications in the cloud.

This is also an opportunity for Oracle sales consultants and partners to see firsthand how Oracle dedicates a significant investment in user experience research and development efforts to maintain and improve Oracle’s products.

Onsite Usability Lab: Sign up to participate in a usability feedback session

Sign up to participate in a user feedback session, where you can contribute to and influence application design and direction through feedback or suggestions while test-driving Oracle’s next-generation applications. Your feedback will directly affect the existing and future usability of Oracle applications, and help us develop applications that are intuitive and easy to use.

What will we test? Participants will get a preview of Oracle product designs for Oracle HCM Cloud, the new user experience for Oracle Fusion Applications Help, Oracle Fusion Applications for procurement, Taleo recruiting, social relationship management using eye-tracking technology, and more.

Who can participate? Regardless of your current job title, we have a session that might interest you. Here are just a few job profiles we are looking for: Busines Analysts, Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Functional Subject Matter Experts, Application Administrator, Application Developer, Marketing/Communications professionals, Community Managers, Product Evangelists, and more.

Date: Tuesday-Wednesday, April 8-9, 2014 
Location: Sands Expo Meeting Room 401, Level 1 
Time: Advance sign-up is required for this event. RSVP now

*Participation requires that your company or organization has a Customer Participation Confidentiality Agreement (CPCA) on file. If your company or organization does not have a CPCA on file, we will start this process.

If you have questions or wish to recommend your colleagues or customers, please contact angela.johnston@oracle.com.

Angela Johnston and Yen Chan, both from the Oracle Applications User Experience team, welcome participants as they arrive to participate in user feedback sessions at a recent conference.

Attend Applications UX Presentation: Tailoring Fusion Applications User Experience in the Cloud

Oracle Fusion Applications continues to innovate and improve. In this session, learn how easy it is to customize and extend your Oracle Fusion Applications user experience in the Cloud using some of the new additions to Oracle Fusion Applications technology. See how Oracle composers and other features allow for powerful customizations and extensions within the browser and with no coding. We'll look at the Oracle Fusion Applications desktop user interface as well as the simplicity of customizing and extending the simplified user interface.

Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. 
Location: Level 3, Murano - 3201
Session ID: 14456

Visit the UX demo booth: Cloud Applications User Experiences: The Future of What Your Employees Will Touch, See, and Hear

Visit our demo station to see the simplified user interface in action, hear about a new way to interact with your enterprise by smartphone when you're on the go, and learn how to manipulate massive amounts of data elegantly through gestures on a tablet.  

Dates:  Wednesday-Thursday, April 9-10, 2014
Location: Sands Expo, Exhibit Hall A-C, Level 2: Kiosk 58


Michael LaDuke, from the Oracle Applications User Experience team, runs the demo station during a recent user group conference.

Please visit the
Usable Apps Events page to learn more about our team’s presence at future conferences.

Sunday Mar 16, 2014

Wearables Design Jam @ Oracle Applications User Experience Labs

By Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), Oracle Applications User Experience

The conversation about new technology and what it means for enterprise users keeps moving forward at Oracle. The latest version of that conversation was an inspirational event at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California, on Feb. 4: a Wearables Design Jam led by Ultan O’Broin, Director, Oracle Applications User Experiences.

Ultan and Sarahi
Photo by Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience
Ultan O’Broin prepares, with his usual style, alongside Sarahi Mireles, for the wearables design jam

The goal of the event was to discuss wearables in the work world, solve an enterprise problem, and have fun. What was different about this event was that there was no coding required – it was a pen-and-paper, creative project.

Participants came from a variety of Oracle teams to share ideas – and compete - such as User Assistance, JD Edwards, the Apps Lab, Enterprise Performance Management, and the Mexico Development Center UX team.

Ultan kicked off the event with an introduction to wearables by calling them smart personal technology devices, worn or carried all the time. “It's about automating and augmenting activities,” he said. “Automating the things you hate, and augmenting the things you love. Using technologies you already know – cameras, watches – with new capabilities – GPS, optical character recognition to perform tasks hands-free, and see or easily capture information.  For us, these experiences are apps that are integrated with data in the cloud.” 

He discussed several consumer examples including Samsung Galaxy Gear watch, Oakley Airwave, Google Glass, and Fitbit Force.  "Right now, it's consumer driven usage, dominated by health and personal fitness,” Ultan said. “These expectations from the personal world will affect user expectations of the enterprise."  Examples in the enterprise space include the Hitachi business microscope. An example closer to home is the use of the Fitbit at Oracle HCM World. Attendees were given Fitbit wrist bands and encouraged to log their steps against other attendees in a fitness campaign.

