Wednesday Oct 09, 2013

Meet the Apps UX team at UKOUG Apps13 in London, UK, in October

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience


This year, the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) has created separate conferences for the applications and technology communities. UKOUG Apps13 is the must-attend event for users of Oracle Applications in the United Kingdom.

The Oracle Applications User Experience team is preparing to hit the road in the next few weeks and fly from Oracle headquarters to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. We will be at UKOUG Apps13 in London, UK, from October 14-16.

Onsite Usability Lab: Get involved, and give us your feedback
Our team has been hosting an onsite usability lab at the UKOUG conference in Birmingham, UK, since 2007. We are extremely excited about the conference changes and looking forward to collaborating with Oracle applications users and experts. Oracle customers and partners who plan to attend this conference or who are local to the London 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 products.

UKOUG APPS 13
Angela Johnston, from left, Teena Singh and Tejas Peesapati from the Oracle Applications User Experience Team host the UX Lab at one of the Oracle User Group Conferences.    

When & Where: Usability feedback sessions will be conducted during the UKOUG Apps13 Conference in London on Monday, October 14th, and Tuesday, October 15th, at The Brewery in the Cardington conference room.


Who can participate? What will we test?

  • Oracle Fusion Application’s simplified user interface with social media features: We are looking for feedback on how well social media features can be used in the context of Oracle’s Fusion HCM applications. Social media features allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.
    • Participants: any type of manager with at least 2 direct reports who use any Oracle enterprise applications and who are savvy users of social networking sites and/or collaboration tools.

  • PeopleSoft Mobile Time & Labor: We will test features such as reporting and updating punch time and holiday time using a mobile version of PeopleSoft Time and Labor flow. This research will be conducted on a smartphone.
    • Participants: anyone who uses PeopleSoft Time and Labor or another  third-party time reporting application as well as a smartphone.

  • HCM Manager/Executive Dashboard (Infolets View): We will collect feedback on interactivity, animation, visualization, and content organization on Manager Dashboard.
    • Participants: managers who manage at least 3 direct reports and use one Oracle HR product such as Fusion, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft or Taleo.
  • Next-Generation UI Concepts: Provide early feedback on new design ideas for the next generation of Oracle Fusion Applications.
    • Participants: anyone who is familiar with Oracle Applications such as HCM, CRM, SCM, Financials, Procurement, etc.
  • New contest management capabilities in Oracle’s HCM offering: If you are interested in being able to run contests to help engage and motivate your employees, you must check out this activity.
    • Participants: individuals who run contests or competitions at their company. This can include things like: hackathons, best-ideas contests, sales contests, incident ”burn-downs” contests, ride-share/commuter contests, etc.
  • Data visualization, eye-tracking and emotional valence: We will use mobile eye-tracking equipment and facial recognition software to record participants’ physical responses during a feedback session. We will also collect verbal feedback on various design concepts on data visualizations for future versions of Oracle applications.
    • Participants: any enterprise software users who have to review reports and occasionally use Excel to generate charts based on data.


Contact Us
This event fills up quickly, and seats are limited. Advance registration is required. In order to reserve a spot for yourself and your colleagues, complete this Sign Up registration form. Contact jeannette.chadwick@oracle.com for additional questions.

Attend these presentations to learn about the Oracle User Experience strategy
The Oracle Applications User Experience team will give several presentations at Apps13 that offer a look at the strategy behind the Oracle user experience. Come to these sessions to get a look ahead at where the user experience is going.

Presentation: Applications Transformation Community Keynote
Presenter: Jeremy Ashley

Presentation: Update on PeopleSoft User Experience Enhancements
Presenter: Harris Kravatz

Presentation: Tailoring Your Applications User Experiences in the Cloud

Presenter: Kristin Desmond and Ultan O'Broin


You can also visit the Usable Apps Events page to see where these presentations at Apps13 will be held.


Sunday Sep 29, 2013

Apps UX likes to share! Evolving outreach effort continues with Oracle partners

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

As an experiment, the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team recently combined forces with the Oracle PartnerNetwork for a pilot event that lays the foundation for certification as an Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Specialist.

Misha Vaughan -- who directed this event, leads the Applications UX Communications & Outreach team, and owns the Voice of User Experience (VoX) blog -- said workshops like these help both partners and customers understand the investment Oracle has made in the user experience of its cloud applications. We featured Oracle Fusion Applications in this pilot event because that’s what our partners were looking for, but many of the user experience concepts and resources through this workshop apply to all of Oracle’s cloud applications. This particular pilot, however, was intended to be an overview for anyone starting on a Fusion Applications pre-sales project. 

