Thursday Feb 20, 2014

New Oracle developers get a taste of Raspberry Pi

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

There is a team within the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) group that basically plays with interesting technology. We call them the AppsLab (@theappslab). That technology may include fuzzy ears  (@ultan) that interact with your brain waves, robot arms, or Google Glass.

Recently, it included Raspberry Pi. And a day of hacking.

My team -- the Communications & Outreach arm of the Applications UX group -- sometimes works closely with this team. My boss has her own set of fuzzy ears. I’ve tried out the robot arms (I totally suck at moving them). And recently, I was introduced to Raspberry Pi.

Now, I’m a word person – if this small computer had been named anything else, my eyes might have glazed over. But the chance to tell folks about the creative ways that Oracle investigates and explores technology that can evolve the Oracle user experience … well, I’m much better at doing that. Especially if I’ve got a visual place from which to start the story.

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi in use during the Oracle Apps UX hackday
Photos by Rob Hernandez

Raspberry Pi, above, is actually an inexpensive computer that was originally made for kids. It was intended to give kids a device that would help them learn how to program computers. (Neat story there from the U.K. creators.)

Noel Portugal (@noelportugal), the developer who led the January training and hackday, said the credit-card-sized computer can do anything that a Linux computer can do. It’s easy to hook up and, because it costs about $35, easy to replace. So it’s a perfect starting point for kids, and it has an Oracle connection: Oracle’s Java evangelists worked with the Raspberry Pi creators directly to make sure Java runs natively on the device.


Noel’s one-day event included about 15 developers who also work for the Oracle Applications User Experience team. Many were from Oracle’s Mexico Development Center; others came from the Denver area or the Northwest. AppsLab talking head Jake Kuramoto said the idea was to provide a shortcut to the technology and tap into Noel’s experience with it, then get everyone up and running on it. The day was a way to investigate something new in a collaborative session.

Noel Portugal
Noel Portugal, center, hands out mini computers during the Raspberry Pi hackathon.

This hackathon took place at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, inside the Oracle usability labs. By the end of the day, I was hearing random, sometimes crazy noises as network hook-ups took hold and programming began.

Our developers were using the Raspberry Pi with their laptops and smart phones to create sounds, issue commands, and send signals through various devices. Noel said the maker community uses Raspberry Pi to control robotics, control a server, switch lights and off, and connect sensors, among other things.

Here’s a look at our developers at work.

Fernando
Fernando Jimenez shows off his button thing that was hooked up to Raspberry Pi and now plays Pandora.

Sarahi Mireles
Sarahi Mireles (@sarahimireles), center, makes something happen on Twitter with Raspberry Pi, and all the guys cheer.

Luis Galeana
I don’t know what developer Luis Galeana is doing, but you can tell it’s a big deal. Notice that he had to fuel up with a Snickers midway through.

OK, so some of this stuff was over my head. But it was fun to watch really focused, talented people do something they thought was fun. The creative bursts that come through while investigating and exploring are motivational. Technology, in any form, is fascinating. When applied to everyday objects in ways that evolve the user experience – it’s like watching science fiction unfold. But on the Oracle Applications User Experience team, it’s real.

The Applications UX team’s mission is to design and build “cool stuff,” as Jake puts it. Team members look at all kinds of technologies, because we know through research that this is what our users are also doing.

Stay tuned to VoX to learn more about the new, interesting, and creative ways we are evolving the user experience of enterprise software with similar methods of exploration. Be the first to see what’s coming!

Monday Dec 16, 2013

Six Things You Can Do Today to Jump-Start Your User Experience for Enterprise Applications

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience


Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle
A good user experience does not have to be a shot in the dark.

Ahmed Aboulnaga’s recent article in UKOUG Scene, “Usability – Ignored by Developers and Undervalued by Managers” made some great points about the benefits of usability research.  

As I was reading it, I wondered: Would a mid-market or small-market company read this and think, “Well, I just don’t have the budget or time, so I’ll just have to do without.”

