Tuesday Jul 30, 2013

Key User Experience Design Principles for working with Big Data

By John Fuller, Consulting User Experience Designer, Oracle

Editor’s Note: This is part 2  in a three-part blog series on the user experiences of working with big data. In my last blog on this topic, I summarized the conversation from a one-day summit with a few key partners on the user experience landscape with big data.  In this blog, John Fuller, full time interaction designer for Endeca, shares some of his team’s key requirements for designing usability into the user interfaces for Endeca Information Discovery.

John Fuller
John Fuller, Consulting User Experience Designer for Endeca

About two years ago, we took look at the product we had and felt that there was a lot of opportunity that was, in many ways, fairly unique in the marketplace. It was at that point that we developed a set of core design principles to guide us in our work going forward.

We crystalized the things we thought were working well and sought to maintain that focus going forward. I wouldn't say that they were designed specifically with "big data" as the main focus; the principles are much more broadly applicable. We're focusing on helping people bring together a variety of data types in a fast and flexible way with lower cost, so from that perspective, we're targeting a really interesting part of the big data story.


Endeca healthcare demo
Screen shot from an Oracle Endeca Healthcare Demo showing how big data can guide the detection of healthcare problems.

We came up with 6 core design principles and details about what each one meant. One of the really interesting outcomes of this has been that the principles have really held up over time.

Here are the six core principles:
  1. Enhance Insight - The value of discovery tools lies in the insights they help discovery workers realize, by enhancing the natural ability of people to understand the answers that are in the data.
  2. Encourage Exploration - Discovery applications encourage exploration.  Users will want to ask new questions, pursue new avenues of exploration, and consider new connections and relationships across the diverse types of information presented by discovery applications.
  3. Coherence and Clarity - All elements of the experience should work together in a coordinated fashion. The way the system works is clear at all levels, making the results and implications of actions easy to understand.
  4. Readily Composable and Manageable - Creating, configuring, and managing discovery applications is straightforward and efficient. The product provides useful defaults, intelligent starting points, and encourages application builders to make good choices when composing discovery applications.
  5. Engaging and Compelling - Working with the tool is enjoyable, engaging, and satisfying, for new and veteran users. Endeca Information Discovery embodies and personifies the values and principles identified herein.
  6. Offer a Modern Application Experience - Discovery solutions “walk and “talk” like modern applications.
With every new project that comes up, the principles still seem new and fresh -- with new takeaways to guide the process. We're planning on adding more detail about the principles -- and several other topics -- on our blog, so if you'd like to hear more, check it out.


Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

The User Experience of Big Data in Oracle Enterprise Applications: Part 1 of 3

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a three-part series on lessons we have learned about the user experience of big data, and trends in Oracle’s approach to the challenges of working with big data.

Misha Vaughan
Misha Vaughan, Director, Communications & Outreach, Applications User Expeirence
by Martin Taylor

I recently hosted a partner summit on the user experiences of big data at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif. The title of the summit was: “So You Have Big Data, Now What?”

The goals of the exchange were three-fold:
  • Assess where some key Oracle user experience partners -- Floyd Teter of EiS Technologies (@fteter), Edward Roske of interRel (@eroske), Mike Rulf of Core Services, and Ron Batra of AT&T (@ronbatra)-- were at in their conversations around the user experience needs of big data with their customers.
  • Discuss and sharpen our common understanding of the UX value propositions of some Oracle applications for big data. My particular interest was with OBIEE’s new information visualizations and Endeca Information Discovery’s UX.
  • Get feedback on a selection of forward-looking applications user experience innovation projects that intersect with big data. 
Below are my lessons learned from the conversation. Part 2, the next post in this series, is an email conversation with John Fuller, User Experience Designer for Endeca, on the key elements of designing user experiences for data analysts working with big data tools. Part 3 is a summary of what I see as the key UX design principles emerging in Oracle for a new class of design problems - making big data accessible to non-data analysts.

My Lessons Learned

Lesson 1: What customers are asking about “big data” and how they defining “big data”.

The general consensus was that some customers have already defined their strategy and are moving forward.  However, many customers are still trying to wrap their heads around what big data means for their institutions.  Our key partners see their customers’ understandings ranging across the following:
•    Big data is a massively large volume of structured data.
•    Big data is making sense of unstructured data, like Twitter feeds and Google search results (e.g., monitoring potential flu outbreaks).
•    Big data is about consolidating multiple sources of data, structured and unstructured, into one representation.
•    Big data is about solving wicked problems, for example, how to optimize something as complex as thinning a forest against needed output, aesthetics, and uncertain markets.
•    It is about discovering unlikely relationships in a large volume of data.

