Wednesday Jun 06, 2012

Partner outreach on the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience begins

by Misha Vaughan, Architect, Applications User Experience

I have been asked the question repeatedly since about December of last year: “What is the Applications User Experience group doing about partner outreach?”  My answer, at the time, was: “We are thinking about it.”  

My colleagues and I were really thinking about the content or tools that the Applications UX group should be developing. What would be valuable to our partners? What will actually help grow their applications business, and fits within the applications user experience charter?

In the video above, you’ll hear Jeremy Ashley, vice president of the Applications User Experience team, talk about two fundamental initiatives that our group is working on now that speaks straight to partners.  

Special thanks to Joel Borellis, Kelley Greenly, and Steve Hoodmaker for helping to make this video happen so flawlessly. Steve was responsible for pulling together a day of Oracle Fusion Applications-oriented content, including David Bowin, Director, Fusion Applications Strategy, on some of the basic benefits of Oracle Fusion Applications.  

Joel Borellis and David Bowin
Joel Borellis, Group Vice President, Partner Enablement, and David Bowin in the Oracle Studios.

Nigel King, Vice President Applications Functional Architecture, was also on the list, talking about co-existence opportunities with Oracle Fusion Applications.

Misha Vaughan and Nigel King
Me and Nigel King, just before his interview with Joel.

Fusion Applications User Experience 101: Basic education 


Oracle has invested an enormous amount of intellectual and developmental effort in the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience. Find out more about that at the Oracle Partner Network Fusion Learning Center (Oracle ID required).

What you’ll learn will help you uncover how, exactly, Oracle made Fusion General Ledger “sexy,” and that’s a direct quote from Oracle Ace Director Debra Lilley, of Fujitsu.

In addition, select Applications User Experience staff members, as well as our own Fusion User Experience Advocates,  can provide a briefing to our partners on Oracle’s investment in the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience.

Looking forward: Taking the best of the Fusion Applications UX to your customers

Beyond a basic orientation to one of the key differentiators for Oracle Fusion Applications, we are also working on partner-oriented training.

A question we are often getting right now is: “How do I help customers build applications that look like Fusion?” We also hear: “How do I help customers build applications that take advantage of the next-generation design work done in Fusion?”

Our answer to this is training and a tool – our user experience design patterns – these are a set of user experience best-practices. Design patterns are re-usable, usability-tested, user experience components that make creating Fusion Applications-like experiences straightforward.  

It means partners can leverage Oracle’s investment, but also gain an advantage by not wasting time solving a problem we’ve already solved. Their developers can focus on helping customers tackle the harder development challenges.

Ultan O’Broin, an Apps UX team member,  and I are working with Kevin Li and Chris Venezia of the Oracle Platform Technology Services team, as well as Grant Ronald in Oracle ADF, to bring you some of the best “how-to” UX training, customized for your local area. Our first workshop will be in EMEA. Stay tuned for an assessment and feedback from the event.

Wednesday May 23, 2012

VIDEO: Fusion Mobile Expenses

By Misha Vaughan, Architect, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle Applications Fusion Mobile Expenses

Want to see something that clearly demonstrates that Oracle gets mobile?

Check out this video crafted by the Oracle Applications User Experience team and the Oracle Financials Product Strategy team. The video is for Oracle Fusion Applications Mobile Expenses, and it integrates with Fusion Expenses.



EVERYone hates entering expenses. This application, and the video, show how Oracle takes that pain away.

This application really showcases how mobile devices, and their new onboard technologies like voice input and cameras, are making completely new user experiences possible for enterprise users.

I had a chance to ask Diana Gray, Senior Manager for Financials Product Strategy what users were saying.  According to Gray, "Based on the feedback we've received, the users are delighted about the voice integration that creates expense lines based on your recording details as well as scanning receipts to create expense lines. Being able to capture expenses 'on the go' and submit them for online report creation makes the business traveler's life so much simpler. No more lost receipts. No need to remember how much you paid out of pocket for taxis and tips."

For more information, go to Oracle.com under Financial Management. Or you can get more details in this data sheet.

Want to find out more about Diana and her vision for mobile expenses?  Check out her Faces of Fusion Video

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Factoring UX into Enterprise Resource Planning Upgrades: Joe McKendrick, Unisphere Research, talks about productivity and user adoption

By Misha Vaughan, Architect, Applications User Experience

Joe McKendrick
Joe McKendrick, Analyst & Contributing Editor, Unisphere Research

You know how sometimes you find an absolute gem of a link in the middle of a blog? I found a link to a study just completed on the Oracle Applications User Group membership by Unisphere Research recently. It was tucked away in a blog post by Debra Lilley, who is an ACE Director with Oracle.  Full disclosure: The study was sponsored by Oracle.

I contacted the author of the study, Joe McKendrick, analyst and contributing editor at Unisphere, because the survey provoked some questions for me. I found the study to be pretty illuminating in terms of trends such as productivity and user adoption – that orbit near user experience – but the survey didn’t address enterprise user experience (UX) directly. I wanted to push a little farther, and see if Joe had some specific insights to share based on his work.

MV: What was the motivation behind the survey?

JM:  The purpose of the survey was to understand how much work needed to be done in terms of upgrading to the latest versions of Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft or JD Edwards, and what kinds of issues companies were encountering in making these upgrades. 



MV: How did your company get involved in this study?

JM: Unisphere Research has strong partnerships with Oracle Applications User Group and Quest, the PeopleSoft user group. Members of these groups are providing both the leadership as well as hands-on involvement in ERP upgrade efforts seen in enterprises. 



MV: In the survey, I noticed anticipated benefits of enterprise upgrades, including some areas that relate to user experience such as access to new functionality, improved user productivity, and reduction in IT costs. How do you see usability, user interface, and user experience emerging as an anticipated benefit of an Oracle applications upgrade?

JM:  One of the leading criticisms of ERP systems since they gained popularity over the past two decades is complexity, difficulty to implement, and user resistance. This criticism is not lost on the major ERP vendors, especially Oracle. Each upgrade is built upon user feedback to the previous version. The emphasis now is on providing a relatively lightweight interface, not only for PC terminals, but mobile devices such as smartphones, that not only are simple to navigate, but provide 24/7 access. 



MV: In another part of the survey, I read that top enterprise risks also had some areas that related to user experience, such as maintaining customizations, end user adoption, and rise in training costs. What do you think about usability, user interface, and user experience with regard to ERP rollout risks?

JM: User adoption has always been one of the major sticking points in new ERP system rollouts. This is considered a risk area in the upgrade process, simply because user unfamiliarity with a new interface or new functions may impact the productivity of the organization. 



MV: I also read that user acceptance was among the top issues encountered during enterprise upgrades. What is your perspective on this?