Good usability practices are completely possible even on the smallest budget, and with no UX staff.  Here are a few ways that even small IT shops can inject some user experience goodness into their process. 
  1. Identify. Who is your user? We’ve published a cheat sheet on how to do this, courtesy of UX Direct, which is a web site that outlines the user experience process and guidelines Oracle uses.
  2. Work smarter. Jump-start your design with user experience design patterns.  We’ve already invested in the research and testing, so you don’t have to.
  3. Sketch. Wireframe before you code. 
  4. Visuals. A few key things on the visuals: Ultan O’Broin (@ultan) is working with ODTUG to get the word out about visual design for enterprise applications.
  5. Get feedback. Persuade a colleague to show your wireframes to real end users. If you do it yourself, it’s too easy to slant the results in your favor.
  6. Iterate. Re-design and re-test, as resources permit. It helps enormously to separate the business logic of your application from the user interface logic, as in this example (page 41) from Lonneke Dikmans of Vennster (@lonnekedikmans).
At this point, you might be thinking that I am making unrealistic claims, so I’ll point you to one of my favorite success stories. When Greg Duncan was with the City of Las Vegas,  he had the one most important resources -- an executive mandate from his CIO at the time, Joseph Marcella.

If that doesn’t convince you that you can incorporate user experience methodologies into your own process, let me share Floyd Teter’s (@fteter) story about a project with EiS Technologies.  He attended a UX and ADF training workshop and picked up some UX methodologies, like basic usability testing, and delivered a world-class user experience in a matter of weeks using ADF essentials for a reporting tool.  His budget consisted of Otter Pops and a Saturday afternoon of testing with end users.

In a story carried by O Tech Magazine (page 25), Marcel Maas (@mhjmaas) of AMIS actually had the benefit of a user experience designer, Sander Haaksma (@sanderha) of UX Company.  However, they still managed to keep costs down by using an agile methodology.

Would you benefit from UX expertise on a project, either as full-time staff or contracted resources?  Of course you would, because you don’t have to spend time developing a whole new area of personal expertise.   

Is that feasible for you? If not, try just one of the techniques above.

Saturday Jun 15, 2013

Hands-On Workshop with Fusion Applications and ADF UX Desktop Design Patterns

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

Oracle Fusion Applications

I hosted a team of internal Oracle Fusion Apps Sales leaders and a few select Oracle partners on May 14-16, 2013, at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores. This was the second version of the Applications User Experience team’s "How to Build Great-Looking Usable Apps" workshop.  

This was a revised version of an event we piloted a few months before in the UK. This time around, we added:
  • A couple of bridge-building pieces to help attendees move from wireframe to design patterns to ADF components more clearly.
  • A day on mobile UX design patterns and mobile ADF.
Attendees want to attend this workshop for one of two reasons: 1) They need to extend Fusion Apps, and they want to understand what the UX best practices are for doing this, 2) they want to build a custom application, or even just a page, with ADF, and they don't want to start from scratch on the user experience.

To give you an idea of the agenda, here are the key speakers and their areas of focus:
  • Ultan O'Broin (@ultan, @usableapps): Focusing on the enterprise applications UX design principles, defining what "UX design patterns" are, and explaining why wireframing is such a key part of Oracle’s UX design pattern strategy.
  • Misha Vaughan: I was standing in for my team member Katy Massucco on a presentation she calls "art school in a box," or the 8 things any developer needs to know about the visual design of enterprise UIs.
  • Scott Robinson: On how we move step-by-step from wireframes to UX desktop design patterns, as well as the design guidance we are developing for identifying "simplified" use cases for enterprise apps.
  • Lynn Munsinger: On all of the hands-on content. She is really walking attendees through two very thorough exercises, on Procurement and on a trouble-ticket flow, as well as a great presentation on how to move from screenshots to ADF components.  
  • Richard Bingham (@richardbingham): Detailing how we make use of composers as part of the Fusion Apps tailoring story, as well as covering his new role in Fusion Apps Developer relations.
  • Floyd Teter (@fteter) : On how he used UX design patterns and ADF Essentials to bootstrap his UX and deliver a well-designed product ridiculously fast.
  • Mark Vilrokx: He is exploring use cases and technology for integrating with Fusion apps in the cloud.
  • Kristin Desmond: On the new simplified UI's tailoring strategy for Fusion Apps and where we are with UX design patterns for simplified UIs.
  • Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo: Covering a great set of "top 10" things you need to know for designing mobile applications as well as shepherding attendees through wireframing a mobile application.
  • Brent White: On the visual design guidance for mobile UIs, as well as teaming up with Lynn on wireframing.
  • Joe Huang: On how ADF Mobile is built to support UX design patterns and deliver a great mobile user experience.
  • Teena Singh and Lulit Bezuayehu: On how a developer can write a user profile and learn to run his or her own usability test using resources from UX Direct.
I think you know why I felt so tired by the end of the week. We hit a lot. Most of this agenda came from the combined brain power of Ultan O'Broin and Lynn Munsinger. So it's ironic that Ultan could not even attend. He managed to take a very nasty nose-dive over his bicycle handle bars the Sunday before the event.