Lesson 2:  The big-data analyst is a highly specialized user role, and really needs the right user experience to be able to deliver the results companies are looking for.

Companies like Oracle are building the tools necessary for data analysts, such as Endeca's Information Discovery Tool.  Color me "wow" after seeing a demo by John Fuller.  Important tools in the toolkit are also OBIEE's "big data" visual analysis tools (thank you, Edward Roske).

This was a jam-packed conversation, and had so much in it that I decided to follow up with John and see if he would unpack the user experience requirements in more detail in a follow-up post. So stay tuned for that.

Lesson 3: It seems that there are really two user profiles we need to be concerned with in big data: the data analyst and the downstream producer, or possibly business analyst.

A recent study in the Wall Street Journal states that one of the biggest challenges of big data is finding professionals actually trained in the domain to help companies take advantage of this space. We know that the big business schools with IT programs will take the bait, but even that will not produce them fast enough. The rate of information is growing faster than our ability to sift it.

To take advantage of the sizeable investment required for a Big Data Project, a data analyst needs to enable a larger set of producers to leverage their data and share it with a larger audience. This may be a business analyst, or some other job title - but essentially this is a person who works with a lead data analyst to create the stories, visualizations, and associated analyses needed to communicate findings to a larger audience, which allows that lead analyst to get onto the next problem.

In my next post, I’ll write about Endeca, and the key elements of designing user experiences for data analysts working with big data tools.





Wednesday May 15, 2013

Oracle Apps UX Team on the Road: What Are We Offering at OHUG Global Conference 2013?

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience 

If you have read previous “On The Road” blog posts, you may know that the Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team has been travelling all over the world in the last few months. Team members have attended and presented at Alliance 2013 in Indianapolis, IN; OBUG Benelux Connect 2013 in Antwerp, Belgium; and COLLABORATE 2013 in Denver, CO. Our team had a colossal experience at these Oracle User Group conferences: We met Oracle customers and partners who were eager to collaborate with Oracle usability experts and provide feedback on future design trends, participate in an interactive eye-tracking demo, discover the new simplified user interface (UI) for Oracle Fusion Applications, and learn more about enterprise and mobile design patterns.

While some team members are working on incorporating valuable feedback that Oracle usability experts received at these conferences, others are preparing to present and demo new designs at the upcoming OHUG Global Conference 2013 in Dallas, Texas, on June 10-14.  Oracle HCM User Group (OHUG) is an organization devoted to providing HCM, or human capital management, users with valuable insight into Oracle, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Fusion HCM, and Taleo applications.

If you or your colleagues plan to attend the OHUG conference this year, you might be interested to learn what the Apps UX team will offer at this event. There are several ways to meet face-to-face with members of the Applications User Experience team: participate in one of the user feedback sessions; visit our demo pod to learn more about the new simplified user experience for Oracle Fusion Applications; or attend an Apps UX presentation, which you can read about on the Usable Apps Events page.

Onsite Usability Lab: Give us your feedback, and get involved

Oracle customers and partners who plan to attend OHUG or are local to the Dallas area are invited to participate in a usability feedback session. By participating in this activity, you will gain knowledge about new functionality directly from the source and ultimately influence the direction of the Oracle HCM products. 
  • Give us your feedback: We are looking for Employees and Managers of all levels to provide feedback on Fusion HCM Time Entry, Online Employee Directory, Manager Dashboard; and PeopleSoft Mobile Absence Management, PeopleSoft Mobile Approvals, Voice Interactions and Gamification in Enterprise applications.
  • When and where: Sessions will be scheduled on Tuesday, June 11, and Wednesday, June 12, at the Sheraton Downtown Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas. You may sign up to participate in a one-on-one session or a brainstorming group activity.
  • Get involved: This event fills up quickly, and seats are limited. Advance registration is required. RSVP now by sending an email to Jeannette Chadwick at jeannette.chadwick@oracle.com.

Jeanette Chadwick
Jeannette Chadwick from the Oracle Applications User Experience team welcomes participants as they arrive to participate in user feedback sessions.