Wellness leaderboard
The HCM World Wellness leaderboard counts the steps of attendees.

For the participants of our Wearables Design Jam, the challenge was to design enterprise solutions – their own wearables use cases – working in teams of three and four. With only paper, pencils, and wearables stencils, participants brainstormed ideas for wearables that could be useful in an enterprise context.

This is an example of a stencil from the Wearables Design Jam.

Teams presented their designs to judge Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President, Oracle Applications User Experiences. Ideas ranged from smart employee ID badges to gloves to warehouse technology, to OpenWorld conference technology. The winning team presented a smarter OpenWorld badge that collects, shares, and exchanges contact information with attendees.

The winning team
The winning team: Adam Heller, Principal Usability Engineer; Bo Wang, Senior Interaction Designer; and Gurbinder Bali, Director, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Development.

Ashley said, "The key to wearables is a casual gesture. But you can go even further. Imagine you had warehouse management that took advantage of whoever was nearest, to make it more engaging or using specialists with skills."  He said the winning idea has implicit participation and is immediately available, and it also has immediate analytic capability and integration with Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud.

For more information on wearable computing, check out these related posts:
•    The AppsLab team participates in a recent AT&T developer hackathon in the Wearables track (@appslab).
•    Ultan explores the reactions to Google Glass globally.
•    Marta Rauch takes an awesome ride down Highway 84 through the eyes of Google Glass (@marta).

Saturday Mar 01, 2014

OAUX Expo: Oracle & AMIS bring new Applications Cloud user experiences to Europe on March 18th

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Lucas Jellema
Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience
Lucas Jellema, Chief Technology Officer of Oracle partner AMIS Services BV, gets a look at new Oracle user experiences during a demo with Lulit Bezuayahu, of Oracle, at an OAUX Expo at OpenWorld 2013. The expo was his source of inspiration for an expo in The Netherlands in March 2014.

Lucas Jellema, Chief Technology Officer of Oracle partner AMIS Services BV, first saw the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) Expo at OpenWorld in September 2013 in San Francisco.

“The expo further enforced the message - simplicity, mobility, extensibility - and what that boils down to in terms of actual user interfaces,” Jellema said after the expo. “It also strengthened my confidence in what the UX team is doing. It helps me believe that Oracle actually can be a leader in UX in the enterprise space.”  He said he recognized the excitement and possibilities for inspiration for Oracle customers and asked if the UX team could bring the same experience to Europe in partnership with AMIS.

Join us on March 18 at the AMIS offices in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The Oracle Applications User Experience team will be showcasing the latest thinking in Oracle’s user experiences from noon to 8pm,  along with talks by speakers including Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President, Applications User Experiences; Sten Vesterli  (@techthatfits), Senior Principal Consultant, Scott / Tiger; Lonneke Dikmans, (@lonnekedikmans), Managing Parter, Vennster; and, of course, Lucas Jellema (@lucasjellema).

The event will be open to the public, including students, customers, and partners.  Registration is necessary to make sure we can accommodate everyone.    

Attendees can expect to see the latest in Oracle’s thinking on Oracle Applications Cloud user experiences, meet the creative AppsLab development team (@theappslab) try out Oracle’s eye-tracking usability research tool, and participate in talks ranging from wearable technology (@ultan) to Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) to Oracle Apex by a slate of Oracle and AMIS experts.  There even may be a Tesla user experience on display.

By special request of the AMIS team, Oracle will also host a Secret Chamber that requires customers to be under non-disclosure. Behind these doors, customers will be able to see Oracle’s applications cloud user experience roadmap.

OAUX Expo sign
Photo by Misha Vaughan

We hope to see you there! Please remember to register in advance to ensure your access!
More information is available on the Usable Apps web site.

Tuesday Feb 25, 2014

What is your perspective on enterprise mobility? Tell us!

By Julian Orr, Oracle Applications User Experience

Mobile technology
Photo by Brent White, Oracle Applications User Experience

Is there a certain device capability, such as the ability to capture mobile signatures or remotely wipe a device, that is so important to your mobile workflow that it has influenced your enterprise mobility strategy?  

When it comes to making decisions about your organization’s enterprise mobility strategy, there are a few inescapable themes: 

  • Allowing people to use their own devices vs. having to use company-supplied devices
  • Using browser-based vs. native applications
  • Optimizing your apps for smart phones vs. tablets
  • Whether or not to include or exclude a particular mobile platform.   