JM:  As alluded to above, users often grow comfortable with existing environments, and change always poses a threat. Businesses need to provide more training and facilitate greater user input into the ERP upgrade process, to enable greater buy-in and less trauma when the rollout actually occurs. 



MV:  In the survey, you discuss compelling reasons for enterprise suite upgrades related to user experience: adopt next-generation technology, increase user productivity, minimize/remove customizations, modernization, and prepare for Oracle Fusion Applications. Can you comment on any of these factors specifically?

JM:  Simplicity and ease of use are the holy grail for ERP applications. Again, these environments have long been regarded as complex, difficult to navigate, and difficult to maintain.  New generations of systems seek to align with the online experiences seen with social networking and mobile applications -- more intuitive, more graphical, and more targeted.

MV:  If you would like to see the survey conducted by Unisphere, you can find it here.

Friday May 04, 2012

COLLABORATE 12 Wrap-Up: Applications User Experience in Las Vegas

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience



Getting the word out about Oracle’s investment in user experience

We had our best year yet at COLLABORATE 12, especially in terms of getting the word out about Oracle’s investment in user experience across the product lines. If you are a reader of this blog, you know that this message in particular is a big item for me.

Our Fusion Applications User Experience session with Jeremy Ashley, Katie Candland, and ACE Director Bex Huff of Bezzotech (a Fusion User Experience Advocate), helped kick off COLLABORATE 12 with great attendance and great questions, as well as a sneak-peek at where we are going with user experience in applications.

This was the first time we brought the Oracle User Experience demopod to COLLABORATE, and it, too, was a smashing success.   We had non-stop traffic, with a guest appearance by Mark Sunday, Oracle CIO ("Like" the Oracle Applications Facebook page to see the photo op).  The pod provides a great way for customers to get a quick feel for what user experience is all about with our eye-tracking demo.

We also had a great opportunity to contribute to the Faces of Fusion stories appearing on Oracle.com.  It was a chance for our Fusion UX Advocates, our Sales Ambassadors, and our usability engineers to talk about their role in helping to bring Fusion Applications to full bloom.


That’s me, Misha Vaughan, delivering a few words for the Faces of Fusion stories.

We also got some nice coverage from Aaron Lazenby of Profit Magazine.  Profit has just gone through a major re-design, and the Oracle usability labs will be covered in the August issue. 

Lessons learned from our speakers

I always like to check in with our team after an event and gauge customer reactions as well as gather a few key lessons learned. Here are some thoughts from Killian Evers, Senior Director, and Laurie Pattison, Senior Director, both of the Oracle Applications User Experience team.

Killian Evers:  “I was completely surprised and overwhelmed with the response Sten Vesterli [Scott/Tiger] and I received to our presentation. First of all, we received a generous round of applause. Second, and more importantly, customers responded that they had heard about extensibility preserving changes, but our session was the first time they had heard the details and seen the proof.”

Laurie Pattison: “Enthusiasm was high.  We were at capacity for the session Floyd Teter [Innowave] and I ran: 100.  My biggest takeaway is that people are eager for information from those that have already installed and implemented and are running Fusion for their businesses.  My biggest takeaways from Floyd were to stop doing requirements "must-haves" and just bring up a Fusion instance and let users at it.  It was a huge plug for how Fusion apps were designed to support users' business processes, as well as how intuitive they are.”

See you next year at COLLABORATE!

If we didn’t get a chance to say hello, we’ll look for you next year at COLLABORATE.


Me and Matt Munyan, Principal Solution Consultant, demonstrating real commitment to COLLABORATE and OAUG.

Thursday Apr 19, 2012

Members of PeopleSoft advisory boards tour usability labs

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Jatin Thaker, Director of the Oracle Usabiliy Labs.
Jatin Thaker, director of the Oracle Usability Labs, demonstrates an application on a SMART board.

Nearly 100 people came through the labs for tours during the first week of April. While there are lab tours every week, this was an exceptional week for the Oracle usability labs. That kind of traffic is usually reserved for the week of OpenWorld.

Because most of these people were PeopleSoft users, usability lab tour guide Jatin Thaker and his team tailored the tours to showcase next-generation user experience designs that the PeopleSoft User Experience team was working on. These included a look at the next generation of self service user interfaces, SMART board user interfaces, and a CRM demo on the iPad.

Eager volunteers also helped demonstrate how the always-popular eye-tracking and facial gesture analysis tools work in a research environment. That often generates questions about how the tools help pinpoint issues and where in the user-centered design cycle they come into play.

If you're interested in taking a lab tour, visit Usable Apps to get more information. 

Tuesday Apr 10, 2012

Nucleus Research Note: Oracle's Focus on Usability in Fusion Applications

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

I recently noticed that Nucleus Research Inc. released a research note summarizing their findings on Oracle Fusion Applications.

It's always nice when an outside firm is savvy enough to acknowledge the value of a user experience strategy. When it is applied to what Oracle has done with Fusion Applications,  it's even more satisfying. 

In the note, Nucleus states:

"Based on the demos and testimonials from early adopters Nucleus has reviewed, Oracle has clearly focused on usability with in-application analytics and other smart application features.

 "In Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracle has built not just transactional corporate applications where users enter and extract data, but smarter applications that driver user productivity."

Read it for yourself here.

Read more about the story behind Oracle's Fusion Applications User Experience here.

Tuesday Mar 27, 2012

Cutting-Edge Demos Coming to Collaborate12

     

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Are you building your Collaborate 2012 agenda? Leave room for a stop at the demogrounds while you’re in Las Vegas from April 22-26.

In addition to several presentations on the Oracle user experience, the Applications User Experience (UX) team will be on the demo grounds with a new eye-tracking tool, as well as demos that showcase new user experience designs. Check out our cutting-edge technology, which we use to obtain feedback that helps improve the user experience of Oracle applications, and see what our next-generation designs are in the HCM and FIN user experiences. 

Photo by Martin Taylor – Oracle Applications User Experience

An Apps UX team member demonstrates what happens during an eye-tracking test. The dots on the screen show were test participants were looking and how long they spent at each point in the page.

 

The UX team will also be staffing an on-site lab at Collaborate. At on-site labs, conference participants can sign up to join customer feedback sessions on several different kinds of work flow designs, from HCM to FIN to CRM to mobile. The feedback UX team members collect helps inform and fine-tune the user experiences being designed for next-generation applications. At Collaborate12, for example, user experience designs around Help and organizational charts will be tested for usability.

The Apps UX team brings on-site labs to many major user group conferences, including OpenWorld 2012 in October in San Francisco. Stay tuned to find out when our recruiters are ready to sign up participants, or leave a comment below to find out whether an on-site lab will be at your next conference.

For information on the following presentations, which will be delivered by Apps UX team members, check the Usable Apps Events page.