Demo Station: The new entry experience for Oracle Fusion Applications, mobile, design patterns, and more

Are you looking for a simple, current, and productive way for your users to perform key, quick-entry tasks while still having direct access to the full Oracle Fusion Applications functionality? Stop by the Oracle Applications User Experience demo station at OHUG 2013 and discover the new entry experience for Oracle Fusion Applications.

The Applications User Experience team will also show the latest design concepts for mobile enterprise applications on different mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Having the right mobile applications for your workforce enhances productivity, efficiency, and employee morale and satisfaction. Discuss the similarities, differences, advantages, and challenges of the mobile platform. Chat with us about how these applications and prototypes meet your needs. 

Topics:

  • Experience the new simplified UI for Oracle Fusion Applications
  • Discover the latest mobile design concepts
  • See how Oracle uses design patterns and guidelines to promote standardization and consistency in applications

eye tracker
John Roger, from the Oracle Applications User Experience team, right, conducts an eye-tracking study with a demopod visitor at COLLABORATE 2013.

Attend this presentation to learn about the Oracle User Experience strategy

The Oracle Applications User Experience team will be offering a presentation session at OHUG 2013 that offers a look at the strategy behind the Oracle user experience, and provides a look ahead at where the user experience is going. Visit the Usable Apps Events page to find out when and where this presentation will be held.

Topic: Oracle’s Roadmap to a Simple, Modern User Experience in Fusion Applications

Presenter: Aylin Uysal, Director, Human Capital Management User Experience


Friday Mar 15, 2013

Oracle Apps UX Team on the Road: What Are We Offering at COLLABORATE 2013?

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience team (Apps UX) will be at the Alliance Higher Education User Group (HEUG) conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, and OBUG Benelux Connect in Antwerp, Belgium, in the month of March. Team members meet and collaborate with Oracle customers and partners at these events, as well as expand existing relationships. If you’re not planning to attend either of these user group conferences, in April you can meet us at the COLLABORATE 2013 conference in Denver, Colorado.

APPS UX AT COLLABORATE

Photograph by the Oracle Applications User Experience team

Angela Johnston, from left, Teena Singh and Tejas Peesapati from the Oracle Applications User Experience Team host the UX Lab at Collaborate 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The COLLABORATE conference is an event where thousands of Oracle professionals spend days learning about new Oracle products and offerings. There is a lot to choose from, but the Apps UX team always brings something innovative and new to the table. Depending on what you’d like to see or how you’d like to get involved, there are several ways to meet face-to-face with members of the Applications User Experience team: sign up for a user feedback session, where you get the opportunity to explore new ideas and see early designs of future products by test-driving the product before it goes to market; visit our demo pod to learn more about the new entry experience for Oracle Fusion Applications and participate in our very cool interactive eye-tracking demo; or attend one of the Apps UX presentations, which you can read about on the Usable Apps Events page.

Onsite Usability Lab: Participate in a user feedback session

Oracle customers and partners are invited to participate in a usability feedback session, where we will test new interfaces and features for the Oracle Fusion Applications HCM entry experience and work flows that have been gamified; Fusion Applications Help; the entry experience for Fusion Applications Financial Reporting; Oracle Social Network; and Oracle E-Business Suite user experience and interactions. Get a peek at Oracle’s next-generation enterprise application designs and learn about Oracle’s pioneering user-centered design process. Your feedback will help Oracle develop unbeatable products and solutions.

  • Who can participate? Employees, functional subject matter experts, managers, directors, VPs, Fusion Early Adopters, Fusion Applications implementers, IT consultants, partners and more.
  • When and where: Sessions will be scheduled on Tuesday, April 9th,  and Wednesday, April 10th, at the Hyatt Regency Denver Hotel  in Denver, Colorado. You may sign up to participate in a one-on-one session or a brainstorming group activity.
  • How do I sign up? If you are interested in participating or would like to recommend your colleagues, send an email to gozel.aamoth@oracle.com

Demo Station: The new entry experience for Oracle Fusion Applications, mobile, design patterns, and eye-tracking

Are you looking for a simple, current, and productive way for your users to perform key, quick-entry tasks while still having direct access to the full Oracle Fusion Applications functionality? Stop by the Oracle Applications User Experience demo station at COLLABORATE 2013 and discover the new entry experience for Oracle Fusion Applications. 