That businesses are committing resources to create and execute a mobile strategy is a given. The permutations of approaches to mobile strategies are endless, and the reasons behind them are varied and nuanced.  

These approaches and their justifications are well understood from a generic enterprise perspective, but what are the common themes of an Oracle customer’s mobile strategy? How does it vary from that of the marketplace as a whole?

If one thing is clear, it is that Oracle customers want to do big things with mobility.   

At Oracle, we are committed to using customer feedback to continually improve our products and services, and to help you realize exceptional business outcomes.   

As such, Oracle has created a survey to capture and understand enterprise mobility from an incredibly important perspective, that of an Oracle customer.

We want to know what our customers are doing now, what you plan to do in the near future, and most importantly, what are the key influences to your strategy -- employee engagement, security, cost, or something we have yet to hear about.  

Please take our enterprise mobility survey. The survey will remain open until March 28, and will take about 15 minutes to complete.  The survey also includes a follow-up option to become more involved in Oracle applications research.   

To learn more about the Applications User Experience team, please visit the UsableApps web site.

Thursday Feb 20, 2014

New Oracle developers get a taste of Raspberry Pi

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

There is a team within the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) group that basically plays with interesting technology. We call them the AppsLab (@theappslab). That technology may include fuzzy ears  (@ultan) that interact with your brain waves, robot arms, or Google Glass.

Recently, it included Raspberry Pi. And a day of hacking.

My team -- the Communications & Outreach arm of the Applications UX group -- sometimes works closely with this team. My boss has her own set of fuzzy ears. I’ve tried out the robot arms (I totally suck at moving them). And recently, I was introduced to Raspberry Pi.

Now, I’m a word person – if this small computer had been named anything else, my eyes might have glazed over. But the chance to tell folks about the creative ways that Oracle investigates and explores technology that can evolve the Oracle user experience … well, I’m much better at doing that. Especially if I’ve got a visual place from which to start the story.

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi in use during the Oracle Apps UX hackday
Photos by Rob Hernandez

Raspberry Pi, above, is actually an inexpensive computer that was originally made for kids. It was intended to give kids a device that would help them learn how to program computers. (Neat story there from the U.K. creators.)

Noel Portugal (@noelportugal), the developer who led the January training and hackday, said the credit-card-sized computer can do anything that a Linux computer can do. It’s easy to hook up and, because it costs about $35, easy to replace. So it’s a perfect starting point for kids, and it has an Oracle connection: Oracle’s Java evangelists worked with the Raspberry Pi creators directly to make sure Java runs natively on the device.

Noel’s one-day event included about 15 developers who also work for the Oracle Applications User Experience team. Many were from Oracle’s Mexico Development Center; others came from the Denver area or the Northwest. AppsLab talking head Jake Kuramoto said the idea was to provide a shortcut to the technology and tap into Noel’s experience with it, then get everyone up and running on it. The day was a way to investigate something new in a collaborative session.

Noel Portugal
Noel Portugal, center, hands out mini computers during the Raspberry Pi hackathon.

This hackathon took place at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, inside the Oracle usability labs. By the end of the day, I was hearing random, sometimes crazy noises as network hook-ups took hold and programming began.

Our developers were using the Raspberry Pi with their laptops and smart phones to create sounds, issue commands, and send signals through various devices. Noel said the maker community uses Raspberry Pi to control robotics, control a server, switch lights and off, and connect sensors, among other things.

Here’s a look at our developers at work.

Fernando Jimenez shows off his button thing that was hooked up to Raspberry Pi and now plays Pandora.

Sarahi Mireles
Sarahi Mireles (@sarahimireles), center, makes something happen on Twitter with Raspberry Pi, and all the guys cheer.

Luis Galeana
I don’t know what developer Luis Galeana is doing, but you can tell it’s a big deal. Notice that he had to fuel up with a Snickers midway through.

OK, so some of this stuff was over my head. But it was fun to watch really focused, talented people do something they thought was fun. The creative bursts that come through while investigating and exploring are motivational. Technology, in any form, is fascinating. When applied to everyday objects in ways that evolve the user experience – it’s like watching science fiction unfold. But on the Oracle Applications User Experience team, it’s real.

The Applications UX team’s mission is to design and build “cool stuff,” as Jake puts it. Team members look at all kinds of technologies, because we know through research that this is what our users are also doing.