Thanks very much to Jeremy Ashley, my boss, for stepping in to present as well as Scott Robinson for biting off more than he expected in this portion of the workshop.

So, how did we do?
See for yourself:

Floyd Teter, EiS Technologies: "Great workshop. Covered stuff I can take back to the job and use."  


Sten Vesterli, Scott/Tiger: He clearly got the value of design patterns. "I was just watching my son play the Neverwinter MMORPG beta. The user interface looks just like other MMORPGs and he could jump right in and start playing.

That’s not because the people at Cryptic Studios lack imagination - it’s because their users already have an expectation of how an MMORPG should look. It would be stupid to risk turning people away by inventing a brand new user experience (UX). Instead, they are using a User Experience Design Pattern that their users recognize."


Floyd Teter, Sten Vesterli, Mick McGee
Floyd Teter, EiS Technologies; Sten Vesterli, Scott/Tiger; and Mick McGee, EchoUser.

How do you get access to this?
We were fortunate enough to have Tom Barrett and Jonathan Vinoskey from Oracle Alliances & Channels (A&C) representing Oracle Applications partner interests.  They stayed the full 3 days!  Talk about troupers.

Jonathan Vinoskey, Tom Barrett
Jonathan Vinoskey & Tom Barrett, Oracle, creating a wireframe for a trouble-ticket application.

I have been working with our key speakers and A&C on the best ways to re-deliver this content.  Right now, we are looking at a series of in-person training events that we are planning to offer globally -- not a huge number of them, as the guidance has been that attendees get the most out of having access to the seasoned UX pros, but hopefully enough for the really eager to get started with design patterns and ADF.  We will also be offering a series of these sessions as recordings, as an OPN learning path.

You can also expect to see excerpts from the workshop on the UsableApps blog in the months ahead.



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.


Wednesday Dec 19, 2012

Building Great-Looking, Usable Apps: A two-day workshop applying Oracle’s best UX practices in ADF

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

event artwork

I have been with Oracle for more than 12 years. It is a company that has granted me extraordinary creative freedom to help deliver compelling experiences for customers.

I am beyond proud to talk about one of the experiences we just took for a test drive. Recently, we delivered a first-of-its-kind, three-team collaboration, train-the-trainer event in Reading, U.K., on building great-looking, usable apps based on Oracle Fusion Applications -- using the ADF tool kit.

A new kind of workshop
Kevin Li, Platform Product Director, asked the Oracle Applications User Experience VP, Jeremy Ashley, if the team had anything to help partners and customers build applications that looked like Oracle Fusion Applications. He was receiving this request from European partners and customers.

Some quick conversations ensued, and the idea for the workshop was born: We would conduct an experiment.  We would work with feedback from the key Platform Technology Solutions (PTS) trainers under Andre Pavanello, Director, Platform Technology Solutions, in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. We would partner with the ADF team lead by Grant Ronald, Director of Product Management, and leverage the Applications UX expertise in Ashley’s team.

The goal: Create a pilot workshop that in two days would explain to an ADF developer how to leverage the next-generation user experience best-practices developed for Fusion Apps.

Why? Customers who need integrations with Oracle Fusion Applications, who are looking for custom applications that need to co-exist with Fusion, or who quite simply want a next-generation design for a custom app, need their solutions to reflect the next-generation research and design.

Building an event for an ADF developer
The biggest hurdle was figuring out where to start.  How far into user experience country do you take an ADF developer? How far into ADF do you need to go if you are a UX professional?

After some time in the UX kitchen, the workshop recipe looked like this:
Mix equal parts:

ultan presenting
Ultan O’Broin, Oracle Director of Global User Experience, explains the trouble-ticket wireframe design exercise.


Lynn Munsinger, Oracle Senior Group Product Manager, talks about the follow-on trouble-ticket ADF coding exercise. 

For spice, add:
•    Debra Lilley, Fujitsu and ACE director, showcasing some of the latest ADF design work in the new face of Fusion Applications. 
•    Partner show-and-tell of example apps they have built with FMW and ADF that are dynamic, beautiful, and interactive.


Debra Lilley, Oracle ACE Director and Fujitsu Fusion Champion, on the new face of Fusion built with ADF, and Fusion extensibility with composers as a window into “the possible.”


