Saturday Aug 29, 2015

Emerging technologies and the 'Glance, Scan, Commit' design philosophy

By Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot), Oracle Applications User Experience

Behind the Oracle user experience goals of designing for simplicity, mobility, and extensibility is a core design philosophy guiding the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team’s work in emerging technologies: “Glance, Scan, Commit.”

It nicely boils down a mountain of research and a design experience that shapes the concepts you can see from us.

The philosophy of “Glance, Scan, Commit” permeates all of our work in the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience, especially when investigating emerging technologies.

On your wrist

Some projects fit the “Glance, Scan, Commit” philosophy like a glove. The smaller screens of smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Android Wear watches require the distillation of content to fit.

Consumers demand glance and scan interactions on their wearable devices. The Oracle user experiences provide just the right amount of information on wearable devices and enable the ability to commit to more detail via the accompanying smartphone app.

On your ‘Things’

How else does the OAUX team apply the “Glance, Scan, Commit” design philosophy?

Let’s look at another example: The “Things” in the Internet of Things (IoT) represent a very broad category of Internet-connected devices, and generally speaking, consumers can’t rely on these things to have large screens, or even screens at all. This reduces the experience down to the lightest “glance” of proximity, and in some cases a sonic “glance.”

Sometimes we tap into the user’s context such as micro-location, provided by Bluetooth beacons or Near Field Communications (NFC) tags, to capture a small chunk of information. The “glance” here is the lightest touch of a beacon coming within range or a near field tag brushing up against a sensor.

In some cases, we use the philosophy to build sound “glances,” by capturing chunks of information that are then dictated by a personal assistant, like Amazon Echo. These are simple, small, discrete tasks powered by the human voice and Internet-connected devices.

For the eyes

We are also actively exploring and building visualizations to provide “glance” and “scan” experiences that allow users to consume report data quickly and easily, without poring over tables of information.

Video Storytelling, for example, permits complicated and detailed reports to be animated and delivered via audio and video. Think about the intricacies of a quarterly financial statement; video storytelling does the thinking for you by producing the information in very scannable, organized buckets of audio and video.

The “Glance, Scan, Commit” philosophy becomes even more important when building new experiences. As users are exposed to new experiences, data from the Oracle Applications Cloud provides a constant that helps them embrace these new technologies. Delivering the data in a particular way, using designs shaped by “Glance, Scan, Commit,” increases that consistency.

If the Oracle user experience can provide customers with the information they need to do work every day, in a meaningful way, then new technologies are tools to increase user participation, not barriers.

In the not-so-distant past, “walk up and use” was the bar for experiences, meaning that the interactions should be easy enough to support use without any prior knowledge or training. The user would simply walk up and use it.

The rise of smartphones, ubiquitous connectivity, and IoT -- and the emerging technology that enables their use -- make our new goal as close to simply “walk up” as possible. Workers can use the system without interacting with it directly, because context collected from phones, combined with smart things around them and enterprise data in the cloud, allow the environment to pass useful information to users without any interactions. This removes more barriers and also works to increase user participation. The more users are engaging with an enterprise system, the more data goes in – and the more value our customers can get out of their investment.

And that, in the end, is the overarching goal of the Oracle user experience.

See it for yourself

If you want to put hands-on what we do, we will be at Oracle OpenWorld participating in the OAUX Cloud Exchange.  Attendance requires a non-disclosure agreement, so please register early.

Tuesday Jan 06, 2015

Applications User Experience shows off the Oracle 'cool factor' to the Oracle College Hire Program

By DJ Ursal, Oracle Applications User Experience

Ackshaey Singh (from left to right), DJ Ursal (@djursal), Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), Joe Goldberg, Noel Portugal (@noelportugal), and David Haimes (@dhaimes) prepare for the Oracle College Hire Morning Joe Panel, "Head in the Clouds." .

One of our charters as part of the Oracle Applications UX organization is to support the Oracle Product Development Boot Camps. The program components are career development, speaker series and social activities. The idea is to promote teamwork, collaboration and give college-hires a chance to work with different technologies within and outside of Oracle and explore their creativity. This was my first time supporting the Oracle Campus Hire (OCH) program as part of the Oracle Applications User Experience group. The Apps UX organization held two sessions: a "Head in the Clouds" panel and a mock Angel Investor event.

The OCH Morning Joe Panel, "Head in the Clouds" (styled after MSNBCs show of the same name), was a great discussion panel. The panel was facilitated by OCH member Ackshaey Singh (Senior Application Engineer) and included Misha Vaughan (Director User Experience, Apps UX Communications & Outreach), David Haimes (Senior Director, Financial Applications Development), Joe Goldberg (Chief Research Scientist, Applications UX), Noel Portugal (Development Manager, Emerging Technologies) and DJ Ursal (Director – Product management). We touched on how Oracle is aligning for the Applications Cloud wearable’s challenges we see with user experience, how beacons work and the opportunity for Oracle, cloud business models, and of course, advice to college hires.  

The afternoon included a mock Angel Investor event using our team’s OpenWorld demos. We held a raffle that encouraged participants to vote for the most interesting demo concept.

Angel Investor voting stations were set up for event attendees.  

The goal of the event for the new hires was to expose them to the breadth and depth of Oracle’s strategy and roadmap on Applications Cloud user experiences in a fun, interactive, and thought provoking way.  