The Fusion Applications User Experience: Transforming Work into Insight

Customizations Under the Covers – Making Fusion Applications Your Own

OAUG Fusion Middleware SIG (FMWSIG)

18 Months with Fusion Applications – Stories From The Trenhes

PeopleTools Tips and Techniques

Thursday Mar 22, 2012

Delving into design patterns, and what that means for the Oracle user experience

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

George Hackman

George Hackman, Senior Director, Applications User Experiences

The Oracle Applications User Experience team has some exciting things happening around Fusion Applications design patterns. Because we’re hoping to have some new offerings soon (stay tuned with VoX to see what’s in the pipeline around Fusion Applications design patterns), now is a good time to talk more about what design patterns can do for the individual user as well as the entire company.

George Hackman, Senior Director of Operations User Experience, says the first thing to note is that user experience is not just about the user interface. It’s about understanding how people do things, observing them, and then finding the patterns that emerge.

The Applications UX team develops those patterns and then builds them into Oracle applications. What emerges, Hackman says, is a consistent, efficient user experience that promotes a productive workplace.

Creating design patterns

What is a design pattern in the context of enterprise software?

“Every day, people use technology to get things done,” Hackman says. “They navigate a virtual world that reaches from enterprise to consumer apps, and from desktop to mobile. This virtual world is constantly under construction. New areas are being developed and old areas are being redone. As this world is being built and remodeled, efficient pathways and practices emerge.

“Oracle's user experience team watches users navigate this world. We measure their productivity and ask them about their satisfaction. We take the most efficient, most productive pathways from the enterprise and consumer world and turn them into Oracle's user experience patterns.”

Hackman describes the process as combining all of the best practices from every part of a user’s world. Members of the user experience team observe, analyze, design, prototype, and measure each work task to find the best possible pattern for a particular work flow.

As the team builds the patterns, “we make sure they are fully buildable using Oracle technology,” Hackman said. “So customers know they can use these patterns. There’s no need to make something up from scratch, not knowing whether you can even build it.”

Hackman says that creating something on a computer is a good example of a user experience pattern. “People are creating things all the time,” he says. “On the consumer side, they are creating documents. On the enterprise side, they are creating expense reports. On a mobile phone, they are creating contacts. They are using different apps like iPhone or Facebook or Gmail or Oracle software, all doing this creation process.”

The Applications UX team starts their process by observing how people might create something. “We observe people creating things. We see the patterns, we analyze and document, then we apply them to our products. It might be different from phone to web browser, but we have these design patterns that create a consistent experience across platforms, and across products, too.

The result for customers

Oracle constantly improves its part of the virtual world, Hackman said. New products are created and existing products are upgraded. Because Oracle builds user experience design patterns, Oracle's virtual world becomes both more powerful and more familiar at the same time.

Because of design patterns, users can navigate with ease as they embrace the latest technology – because it behaves the way they expect it to. This means less training and faster adoption for individual users, and more productivity for the business as a whole.

Hackman said Oracle gives customers and partners access to design patterns so that they can build in the virtual world using the same best practices. Customers and partners can extend applications with a user experience that is comfortable and familiar to their users.

For businesses that are integrating different Oracle applications, design patterns are key. The user experience created in E-Business Suite should be similar to the user experience in Fusion Applications, Hackman said. If a user is transitioning from one application to the other, it shouldn’t be difficult for them to do their work. With design patterns, it isn’t.

“Oracle user experience patterns are the building blocks for the virtual world that ensure productivity, consistency and user satisfaction,” Hackman said. “They are built for the enterprise, but incorporate the best practices from across the virtual world. They empower productivity and facilitate social interaction. When you build with patterns, you get all the end-user benefits of less training / retraining from the finished product. You also get faster / cheaper development.”

What’s coming?

You can already access design patterns to help you build Dashboards with OBIEE here.

And we promised you at the beginning that we had something in the pipeline on Fusion Applications design patterns. Look for the announcement about when they are available here on VoX.

Thursday Mar 15, 2012

Fusion Applications Outreach Continues: Europe

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience team recently completed training in Europe for a select group of Oracle application solution consultants. The goal was to educate them about Oracle's investment in the Fusion User Experience.

This group of newly trained Applications User Experience Sales Ambassadors (SAMBA), continues a program of educational outreach about Oracle's investment in usability across the suites.


Katie Candland, Director, Applications User Experience, talks about the Fusion User Experience in Munich, Germany, recently.

If you would like to hear more about the Fusion User Experience, Oracle's deep investment in this space, and how it extends to our existing product lines including JD Edwards, Siebel, E-Business Suite, and more, feel free to contact us. We can point you to a resource local to your area, including specially trained speakers 

Tuesday Feb 28, 2012

Applications User Experience Road Trip | Alliance, Collaborate, DOAG, OBUG... and more!

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience


The Applications User Experience team is making our spring and summer conference rounds.

We have packaged up the topics about which we have heard feedback from you, our customers. We have built demos around user experience that we have heard you would like to see. And, as usual, our traveling usability labs will be out and about to collect your feedback on the latest designs of our applications.

In some cases, you can meet some of our now-world-famous Fusion User Experience Advocates.

We will have a slate of presentations, usability labs, and user experience demonstrations at:

Find out more about the innovative user experiences in Oracle Applications, from PeopleSoft to Fusion Applications to Fusion Middleware. You can even learn why extending your application in Fusion Applications is so different. Several demos will be shown as well.

Check the Usable Apps Events page for more information on who’s presenting, and what they’re talking about.


Friday Feb 10, 2012

E-Business Suite 12.1: Get the Most UX Out of Your Investment


Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

The development team behind E-Business Suite (EBS) has been hard at work with Madhuri Kolhatkar, our Director of Applications User Experiences to enhance the usability of the product suite.

The focus of their effort is a webinar to communicate some of the hidden gems of EBS usability. It’s easy for EBS customers to lose sight of the need for a continued commitment to usability and simply focus on implementation, so Madhuri and Sara Woodhull, Principal Product Manager for EBS, put together some key best practices that you can benefit from, including:

  • Top Three Ways to Improve EBS Usability
  • Why Upgrading Improves Usability
  • Personalize Oracle E-Business Suite for Maximum Usability

This is a live webcast: Usability Best Practices for Oracle E-Business Suite

Date:             Thursday, February 16, 2012
Time:             8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
Presenter:     Sara Woodhull, Principal Product Manager

Webcast Registration Link (Preregistration is optional but encouraged)

To hear the audio feed:
    Domestic Participant Dial-In Number:           877-697-8128
    International Participant Dial-In Number:      706-634-9568
    Dial-In Passcode:                                              99332

To see the presentation:
    The Direct Access Web Conference details are:
    Website URL:
https://ouweb.webex.com
    Meeting Number: 

For more information about some of the latest E-Business Suite enhancements, check out this story.