The taste test
This first go-round of the workshop was aimed squarely at ADF developers and partners.  We were privileged to have participation and feedback from:
•    Sten Vesterli, Scott/Tiger S. A., Denmark
•    John Sim, Fishbowl Solutions, U.K.
•    Josef Huber, Primus Delphi Group, Munich
•    Thaddaus Weindl, Primus Delphi, Group, Munich
•    Praveen Pillalamarri, EiS Technologies, Bangalore
•    Balaji Kamepalli, EiS Technologies, Bangalore
•    Plinio Arbizu, Services & Processes Solutions S. A., Mexico
•    Yannick Ongena, infoMENTUM, U.K.
•    Jakub Ciszek, infoMENTUM, U.K.
•    Mauro Flores, infoMENTUM, U.K.
•    Matteo Formica, infoMENTUM, U.K.


From left: Richard Bingham, Oracle; Mauro Flores and Mateo Formica, infoMENTUM, collaborate during the workshop.

Why is this so exciting?  Oracle has invested heavily in the research and development of the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience. This investment has been and continues to be applied across the product lines. Now, we finally get to teach customers and partners how to take advantage of this investment for custom solutions.

This event was a pilot to test-drive the content, as well as a train-the-trainer event that our EMEA colleagues will be using with partners who want to build with Fusion Apps design patterns.

What did attendees think?
"I liked most the science stuff, like eye-tracking, design patterns and best-practice (color, contrast),” Josef Huber said. “It was a very good introduction to UI design, and most developers and project managers are very bad in that.  So this course would be good for all developers and even project managers."


Team Anonymous (from left): John Sim, Fishbowl Solutions; Flavius Sana, Oracle; Josef Huber, Primus Delphi Group; and Mireille Duroussaud, Oracle. They were the winners of the wireframing design exercise

Sten Vesterli, of Scott/Tiger, said he attended to learn techniques he could use in his own projects. He wants to ensure that his applications better meet the needs of his users, and he said sessions during the workshop on user interface design and wireframing were most useful to him.  “Go to this event to learn the art and science of good user interfaces from people who really know how to do it,” he said.



Sten Vesterli, Scott/Tiger, listens to Angelo Santagata, Oracle.

Plinio Arbizu said the workshop fulfilled his goals, thanks to the recommendations given in how to design user interfaces to facilitate the adoption of applications among the final users. “The workshop combined these recommendations with an exercise that improved the technical comprehension, permitting the usage of JDeveloper to set forth our solutions,” he said.

He added: “The first session that I really enjoyed was the five Fusion design principles. It was incredible to discover how these simple principles were included in Fusion Applications, and I had been using many of them applying only ADF components.  Another topic that I enjoyed a lot was the eight recommendations about the visual design of UIs. The issues that were raised in that lesson are unknown to the developers and of great value to achieve an attractive presentation layer to the end users.  Participate in this workshop, and include these usability features in your projects and in this manner not only to facilitate and improve the user productivity, but also to distinguish you as a professional who takes advantage fully of the functionalities offered by Oracle technology.

Praveen Pillalamarri came to the workshop to learn about the difficulties faced in UI and UX development, and how this can be resolved with the help of ADF.  He said he also appreciated the opportunity to talk with other individuals who came to the workshop. Pillalmarri said, “The way we looked at things in terms of work and projects were sharpened.  UI and UX design knowledge was quite interesting, especially the minute things which we ignored in the UI or UX design.”


From left: Plinio Arbizu,
Services & Processes Solutions S. A., works with Richard Bingham, Oracle; Balaji Kamepalli, and Praveen Pillalamarri, both of EiS Technologies.

Ready to spread the word
In EMEA, Oracle customers and partners have access to three world-class trainers via Platform Technology Solutions: Mireille Duroussaud, Flavius Sana, and Angelo Santagata. Contact Andre Pavanello if you would like to experience this workshop firsthand, or you have customers or partners who would benefit from the training.

We are bringing the event to the U.S. in spring 2013. If you have interest in this kind of a workshop, leave a comment below.

For those who want to follow the action, join the ADF Enterprise Methodology Group run by Oracle’s Chris Muir. Ask questions and continue with the conversation in this forum, or check blogs.oracle.com/usableapps for topics emerging from the workshop.




Monday Nov 12, 2012

Where can you find the Oracle Applications User Experience team in the next several months?

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

November is one of my favorite times of the year at Oracle. The blast of OpenWorld work is over, and it’s time to get down to business and start taking our messages and our work on the road to the user groups. We’re in the middle of planning all of that right now, so we decided to provide a snapshot of where you can see us and hear about the Oracle Applications User Experience – whether it’s Fusion Applications, PeopleSoft, or what we’re planning for the next-generation of Oracle Applications.

