Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

Introduce Design Thinking Into Your Enterprise Implementations

By Madhuri Kolhatkar, Oracle Applications User Experience

Enterprise applications are often critiqued for being too complex and difficult to use. But if one can understand the customer journey that post-sales enterprise implementations go through, such as configuration, customizations, and extensions, then it is not hard to understand how the design focus is lost. Enterprise implementations are typically technology-focused. Consultants and IT professionals deliver what is required by the business, but end users often experience an application that does not meet their needs in terms of user experience.

Oracle’s Applications User Experience team incorporates user-centered design process into our shipped products. Our customers often tailor these enterprise solutions to fit their needs. If our customers used our user-centered design thinking in the implementation, the result of their tailored implementation is far more likely to result in more productive users, and deliver the efficiency everyone wants with a new enterprise solution.

To meet this goal, the Oracle Applications User Experience team has created a program called Oracle UX Direct to provide customers, partners, and consultants in the enterprise industry with design best-practices and tools that they can leverage to make their enterprise implementations more successful. By introducing design thinking during the implementation stage, our customers have the opportunity to create a solution that best fits the needs of their users from the beginning.

UX Direct Home Page
Visit the UX Direct website to learn how to make your implementation more usable and productive for your users.

Just to illustrate the benefits of introducing design thinking into an implementation, I want to share a story from one of my experiences working with customers. An international organization had implemented Oracle’s recruitment application for Human Capital Management to increase their global workforce. They converted their 50-page, paper-based, new-hire application to an online form collecting detailed personal information. However, no one was using the application, and there were no submissions from applicants, even in a downturn economy. The customer requested our support to investigate why the product was not successful.

After conducting some user research with both internal and external employees, we found that a lot of questions asked in the online form were not applicable to an applicant. We went through an exercise with the users to prioritize and define the key fields they used and we redesigned the user experience based on what the users actually wanted. The result was astonishing. Resumes flooded the human resources department. This was the result of following a user-centered design process.

Madhuri Kolhatkar
Madhuri Kolhatkar, Senior Director

Our program, UX Direct, tells you how to introduce a user-centered design approach into your implementation. You can use our step-by-step design process to add design thinking into your development process. We also provide a useful tool kit and showcase best practices to inform your designs. 

We plan to extend and refine this repository of information and create a community that will change the way enterprise applications are implemented. Check out what our partners and consultants are already saying about UX Direct in VoX, where you will also see new additions to the UX Direct website.

Tuesday Sep 27, 2011

Continuing the Applications investment: JD Edwards User Experience Enhancements

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Do you run your business on JD Edwards?


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


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


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


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


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


JD Edwards sessions to hit at OpenWorld


What Is Next for the User Experience in Oracle Applications?

12 p.m. Thursday

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

Madhuri Kolhatkar, Director Applications User Experience, Oracle


General Session: JD Edwards 9 Is Now!

11 a.m. Monday,

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

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

Sheila Ebbitt, Director, Oracle


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

3:30 p.m. Monday,

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

Gary Grieshaber, Senior Director, Product Strategy, Oracle


The JD Edwards EnterpriseOne User Experience

5 p.m. Wednesday

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

Wednesday Sep 14, 2011

What to hit at OpenWorld 2011: PeopleSoft User Experience

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Tuesday Sep 06, 2011

A User Experience Summit with Intel

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


VoX:
Thanks very much, Delia.

About

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

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

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