Friday Jan 27, 2012

Fusion User Experience Advocates : 1 Year Later

By Misha Vaughan & Kathy Miedema, Applications User Experience

I've mentioned a group that we call FXA before. Members of this group, the Fusion User Experience Advocates, are ACE Directors  who have been trained on the Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience by the Oracle Applications User Experience team.

floyd teter
Floyd Teter, Innowave & Oracle ACE Director

As part of their training, they’ve agreed to present at Oracle user groups around the world on a variety of topics that relate to the Fusion Applications user experience. They have unprecedented access to demos and presentations that only members of the Oracle Applications User Experience team have ever given, and they are trained on how to present that user experience to customers.

Debra Lilley
Debra Lilley, Fujitsu & Oracle ACE Director

Here are a few comments from our Fusion UX Advocates about the most recent training on the Fusion Applications user experience that they received, which happened this week.

Floyd Teter, Innowave Technology: “Most of the world is still waiting to see this for the first time.”

Debra Lilley, Fujitsu: “It helps to dissect a presentation” to really understand what you are going to talk about.

Karen Brownfield, Rolta: “It was wonderful.”

Most appreciated having a group learning event, so that they could bring their own expertise to the table during the dissection and delivery of presentations. They learned from our team as well as each other because the training event really promoted a collaborative learning atmosphere.

Misha Vaughan
Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Why would you want to learn more about the Fusion Applications user experience?

Oracle Fusion Applications is Oracle’s answer to the next generation of enterprise software. Not only has it set a new standard for the way you work, it’s already changing the face of enterprise applications.

User experience features in Fusion Applications are already present in PeopleSoft, E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, and more Oracle applications. We talk about that a lot, here and at Usable Apps, our Web site devoted to the usability improvements in the Oracle applications user experience.

What you may not know is that these user experience features, and the features in Fusion, came from the same research. Extensive customer observation, an exhaustive look at the best practices in all Oracle existing applications and our acquisitions, modern trends in the consumer world, and a careful assessment of users ever-changing needs that could be met with Oracle technology -- have contributed to the new user experience features that are available today.

And when you see them in Fusion Applications, you will get an idea of what is available in your current Oracle application, if you haven’t upgraded lately. You might even want to think about developing a co-existence strategy with your current applications.

Why should the FXA team matter to you?

YOU can tap into the knowledge and training of the FXA team. You have access to them through Oracle user groups. Hearing them speak, and learning more about the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience tools and features, is as simple as attending one of their presentations. 

If you’re interested in seeing more, contact shannon.whiteman @ oracle.com to see where our FXA presenters will be next.

Sunday Jan 22, 2012

When user experience meets developers – 24 posts and counting

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

ADF EMG logo

Chris Muir, one of the newly hatched Fusion User Experience Advocates trained by the Oracle Applications User Experience team, recently raised a request to our team. He asked whether an Oracle Apps UX person would be willing to chat to an online community that he plays host to, the Oracle Application Development Framework Enterprise Methodology Groups (ADF EMG).

Chris thought it was a bit off-topic to ask an Apps person to come chat to a group of ADF developers, but I thought it was a brilliant request. Ultan O’Broin, Director of Global User Experiences for Oracle, was game for the challenge and stepped into the fray.

We thought there might be a bit of interest, but we were clearly not prepared for the explosion of interest that has proven out on the thread. Kudos to Chris for leading the charge, and to Ultan for writing volumes of content that is effectively a downloadable ebook on user experience for ADF developers. To all of the ADF EMG members, keep the questions coming.

If you would like to read or join the conversation (you must contact the owner to join), you can find them here.

Some of my favorite bits from the thread so far:

Chris Muir:
“Wow. I go to bed with the discussion just starting, and I come back to find a huge amount of information. What sorely impresses me is the amount of work behind the scenes for Fusion Apps. From a customer perspective (and a fortunate one who has attended a number of Oracle-related conferences with Fusion Apps content), I still don't think it's conveyed how much work Oracle has put in behind the scenes on this new suite of products. It's not just been an exercise in writing code. Awesome stuff and thanks for sharing.”

Amr Gawish:
“First of all, I would like first to say WOW! It's like when Ultan came with his hyperlinks, I discovered a new place in oracle website, some place where I didn't even think it exist ... A beautiful place indeed, even the UI is better and more smooth!”

Jean-Marc Desvaux:
“Interesting posts and links. Plenty great content to read ... I think I have to blame Chris & Ultan for having diverted my time to an addictive subject that was not in my diary.  :O) Thanks for that.”

Monday Jan 09, 2012

Sharing User Experience Best Practices: An Intel Perspective

 

By Delia Grenville, Intel; and Misha Vaughan, Oracle

Intel took a field trip to Oracle in August. It was a little like a school field trip: Remember how, your teacher tried to tie everything together, from history to math to music. You spent weeks preparing, and you were encouraged to take notes and ask questions throughout the day. The trip was designed to be memorable and to connect what you learned back to your schoolwork.

Our field trip to Oracle was very similar. We wanted to make sure that the conversation we had with Oracle tied together user experience and product development in ways that made sense for our company. We took a lot of notes, asked a lot of questions, and found interesting connections that related directly to the work we are doing right now at Intel.

A mature UX group in action

We wanted to know what 15 years of centralized user experience effort meant to product development. We learned that the team had a cross-section of skills. Not just your traditional UX roles (e.g., interaction designers and usability engineers) but they had emerged to a strength-based team that encouraged a variety of talent to get the job done: program managers, developers, journalists, artists, and animators.

What were Intel’s key takeaways?

The UX team achieved success by optimizing around a number of tenets over the years.

  • Keep the UX story simple. The story should be understandable by everyone in the organization.
  • It’s a partnership. Make the partnership easy, visible, predictable, and integrated so that everyone in the company can participate in it.
  • Know the role you have to play. The user experience process was fully-integrated into the product development cycle with clear exit criteria for the phases of product development.
  • It’s about the orchestral effect. The UX team has end-to-end ownership of the product life-cycle – ultimate the consistency of the experience. The product team owns the business story.
  • It’s the 10,000-foot view to zoom. The Oracle UX team owns design patterns to deliver bug-free, rapid development of the basic components of any experience. As their VP Jeremy Ashley put it, “We know how to make a search or shopping cart. We’ve optimized that part of the experience, so now the whole company benefits from knowing what the pattern is. We work with business teams want to solve the interesting experience problems that differentiate our products.”
  • No chasms. The UX can make sure that there are no gaps between how the product lines work together to create a seamless application story.
  • Push the envelope. The UX team shared their vision for enterprise applications that spanned mobility and perceptual computing.

Intel’s Big Ideas

So you may be asking yourself by now, how does our story line up against what we learned on our UX field trip. We took some time for reflection:

In our UX framework team we’ve been on a mission to align individual business groups and research team UX frameworks into one framework that represents UX in our product development lifecycle. We were confident that this was the right step for Intel before we left; we are fully inspired to be the ambassadors through the org to get this work done.