The Applications User Experience team will also show the latest design concepts for mobile enterprise applications on different mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Having the right mobile applications for your workforce enhances productivity, efficiency, and employee morale and satisfaction. Discuss the similarities, differences, advantages, and challenges of the mobile platform. Chat with us about how these applications and prototypes meet your needs. 

Our team also wants to show you how using both enterprise and mobile design patterns in your customizations can extend the value of your applications, while also promoting standardization and consistency. 

And, get a look at the cutting-edge tools in Oracle’s arsenal of usability evaluation methods, such as eye-tracking. Recording users’ visual attention with eye-tracking methods can help inform the visibility, understandability, and navigation of page elements. Discuss with us how metrics are defined, and how design implications are made.

Attend our presentations to learn about the Oracle User Experience strategy

The Oracle Applications User Experience team will be offering several sessions at COLLABORATE 2013 that offer a look at the strategy behind the Oracle user experience, and provide a look ahead at where the user experience is going. Visit the Usable Apps COLLABORATE 2013 page to find out when and where these presentations will be held.

  • Oracle’s Roadmap to a Simple, Modern User Experience In Fusion Apps
  • Fusion User Experience for Today's Enterprise User
  • Oracle Fusion Applications: Customizing and Extending Using Oracle Composers


Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

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

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

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

User Feedback Sessions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Feb 19, 2013

The Road Ahead: Trends in the Oracle Applications User Experiences

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience


Photograph by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Feb 08, 2013

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

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Nov 12, 2012

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

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

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

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

December 3 – 5, 2012

ICC, Birmingham, UK


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

Alliance 2013
March 17 - 20, 2013 

Indianapolis, Indiana

OBUG Benelux Connect 2013

March 26, 2013

Antwerp, Belgium



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


Collaborate13
April 7 - April 11, 2013

Denver, Colorado



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


OHUG 2013
June 9 -13, 2013

Dallas, Texas

ODTUG Kscope13

June 23-27, 2013

New Orleans, LA


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

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

demostation
Oracle OpenWorld 2012 Apps UX Demo station

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


Ultan O'Broin, on Fusion Applications Design Patterns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday Oct 11, 2012

Our Favorite Highlights from OpenWorld 2012

By Kathy Miedema and Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

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

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

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

Jeremy Ashley
Jeremy Ashley, VP, Oracle Applications User Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Friday Sep 28, 2012

Apps UX Unveils New Face of Fusion at OpenWorld 2012

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

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

Jeremy Ashley

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

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

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




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

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

Presenter: Chris Leone, Senior Vice President, Oracle

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

AND

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

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

Presenter: Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President, Oracle

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

CON9438 - Oracle Fusion Applications: Transforming Insight into Action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

· Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

· Tuesday, 9:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.

· Wednesday, 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday Sep 22, 2012

Find the best OpenWorld sessions for learning about UX highlights

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience 

vox image

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

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

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

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

If you’re interested in PeopleSoft/PeopleTools:

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

If you’re interested in E-Business Suite:

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

If you’re interested in Siebel:

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

If you’re interested in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne:

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

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

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

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

On the demogrounds:

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

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

At our labs, on-site and at HQ:

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

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


Sunday Aug 26, 2012

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

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

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

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

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

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

SXSW

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

Friday Aug 10, 2012

Tour Oracle’s Usability Labs during OOW 2012

By the Oracle Applications User Experience team

Oracle invites you to tour our state-of-the-art usability labs Oct. 4-5 during Oracle OpenWorld 2012 in San Francisco. Hop on one of our special chartered buses and head to Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood Shores.

lab tour bus
If you have a reservation, look for a bus like this one near Moscone West in San Francisco.

Our labs will be open for two days to allow our customers to see firsthand how we test future product designs using the latest technology, including eye-tracking equipment and facial recognition software that helps track emotional responses to enterprise application screens. You’ll also get an early look at the direction our enterprise software is heading, including demos of designs for platforms such as the tablet and mobile phone.

Transportation from the Moscone Center in San Francisco to Oracle’s headquarters will be offered for tours on Thursday, Oct. 4, and Friday, Oct. 5, only. If you or your colleagues are interested in joining a lab tour, sign up now to reserve your spot.

lab tour photo
In this lab tour, the group looks into one of Oracle’s smaller labs, which is set up like an office, from a control room.