Ackshaey Singh explains what new hires can learn about at the exchange.

The new hires were also given a tour of our new Cloud UX lab. The Cloud UX Lab initiative is to explore how devices are changing the way we design enterprise experiences for the cloud. The Lab model provides opportunities for testing a variety of emerging technology solutions from casting, to beacons, to wearables.

To learn more about where innovation is going at Oracle, check the following blogs:

Tuesday Nov 04, 2014

Come tour the New Cloud UX Lab at Oracle HQ

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), vice president, and designer of the new Cloud User Experience Lab @HQ in Redwood Shores, CA.

If you were lucky enough to catch one of our usability lab tours during Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in September, you know how awesome it is. This space is specifically designed to handle the challenges of demonstrating how a user experience can move across devices. It’s also where we are exploring the next generation of devices, such as beacons, to understand their impact on and value for the user experience (UX).

Ashley stated, “New technologies, changes in work patterns, mean new methods to research and test design solutions.  The Cloud UX Lab is equipped to accommodate the changing work patterns of our customers.”

Steve Miranda (@stevenmiranda), Executive Vice President, Applications Development, showed a video during his OpenWorld keynote speech that highlighted some of the UX innovations we have been exploring in the lab. I can’t help but be excited when I see this video, which was created by UX friend Martin Taylor (@theothermartin).

Next time you head in the direction of Oracle’s headquarters in the Bay Area, book a tour. We’ll meet you there!

Monday Aug 04, 2014

Applications User Experience Beacons Developer Challenge Promotes Innovation, Collaboration

By DJ Ursal, Oracle Applications User Experience

The entrepreneurial spirit came alive during the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) Beacons Developer Challenge recently. There was a true sense of collaboration, not only at the participant level but at an organizational level too. We saw a lot of creativity and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with emerging technologies.

As host of the event, it was a wonderful opportunity to network with best-of-the-best minds within Oracle. We believe beacons are a game-changer in connectivity and the next big technology of the future. This functionality leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, allowing you to add geofencing capabilities to your application design. Instead of using satellite-based signals to track your users’ locations, highly localized BLE signals from a variety of signal emitters provide a more granular level of interaction with applications.

The Beacons Developer Challange was a 60-hour mobile app-building contest, held in July at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif..The purpose of the Challenge was to give developers, designers, and internal entrepreneurs the chance to work together to build apps, bring awareness to “the Internet of things”, as well as to promote collaboration across Oracle. Participating organizations included: Fusion Technical Architecture, BlueKai Development, Siebel development,Oracle Internet of Things (IoT) Organization, North America Sales consulting group, Fusion HCM Development, Apps Usability and the Oracle Product Development College Hire Program.

North America Applications Sales Consulting team as they set out to conquer the developer challenge. 

Oracle Product Development College Hire team takes time out for brainstorming.

The challenge was focused on location-aware enterprise business scenarios, and teams chose their own platform on which to develop a mobile app. We limited this competition to one beacon platform, using iBeacons from Estimote, however others are available such as Gimbal and Raspberry Pi. We wanted to make sure that single-member teams had a fighting chance too, so there was no restriction on the size of the team. To ensure a level playing field, all participants were provided with the same set of sample data to be used for creating their mobile app. Each application was evaluated by judges based on the following criteria:
  • Execution of Entry: How fully developed and implemented the entry is. Does it use the data provided and beacons?
  • Business Value: How useful would the entry be in a business context?
  • User Experience: To what degree does the entry demonstrate new and innovative uses of beacons and Oracle data? Is it a pleasure to use?

Judges included Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), second from left, the vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, Jayant Sharma, Director product management, and Mark Vilrokx (@mvolrokx). Not in the picture, Ed Jones, John Hsieh, Dj Ursal and Laurie Pattison.

After two and half days of hard work and coding, nine projects were demoed to our panel of judges at the end of the week. Great ideas were showcased, and choosing the top three proved to be difficult.

Awards and Certificates. 

The first place award went to a solo entry, team Swift, that showcased the power of a framework that was location-aware, using iBeacons. In second place, The AppsLab (@appslab) team implemented a location-aware, social application for the enterprise that connected local employees together to better manage their interactions in the workplace by sharing information, such as location. Team OCH1 came in third with their app that utilizes beacons to change the way we look for resources in the office.

The Apps UX Beacon Developer Challenge was sponsored by the Oracle Product Development College Hire Program, Oracle Facilities and Oracle Spatial and Graph. A big thank-you goes to our fantastic on-site support staff, which included people from across different organizations within Oracle.

The Apps UX Beacon Developer Challenge event staff.

At the end of the day, it was not about the prizes, but building passion for creating new ideas and concepts, new experiences, in a fun and engaging manner, and promoting an innovative social network that allows one to connect with like-minded people, crossing organizational boundaries.

The Oracle Apps UX developer challenge mission is to fuel innovation and promote collaboration by connecting people, ideas, and technologies from various organizations across Oracle. By collaborating in the developers challenge and working together, the employees got a chance to contribute  their best skills while learning from the other members of the team. Team members learnt from each other by sharing information, discussing options, debating the best solution, and by actively using skills on developer challenge project.


Check here for news and upcoming events from Oracle's Applications User Experience team on the Oracle Applications Cloud and more.

People in Spheres
Misha Vaughan, Editor & Senior Director, Applications User Experience
@mishavaughan on Twitter

Learn more about us at
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