But, don’t take my word for it! Listen to some what my Intel colleagues have to say about the day: Ralph Brooks, Rama Sawhney, Jarvis Leung, Gary Richman.

"I experienced a company that has embraced UX as part of the culture and lifecycle. You have demonstrated the value to the programs through years of application and I was pleased to see you are still continuing to evolve the capability. Our interaction in the face- to-face provided inspiration for Intel's Business Unit representatives to see the value demonstrated as they also seek to apply UX within Intel." - Ralph Brooks

"Oracle has figured out their "Secret Sauce" when it comes to user experience. I liked their openness in describing their internal processes as well as frustrations. From a research perspective, I found it useful to know that they have over 100 target profiles for developing products, and that these segments are very different from the personas used from a marketing standpoint. This is something we have been debating internally. Thank you for giving us a your viewpoint on user experience." - Rama Sawhney

"I was very impressed on the strategy that Oracle uses to embed UX principles throughout the span of the product development cycle. It appears there are many lessons that we can take back and use in our organization." - Jarvis Leung

"Oracle has clearly made a significant investment in the user experience of their products for quite a long time. They have come up with creative and innovative ways to understand what users want and need, and these insights have become a differentiator for their products." Gary Richman

Listen to more of what your colleagues have to say about the day:

Inspiration for Oracle

Oracle has been so inspired by a series of these kinds of information sharing sessions with customers, that the applications user experience team has undertaken a new initiative -- UX Direct. This is program designed to take the best of Oracle’s user experience practices and transform them into competencies any implementer of Oracle Applications can leverage.

Stay tuned to this blog for more information on UX Direct.

Find out more about Intel’s user experience initiatives: delia.grenville @ intel.com

Find out more about Oracle’s User Experience Direct program: madhuri.kolhatkar @ oracle.com

Thursday Dec 29, 2011

User Experience Enhancements Available Today in PeopleSoft 9.1 and PeopleTools 8.52

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

You’ve heard it from the Oracle Applications User Experience team before – one key way Oracle is continuing the commitment to applications customers is through user experience enhancements.

At OpenWorld 2011, in October in San Francisco, we got to hear it straight from the executives. The Group Vice President for PeopleSoft, Paco Aubrejuan, and the Senior Director of PeopleSoft Development, Jeff Robbins, spoke directly to both the applications improvements as well as the user experience enhancements in the tools.

PeopleSoft User Interface

Read more about how you can create a cleaner, more modern look with new user experience features available in PeopleSoft and PeopleTools. This screenshot shows the type of website-centric approach that is possible with today’s PeopleSoft.

This is a smart strategy. Improvements in the application translate into immediate value for a customer. But what happens when that same customer wants to extend the experience, to customize, or to add new components? With a tool set that is just as focused on user experience, Oracle delivers a complete experience to customers.

To read more about what is newly available in PeopleSoft, visit Usable Apps.

Tuesday Dec 20, 2011

The Oracle Applications User Experience team at UKOUG 2011

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

This was my first time attending the UK Oracle User Group conference, or UKOUG, and I was thrilled, frankly, to meet a whole new constituency for Oracle.

Attending the conference presented a chance to meet with a whole new raft of customers face-to-face, hear their issues, and connect with a bevy of Oracle folks I otherwise would only know as voices on the phone.

Circus near Birmingham International Convention Center

ADF and Fusion Apps

Special thanks goes to Debra Lilley, UKOUG president, for being such an awesome host and inviting the UX team to attend the ACE Directors dinner. As luck would have it, I met Grant Ronald, Senior Group Product Manager for ADF (Application Development Framework) at Oracle, at this same dinner. He told me that customers were starting to tell him: “I want to build an application, and I want it to look like Fusion.”

As a user experience professional who has labored under secrecy around Oracle Fusion Applications for many long years, it was outstanding to hear. Fusion Applications was just announced as generally available at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 in October. Now, suddenly, our work is going before everyone.

I learned about Grant’s Oracle Technology Network Channel on Application Development Framework, as well as his new book, “Quick Start Guide to Fusion Development: Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF.”


Grant Ronald signs his book for me.

Fusion Learning Paths

Debra Lilley and Sten Vesterli, who are both ACE Directors and Fusion UX Advocates for the Oracle Applications User Experience team, announced the release of the Oracle user groups’ collective effort to help provide customers with a third-party perspective on Oracle Fusion Applications – called Fusion Learning Paths. Oracle can’t cover all of the nuances and every question customers will have, so having an organization that partners with us to provide another avenue of information is a good thing.

Their information is pretty thorough already.

If you want to stay abreast of updates, register at: http://www.tinyurl.com/fusionapps.

Another hidden gem was the Oracle support story, as told by Richard Bingham, Senior Principal Support Engineer for Oracle Fusion Applications at Oracle. In choosing to redesign what it means to deliver an “enterprise user experience,” I did not realize how even the support experience was transformed for customers. He was kind enough to point me to his new book, “Managing Oracle Fusion Applications. Look for more to come on this.

Applications Sessions

Once again, Oracle brought its usability labs to UKOUG. Special thanks go to Teena Singh, Angela Johnston, and Gozel Aamoth from the Oracle Applications User Experience team for their consistently hard work at pulling this off. If you were not able to make it, this team has a LinkedIn Group you might want to subscribe to in order to find out about future opportunities.

Other members of the Applications User Experience team did a stand-out job, in a presentation by user experience architect Patanjali Venkatacharya on what was coming next in the E-business Suite user experiences, as well as a session on Fusion Middleware and the Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience. Applications User Experience vice president Jeremy Ashley, Fusion User Experience Director Katie Candland, and Debra Lilley also delivered a presentation on the Fusion Applications User Experience; and Director of Global User Experience, Ultan O’Broin gave an unorthodox presentation on applications messaging as well.

Friday Nov 11, 2011

Going to UKOUG in December? Meet the Fusion User Experience Advocates

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Fusion User Experience Advocates (FXA) will be hosting a roundtable event at UKOUG in December. The FXA program is run by me and Andrew Gilmour, my co-host and fellow team member from the Oracle Applications User Experience group.

At this event, our Advocates will be doing the talking -- or rather, answering your questions.


If you come to the roundtable, you will find out that the FXA members are a subset of
Oracle ACE Directors who have taken on a commitment to participate in deep-dive training on the Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience, and then blend that training into their own areas of expertise – be it applications, Fusion Middleware, or SOA.

The Advocates then make themselves available to local special-interest groups and geographic interest groups for public-speaking events, bringing with them a piece of the Fusion Applications user experience story – including demos.

Come to the roundtable for a chance to chat with Andrew and me, but more importantly, take this opportunity to meet some of the Advocates firsthand and find out what they can offer to you and your professional group.