Stay tuned to VoX to learn more about the new, interesting, and creative ways we are evolving the user experience of enterprise software with similar methods of exploration. Be the first to see what’s coming!

Wednesday Feb 12, 2014

OUAB Member Harvard University Uses UX Direct for New PeopleSoft Campus Solutions

By Anna Wichansky*, Oracle Applications User Experience

Madhuri Kolhatkar, Michele Snyder, and Chaya Bijani of the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team made a weeklong site visit to Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in December, to help the university’s IT team kick-start the user-centered design process for a new implementation of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.

Madhuri created the Applications UX Direct program and chairs a Working Group by that name for the Oracle Usability Advisory Board. UX Direct enables software professionals to use the Oracle UX design process, to reduce implementation complexity and increase user adoption. The team met with a dozen Harvard professors, deans, and business analysts to understand faculty job requirements, context of use, stakeholders, working environments, and potential information flow between the 12 schools and hundreds of departments that comprise this world-famous university founded in 1636. The requirements will help inform the Harvard IT architects’ implementation of PeopleSoft student information systems software, which already reflects student requirements. Harvard joined the OUAB in 2013, and is a regular participant in board programs and training events.

Dr. Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University and co-author of popular textbook Elements of the Theory of Computation, displays his office work environment in December 2013.

*Anna is the chair of the Oracle Usability Advisory Board (OUAB) and alumnus of Harvard, 1973.

Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Apps UX attends Oracle’s new conference in Las Vegas, Oracle HCM World 2014

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle has announced its first industry conference, Oracle HCM World, to be held on February 4-6, 2014, at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oracle HCM World is designed as a forum for thought leadership, networking, and enhanced understanding of the changing role of human resources (HR) in today’s business world. Leaders of the HR community will discuss the latest happenings and the future of human resources. 

More than 1,500 customers, partners, press and analysts, as well as Oracle sales and product experts, are expected to attend Oracle HCM World. The conference will feature keynotes with Oracle President Mark Hurd and other executives, strategic content for HR professionals, the opportunity to network and see hands-on demonstrations, and ways to get involved with the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team through customer feedback sessions and a walk-in lab.

If you are an Oracle customer and scheduled to attend this conference, we invite you to get involved. This is also an opportunity for Oracle sales consultants and partners to see firsthand how Oracle dedicates a significant investment in user experience research and development efforts to maintain and improve Oracle’s products.

User Feedback Sessions

The Apps UX team will host an onsite usability lab, where HR professionals can see early designs of future HCM products, test-drive the product before it goes to market, and ultimately influence the direction of Oracle HCM product development.

We are looking for employees and managers to provide feedback on HCM applications that use social tools and voice. The one-on-one feedback sessions are very popular, and seats are limited. Advance registration is required. RSVP now.

Oracle mobile usability labs
Oracle customers get a preview of Oracle HCM Cloud Service applications at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco, USA.

Meet the UX Experts Walk-In Lab

Whether you have 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or half an hour, stop by the UX Walk-In Lab, where you can see a one-on-one demo and learn more about how user testing is conducted with a UX expert. Additionally, you can learn how you and your company can participate in future design and user research activities.  Advanced registration is not required.

Meet the Experts Station
Members of Apps UX team conduct an interactive eye-tracking demo on Oracle HCM Cloud Service application at UKOUG Apps13 conference in London, UK.

When & Where:
The onsite usability lab will be open Wednesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 6, 2014. Sessions will be conducted throughout the day at The Venetian Las Vegas Hotel, Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center, Conference room  Delfino 4001 A - 4th level.

If you have questions regarding this event, please contact gozel.aamoth@oracle.com.  For further information on our team’s involvement in this conference, please refer to the events page on Usable Apps.

Monday Dec 16, 2013

Six Things You Can Do Today to Jump-Start Your User Experience for Enterprise Applications

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle
A good user experience does not have to be a shot in the dark.

Ahmed Aboulnaga’s recent article in UKOUG Scene, “Usability – Ignored by Developers and Undervalued by Managers” made some great points about the benefits of usability research.  

As I was reading it, I wondered: Would a mid-market or small-market company read this and think, “Well, I just don’t have the budget or time, so I’ll just have to do without.”