On the road with Apps UX...
In December, you can find us at UKOUG 2012 in Birmingham, UK:
UKOUG, UK Oracle User Group Conference 2012

December 3 – 5, 2012

ICC, Birmingham, UK


In March, we will be at Alliance 2013 in Indianapolis, and our fingers are crossed for OBUG Connect 2013 in Antwerp:

Alliance 2013
March 17 - 20, 2013 

Indianapolis, Indiana

OBUG Benelux Connect 2013

March 26, 2013

Antwerp, Belgium



In April, you will see us at COLLABORATE13 in Denver:


Collaborate13
April 7 - April 11, 2013

Denver, Colorado



And in June, we round out the kick-off to summer at OHUG 2013 in Dallas and Kscope13 in New Orleans:


OHUG 2013
June 9 -13, 2013

Dallas, Texas

ODTUG Kscope13

June 23-27, 2013

New Orleans, LA


The Labs & Demos
As always, a hallmark of our team's presence at these conferences is our mobile usability labs. If you haven’t seen them, they are a great way for customers and partners to get a peek at what Oracle is working on next, and a chance for you to provide your candid perspective.

Based on the interest and enthusiasm from customers last year at Collaborate, we are adding more demo stations to our user group presence in the year ahead. If you want to see some of the work we are doing first-hand but don’t have a lot of time, the demo stations are a great way to get a quick update on the latest wow-factor we are researching. I can promise that you will see whatever we think is new and interesting at the demo stations first.

demostation
Oracle OpenWorld 2012 Apps UX Demo station

For Applications Developers
More and more, I get asked the question, “How do I build an application that looks like Fusion?” My answer is Fusion Applications Design Patterns. You can find out more about how Fusion Applications developers can leverage ADF and the user experience best-practices we have developed for Fusion at sessions lead by Ultan O’Broin, Director of Global User Experience, in the year ahead.


Ultan O'Broin, on Fusion Applications Design Patterns

Building mobile applications are also top of mind these days. If you want to understand how Oracle is approaching this strategy, check out our session on mobile user experience design patterns with Mobile ADF.  In many cases, this will be presented by Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo, Senior Manager of Mobile User Experiences, and in a few cases our ever-ready traveler Ultan O’Broin will be on deck.

Lynn Rampoldi
Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo, left, will do presentations on Mobile User Experience Design Patterns.

Applications User Experiences
Fusion Applications continue to evolve, and you will see the new face of Fusion Applications at our executive sessions in the year ahead, which are led by vice president Jeremy Ashley or a hand-picked presenter, such as one of our Fusion User Experience Advocates

Edward Roske
Edward Roske, CEO of InterRel Consulting, 
and a Fusion User Experience Advocate

As always, our strategy is to take our lessons-learned and spread them across the Oracle Applications product lines. A great example is the enhancements coming in the PeopleSoft user experience, which you can hear about from Harris Kravatz, Senior Manager, PeopleSoft User Experience.

Fusion Applications Extensibility
We can’t talk about Fusion Applications without talking about how to make it look like your business. If tailoring Fusion Applications is a question in your mind, and it should be, you should hit one of these sessions. These sessions will be led by Killian Evers, Senior Director; Tim Dubois, User Experience Architect; and some well-trained Fusion User Experience Advocates.

Find out more
If you want to stay on top of where and when we will be, you can always sign up for our newsletter or check out the Events page of UsableApps.


Monday Oct 29, 2012

Apps UX Launches Blueprints for Mobile User Experiences

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

At Oracle OpenWorld 2012 this year, the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team announced the release of Mobile User Experience Functional Design Patterns. These patterns are designed to work directly with Oracle’s Fusion Middleware, specifically, ADF Mobile.  The Oracle Application Development Framework for mobile users enables developers to build one application that can be deployed to multiple mobile device platforms.

blue print

These same mobile design patterns provide the guidance for Oracle teams to develop Fusion Mobile expenses.



Application developers can use Oracle’s mobile design patterns to design iPhone, Android, or browser-based smartphone applications. We are sharing our mobile design patterns and their baked-in, scientifically proven usability to enable Oracle customers and partners to build mobile applications quickly.

A different way of thinking and designing.
Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo, Senior Manager of Mobile User Experiences for Apps UX, says mobile design has to be compelling. “It needs to be optimized for the device, and be visually rich and simple,” she said. “What is really key is that you are designing for a user’s most personal device, the device that they will have with them at all times of the day.”

