Wednesday Jun 11, 2014

So, how is the Oracle HCM Cloud User Experience? In a word, smokin’!

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle unveiled its game-changing cloud user experience strategy at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 (remember that?) with a new simplified user interface (UI) paradigm.  The Oracle HCM cloud user experience is about light-weight interaction, tailored to the task you are trying to accomplish, on the device you are comfortable working with. A key theme for the Oracle user experience is being able to move from smartphone to tablet to desktop, with all of your data in the cloud.


The Oracle HCM Cloud user experience provides designs for better productivity, no matter when and how your employees need to work.

Release 8 
Oracle recently demonstrated how fast it is moving development forward for our cloud applications, with the availability of release 8

In release 8, users will see expanded simplicity in the HCM cloud user experience, such as filling out a time card and succession planning. Oracle has also expanded its mobile capabilities with task flows for payslips, managing absences, and advanced analytics. In addition, users will see expanded extensibility with the new structures editor for simplified pages, and the with the user interface text editor, which allows you to update language throughout the UI from one place. If you don’t like calling people who work for you “employees,” you can use this tool to create a term that is suited to your business. 

Take a look yourself at what’s available now.




What are people saying?
Debra Lilley (@debralilley), an Oracle ACE Director who has a long history with Oracle Applications, recently gave her perspective on release 8:

“Having had the privilege of seeing a preview of release 8, I am again impressed with the enhancements around simplified UI. Even more so, at a user group event in London this week, an existing Cloud HCM customer speaking publically about his implementation said he was very excited about release 8 as the absence functionality was so superior and simple to use.” 

In an interview with Lilley for a blog post by Dennis Howlett  (@dahowlett), we probably couldn’t have asked for a more even-handed look at the Oracle Applications Cloud and the impact of user experience. Take the time to watch all three videos and get the full picture.  In closing, Howlett’s said: “There is always the caveat that getting from the past to Fusion [from the editor: Fusion is now called the Oracle Applications Cloud] is not quite as simple as may be painted, but the outcomes are much better than anticipated in large measure because the user experience is so much better than what went before.”

Herman Slange, Technical Manager with Oracle Applications partner Profource, agrees with that comment. “We use on-premise Financials & HCM for internal use. Having a simple user interface that works on a desktop as well as a tablet for (very) non-technical users is a big relief. Coming from E-Business Suite, there is less training (none) required to access HCM content.  From a technical point of view, having the abilities to tailor the simplified UI very easy makes it very efficient for us to adjust to specific customer needs.  When we have a conversation about simplified UI, we just hand over a tablet and ask the customer to just use it. No training and no explanation required.”

Finally, in a story by Computer Weekly  about Oracle customer BG Group, a natural gas exploration and production company based in the UK and with a presence in 20 countries, the author states: “The new HR platform has proved to be easier and more intuitive for HR staff to use than the previous SAP-based technology.”

What’s Next for Oracle’s Applications Cloud User Experiences?
This is the question that Steve Miranda, Oracle Executive Vice President, Applications Development, asks the Applications User Experience team, and we’ve been hard at work for some time now on “what’s next.”  I can’t say too much about it, but I can tell you that we’ve started talking to customers and partners, under non-disclosure agreements, about user experience concepts that we are working on in order to get their feedback.

We recently had a chance to talk about possibilities for the Oracle HCM Cloud user experience at an Oracle HCM Southern California Customer Success Summit. This was a fantastic event, hosted by Shane Bliss and Vance Morossi of the Oracle Client Success Team. We got to use the uber-slick facilities of Allergan, our hosts (of Botox fame), headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a presence in more than 100 countries.

Photo by Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience
Vance Morossi, left, and Shane Bliss, of the Oracle Client Success Team, at an Oracle HCM Southern California Customer Success Summit. 

We were treated to a few really excellent talks around human resources (HR). Alice White, VP Human Resources, discussed Allergan's process for global talent acquisition -- how Allergan has designed and deployed a global process, and global tools, along with Oracle and Cognizant, and are now at the end of a global implementation. She shared a couple of insights about the journey for Allergan: “One of the major areas for improvement was on role clarification within the company.” She said the company is “empowering managers and deputizing them as recruiters. Now it is a global process that is nimble and efficient." 

Deepak Rammohan, VP Product Management, HCM Cloud, Oracle, also took the stage to talk about pioneering modern HR. He reflected modern HR problems of getting the right data about the workforce, the importance of getting the right talent as a key strategic initiative, and other workforce insights. "How do we design systems to deal with all of this?” he asked. “Make sure the systems are talent-centric. The next piece is collaborative, engaging, and mobile. A lot of this is influenced by what users see today. The last thing is around insight; insight at the point of decision-making." Rammohan showed off some killer HCM Cloud talent demos focused on simplicity and mobility that his team has been cooking up, and closed with a great line about the nature of modern recruiting: "Recruiting is a team sport."