For more information on the events and presentations that the Applications User Experience team will take part in at UKOUG, visit our Usable Apps Events page.

Tuesday Nov 01, 2011

Fusion Applications: Extending the User Interface

By Misha Vaughan

WrenchIf you missed OpenWorld 2011 this year, then you missed a remarkably straight-forward (no tech-stack diagrams!) presentation on Oracle’s vision for how Oracle Fusion Applications can be extended.

Presented by Killian Evers, Kristin Desmond and Ronaldo Viscuso, all from Oracle, the story is about the family of “composers.” These composers are all available today, and provide the ability to easily tailor Fusion Applications, or any application built on Fusion Middleware, to meet your business needs.

Changing applications easily is an area on the mind of every customer who picks up an enterprise application. The customer might say: “Ok, that’s cool, but I need it to look like THIS.”

My key takeaway: There is a family of composers provided by Fusion Middleware, designed for the business systems analyst, that supports the upgrade-safe customizations and extensions of key areas that impact the user interface. This includes business objects, user interfaces, reports, analytics, workflows, and business processes.

How it works: These composers are supported by Fusion Middleware’s Metadata Services (MDS), which provide the ability to store changed metadata separately from the original metadata. So when patches or upgrades are applied, they affect the original metadata. After a patch or upgrade, the changed metadata is reapplied, preserving the changes.

I wanted to find out what the presenters’ take was on what this means for applications customers in detail. So I asked them to spell it out for me.

“If you have an application running on Fusion Middleware,” Kristin Desmond says, “you can use Oracle’s Page Composer to make changes to your user interface to meet your needs.”

“If you have a mixed bag of Fusion as well as pre-Fusion applications, you can use these composers to build an integration, e.g., with EBS, PeopleSoft, Agile, or Siebel components – and go all the way down to restyling the skin,” she adds.

“If you have Fusion Applications, you have access to a much wider set of customizations in the user interface. You can move things around on a dashboard, hide and show things on a dashboard, hide and show fields on a page, make sections on a page viewable based on role, or country. You can add new components, such as a Twitter component.”

This presentation went a long way to helping me understand a key customer issue and Oracle’s perspective on the solution: Tailoring the applications user experience to meet custom business needs.

Want more information?

Monday Oct 10, 2011

Oracle OpenWorld 2011: Applications User Experience Hits a High Note

by Misha Vaughan

Well, how could you miss Oracle’s Applications User Experience announcements this year! Holy moley

Larry Ellison

Photos by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announces the general availability of Oracle Fusion Applications during Oracle OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco on Oct. 5.

Steve Miranda, Senior Vice President of Applications Development for Oracle, was on stage for several keynotes during OpenWorld 2011, where he repeatedly opened the door to discussion about the Oracle Applications User Experience.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the keynote, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced the general availability of Oracle Fusion Applications. I did not see that coming, but I suppose I should have. To give full credit, Steve Miranda also announced GA for Fusion Applications in the morning session. Miranda is Senior Vice President of Applications Development for Oracle.

What a pleasure to be able to talk to customers about Fusion now! For those who missed it, Jeremy Ashley and Katie Candland, of Oracle, and Edward Roske, InterRel CEO, covered new design directions for next-generation user experiences as well as the core role played by Fusion Middleware in building the experiences.


A story that I think often gets lost in the shuffle is the benefit Oracle has of a centralized user experience team. Yeah, we got to rock the user experience research and design of Fusion Applications, but not many customers understand that all of our existing product families are benefiting from that same work, too.


As spelled out in a session by Oracle’s George Hackman, Madhuri Kolhatkar, and Harris Kravatz, the existing applications have all done their homework to understand what they can start adding -- and give customers the benefits of Fusion Applications today. Just take a look, for example, at the new Fusion-inspired navigation coming in PeopleSoft and JD Edwards. That is the power of design patterns.


The Applications General Session hosted by Miranda was a bonus pack of user experience updates as well across all of the product lines. I wish I could find a decent video summary of the session to point you to. If I do, I will amend the post.


Oracle Fusion Applications in the Cloud:
And how could I miss the last little bit of Ellison’s announcement? Fusion Applications in the cloud, CRM and HCM! I expect customers will be interested to see how these offerings play side-by-side. The good news, from a user experience standpoint? It’s all the same user experience, whether in the cloud, on-premise, or a hybrid solution. The best solution comes down to a thoughtful analysis of a customer’s business needs.


Mobility
: There was also a nice iPad nod in the keynote. Oracle developers have been busy getting Fusion Applications onto the iPad. However, don’t let the existing product families go unnoticed, like the hard-working JD Edwards team who smoked ‘em all by getting the first enterprise application native on an iPad out of the door. Nice job guys, and a great presentation, too.


How do I learn more about the Oracle Applications User Experience?

If you are just kicking yourself for missing some of these great sessions, we have team members, both inside and outside Oracle, who will be presenting in the months ahead. Check out our upcoming events.


Sunday Oct 02, 2011

OpenWorld: Watch it Live on YouTube!

live on youtube

Can't make it to Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco Oct 2-6?

Then tune into the next best thing: Watch Oracle OpenWorld streaming video Live on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/oracle

See keynotes, sessions, and more:  #oow11

Tuesday Sep 27, 2011

Continuing the Applications investment: JD Edwards User Experience Enhancements

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Do you run your business on JD Edwards?


Given the significant investment customers have made in JD Edwards, I wanted to find out where the JD Edwards team was in regards to user experience -- both for their Tools and applications. Chris Walsh, Senior Principal Product Manager, and Madhuri Kolhatkar, Director of Customer User Experience Management, have a lot to say about that topic.


I don’t want to reveal too much before OpenWorld, but let’s just say that catching a few sessions will be well worth your time.


The overall user experience theme for recent Tools releases centered on small changes with big gains. So there has been no wholesale revamping of the user interface, but rather a thoughtful analysis of the daily pain points experienced by users.


Chris and Madhuri say customers will see the value in rich, interactive components like import/export, the ADF Text Editor, and dynamic grid modifications – in Chris’ words: “Customers are doing backflips for these things.”


You can also expect an emphasis on user experience in the future releases of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. I would highly recommend that you check out a few of these sessions to get a better grasp of recent user experience enhancements, and also a glimpse of what’s to come.


JD Edwards sessions to hit at OpenWorld


What Is Next for the User Experience in Oracle Applications?

12 p.m. Thursday

Moscone West - 2002/2004
George Hackman, Senior Director of User Experience, Oracle

Madhuri Kolhatkar, Director Applications User Experience, Oracle


General Session: JD Edwards 9 Is Now!