Good usability practices are completely possible even on the smallest budget, and with no UX staff.  Here are a few ways that even small IT shops can inject some user experience goodness into their process. 
  1. Identify. Who is your user? We’ve published a cheat sheet on how to do this, courtesy of UX Direct, which is a web site that outlines the user experience process and guidelines Oracle uses.
  2. Work smarter. Jump-start your design with user experience design patterns.  We’ve already invested in the research and testing, so you don’t have to.
  3. Sketch. Wireframe before you code. 
  4. Visuals. A few key things on the visuals: Ultan O’Broin (@ultan) is working with ODTUG to get the word out about visual design for enterprise applications.
  5. Get feedback. Persuade a colleague to show your wireframes to real end users. If you do it yourself, it’s too easy to slant the results in your favor.
  6. Iterate. Re-design and re-test, as resources permit. It helps enormously to separate the business logic of your application from the user interface logic, as in this example (page 41) from Lonneke Dikmans of Vennster (@lonnekedikmans).
At this point, you might be thinking that I am making unrealistic claims, so I’ll point you to one of my favorite success stories. When Greg Duncan was with the City of Las Vegas,  he had the one most important resources -- an executive mandate from his CIO at the time, Joseph Marcella.

If that doesn’t convince you that you can incorporate user experience methodologies into your own process, let me share Floyd Teter’s (@fteter) story about a project with EiS Technologies.  He attended a UX and ADF training workshop and picked up some UX methodologies, like basic usability testing, and delivered a world-class user experience in a matter of weeks using ADF essentials for a reporting tool.  His budget consisted of Otter Pops and a Saturday afternoon of testing with end users.

In a story carried by O Tech Magazine (page 25), Marcel Maas (@mhjmaas) of AMIS actually had the benefit of a user experience designer, Sander Haaksma (@sanderha) of UX Company.  However, they still managed to keep costs down by using an agile methodology.

Would you benefit from UX expertise on a project, either as full-time staff or contracted resources?  Of course you would, because you don’t have to spend time developing a whole new area of personal expertise.   

Is that feasible for you? If not, try just one of the techniques above.

Monday Dec 09, 2013

Partner Gives a Thumbs-Up to Insight on Oracle User Experience

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Anne Meyer
Anne Meyer of MIPRO Consulting LLC, center, listens along with Kelly Bernie, Senior Manager, Oracle Applications Partner Enablement, left, to a demo from Ivy Leung, Applications User Experience, as she talks about Simplified UI for Oracle HCM Cloud at the OAUX Expo during OpenWorld in San Francisco in September 2013.

In the past 6 months, the Oracle Applications User Experience team has been experimenting with a new way to show the innovative user experiences we are building. This idea of a demo showcase evolved into the OAUX Expo at OpenWorld 2013, in September in San Francisco. Guests, who were required to sign non-disclosure agreements with Oracle and refrain from blogging, Tweeting, or other social media expressions about what they saw, were invited to attend an exclusive reception where they could see demos of just-released and future user experiences. These demos included everything from Simplified UI for the Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud to cutting-edge technology like voice and Google Glass that members of our team are exploring as we consider how to incorporate such technology into future user experiences.

Anne Meyer, representing Oracle partner MIPRO Consulting, was one of about 150 attendees. Here’s what she had to say about the expo and its value:

Q: What were you expecting to see at the OAUX Expo at Oracle OpenWorld 2013?

“I wasn’t sure what the format or content would be other than expecting a view of Fusion Release 7.” (Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud Services Release 7)

Q: How did the demos you saw meet your expectations?

Anne: “The demos surpassed my expectations. I have worked with OAUX in the past for one-on-one feedback sessions and have always enjoyed participating in those. In this forum, it was nice to walk up to and see and hear about a variety of innovative prototypes as well as upcoming new features soon to be available in the Oracle product lines.

The innovation of the prototypes was truly exciting. I’m anxious for these products to make it to the marketplace.  Some may be game-changing for Oracle, and how people view Oracle products. They demonstrated a great sense of what the new workforce generation is expecting in the software solutions they use at work. I was particularly excited about the voice recognition prototype. There are endless applications for that capability across the Oracle product lines.”

Q: Would you attend future OAUX Expo events, or bring colleagues to such an event?

Anne: “Absolutely. I always try and expand my company’s participation in OAUX events.”  

Q: How was the OAUX Expo valuable to you and your company?

Anne: "The OAUX Expo was important on many levels.  First, we are implementing Fusion Release 5, so the view into Release 7 was important in our planning for when we upgrade next year.  Second, as I noted in a previous comment, to see the innovation is very exciting to us as we are an organization focused on PeopleSoft and Fusion. It supports our enthusiasm for the products and their future, and how we can infuse that enthusiasm to our clients and prospects.”