Sunday Jul 29, 2012

User Experience Roadmap for Oracle Applications: Direct from Jeremy Ashley

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

This is the third in a series of blog posts on the user experience (UX) highlights in various Oracle product families.

Last week’s post was with Gary Grieshaber, Senior Director, EnterpriseOne Product Strategy on JD Edwards. This interview is with Jeremy Ashley, Vice President, Oracle Applications User Experience team. Here, he talks about Oracle’s roadmap for simplifying Oracle Applications user experiences and what you might expect to see at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 this year.

Jeremy Ashley
Jeremy Ashley

These days, if you ask Ashley about Oracle’s strategy with Applications User Experience, his answer is short: “Simplicity.”

The enterprise application landscape is changing for user experiences, he says. The underlying technologies -- the software, the hardware, and the storage capabilities -- have become so sophisticated that users’ expectations have started to shift. They now expect even more from their devices. Users want their experiences to be smarter and simpler and portable.

You might be expecting to hear more about the consumerization of information technology, or the trend toward BYOD (bring your own device), or even big data.  

Ashley says he views these trends as byproducts, or symptoms, of a larger trend. Users now expect their software experiences to simply map to their needs. They are no longer willing to work to the device, spending hours on training and patiently wading through quirky work-around solutions. Instead, they want the device to work around their needs.

What does Ashley mean when he talks about “simplicity”?  

He calls it a process of reduction. Rather than building more, he says, look at how you can get more out of what you have.  

At OpenWorld, you’ll be able to see what Ashley means by this. This process of reduction, this simplification, becomes imperative for Oracle customers who have a high number of users, on a high volume of transactions, and need walk-up-and-use ease of use.

On the Applications User Experience team, we call this the “entry experience.”

Ashley said that Oracle is evaluating its product lines with an eye toward design, and looking for specific opportunities to simplify. Whether it is with a product family or a spot solution, the Applications UX team is really paying attention to where simplification is needed most and makes the most sense. For example, he said, that could mean providing a simplified user experience or performing inventory receiving using Oracle Fusion Applications Supply Chain Management (SCM).

The other part of simplification is about integrating a user experience across features and across devices of all shapes and sizes -- seamlessly. Rather than presenting the user with a full menu of options, simplicity means making sense of how to pull together the best set of features and information to fit whatever device a user may be working on, as Oracle has done in Oracle Fusion Applications.

Ashley will lead a general session at OpenWorld on the topic of simplification, and he is planning to demo what are likely to be some of the most exciting enterprise applications user experiences Oracle’s has ever showcased. He will be joined by ACE Directors Basheer Khan, CEO of Innowave; Debra Lilley, Oracle Alliance Director and Fusion champion of Fujitsu; and Edward Roske, CEO of InterRel.

Don't miss Ashley’s session at OpenWorld this year.

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

This is where you will get a look at the promised demos.

CON9438 - Oracle Fusion Applications: Transforming Insight into Action

In this session, you'll hear again from Basheer Khan, CEO of Innowave, as he presents with Ashley and Katie Candland, Director, Oracle Fusion Applications, on his experience with implementing Fusion Project Portfolio Management, or PPM. A video interview of Khan is also available, where he says his company's implementation of Fusion Applications is bringing efficiencies to their business that they've never seen before.

Find out more about how you can connect with the Oracle Applications User Experience team at OpenWorld 2012.


Thursday Jun 21, 2012

Tailoring the Oracle Fusion Applications User Interface with Oracle Composer

By Killian Evers, Oracle Applications User Experience

Changing the user interface (UI) is one of the most common modifications customers perform to Oracle Fusion Applications. Typically, customers add or remove a field based on their needs. Oracle makes the process of tailoring easier for customers, and reduces the burden for their IT staff, which you can read about on the Usable Apps website or in an earlier VoX post.

This is the first in a series of posts that will talk about the tools that Oracle has provided for tailoring with its family of composers. These tools are designed for business systems analysts, and they allow employees other than IT staff to make changes in an upgrade-safe and patch-friendly manner.

Let’s take a deep dive into one of these composers, the Oracle Composer.

Oracle Composer allows business users to modify existing UIs after they have been deployed and are in use. It is an integral component of our SaaS offering. Using Oracle Composer, users can control:
    •    Who sees the changes
    •    When the changes are made
    •    What changes are made

Change for me, change for you, change for all of you

One of the most powerful aspects of Oracle Composer is its flexibility. Oracle uses Oracle Composer to make changes for a user or group of users – those who see the changes. A user of Oracle Fusion Applications can make changes to the user interface at runtime via Oracle Composer, and these changes will remain every time they log into the system. For example, they can rearrange certain objects on a page, add and remove designated content, and save queries.