Katy Massucco, director of the overall design patterns site, said: “You need to start with a simplified task flow. Everything should be a natural interaction. The action should be relevant and leveraging the device. It should be seamless.”

She suggests that developers identify the essential tasks that a user would want to do while mobile. “They need to understand the user and the context,” she added.



A sample inline action design pattern

What people are saying
Reactions to the release of the design patterns have been positive. Debra Lilley, Oracle ACE Director and Fusion User Experience Advocate (FXA), has already demo’ed Fusion Mobile Expenses widely.  Fellow Oracle Ace Director Ronald van Luttikhuizen, called it a “cool demo by @debralilley of the new mobile expenses app.” FXA member Floyd Teter says he is already cooking up some plans for using mobile design patterns.  We hope to see those ideas at Collaborate or ODTUG in 2013.

For another perspective on why user experience is such an important focus for mobile applications, check out this video by John King, Director, and Monty Latiolais, President, both from ODTUG, or the Oracle Development Tools User Group.

In a separate interview by e-mail, Latiolais wrote: “I enjoy the fact we can take something that, in the past, has been largely subjective, and now apply to it a scientifically proven look and feel. Trusting Oracle’s UX Design Patterns, the presentation really can become one less thing to worry about. As someone with limited ADF experience, that is extremely beneficial.”


King, who was also interviewed by e-mail, wrote: “User Experience is about making the task at hand as easy and error-free as possible. Oracle's UX labs worked hard to make the User Experience in the new Fusion Applications as good as possible; ADF makes adding tested, consistent, user experiences a declarative exercise by leveraging that work. As we move applications onto mobile platforms, user experience is the driving factor. Customers are "spoiled" by a bevy of fantastic applications, and ours cannot disappoint them. Creating applications that enable users to quickly and effectively accomplish whatever task is at hand takes thought and practice. Developers must become ’power users’ and then create applications that they and their users will love.”


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. 





Saturday Sep 22, 2012

Find the best OpenWorld sessions for learning about UX highlights

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience 

vox image

Have you clicked through the Oracle OpenWorld 2012 catalog? It’s amazingly dense, as usual. But one thing we noticed this year is that nearly half of the sessions mention some component of user experience, which is a sea change in our world. It means that more people understand, appreciate, and desire an effective user experience, and it also means that Oracle’s investment in its next-generation applications user experience, such as Oracle Fusion Applications, is increasingly apparent and interesting to its customers.

So how do you choose the user experience sessions that make the most sense for you and your organization? Read our list to find out which sessions we think offer the most value for those interested in finding out more about the Oracle Applications user experience.

If you’re interested in Oracle’s strategy for its user experience:

  • CON9438: Oracle Fusion Applications: Transforming Insight into Action
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2007
  • CON9467: Oracle’s Roadmap to a Simple, Modern User Experience
    3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON8718: Oracle Fusion Applications: Customizing and Extending with Oracle Composers
    11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4; Moscone West – 2008
  • GEN9663: General Session: A Panel of Masterminds—Where Are Oracle Applications Headed?
    1:45 - 2:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone North - Hall D

If you’re interested in PeopleSoft/PeopleTools:

  • GEN8928: General Session: PeopleSoft Update and Product Roadmap
    3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON9183: PeopleSoft PeopleTools Technology Roadmap
    4:45 - 5:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON8932: New Functional PeopleSoft PeopleTools Capabilities for the Line-of-Business User
    5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 3007

If you’re interested in E-Business Suite:

  • GEN8474: General Session: Oracle E-Business Suite—Strategy, Update, and Roadmap
    12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 2002/2004
  • CON9026: Latest Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 User Interface and Usability Enhancements
    1:15 - 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2016

If you’re interested in Siebel:

  • CON9700: Siebel CRM Overview, Strategy, and Roadmap
    12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West – 2009
  • CON9703: User Interface Innovations with the New Siebel “Open UI”
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2009

If you’re interested in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne:

  • HOL10452: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 User Interface Changes
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; Marriott Marquis - Nob Hill AB
  • CON9160: Showcase of the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne User Experience
    1:15 - 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; InterContinental - Grand Ballroom B
  • CON9159: Euphoria with the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne User Experience
    11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; InterContinental - Grand Ballroom B

If you’re interested in Oracle Fusion Applications user experience design patterns:

Functional design patterns that helped create the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience are now available. Learn more about these new, reusable usability solutions and best-practices at the Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF demopods during Oracle OpenWorld 2012. Or visit the OTN Lounge between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to talk to Ultan O'Broin from the Oracle Applications User Experience team.   