Q: Has the OAUX Expo changed your perception of the Oracle user experience?

“I don’t know if it changes my perception per se, because I enjoy participating in the one-on-one feedback sessions. This is just another approach, and a good one, to see more at one time.”

Anne said in a separate email that the expo demonstrated how Oracle is moving forward with technology innovation. “I’ve been a participant in individual user experience sessions, but to put them all together in one room was eye-opening to how there is an overall vision, to where the Oracle products are moving. So having multiple stations to view the innovations gives one a full view, and an exciting one, to the future.” 

She added that the one thing that stood out was the voice recognition technology. “All of my customers and prospects are excited about the mobile technology, but little do they know that the voice recognition technology is potentially on its way. That is very, very exciting. We have customers who have people using PeopleSoft on things like oil rigs. How much more convenient could it be to a foreman to be able to audible rather than type things into PeopleSoft than that?

“The example used was CRM, but I think the real bottom-line usage of voice recognition is, for example, when a nurse on a hospital floor can audible inventory items and not take valuable time to key that in. That’s powerful. That’s ROI as hospitals look to reduce cost to patient days.  That was the most impressive application I saw there.”

Thank you, Anne, for your time and feedback! For more information on how to attend a similar expo event, contact Misha.Vaughan @ Oracle.com.

Monday Dec 02, 2013

Learn more about Simplified UI for Oracle HCM Cloud Applications, new in Release 7

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Aylin Uysal
Photo by Anne-Marie McReynolds, Oracle Applications User Experience
Aylin Uysal, Oracle, shows the new Simplified UI for HCM users during a special show-and-tell event, before it was generally available in September 2013.

Simplified UI represents the direction that the Oracle user experience is heading for all of its cloud applications.

In September 2013, Release 7 for Oracle Cloud Applications became generally available for Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud. This is a significant release for the Oracle Applications User Experience team, and it represents Oracle’s strategy for cloud applications user experiences along the lines of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility.

In Release 7, there’s a particular focus on HCM users, especially self-service users and managers, said Jeremy Ashley, Vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience group. These users may be knowledge or information workers. They may also be users who don’t use enterprise applications all day – they may be asked to participate in using an HCM application to fill out information so that they can get paid, but it’s not what they do on a daily basis, Ashley said. They could be physical engineers, or production line workers who don’t even use laptops nor have e-mail, but they are all still expected to participate in the HCM system that their company provides.

Providing a consistent user experience for all of these users that doesn’t require weeks of training to navigate a hefty menu was the goal for the Simplified UI for HCM user experience. “If they have to go through four layers to get to the system, they have to be trained,” Ashley said. “So, we have looked to simplify standard employee tasks. Regardless of whether you’re a line worker or an executive, these standard tasks should be easy to do.”

The Simplified UI for HCM focuses on many self-service tasks that every employee needs to do – changing a phone number, checking a pay stub, looking up a co-worker’s information, or managing personal work goals on the company system.

HCM Cloud UI
Team performance in the new Oracle HCM Cloud.

But the full strength of Oracle’s Cloud Applications is always a click or two away, because Oracle recognizes that someone like the vice president of HR in the company also needs professional-strength applications. Simplified UI helps provide both balance and a gateway, because to think that all levels of HR employees can go through one UI is ridiculous, Ashley said. The UI would be either too simple or too difficult.

The Simplified UI for HCM appeals to these many levels of HR participation. All users should be able to approach it and understand it the first time they see it, no matter their comfort level with the deeper Fusion Applications that sit behind the Simplified UI.

The Oracle user experience also includes opportunities to tailor settings for all employees or implement a company brand, in just a few clicks, which provides easy customization to the Simplified UI for HCM Cloud.

Where can you find out more?

To find out more about the simplified UI and Oracle’s ongoing investment in applications user experience innovations, come to one of our sessions at a user group conference near you.

To get a quick view of what the new user expeirence is about, watch these videos on the HCM Cloud Simplified UI for employees and managers.

Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Will You Be Wearing Your Enterprise Application Data?

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience group has begun to explore the role of wearable computing and enterprise use cases, which is part and parcel of our charter to watch for future trends that will matter to our customers’ workforce.  See, for example, some of the recent posts by The AppsLab team and Ultan (@ultan) on wearables.

Heads-Up Displays: Google Glass

Anthony Lai (@anthonyslai), a User Experience Architect at Oracle, has been roaming the halls of Oracle with what are now easily identifiable as Google Glass.  In this post, he talks about his experience using Google Glass and what he has learned about wearing them in an enterprise setting.