Presentations throughout the day were wide-ranging. The day began with a look at Oracle’s process for researching and designing the applications user experience, and included an hour on how to demo the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience.

Immediate Access: What you need to know
One of the user experience main messages for our cloud user experience

Participants also got a look at what’s ahead in the Fusion user experience, and were introduced to several projects that lay between the concept and development stages. The Apps UX team also gave partners a taste of how Oracle designs got where they are with a look at the labs, where we do much of our research work in customer feedback activities, and a chance to see what a customer feedback session looks like.


The day ended with presentations on tailoring the Fusion Applications user experience, for both the business analyst using composers, and for the developer using UX design patterns.

Feedback on the day

This first workshop was attended by members of the Hitachi Consulting team, who implement Oracle solutions in the United States. Here’s a sample of their comments after the workshop: 

Sona Manzo, Vice President, U.S. Oracle Solutions – HCM, Hitachi Consulting 

You mentioned that you would use some of the tailoring content for global training.  What, in particular, did you find useful? 

“Regarding the tailoring content, this will be a particular focus for our HCM and CXM teams, both in terms of the capabilities now available as well as the extensibility options through use of the design patterns Oracle has made available. 

“As part of Hitachi, we are partnering with our sister companies to deliver on Hitachi’s vision - Inspiring the Next.  We are continually looking for innovative ways to enable social innovation through technology, so we will be looking for potential applications in that arena.”

After the lab tour, you noted that it's one thing to get feedback as you try to finalize the product; it's another to get it as you're building the project. How does this change your perception of the Oracle user experience?

“Seeing the usability lab firsthand and hearing about the science behind the testing was eye-opening! I was very impressed with the level of investment Oracle has made to understanding all aspects of the user experience; not just the utilization and usability of the Oracle applications,  but indeed how individuals are doing their job. This included understanding the true workflow required across multiple applications/systems, and the frequency and tools used in non-Oracle application tasking and communication. The analysis done on the data and the resulting utilization in the design has led to a much more intuitive and powerful user experience. This foundational work and usability feedback loops built in the development process are in some cases readily apparent, and in others transparent to the user.  Eye-tracking, for example, provides invaluable input on where to place functions on the screen for maximum efficiency. I absolutely gained a new appreciation for the innovations that have been delivered and are on the horizon.”

David T. Ball, Senior Manager, U.S. Oracle Solutions, Hitachi Consulting 

How did your perception of Oracle change after this workshop?

“I was literally blown away!  

“Some people may think of Oracle as a ‘big box company’, maybe like Microsoft; slow to change and stuck in their roots. At the UX class last week, I was overwhelmed by the energy and talent at Oracle.  Oracle is very in-tune with their customer base and has some cutting-edge ideas, such as the new Fusion mobile interface. The new interface that comes in the newly released version 7 looks very progressive, something Apple would be proud of, compared to the typical Oracle light-blue screens.  

“I was also very impressed with the private tour of the UX testing lab. I had no idea of the time and energy spent on bringing test subjects in to see how they react to the software.  From eye scans that see where on the screen people look first, to cameras that track people’s expressions, this technology and due diligence that Oracle is doing for Fusion knocked my socks off.  There is pure science behind this, which is very cutting-edge and very ‘non-Oracle’.”

Nathaniel Pease, Consulting Manager, Hitachi Consulting 

You called watching the customer feedback session in the usability lab “motivating.” What did you take away from that experience? 

“First, I was very impressed with the tools and technology used to observe, record and learn from the feedback sessions. More importantly, I was overwhelmed with how enthusiastic, engaged, and excited the Oracle team leading the effort was. It was immediately evident that the team has a passion for what they do, are highly qualified, and they want to develop a tool that exceeds all expectations. Witnessing the feedback session and meeting the Oracle team leading the effort confirmed that opportunities for improvement are being exposed and creative solutions are being designed for today and the future.”

We love to share 

We love to share our vision for the Oracle User Experience. We hope we’ll be able to continue our work with Oracle’s partners, and enable those who are interested to earn certification as an Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Specialist. If you’d like more information about attending a workshop like this, leave a comment here or contact Misha.Vaughan@oracle.com.




