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.

Sunday Feb 03, 2013

Changing of the Guard: A new Face for the UsableApps Site and A New Editor for the UsableApps Blog

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

As Editor-in-Chief of UsableApps, I am mostly asked to sign off on stories and work by writers who are much better than I.  Just check out this thoroughly researched and well-written piece by Kathy Miedema on what mobile looks like across the applications product lines.  Or take a look at the recently updated oracle.com/usableapps, with a whole new area for developers.

Usableapps Home Page
This screenshot of Oracle.com/usableapps shows new organization in the navigation to reflect Oracle’s changing priorities for applications user experiences.

UsableApps Blog: User Experience for Applications Developers

Every now and then, the applications user experience communication squad throws me a hard problem. This time, it was finding a new editor and a new vision for the UsableApps blog.

Anna Wichansky, former editor of the blog, has experienced such success with the growth of the Oracle Usability Advisory Board, of which she is co-chair, that she is now making that her full-time commitment. Which meant I had to ponder the future of the blog.

Ultan O’Broin will take over as the editor, and deliver what I think is a very timely new focus.  In a face-to-face interview session, I gave O’Broin my take on user experience, and I asked him to share his vision for the Usable Apps blog. 

He plans to write posts for: “customers, partners, builders of our apps, users of our apps who need to be able to articulate what they need from the builders.”

“There are going to be a wide range of topics covered that I will slot into different categories,” he said.   I want to build on the great work that has been done on the existing blog and explore new areas such as: developer productivity, cloud deployment of apps, user experience as part of the development tool kit, as well as user experience science and innovation.

Why the shift in the focus on the blog?  “It is a natural progression from where we are,” he said. “We need to reflect the changing expectations of our customers and their end users.  To users, there is no delineation of enterprise apps and apps you use for your personal business. We are in a world of simplicity and modernization.” 

O’Broin also noted the changing nature of customer expectations. Purchasing an application and implementing it is no longer enough, he said. Now, companies need to focus on the user experience of those application implementations to get the most value from their purchase.  “Customers have an expectation of companies like Oracle,” he added. “They are paying a lot of money, and they want access to our expertise.“

A Blog for Applications Makers


O’Broin, far right, speaks on a panel at the San Francisco Maker Faire in 2012.

O’Broin has been blogging for a few years, “I noticed, in the evolution of blogging, readers want to know how to do things. If you have expertise, you need to share it with the community. You need to give it away. You can’t keep it in your head.”

O’Broin said the blog will talk about what UX is, “but also explain how to do things and why they need to do them, with anecdotally rich examples.” 

The blog will have some guest writers.  People from the ADF team will write about modernizing Oracle Forms, about ADF and internationalization, and partners like Basheer Khan who have taken up design patterns will write about their experience.   

O’Broin said, “I would like to get to a level where developers can talk about it themselves. I want developers to say ‘make it like Google or Apple or Oracle.’”

“There is a maker community around enterprise applications.  I want them them to understand that UX should be part of their tool kit.  We can deliver much more than code.  We can deliver a whole experience. “

To Get Started
Fundamental to getting started as an applications developer in the user experience space is getting up to speed on user experience design patterns.  If you got all the way to the end and are looking to wrap your head around the idea, check out the following:

  • Training events – reach out to the EMEA Platform Technology Solutions team, and soon the NAS PTS team, for training in your area on design patterns and ADF.  It’s an intense but thorough introduction.
  • Listen to the podcast with O'Broin on getting started with developer tools like design patterns.
  • Read the user experience design patterns white paper.
  • Watch Oracle ACE Directors Debra Lilley and Sten Vesterli talk about user experience design patterns on YouTube.
  • Read about the launch of the Fusion user experience design patterns for developers.


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

Learn more about us at
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