  • Demopod location: Moscone Center, South Exhibition Hall Level 1, S-207
  • OTN (Oracle Technology Network) Lounge: Howard Street tent

On the demogrounds:

Head to the demogrounds to see new demos from the Applications User Experience team, including the new look for Fusion Applications and what we’re building for mobile platforms. Take a spin on our eye tracker, a very cool tool that we use to research the usability of a particular design. Visit the Usable Apps OpenWorld page to find out where our demopods will be located.

lab photo
Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience
A tour takes place in one of the usability labs at Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.

At our labs, on-site and at HQ:

We are also recruiting participants for our on-site lab, in which we gather feedback on new user experience designs, and taking reservations for a charter bus that will bring you to Oracle headquarters for a lab tour Thursday, Oct. 4, or Friday, Oct. 5. Tours leave at 10 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. from the Moscone Center in San Francisco. You’ll see more of our newest designs at the lab tour, and some of our research tools in action.

For more information on any OpenWorld sessions, check the content catalog, also available at www.oracle.com/openworld. For information on Applications User Experience (Apps UX) sessions and activities, go to the Usable Apps OpenWorld page.


Friday Sep 14, 2012

Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Design Patterns: Feeling the Love after Launch

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

In the first video by the Oracle Applications User Experience team on the Oracle Partner Network, Vice President Jeremy Ashley said that Oracle is looking to expand the ecosystem of support for Oracle’s applications customers as they begin to assess their investment and adoption of Oracle Fusion Applications. Oracle has made a massive investment to maintain the benefits of the Fusion Applications User Experience.

This summer, the Applications User Experience team released the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience design patterns.
Devices with xy graph
Design patterns help create consistent experiences across devices.

The launch has been very well received:

Angelo Santagata, Senior Principal Technologist and Fusion Middleware evangelist for Oracle,  wrote to the system integrator community: “The web site is the result of many years of Oracle R&D into user interface design for Fusion Applications and features a really cool web app which allows you to visualise the UI components in action.”  Grant Ronald, Director of Product Management, Application Development Framework (ADF) said: “It’s a science I don't understand, but now I don't have to ... Now you can learn from the UX experience of Fusion Applications.”

Frank Nimphius, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle (ADF) wrote about the launch of the design patterns for the ADF Code Corner, and Jürgen Kress, Senior Manager EMEA Alliances & Channels for Fusion MiddleWare and Service Oriented Architecture, (SOA), shared the news with his Partner Community.

Oracle Twitter followers also helped spread the message about the design patterns launch:

@bex – Brian Huff, founder and Chief Software Architect for Bezzotech, and Oracle ACE Director:
“Nifty! The Oracle Fusion UX team just released new ADF design patterns.”

@maiko_rocha, Maiko Rocha, Oracle Consulting Solutions Architect and Oracle FMW engineer:
“Haven't seen any other vendor offer such comprehensive UX Design Patterns catalog for free!”

@zirous_chad, Chad Thompson, Senior Solutions Architect for Zirous, Inc. and ADF Developer:
Wow - @ultan and company did a great job with the Fusion UX Patterns

What is a user experience design pattern?
A user experience design pattern is a re-usable, usability-tested functional blueprint for a particular user experience.  Some examples are guided processes, shopping carts, and search and search results.  Ultan O’Broin discusses the top design patterns every developer should know.

The patterns that were just released are based on thousands of hours of end-user field studies, state-of-the-art user interface assessments, and usability testing.  

To be clear, these are functional design patterns, not technical design patterns that developers may be used to working with.  Because we know there is a gap, we are putting together some training that will help close that gap.

Who should care?
This is an offering targeted primarily at Application Development Framework (ADF) developers. If you are faced with the following questions regarding Oracle Fusion Applications, you will want to know and learn more:

•    How do I build something that looks like Fusion Applications?
•    How do I build a next-generation application?
•    How do I extend a Fusion Application and maintain the user experience?
•    I don’t want to re-invent the wheel on the user interface, so where do I start?
•    I need to build something that will eventually co-exist with Fusion Applications. How do I do that?

These questions are relevant to partners with an ADF competency, individual practitioners, or small consultancies with an ADF specialization, and customers who are trying to shift their IT staff over to supporting Fusion Applications.

Where you can find out more?