Anthony Lai
Anthony Lai
Photo by Misha Vaughan

Q:  Let's start with the basics. What is Google Glass, and what is the vision behind the technology?

A: Glass is a device that is supposed to be non-intrusive, to give you information when you need it.  It is a way for you to quickly know about stuff right away, without even opening up a tablet or device.  It provides notifications to you for things you are interested in.  It provides you with navigation.  You can ask questions in a free-form format.  You can take pictures and do video recording for memories.  Quick snapshots. The photos are nice; they are wide-angle.  

Q: Do people around you find it intrusive at all?  Do they object to the video-recording capacity?

A: If you take a picture, you hear the click sound and there is a flash.  It’s not like you don't know it's happening. That brings in a paradigm about glass.  They position it just above the eye. You need the eye contact to create trust.

Q:  What have you found to be useful for yourself, in terms of work?

The first thing is that I subscribe to things I'm interested in on Twitter.  In Twitter, you can have a lot of people you are following.  You can select which people you want to receive on your Glass.  I put some technology things on there, and Glass would notify me.  I feel like it's really annoying now to go to my phone or my desktop. With Glass, it's just instant. That's key for me.

The other side is in-car navigation.  I was using my phone, but with Glass, I can see straight ahead and get the directions in my ear.  If it is time for you to turn and take actions, it will tell you.  So it's not really distracting you from driving.

Q:  As a developer working for Oracle, what enterprise use cases occur to you?

Take a CRM use case. What does a sales rep need to do when they go into a sales meeting?  What information do they need to know wherever they are?  One example is if there is a sales meeting coming up at 3 p.m., Google Glass can remind you, and then give you quick information, like attendees.  If you want to call an attendee right away, you can.  If you need to make a quick note, if you need to find where the meeting is, how bad traffic is to get there.  

During a meeting, we thought, what if you want to take a picture of the attendees so you don't forget who was at a meeting?  

At the end of the meeting, you may want to debrief.  You go to a coffee shop around the corner, where you can sit and make notes of the meeting with co-workers. You can even run a Google Hangout, or video-conference, with people who are there and not there.

Q: Final thoughts?

It's amazing technology.  I think it is an appropriate technology to move into the future.  I think there are a lot of people right now that are skeptical.  Right now, it is expensive.  Ultimately, the price will go down.  

Wearables: An Executive Perspective

Jeremy Ashley
Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, with his Pebble Watch.

"It's not just about Google Glass,” says Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President of Oracle Applications User Experience. “What we are doing is taking the application of computing power here, and moving away from it being a single device. We are moving to multiple devices that sense the world around you. It's really a matter of what these other devices can provide for you.”

Ashley said users are demanding smaller snippets of more detailed information, like Google Now and Windows tiles. “Instead of providing this large dashboard with this information all over it, you will see little tiles with snippets of information that you can drill on. It's no longer about providing lots of detailed information. It's providing lots of detailed information with context.”

The platforms for information delivery include glasses, watches, and other types of devices. The glasses derive their context from where you are, what you are looking at, and what you are supposed to be doing at that time. They use sight, sound, GPS, motion, direction, gesture and more.

Glasses are piggybacking on a set of interactions that you are already doing, and adding extra information on top of that, as opposed to a computer that you have to walk up to and begin providing context to. Glass augments a lot of your movements to gain input and complete a particular task.

Google Glass is an obvious use case for supply chain, Ashley said, when the user needs a third hand to reference material or communicate with someone about a part or a checklist. It can be recording what you are doing, or provide a channel for another technician to look over your shoulder as you check your work.

More use cases

Wearing Google Glass in meetings might also make sense. The user could be acting as a proxy who is sitting in the room for someone else and providing a feel of the room. 

In the financials spectrum, a user might want to keep information secret as opposed to making information public. Google Glass could be used by a CFO, who receives real-time data as opposed to opening up a laptop in a public place.

“When they say ‘augmentation,’ people think of Borg-like things on your head,” Ashley said. “Instead it’s about taking something that you already have, and just increasing the sensitivity to make it more meaningful or useful.”

As our data moves to the cloud, these kinds of experiences become more possible.

Monday Nov 11, 2013

Moving the Oracle User Experience Forward with the New Release 7 Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

In September 2013, Release 7 for Oracle Cloud Applications became generally available for Oracle Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud. This significant release allowed the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team to finally talk freely about Simplified UI, a user experience project in the works since Oracle OpenWorld 2012.