11 a.m. Monday,

St. Francis - California East/West
Denise Grills, Sr. Director, Oracle

Lyle Ekdahl, Group Vice President and General Manager JD Edwards, Oracle

Sheila Ebbitt, Director, Oracle


JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools and Technologies Product Strategy: Update and Roadmap

3:30 p.m. Monday,

St. Francis - California East/West
Paul Travis, IT Director, Global ERP, Cabot Corporation

Gary Grieshaber, Senior Director, Product Strategy, Oracle


The JD Edwards EnterpriseOne User Experience

5 p.m. Wednesday

St. Francis - Colonial
Darryl Shakespeare ,Software Architect, Oracle

Wednesday Sep 14, 2011

What to hit at OpenWorld 2011: PeopleSoft User Experience

I just got to see Harris Kravatz, an Oracle Senior Manager of the PeopleSoft User Experience, discuss some really cool user experience enhancements coming in PeopleSoft. I’m not going to steal his thunder in the run-up to his OpenWorld session, but I wanted to share some questions I passed to Harris, and my take on his answers.

Harris, who was describing some of the new user experience enhancements his team had been working on, said, “The big focus has been on modernizing the user interface -- providing a clean and simple experience, and easy navigation across the board.”

I can see in the design direction, especially in pieces like the new manager dashboard. There is clearly a push to simplify the user experience. Harris team has really taken a page from the Fusion Applications User Experience playbook and is advocating an “all-in-one-place” design strategy. Their user experience enhancements include reducing clicks, eliminating unnecessary navigation, and most importantly, enabling quick actions and decision-making.

If you want to find out more about the upcoming PeopleSoft and PeopleTools user experience enhancements, be sure to check out these sessions at OpenWorld, Oct. 2-6 in San Francisco:


What Is Next for the User Experience in Oracle Applications?
Harris Kravatz, Madhuri Kolhatkar, George Hackman; Oracle
Session ID:
13601
12:00 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011
Moscone West - 2002 / 2004


PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.52 Highlights: PeopleSoft PeopleTools in Action
Christine Libby, Oracle
Session ID: 14004
10:15 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011
Moscone West – 2022


PeopleSoft Answers:  How to Create a Great PeopleSoft UI
Jim Marion , Senior Principal Technology Consultant, Oracle
Robert Taylor, Solution Consultant, Oracle
Session ID: 14020
1:15pm, Tuesday, Oct. 4th
Moscone West, room 2024

Tuesday Sep 06, 2011

A User Experience Summit with Intel

The Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) staff and 12 seasoned user experience professionals from Intel shared best practices and lessons learned in a special event recently. The focus was on how the Applications UX team worked to move user experience into Oracle’s strategic vision for Applications.

Intel’s group of UX professionals included members of the Corporate Platform Office, the PC Client Group, the Corporate Quality Network, the Ultra Mobility Group, Technology and Experience Pathfinding team, and the Netbook and Tablet Group.

Delia Grenville, a User Experience Program Manager from the Corporate Platform Office at Intel who helped plan the event, shares some of her responses to the event here.

VoX: What was the biggest new idea your team took away from the event?

DG: The work around design patterns really stuck with me and the others from the Intel team. The ability to move in that direction makes all the heavy foundational work, that is generating an internal site with guidelines, patterns, and standards, and all the associated training, make sense.

(Editor’s note: For more information on Oracle’s user experience design patterns, including what they are and how Oracle’s UX team uses them, see Oracle’s microsite on OBIEE Dashboard Patterns and read about Oracle Fusion Applications Design Patterns.)


VoX: Oracle’s Applications UX team described a variety of its user research methods to the Intel group. What did you take away from that?


DG: The tight connection that Oracle has with user communities is inspirational. The team and I were inspired by the ubiquitous nature of Oracle's interaction with customers. It was clear to us that it's not about the Oracle-inspired event; it's about being with customers who want to be part of the applications development process. The participation in the Oracle Usability Advisory Board shows how meaningful it is for customers to be involved in the user experience conversation. There's no doubt: This is the type of conversation all companies want to have with the people who build technology for all of us to use.


VoX:
What could you translate from this event into one thing a small IT shop could tackle?


DG: Customer research is really the place where I'd recommend that a small IT shop start. In the Oracle user experience overview, (Oracle Applications User Experience Vice President) Jeremy (Ashley) said that ethnographic research with internal customers changed the way the Oracle UX group saw itself and internal stakeholder relationships. Listening to internal stakeholders and acting on their feedback to enhance the business -- the way that Oracle did -- is where I'd recommend a small IT shop start. The level of understanding and insight caused a domino effect in Oracle’s business. I'm certain that the same could happen for other businesses if they have the courage and the budget to act.


VoX:
Thanks very much, Delia.

Tuesday Aug 23, 2011

User Experience Summit: Intel & Oracle - Lift Off!

Intel and Oracle are coming together for a day-long exchange of user experience best practices. This is the first in a two-part exchange. This effort is being lead by myself and Delia Grenville, User Experience Program Manager, Corporate Platform Office, Intel.

Delia Grenville, Photo

Delia Grenville, Intel

Intel will be engaging with Oracle's Applications User Experience team to understand how they've been able build a mature, multidisciplinary UX organization. As a co-owner of the event, I asked Delia if she could put into words for me what she hopes to get out of the day.


MV: What was your motivation for contacting Oracle about running an event on user experience best practices?

DG: I was looking for organizations that had well-established best practices in user experience. Oracle is in its third generation of user experience evolution and is a mature user experience organization. We saw that Oracle had a lot to offer.

MV: What is the benefit of talking to Oracle, isn't Intel just a hardware company?


DG: Actually, at Intel we understand that developing compelling computing experiences require a host of elements including hardware and software.

Oracle as a software company has valuable user experience expertise. We are interested in how Oracle delivered user experience across platforms, and how Oracle integrates user experience across the product development lifecycle.


MV:
How did you convince Intel this was a good idea?


DG
: We have a lot of progressive thought leaders in our business groups who value and understand the importance of user experience. Our business leaders are looking to gain every user experience advantage while building Intel products. They were excited by a cross-company conversation that would allow us to exchange ideas with other thought leaders just as committed the importance of user experience. This is a unique opportunity.

Thanks very much Delia!

More to come…

Sunday Aug 21, 2011

So, Sten... what would you prototype in?

Sten Vesterli posted an interesting blog a while back on his view about why you might choose ADF vs. APEX when building new applications or new applications pages. 

Sten, for the organization looking at using ADF, I'd love to know what recommendations you would have for prototyping a user interface prior to actually digging into ADF.  We have our fancy art tools as UX professionals, but what could an IT person do today - no net new software needed - to start creating a mockup of a screen design that they intend to build in ADF?

------- 

Sten is a senior principal consultant and partner in Scott/Tiger A/S. He is also an Oracle ACE director and a frequent speaker at Oracle and Oracle user group events.


