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.




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.

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.

Thursday Mar 15, 2012

Fusion Applications Outreach Continues: Europe

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience team recently completed training in Europe for a select group of Oracle application solution consultants. The goal was to educate them about Oracle's investment in the Fusion User Experience.

This group of newly trained Applications User Experience Sales Ambassadors (SAMBA), continues a program of educational outreach about Oracle's investment in usability across the suites.


Katie Candland, Director, Applications User Experience, talks about the Fusion User Experience in Munich, Germany, recently.

If you would like to hear more about the Fusion User Experience, Oracle's deep investment in this space, and how it extends to our existing product lines including JD Edwards, Siebel, E-Business Suite, and more, feel free to contact us. We can point you to a resource local to your area, including specially trained speakers 

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.

Thursday Dec 29, 2011

User Experience Enhancements Available Today in PeopleSoft 9.1 and PeopleTools 8.52

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

You’ve heard it from the Oracle Applications User Experience team before – one key way Oracle is continuing the commitment to applications customers is through user experience enhancements.

At OpenWorld 2011, in October in San Francisco, we got to hear it straight from the executives. The Group Vice President for PeopleSoft, Paco Aubrejuan, and the Senior Director of PeopleSoft Development, Jeff Robbins, spoke directly to both the applications improvements as well as the user experience enhancements in the tools.

PeopleSoft User Interface

Read more about how you can create a cleaner, more modern look with new user experience features available in PeopleSoft and PeopleTools. This screenshot shows the type of website-centric approach that is possible with today’s PeopleSoft.

This is a smart strategy. Improvements in the application translate into immediate value for a customer. But what happens when that same customer wants to extend the experience, to customize, or to add new components? With a tool set that is just as focused on user experience, Oracle delivers a complete experience to customers.

To read more about what is newly available in PeopleSoft, visit Usable Apps.

Tuesday Nov 01, 2011

Fusion Applications: Extending the User Interface

By Misha Vaughan

WrenchIf you missed OpenWorld 2011 this year, then you missed a remarkably straight-forward (no tech-stack diagrams!) presentation on Oracle’s vision for how Oracle Fusion Applications can be extended.

Presented by Killian Evers, Kristin Desmond and Ronaldo Viscuso, all from Oracle, the story is about the family of “composers.” These composers are all available today, and provide the ability to easily tailor Fusion Applications, or any application built on Fusion Middleware, to meet your business needs.

Changing applications easily is an area on the mind of every customer who picks up an enterprise application. The customer might say: “Ok, that’s cool, but I need it to look like THIS.”

My key takeaway: There is a family of composers provided by Fusion Middleware, designed for the business systems analyst, that supports the upgrade-safe customizations and extensions of key areas that impact the user interface. This includes business objects, user interfaces, reports, analytics, workflows, and business processes.

How it works: These composers are supported by Fusion Middleware’s Metadata Services (MDS), which provide the ability to store changed metadata separately from the original metadata. So when patches or upgrades are applied, they affect the original metadata. After a patch or upgrade, the changed metadata is reapplied, preserving the changes.

I wanted to find out what the presenters’ take was on what this means for applications customers in detail. So I asked them to spell it out for me.

“If you have an application running on Fusion Middleware,” Kristin Desmond says, “you can use Oracle’s Page Composer to make changes to your user interface to meet your needs.”

“If you have a mixed bag of Fusion as well as pre-Fusion applications, you can use these composers to build an integration, e.g., with EBS, PeopleSoft, Agile, or Siebel components – and go all the way down to restyling the skin,” she adds.

“If you have Fusion Applications, you have access to a much wider set of customizations in the user interface. You can move things around on a dashboard, hide and show things on a dashboard, hide and show fields on a page, make sections on a page viewable based on role, or country. You can add new components, such as a Twitter component.”

This presentation went a long way to helping me understand a key customer issue and Oracle’s perspective on the solution: Tailoring the applications user experience to meet custom business needs.

Want more information?

Monday Oct 10, 2011

Oracle OpenWorld 2011: Applications User Experience Hits a High Note

by Misha Vaughan

Well, how could you miss Oracle’s Applications User Experience announcements this year! Holy moley

Larry Ellison

Photos by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announces the general availability of Oracle Fusion Applications during Oracle OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco on Oct. 5.