Online
Our Fusion User Experience design patterns maven is Ultan O’Broin. The Oracle Partner Network is helping our team bring this first e-seminar to you in order to go into a more detail on what this means and how to take advantage of it:


Webinar: Build a Better User Experience with Oracle: Oracle Fusion Applications Functional Design Patterns
Sept 20, 2012 , 10:30am-11:30am Pacific
Dial-In:  1. 877-664-9137 / Passcode 102546

International:  706-634-9619  
http://www.intercall.com/national/oracleuniversity/gdnam.html

Access the Live Event or via web conference, access http://ouweb.webex.com  
and enter this session number: 598036234

At a user group event
The Fusion User Experience Advocates (FXA) are also getting some deep-dive training on this content and can share it with local user groups.


At OpenWorld

Ultan O'Broin Chris Muir
Ultan O’Broin               Chris Muir

If you will be at OpenWorld this year, Ultan O’Broin will be visiting the ADF demopod to say hello, thanks to Shay Shmeltzer, Senior Group Manager for ADF outbound communication, and he'll be at the OTN lounge:

  • Monday 10-10:45, Tuesday 2:15-2:45, Wednesday 2:15-3:30 
 
  • Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF,  Moscone South, Right - S-207

  • “ADF Meet and Greet,” OTN Lounge, Wednesday 4:30

And I cannot talk about OpenWorld and ADF without mentioning Chris Muir’s ADF EMG event: the Year After the Year Of the ADF Developer – Sunday, Sept. 30 of OpenWorld. Chris has played host to Ultan and the Applications user experience message for his online community and is now a seasoned UX expert.

Expect to see additional announcements about expanded training on similar topics in the future.

Wednesday Jun 06, 2012

Partner outreach on the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience begins

by Misha Vaughan, Architect, Applications User Experience

I have been asked the question repeatedly since about December of last year: “What is the Applications User Experience group doing about partner outreach?”  My answer, at the time, was: “We are thinking about it.”  

My colleagues and I were really thinking about the content or tools that the Applications UX group should be developing. What would be valuable to our partners? What will actually help grow their applications business, and fits within the applications user experience charter?

In the video above, you’ll hear Jeremy Ashley, vice president of the Applications User Experience team, talk about two fundamental initiatives that our group is working on now that speaks straight to partners.  

Special thanks to Joel Borellis, Kelley Greenly, and Steve Hoodmaker for helping to make this video happen so flawlessly. Steve was responsible for pulling together a day of Oracle Fusion Applications-oriented content, including David Bowin, Director, Fusion Applications Strategy, on some of the basic benefits of Oracle Fusion Applications.  

Joel Borellis and David Bowin
Joel Borellis, Group Vice President, Partner Enablement, and David Bowin in the Oracle Studios.

Nigel King, Vice President Applications Functional Architecture, was also on the list, talking about co-existence opportunities with Oracle Fusion Applications.

Misha Vaughan and Nigel King
Me and Nigel King, just before his interview with Joel.

Fusion Applications User Experience 101: Basic education 


Oracle has invested an enormous amount of intellectual and developmental effort in the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience. Find out more about that at the Oracle Partner Network Fusion Learning Center (Oracle ID required).

What you’ll learn will help you uncover how, exactly, Oracle made Fusion General Ledger “sexy,” and that’s a direct quote from Oracle Ace Director Debra Lilley, of Fujitsu.

In addition, select Applications User Experience staff members, as well as our own Fusion User Experience Advocates,  can provide a briefing to our partners on Oracle’s investment in the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience.

Looking forward: Taking the best of the Fusion Applications UX to your customers

Beyond a basic orientation to one of the key differentiators for Oracle Fusion Applications, we are also working on partner-oriented training.

A question we are often getting right now is: “How do I help customers build applications that look like Fusion?” We also hear: “How do I help customers build applications that take advantage of the next-generation design work done in Fusion?”

Our answer to this is training and a tool – our user experience design patterns – these are a set of user experience best-practices. Design patterns are re-usable, usability-tested, user experience components that make creating Fusion Applications-like experiences straightforward.  

It means partners can leverage Oracle’s investment, but also gain an advantage by not wasting time solving a problem we’ve already solved. Their developers can focus on helping customers tackle the harder development challenges.

Ultan O’Broin, an Apps UX team member,  and I are working with Kevin Li and Chris Venezia of the Oracle Platform Technology Services team, as well as Grant Ronald in Oracle ADF, to bring you some of the best “how-to” UX training, customized for your local area. Our first workshop will be in EMEA. Stay tuned for an assessment and feedback from the event.

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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