Saturday Sep 07, 2013

OpenWorld 2013: What Applications User Experience Has in Store for Partners

By Misha Vaughan, Director, Applications User Experience


In a previous post on the VoX blog, we wrote about what the Applications User Experience team is doing for customers at OpenWorld 2013 this year. So now I thought I would write about what the team is doing for partners.


This year we have made a special effort to create and shape content targeted for Oracle applications partners as well as Fusion Middleware partners. This content is delivered in partnership with the Oracle Worldwide Alliances & Channels team of Jonthan Vinoskey and Tom Barrett.


As a partner at OpenWorld this year, you will hear about the focus of the Applications User Experience team on simplicity, mobility, and extensibility for the evolving Oracle user experience.


We will spell out for partners how Oracle is investing in the future of cloud applications user experiences, and we’ll provide examples of what that looks like. You can find that in this session:


Oracle Partner Network Exchange: Applications User Experiences In the Cloud: Tailoring, Trends and Strategy

Presenters: Jeremy Ashley, Vice President, Applications User Experience, Oracle; Debra Lilley, Fujitsu, Oracle Applications UX Advocate and Oracle ACE Director



Jeremy Ashley, left, and Debra Lilley chat during an interview for UKOUG.

Session ID: CON9817
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013
Time: 3:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
Location: Marriott Marquis, Atrium Level - Club Room

This will be a lively conversation about the priorities of the Applications User Experience team, and you’ll also hear from a partner about hitting user experience issues head-on in deals, and customizing and extending.


We know roadmap sessions are always helpful, but we also like to talk tools with Oracle partners. This year, mobile tools are a hot topic. So, we will deliver a session on what Oracle is doing in the mobile applications space in a presentation that is equal parts strategy and tooling. This presentation will also dive into UX mobile design patterns – what they are, how they can help you, and where to get them.



This wireframe is based on Mobile ADF UX design patterns from the Oracle Applications User Experience team.

Oracle Partner Network Exchange: Oracle's UI Strategy for Mobile Devices
Presenters: Jeremy Ashley, Vice President, Applications User Experience, Oracle; Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo, Senior Manager, Mobile User Experience, Oracle

Session ID: CON9840
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
Time: 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Location: Marriott Marquis - Foothill F

This is not part of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, or OPN, track, but we think it will be interesting to the partner community, as well as the following session on cloud applications, which are primarily Oracle Fusion Applications, and tailoring with a partner success story.


Oracle Fusion Applications: Tailoring Your User Experience in the Cloud

Presenters: Killian Evers, Senior Director, Applications User Experience, Oracle; Timothy Dubois, User Experience Architect, Oracle; Ultan O'Broin, Director of User Experience, Oracle; Floyd Teter, EIS Technologies Inc., Fusion UX Advocate and Oracle ACE Director


Session ID: CON8493
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
Time: 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Location: Moscone West - 3001


Finally, if you’re an Oracle PartnerNetwork Exchange, or OPNX, attendee, I must extend an invitation to the Apps UX Expo. The Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team is co-hosting a top-secret event. You must have signed nondisclosure paperwork on file, but it will be worth the extra step – this is a unique opportunity to see what is cooking in the research and development kitchen of the user expeirence team. You will get a chance to see innovations ranging from current technologies to future user experiences, and you’ll be able to talk to the people behind the technology and creative experiences.


For more information and to register for the Apps UX Expo, check out the OPN Blog.


Until then, the Apps UX Communications & Outreach team (OAUX) is getting ready to meet you and put our best foot forward. So the VoX blog is going be a bit quiet for the next few weeks. However, our pals Ultan and Jake always have something to say. Look for new partner-oriented posts on building great-looking usable apps on our UsableApps blog as well.


And if you see me at OpenWorld, please take a minute to say hi!



Saturday Aug 24, 2013

What’s Coming for Oracle’s Applications User Experience Customers at OpenWorld 2013

By Misha Vaughan, Director, Oracle Applications User Experience

We are literally just a few weeks away from Oracle’s biggest annual event for meeting with customers and partners from around the world. This year, the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team is unveiling some pretty exciting things that we are very pleased to share with you.

First among our projects is an update from last year’s presentation around simplicity. We are still talking about simplicity, but we’ve added mobility and extensibility into the mix – which you can read more about in an article on UsableApps.