Steve Miranda, Senior Vice President of Applications Development for Oracle, was on stage for several keynotes during OpenWorld 2011, where he repeatedly opened the door to discussion about the Oracle Applications User Experience.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the keynote, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced the general availability of Oracle Fusion Applications. I did not see that coming, but I suppose I should have. To give full credit, Steve Miranda also announced GA for Fusion Applications in the morning session. Miranda is Senior Vice President of Applications Development for Oracle.

What a pleasure to be able to talk to customers about Fusion now! For those who missed it, Jeremy Ashley and Katie Candland, of Oracle, and Edward Roske, InterRel CEO, covered new design directions for next-generation user experiences as well as the core role played by Fusion Middleware in building the experiences.


A story that I think often gets lost in the shuffle is the benefit Oracle has of a centralized user experience team. Yeah, we got to rock the user experience research and design of Fusion Applications, but not many customers understand that all of our existing product families are benefiting from that same work, too.


As spelled out in a session by Oracle’s George Hackman, Madhuri Kolhatkar, and Harris Kravatz, the existing applications have all done their homework to understand what they can start adding -- and give customers the benefits of Fusion Applications today. Just take a look, for example, at the new Fusion-inspired navigation coming in PeopleSoft and JD Edwards. That is the power of design patterns.


The Applications General Session hosted by Miranda was a bonus pack of user experience updates as well across all of the product lines. I wish I could find a decent video summary of the session to point you to. If I do, I will amend the post.


Oracle Fusion Applications in the Cloud:
And how could I miss the last little bit of Ellison’s announcement? Fusion Applications in the cloud, CRM and HCM! I expect customers will be interested to see how these offerings play side-by-side. The good news, from a user experience standpoint? It’s all the same user experience, whether in the cloud, on-premise, or a hybrid solution. The best solution comes down to a thoughtful analysis of a customer’s business needs.


Mobility
: There was also a nice iPad nod in the keynote. Oracle developers have been busy getting Fusion Applications onto the iPad. However, don’t let the existing product families go unnoticed, like the hard-working JD Edwards team who smoked ‘em all by getting the first enterprise application native on an iPad out of the door. Nice job guys, and a great presentation, too.


How do I learn more about the Oracle Applications User Experience?

If you are just kicking yourself for missing some of these great sessions, we have team members, both inside and outside Oracle, who will be presenting in the months ahead. Check out our upcoming events.


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.

Tuesday Aug 23, 2011

User Experience Summit: Intel & Oracle - Lift Off!

Intel and Oracle are coming together for a day-long exchange of user experience best practices. This is the first in a two-part exchange. This effort is being lead by myself and Delia Grenville, User Experience Program Manager, Corporate Platform Office, Intel.

Delia Grenville, Photo

Delia Grenville, Intel

Intel will be engaging with Oracle's Applications User Experience team to understand how they've been able build a mature, multidisciplinary UX organization. As a co-owner of the event, I asked Delia if she could put into words for me what she hopes to get out of the day.


MV: What was your motivation for contacting Oracle about running an event on user experience best practices?

DG: I was looking for organizations that had well-established best practices in user experience. Oracle is in its third generation of user experience evolution and is a mature user experience organization. We saw that Oracle had a lot to offer.

MV: What is the benefit of talking to Oracle, isn't Intel just a hardware company?


DG: Actually, at Intel we understand that developing compelling computing experiences require a host of elements including hardware and software.

Oracle as a software company has valuable user experience expertise. We are interested in how Oracle delivered user experience across platforms, and how Oracle integrates user experience across the product development lifecycle.


MV:
How did you convince Intel this was a good idea?


DG
: We have a lot of progressive thought leaders in our business groups who value and understand the importance of user experience. Our business leaders are looking to gain every user experience advantage while building Intel products. They were excited by a cross-company conversation that would allow us to exchange ideas with other thought leaders just as committed the importance of user experience. This is a unique opportunity.

Thanks very much Delia!

More to come…

Tuesday Aug 16, 2011

Welcome to the VOX blog

Welcome to VOX, the voice of user experience for Oracle Applications.

This blog will be a place where you can find the most current information about the Oracle Applications User Experience.

  • We will be sharing our opinions on what user experience features are coming down the pipe and in recently released applications.  
  • We will update you on the events our team runs including our conference usability labs, webinars, and speaking events.  These are opportunities for you, our customers, to give us feedback.
  • We will provide a view and perspective into what our customers are doing that is user experience best-practice when it comes to deploying Oracle Applications.  Are you using change management effectively with end users? Are you writing user profiles to make sure you meet your users needs?  Are you tracking your usability ROI?

Check back here for more coming soon.

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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