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.


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.

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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