Simplicity: The Essential Information to Complete Your Work


OpenWorld 2013 Sessions


Apps UX Vice President Jeremy Ashley will be talking about what simplicity, mobility, and extensibility mean for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences at his OpenWorld presentations. You can catch him here:  

CON8029: Oracle Applications User Experiences In the Cloud: Trends and Strategy

Learn how simplicity, consistency, and emerging trends are driving the applications user experience strategy at Oracle. We will talk about trends in mobile workers and their devices in the cloud, gamification, new ways to visualize information, consumer-like experiences, and how to create applications that require a light touch and zero training. See the first demos of what’s new in the pipeline for Oracle Applications user experiences here.

Date: Monday Sept 23rd
, 2013
Time: 4:45-5:45 pm

Location: Moscone West 2006/2008

If you are a customer and interested in the deeper story about tailoring technologies and tools that are available for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences, you can find a lot more detail in this panel, which will be chaired by Killian Evers, Senior Director, and will include Tim Dubois, Architect, talking about our composer tool set. Ultan O’Broin (@ultan), Director, will talk about Apps UX design patterns and ADF tooling, and Floyd Teter (@fteter), Executive Vice President, EiS Technologies, will share a success story.

CON8493: Tailoring Your Applications User Experiences in the Cloud

Date:  Weds Sept 25th, 2013
Time: 11:45am-12:45 pm
Location: Moscone West 3001


On-Site Usability Labs

There are a few more things available for customers, including access to the Apps UX on-site Oracle Usability Labs. If you sign up to participate, you can find out what Oracle thinks the future will look like and give us your feedback about what the future should look like.  Gozel Aamoth, Manager, Applications User Experience, said that this year attendees will get a preview of products designs for:

  • Oracle Fusion HCM and SCM
  • Fusion Applications Help
  • Oracle Social Relationship Management
  • Mobile Design Patterns
  • My Oracle Support
  • Oracle Social Network
  • Oracle E-Business Suite, that's right. E-Business Suite (thank you Steven Chan & Sara Woodhull!)
  • WebCenter Portal and more

The on-site usability labs at Oracle OpenWorld

Regardless of your job title, we can offer you a session that might interest you. Here are just a few job profiles we are looking for:

  • Employees
  • Business Analysts
  • Functional Subject Matter Experts
  • Marketing professionals
  • IT professionals
  • Developers, System Administrators
  • Product Managers
  • Managers of all levels more


If you want in on one of these sessions, reach out now to angela.johnston@oracle.com. Advance registration is required, and the slots are filling up.  

Cloud Applications User Experiences: The Future of What Your Employees Will Touch, See, & Hear

Check out our demopod this year at OpenWorld and take the chance to try out the new simplified user experience first-hand. You will also have an opportunity to chat about what’s happening with mobile design. 

Get on the Bus!

If you're staying through Thursday, Sept. 26, sign up for one of Oracle’s exclusive tours at Oracle Headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.  Customers and partners are invited to hop on 
one of our chartered buses to Oracle Headquarters to see where Oracle brings together best practices to create innovative, next-generation user experiences.


The Oracle Usability Lab Tour Bus

Our usability experts will demonstrate an eye-tracking device, how Oracle’s usability experts use an interactive SMART board, and show the latest design concepts for mobile enterprise applications on different mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Round-trip transportation will be provided from the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco to Oracle Headquarters.  Return times are estimated, depending on traffic.  Advanced sign-up is recommended, and spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To join a tour, register here.  For additional questions, email gozel.aamoth@oracle.com.

Friday Aug 16, 2013

Emerging Design Principles for End User Consumption of Big Data

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Editor’s Note: This is part 3 in a three-part series on the user experiences of working with big data. In the last post on this topic, John Fuller, Consulting User Experience Designer for Endeca, wrote about some of his team’s key requirements for designing usability into the user interfaces for Endeca Information Discovery. In this post, the emerging thinking on design principles for delivering all this power to regular end users is the topic. Thank you to peers John Fuller, Julia Blyumen, Edward Roske (@eroske), and Aylin Uysal for the inspiration of these themes.

Information visualization is a whole field unto itself, and education is now widely available on this topic, notably Edward Tufte’s work on Information Visualization.

When information visualization was discussed at a recent summit on user experience for big data summit, a specific new insight for me was that I saw a set of information visualization guidelines emerging for end users. I don’t mean data analysts or business analysts who are doing deep, big data analysis.  I mean the end user, for whom the analyst is preparing data.  