Business systems analysts can make changes to Oracle Fusion Application UIs for groups of users or all users. Oracle’s Fusion Middleware Metadata Services (MDS) stores these changes and retrieves them at runtime, merging customizations with the base metadata and revealing the final experience to the end user.

A tailored application can have multiple customization layers, and some layers can be specific to certain Fusion Applications. Some examples of customization layers are: site, organization, country, or role.

Customization layers are applied in a specific order of precedence on top of the base application metadata.


This image illustrates how customization layers are applied.

What time is it?

Users make changes to UIs at design time, runtime, and design time at runtime. Design time changes are typically made by application developers using an integrated development environment, or IDE, such as Oracle JDeveloper. Once made, these changes are then deployed to managed servers by application administrators.

Oracle Composer covers the other two areas: Runtime changes and design time at runtime changes. When we say users are making changes at runtime, we mean that the changes are made within the running application and take effect immediately in the running application. A prime example of this ability is users who make changes to their running application that only affect the UIs they see.

What is new with Oracle Composer is the last area: Design time at runtime.  A business systems analyst can make changes to the UIs at runtime but does not have to make those changes immediately to the application. These changes are stored as metadata, separate from the base application definitions. Customizations made at runtime can be saved in a sandbox so that the changes can be isolated and validated before being published into an environment, without the need to redeploy the application.

What can I do?

Oracle Composer can be run in one of two modes. Depending on which mode is chosen, you may have different capabilities available for changing the UIs. The first mode is view mode, the most common default mode for most pages. This is the mode that is used for personalizations or user customizations. Users can access this mode via the Personalization link (see below) in the global region on Oracle Fusion Applications pages. In this mode, you can rearrange components on a page with drag-and-drop, collapse or expand components, add approved external content, and change the overall layout of a page. However, all of the changes made this way are exclusive to that particular user.



The second mode, edit mode, is typically made available to select users with access privileges to edit page content. We call these folks business systems analysts. This mode is used to make UI changes for groups of users. Users with appropriate privileges can access the edit mode of Oracle Composer via the Administration menu (see below) in the global region on Oracle Fusion Applications pages. In edit mode, users can also add components, delete components, and edit component properties.



While in edit mode in Oracle Composer, there are two views that assist the business systems analyst with making UI changes: Design View and Source View (see below).



Design View, the default view, is a WYSIWYG rendering of the page and its content. The business systems analyst can perform these actions:

  • Add content – including custom content like a portlet displaying news or stock quotes, or predefined content delivered from Oracle Fusion Applications (including ADF components and task flows)
  • Rearrange content – performed via drag-and-drop on the page or by using the actions menu of a component or portlet to move content around
  • Edit component properties and parameters – for specific components, control the visual properties such as text or display labels, or parameters such as RSS feeds
  • Hide or show components – hidden components can be re-shown
  • Delete components
  • Change page layout – users can select from eight pre-defined layouts
  • Edit page properties – create or edit a page’s parameters and display properties
  • Reset page customizations – remove edits made to the page in the current layer and/or reset the page to a previous state.

Detailed information on each of these capabilities and the additional actions not covered in the list above can be found in the Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.


This image shows what the screen looks like in Design View.

Source View, the second option in the edit mode of Oracle Composer, provides a WYSIWYG and a hierarchical rendering of page components in a component navigator. In Source View, users can access and modify properties of components that are not otherwise selectable in Design View. For example, many ADF Faces components can be edited only in Source View. Users can also edit components within a task flow.


This image shows what the screen looks like in Source View.

Detailed information on Source View can be found in the Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.
Oracle Composer enables any application or portal to be customized or personalized after it has been deployed and is in use. It is designed to be extremely easy to use so that both business systems analysts and users can edit Oracle Fusion Applications pages with a few clicks of the mouse. Oracle Composer runs in all modern browsers and provides a rich, dynamic way to edit JSF application and portal pages.

From the editor: The next post in this series about composers will be on Data Composer. You can also catch Killian speaking about extensibility at OpenWorld 2012 and in her Faces of Fusion video.

About

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

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

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