Tuesday Aug 16, 2011

A Direct Line to UX: Answering Your Questions About UX Tools, Methods, and Fusion HCM

In April, Oracle sponsored a webcast called “Putting the User First – Moving Beyond the User Interface to a User Experience.” Listeners learned how the Oracle Applications User Experience team worked closely with customers around the globe to build a deep user experience in Oracle’s next generation of Human Capital Management (HCM) applications: Oracle Fusion Applications HCM.

The webcast was delivered by Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of Oracle Applications User Experience (UX); Aylin Uysal, Senior Manager, HCM UX; Jay Richey, Director, Oracle HCM Applications Marketing; and Beth Correa, founder and CEO of Official Payroll Advisor.

The webcast, which had more than 200 attendees registered, is now posted on the HR.com site and available.

Picture of Jeremy Ashley, VP of Applications User Experience

Photo by Martin Taylor - Oracle Applications User Experience

Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, sits at an eye-tracking station in the Redwood Shores, Calif., usability labs.

Attendees had several questions, and we’d like to answer them here on the Usable Apps blog. We invite you to take the opportunity to add a comment or question at the bottom of this blog.

From Todd Grubbs, an analyst at WellPoint, Inc.:

Q: I've visited the Oracle Usability Labs, and I’ve done the eye-tracking demo. I'm very interested in learning how you guys apply the eye-tracking data you gather to influence changes in your design.

A: Oracle’s eye-tracking tools help members of the Applications User Experience team record the flow of a user’s visual attention during enterprise tasks. Based upon both qualitative and quantitative methods, researchers can tell whether users clearly understand icons, whether page navigation is intuitive, and whether page layout is confusing. This information helps product teams to make specific decisions that are targeted to visual and/or navigation features of pages. Eye-tracking methods are a complement, and not a substitute, for more traditional usability testing. The interface designer can be informed about unclear or distracting features on an interface, and can help determine why certain errors are made while completing tasks.

For more in how the Oracle Apps UX team uses eye-tracking, visit Usable Apps, or look for our demopod at OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco, Oct. 2-6.

From Narayan Moni, a director at Aeroxchange, Ltd.:

Q: What software did you use to study the eye-tracking?

A: There are several steps, each with associated software, required to analyze the results from an eye-tracking study. First, detailed samples of gaze-points are translated into strings of behavioral fixations using software made by the manufacturer of the eye tracker, Tobii. Metrics from these scanpaths are then exported to Excel. Data may also be loaded into our own prototype analysis software, which finds matching clusters of similar scanning strategies. Metrics from both of these are then put into SPSS for further statistical analysis. We are also conducting trial studies with software by Noldus, called FaceReader, that can record several dimensions of emotion (e.g., happy, surprised, angry) based upon automated facial gesture analysis.

Q: Also, what was the size of the team that worked on soliciting user feedback? The reason I ask is that my company is a small company, and I am trying to understand the most effective and cost-efficient method to solicit user feedback. I understand that face-to-face is best, but it is also the most expensive and resource-hungry.

A: When Oracle began developing Fusion Applications, its next-generation enterprise software, Oracle had the advantage of being able to incorporate user experience teams from several recent acquisitions. To read more about how the teams came together and what that meant for Fusion, as well as for current application releases that have benefited from this user experience work such as PeopleTools 8.50 and E-Business Suite 12.1.3, please visit Usable Apps. We understand, however, that our work with Fusion Applications was done on a grand scale with a large investment from Oracle, and few businesses could replicate such an effort -- even with substantial resources. So we’ve been talking with Oracle customers and capturing their best practices in the field of user experience. You can read more about the type of research other Oracle customers have done to improve their own user experience – whether it was on a portal or their entire Web site – at Usable Apps as well.

Q: Could you speak about the organizational structure of the team that worked on Fusion and the responsibilities of each team? I am trying to understand how you were able to outline clear roles for each team without having teams step all over each other.

A: Our teams are responsible for certain product areas such as HCM, FIN, or CRM, or certain tool feature sets, such as collaboration (Web 2.0) tools or user assistance. But you have an excellent point, and it’s something we’ve been able to take advantage of: All of our research behind Fusion has been used to improve other Oracle applications as well as develop Fusion, and designs from one area may well serve a task flow in another area. So, because the Oracle Applications UX team enjoys a very collaborative atmosphere, we’ve taken many designs for Fusion HCM and incorporated them into recent releases of PeopleSoft, Agile, and JD Edwards, among other product lines. In addition, you will find collaboration tools and user assistance resources, for example, across the entire product suite of Fusion Applications. Because Fusion is a suite of applications that crosses many pillars smoothly and without interruption to the user, our UX team is designed somewhat the same way.

Kathleen Noble, NM DESIGN:

Q: Are there visuals?

A: Yes, and once again, we invite you to visit Usable Apps to read our growing series of articles on Fusion Applications. Here, you will find several articles on certain areas of the Fusion user experience with screenshots showing the highlights. Articles on Fusion Applications HCM, Fusion Mobile Portrait Gallery, Fusion Financials, and Fusion User Assistance are scheduled for publication before OpenWorld 2011.

Marsha Oremland, a director with ADP, Inc.:

Q: Can social networking be opened to individuals outside of the company?

A: Social networking in Fusion Applications is powered by the WebCenter Framework within Fusion Middleware (FMW). Fusion Middleware provides the ability to offer its services within an organization or outside a secure firewall -- the choice is up to the customer. However, in Fusion Applications, out-of-the-box social networking capabilities have been enabled for internal behind-the-firewall usage across global enterprises. But since Fusion Application runs 100% on Fusion Middleware, this capability can be extended outside of the enterprise through customization. Specific capabilities in FMW that could be opened to individuals outside of the company include discussion forums, wikis, and blogs. Read more about our collaboration tool set on Usable Apps.

Sue Wood, an analyst with Peopleclick Authoria:

Q: How many people work on the UX team?

A: Our team is a conglomeration of existing and acquired UX teams. The Oracle Applications UX team consists of dozens of micro-teams who all research, design, and test specific areas of the user experience of software applications.

Welcome to the VOX blog

Welcome to VOX, the voice of user experience for Oracle Applications.

This blog will be a place where you can find the most current information about the Oracle Applications User Experience.

  • We will be sharing our opinions on what user experience features are coming down the pipe and in recently released applications.  
  • We will update you on the events our team runs including our conference usability labs, webinars, and speaking events.  These are opportunities for you, our customers, to give us feedback.
  • We will provide a view and perspective into what our customers are doing that is user experience best-practice when it comes to deploying Oracle Applications.  Are you using change management effectively with end users? Are you writing user profiles to make sure you meet your users needs?  Are you tracking your usability ROI?

Check back here for more coming soon.

About

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

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

Learn more about us at
Usable Apps

Search

Archives
« May 2015
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
     
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
15
16
17
19
20
21
23
24
26
27
28
29
30
31
      
Today