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


Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Oracle Executive Spends Four Weeks with Just a Mini

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Steven Chan
Steven Chan, Senior Director, Oracle E-business Suite Applications Technology, holds his iPad mini.

As Oracle continues to develop its strategy in the mobile space, it’s always interesting to hear what Oracle executives are doing and thinking around available mobile devices.  

Steven Chan, Oracle Senior Director of E-Business Suite Technology and a regular blogger, recently traveled around the world in about 30 days with only an iPad mini. He went from the U.K. to Hyderabad, India, to Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China, all in about four weeks.  

Why bring just a mini? His number one concern: security.  How could he keep his computing device physically safe, given such a wide range of locales and conditions? “I could slip it in my suit pocket. This was my primary reason to take my mini instead of my regular iPad,” Chan said. “I could keep it with me at all times.”

He said he thought that he would miss his laptop. “I expected it be painful,” Chan said. “I expected the smaller form factor to be difficult to adjust to, but it was surprisingly easy. I was worried about the ‘squint factor,’ but that turned out not to be an issue.”

In contrast to an iPad mini,  “You have to make a deliberate choice to carry an iPad around with you. This is tricky for guys, and I personally don’t like to carry a murse or briefcase all day.”

He said the smaller size made a big difference when reading books or using it for extended periods.  “I read a couple of books a week, and you really feel the extra weight [of the larger iPad] after a while. When I picked up a mini the first time, my reaction was, ‘This is the device I’ve been waiting for!’” 




Photograph by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience

What surprises were there with this device?

“The unexpected business benefits,” Chan said. “In the middle of a conversation with a customer, I could show them a technical road map. They didn’t know I was carrying it. All of a sudden, we can have a different conversation at a deeper level because I have more detailed information with me.”

He also found that having easy access to email was helpful. “Our lives are in email,” he said. “You can keep an email stored on the mini, which is really something. I have a terrible memory; that’s why I write my blog. But not everything makes it to the blog. There is lots of internal stuff: technical debates, contents of new release patch sets. So having my email handy offline allowed me to have certain conversations straight away, instead of saying, ‘Let me get back to you later after I return to my office.’”

Having the iPad mini with him at all times also helped him to be more efficient. “At the UKOUG conference, I had a standing-room-only session,” he said. “At the end, someone came up and asked me if the slides were going to be available. I said, ‘Hang on’ and sent it to him right there. One less thing to do later.” Chan also remarked on the difference between an iPhone and an iPad mini. “Sending a business-caliber e-mail on an iPhone is tedious. The mini is just easier to use for that level of written communication.”

Chan said he’s also been using features he hasn’t tried before. “I’m using the ‘voice dictation’ button with everything now,” he said, “composing emails, sending texts, searches in Safari, creating new calendar entries. I hadn’t used that before.” He tried it because the iPad mini’s portrait-mode keyboard is smaller. “The requirement for greater precision while typing on it is just enough of a disincentive that I now prefer to simply talk instead of type,” he said. “I talk faster than I type, so I’m finding that my data-input rate has increased instead of decreased.” 

That surprised him: “This is completely counter-intuitive. Am I the only one?” he said. “If others are doing the same, then it makes me wonder whether our use of natural language voice input will increase as form factors shrink further.”

How could the iPad mini change things for enterprise users?

When Chan was on the road, he found that he spent his time approving requisitions and handling other administrative transactions -- basically a lot of approvals. He wanted some specific capabilities on the road.  “I would love a nice native app for expense reports,” he said. Oracle ACE Director and Fusion Applications UX Advocate Debra Lilley showed him the Fusion mobile expenses application.  “I want this!” he said.

“An Accounts Payables clerk isn’t going to use a mobile device to enter transactions. Executive users are the ones who use these devices on the road. Fit and finish matter to executives,” Chan said. “We need beautifully-designed mobile apps. Mobile apps have to look dazzling; they need a certain polish. You can immediately tell the difference between an app designed for iOS and one that’s been ported.”

What does this mean for Oracle E-Business Suite? Chan said, “You can bet that this means we are looking at mobile computing beyond just running EBS in a tablet browser. We are looking at how work is changing because of these devices. We have some exciting things in the EBS labs right now.” 

If you are interested in seeing where Oracle Applications are trending, check out the Applications sessions at Alliance, Benelux, and Collaborate, and sign up for a usability testing session at Alliance, Benelux, or Collaborate to help guide the design of our mobile applications.

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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