Simplified UI represents the direction that the Oracle user experience – for all of its enterprise applications – is heading.

Oracle’s Apps UX team began by building a Simplified UI for sales representatives. You can find that today in Release 7, and it was demoed extensively during OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco.

See the the new Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud, a user interface built for sales reps.

Analyst Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research, saw Simplified UI at Oracle Openworld 2013 and talked about it with CRM Buyer in “Oracle Revs Its Cloud Engines for a Better Customer Experience.

CRM Buyer
Wettemann said there are distinct themes to the latest release:
"One is usability. Oracle Sales Cloud, for example, is designed to have zero training for onboarding sales reps, which it does," she explained. "It is quite impressive, actually -- the intuitive nature of the application and the design work they have done with this goal in mind."

The software uses as few buttons and fields as possible, she pointed out. "The sales rep doesn't have to ask, 'what is the next step?' because she can see what it is."

In fact, there are three themes driving the usability that Wettemann noted. They are simplicity, mobility, and extensibility, and we write more about them on the Usable Apps web site. These three themes embody the strategy for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences.  

Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud

In developing a Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle’s UX team concentrated on the tasks that sales reps need to do most frequently, and are most important. “Knowing that the majority of their work lives are spent on the road and on the go, they need to be able to quickly get in and qualify and convert their leads, monitor and progress their opportunities, update their customer and contact information, and manage their schedule,” Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Applications UX team, said.

Ashley said the Apps UX team has a good reason for creating a Simplified UI that focuses on self-service. “Sales people spend the day selling stuff,” he said. “The only reason they use software is because the company wants to track what they’re doing.” Traditional systems of tracking that information include filling in a spreadsheet of leads or sales. Oracle wants to automate this process for the salesperson, and enable that person to keep everyone who needs to know up-to-date easily and quickly. Simplified UI addresses that problem by providing light-touch input.  

“It has to be useful to the salesperson,” Ashley said about the Sales Cloud user experience. Simplified UI can tell sales reps about key opportunities, or provide information about a contact in just a click or two.

Customer screen shot
Customer information is accessible quickly and easily with Simplified UI for the Oracle Sales Cloud.

Simplified UI for Sales Cloud can also be extended easily, Ashley said. Users usually just need to add various business fields or create and modify analytical reports. The way that Simplified UI is constructed allows extensibility to happen by hiding or showing a few necessary fields.

The Settings user interface, starting in release 7, allows for the simple configuration of the most important visual elements.

“With Sales cloud, we identified a need to make the application useful and very simple,” Ashley said. Simplified UI meets that need.

Where can you find out more?
To find out more about the simplified UI and Oracle’s ongoing investment in applications user experience innovations, come to one of our sessions at a user group conference near you. Stay tuned to the Voice of User Experience (VoX) blog – the next post will be about Simplified UI and HCM Cloud.

Monday Oct 28, 2013

Sangam 13: Hyderabad, India

by Teena Singh, Oracle Applications User Experience

Sangam 13

The AIOUG (All India Oracle User Group) will be hosting Sangam 13 November 8th and 9th in Hyderabad, India. The first Sangam conference was in 2009 and the AppsUX team has been involved with the conference and user group membership since 2011. We are excited to be returning to the conference and meeting Oracle end users there.

For the first time at Sangam the AppsUX team will host an Onsite Usability Lab at the conference. If you or one of your team members is attending the conference and interested in attending a pre-scheduled one on one usability session, contact gozel.aamoth@oracle.com. In addition to pre-scheduled sessions in the Onsite Usability Lab, our team will also be hosting Walk In studies.  Whether you have 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or half an hour, you can experience a one on one demo learn more about how user testing is conducted with a UX expert. Additionally, you can learn how you and your company can participate in future design and user research activities.

The AppsUX team will also be available at the Oracle booth in the Demo area if you want to ask questions.

Finally, you can learn how simplicity, consistency, and emerging trends are driving the applications user experience strategy at Oracle when you attend Thomas Wolfmaier's (Director of SCM User Experience, Oracle) presentation on:

Applications User Experiences In the Cloud: Trends and Strategy,  November 8th, 2013.

For further information on our team’s involvement in the conference, please refer to the events page on Usable Apps here.


Check here for news and upcoming events from Oracle's Applications User Experience team on the Oracle Applications Cloud and more.

People in Spheres
Misha Vaughan, Editor & Senior Director, Applications User Experience
@mishavaughan on Twitter

Learn more about us at
Usable Apps


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