How do you present big data to an executive or a decision-maker in a way that is digestible? How do you take them from the big picture insight, down into the supporting details? Do you show them the trellis charts and say “see here?” Or do you take a more narrative approach?

In no particular order, these were my lessons learned about end user design principles for big data visualizations:

1.    Make the invisible visible.

The entry into a big data analysis can be through seemingly simple information visualizations. Take a strategy from the newspaper industry’s use of infographics, such as the Huffington Post or USA Today.  Through visualization, you can help the user better connect and interact with the data.  Information visualization and infographics are a core part of making the results of big data accessible.

2. Show the forest, then the trees. This is also known as progressive disclosure.

With more and more data available in larger amounts, end users now need, more than ever, attention to how to cleverly and conveniently discover what they need to know. Then they need to be given the ability to explore that data.

3.  It’s all about me, or staying in context of my task.

Making big data relevant to end users means considering how to display large quantities of data in the context of different enterprise use cases, such as human resources processes, financial processes, or sales processes.  This can be any kind of data, whether it's pulling in transactional data, analytics, or social feeds.

4. Tell me a story.

Big data is, well, a lot of data. Providing narrative sources can add context and clarity to complex data. Doing this in a systematized way has even more interesting implications for enterprise use cases.

5. Make it mobile.

This one is kind of a no-brainer.  This is about giving end users the ability to make this kind of data available on tablet-sized devices.

6.  I can trust this, by you showing me how you got here.

Because of the complexity of the data, and the possible multiplicity of data sources, the ability to create confidence in the quality and the timeliness of the data are key to the experience.  It also means showing the path or way an analyst arrived at a particular conclusion.

7. Make it fun to play with.

One of the delightful characteristics of big data is that there really is a lot of data you can play with.  There is a sweet spot for the developer or designer who invents clever components that allow for the creative display and manipulation of complex levels of data.

8. One UI to rule them all.

End users don’t really care how many data sources you are bringing together. They just want the result. The best experiences will unify many data sources, transparently --  whether it’s Endeca, a data warehouse, or social feeds -- into one representation.

Again, I can’t claim credit for the concepts. I’m just summarizing what I learned on that day. If you want to see what this all means for Oracle Applications User Experiences, stay tuned and see what’s coming at OpenWorld 2013 this year.

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.

Wednesday Jun 13, 2012

We need you! Sign up now to give Oracle your feedback on future product design trends at OpenWorld 2012

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Get the most from your Oracle OpenWorld 2012 experience and participate in a usability feedback session, where your expertise will help Oracle develop unbeatable products and solutions. Sign up to attend a one-hour session during Oracle OpenWorld. You’ll learn about Oracle’s future design trends -- including mobile applications and social networking -- and how these trends will affect your users down the road.

OpenWorld Exterior 2011

A street scene from Oracle OpenWorld 2011.

Oracle’s usability experts will guide you through practical learning sessions on the user experience of various business applications, middleware, and more. All user feedback sessions will be conducted October 1–3 at the InterContinental San Francisco Hotel on Howard Street, just a few steps away from the Moscone Center.

To best match you with a user feedback activity, we will ask you about your role at your company. Our user feedback opportunities include focus groups, surveys, and one-on-one sessions with usability engineers.

What do you get out of it? Customer and partner participants in the past have been surprised to learn how tuned in Oracle is to work that their applications users do every day. Oracle’s User Experience team members are trained to listen carefully, ask specific questions, interpret your answers, and work with designers to create products and solutions that suit your needs. Our goal is to help make you and your users more productive and efficient.

Learn about Oracle’s process, and take advantage of the chance to give your specific feedback to the designers who create the enterprise applications of your future. See for yourself how Oracle collects feedback and measures its designs for turning them into code.

Seats are limited for Oracle’s user feedback sessions, so sign up now by sending an e-mail to Gozel.Aamoth@oracle.com with the subject line: Sign Me Up for an Oracle OpenWorld 2012 UX Session.

For more information about customer feedback sessions and what you can learn from them, please visit the Usable Apps website.


When: Monday-Wednesday during OpenWorld 2012, Oct. 1-3

Where: The InterContinental San Francisco Hotel

How to sign up: RSVP now by sending an email to gozel.aamoth@oracle.com with the subject line “Sign me up for an OOW 2012 UX Session.”

Learn more: Visit the Usable Apps website at Get Involved.



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.

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.

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 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

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

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