Deepak Rammohan, left, and Jake Kuramoto, both of Oracle, debate the merits of a Google Glass concept demo for recruiters on-the-go.


Later, in an expo-style format, the Apps UX team showed several concepts for next-generation HCM Cloud user experiences, including demos shown by Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot) of The AppsLab, and Aylin Uysal (@aylinuysal), Director, HCM Cloud user experience. We even hauled out our eye-tracker, a research tool used to show where the eye is looking at a particular screen, thanks to teammate Michael LaDuke.


Dionne Healy, HCM Client Executive, and Aylin Uysal, Director, HCM Cloud user experiences, Oracle, take a look at new HCM Cloud UX concepts.

We closed the day with Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), VP, Applications User Experience, who brought it all back together by talking about the big picture for applications cloud user experiences. He covered the trends we are paying attention to now, what users will be expecting of their modern enterprise apps, and what Oracle’s design strategy is around these ideas.  

We closed with an excellent reception hosted by ADP Payroll services at Bistango.


Want to read more?
Want to see where our cloud user experience is going next? Read more on the UsableApps web site about our latest design initiative: “Glance, Scan, Commit.”

Or catch up on the back story by looking over our Applications Cloud user experience content on the UsableApps web site. 

You can also find out where we’ll be next at the Events page on UsableApps.


Friday May 02, 2014

Thank you, Oracle Partner AMIS, for an excellent Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Expo

Author Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

We recently co-hosted an OAUX Expo in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands (near Amsterdam) on March 18, 2014 with Oracle partner AMIS. The goal of the event was to excite and inspire attendees about the future of Oracle technology and Oracle Applications Cloud by leading with our work on the Oracle user experiences.  We wildly exceeded my own expectations about the event. Students walked away excited about careers with Oracle technology, partners walked away with a sense of how they could grow their businesses, and customers walked away with confidence in Oracle’s UX investment strategy.

The timing was quite lucky, as this was the first event where attendees got to see the newly available Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 user interface.


A personal thank-you to Lucas Jellema, Amis CTO, who was enthusiastic and inspired enough to spark this project.


To get a recap of what you missed, AMIS CTO Lucas Jellema (@lucasjellema) blogged live about the event, which drew nearly 500 attendees. Just prior to the event, Bob Rhubart (@OTNArchBeat) of OTN Archbeat hosted a video
interview that previewed the event nicely, with Lucas and our VP, Applications User Experience, Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), on the Oracle user experience vision and strategy.

What did you miss?


Here is a recap in pictures of the event. Photos by Rob Hernandez, Oracle Applications User Experience. 


The Oracle Applications User Experience and AMIS teams pose just before the big day for a snapshot.

Ultan O’Broin talks about wearables and enterprise use cases.


Aylin Uysal discusses the future of Oracle HCM Cloud user experiences.


VP Jeremy Ashley and Amis CEO Paul Uijtewaal discuss Google Glass.


 Lonneke Dikmans listens poised to talk about UX Direct and Oracle’s UX best practices. 


Killian Evers leads a discussion about the next generation of the Sales Cloud user experience.

Vlad Babu, one of our Apps UX Sales Ambassadors, talks with attendees about UX Direct and UX design patterns for building great looking usable apps for the Cloud.


A few lucky attendees got to see what’s behind the door to the secret chamber.

Noel Portugal shows off Google Glass.

George Hackman demos forward-looking user experience concepts.

Jeremy Ashley, Lucas Jellema, and Sten Vesterli rest their weary legs after hours of presentations.


One of our own UX Sales Ambassadors, Edward DeWolf, demos the new simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud.


Jake Kuramoto draws observers into a huddle as he shows some user experience concepts.


Find out where the UX team will be next if you want to see what we are working on

If you would like to read more:

• Take a look at where it all started.

• Read the latest on our cloud tailoring strategy.



Thursday Mar 20, 2014

Simplified UI and the Oracle User Experience in Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8

With the launch of Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 this month, the Oracle Applications User Experience team gets another opportunity to talk about its simplified user interface (UI) and how our usability research is moving the Oracle user experience forward. 

The simplified UI is the modern, intuitive, streamlined interface for the Oracle Applications Cloud that brings to the surface frequently performed tasks, works across platforms, and requires no training. Oracle debuted this simple, mobile, and extensible interface in Oracle Applications Cloud Release 7, in Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud. That release in Fall 2013 illustrates the interface's focus on quick-entry, light-touch, contextual tasks that are tailored by role.

Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 is an extension of the same themes of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility that set the simplified UI apart. Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud can now take advantage of these user experience enhancements:

  • Expanded simplicity: Additional self-service, quick-action tasks are brought to the surface in this latest release, enabling more people in your company to easily access the essential information and actions that support the way they work in the cloud.
  • Expanded visualizations and analytics: Additional infographic-inspired, tablet-friendly, and interactive visualizations and embedded analytics appear throughout the UI in this release.
  • Expanded extensibility and customization: Not only can you rebrand the simplified UI with your own company logo and watermark and add unique company news and announcements to the simplified UI home page, but you can now restructure and rename the available functional areas and pages. 
Here's a look at just a few highlights in the simplified UI in Release 8.


Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 Simplified UI Entry Experience

Time entry
Time in Oracle HCM Cloud Release 8

Sales Campaigns
Sales Campaigns in Oracle Sales Cloud

Succession Plans
Succession Plans In Oracle HCM Cloud

Dashboard
Dashboard in Oracle Sales Cloud


Settings Structure
Settings in Simplified UI: Structure

Check the Usable Apps web site to read more about the user experience in the Oracle Applications Cloud.  

Monday Nov 11, 2013

Moving the Oracle User Experience Forward with the New Release 7 Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

In September 2013, Release 7 for Oracle Cloud Applications became generally available for Oracle Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud. This significant release allowed the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team to finally talk freely about Simplified UI, a user experience project in the works since Oracle OpenWorld 2012.

Simplified UI represents the direction that the Oracle user experience – for all of its enterprise applications – is heading.

Oracle’s Apps UX team began by building a Simplified UI for sales representatives. You can find that today in Release 7, and it was demoed extensively during OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco.



See the the new Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud, a user interface built for sales reps.

Analyst Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research, saw Simplified UI at Oracle Openworld 2013 and talked about it with CRM Buyer in “Oracle Revs Its Cloud Engines for a Better Customer Experience.

CRM Buyer
Wettemann said there are distinct themes to the latest release:
"One is usability. Oracle Sales Cloud, for example, is designed to have zero training for onboarding sales reps, which it does," she explained. "It is quite impressive, actually -- the intuitive nature of the application and the design work they have done with this goal in mind."

The software uses as few buttons and fields as possible, she pointed out. "The sales rep doesn't have to ask, 'what is the next step?' because she can see what it is."

In fact, there are three themes driving the usability that Wettemann noted. They are simplicity, mobility, and extensibility, and we write more about them on the Usable Apps web site. These three themes embody the strategy for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences.  

Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud

In developing a Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle’s UX team concentrated on the tasks that sales reps need to do most frequently, and are most important. “Knowing that the majority of their work lives are spent on the road and on the go, they need to be able to quickly get in and qualify and convert their leads, monitor and progress their opportunities, update their customer and contact information, and manage their schedule,” Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Applications UX team, said.

Ashley said the Apps UX team has a good reason for creating a Simplified UI that focuses on self-service. “Sales people spend the day selling stuff,” he said. “The only reason they use software is because the company wants to track what they’re doing.” Traditional systems of tracking that information include filling in a spreadsheet of leads or sales. Oracle wants to automate this process for the salesperson, and enable that person to keep everyone who needs to know up-to-date easily and quickly. Simplified UI addresses that problem by providing light-touch input.  

“It has to be useful to the salesperson,” Ashley said about the Sales Cloud user experience. Simplified UI can tell sales reps about key opportunities, or provide information about a contact in just a click or two.

Customer screen shot
Customer information is accessible quickly and easily with Simplified UI for the Oracle Sales Cloud.

Simplified UI for Sales Cloud can also be extended easily, Ashley said. Users usually just need to add various business fields or create and modify analytical reports. The way that Simplified UI is constructed allows extensibility to happen by hiding or showing a few necessary fields.

Settings
The Settings user interface, starting in release 7, allows for the simple configuration of the most important visual elements.

“With Sales cloud, we identified a need to make the application useful and very simple,” Ashley said. Simplified UI meets that need.

Where can you find out more?
To find out more about the simplified UI and Oracle’s ongoing investment in applications user experience innovations, come to one of our sessions at a user group conference near you. Stay tuned to the Voice of User Experience (VoX) blog – the next post will be about Simplified UI and HCM Cloud.

Monday Oct 28, 2013

Workshops, online content show how Oracle infuses simplicity, mobility, extensibility into user experience

By Kathy Miedema & Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience


Oracle has made a huge investment into the user experience of its many different software product families, and recent releases showcase big changes and features that aim to promote end user engagement and efficiency by streamlining navigation and simplifying the user interface.

But making Oracle’s enterprise software great-looking and usable doesn’t stop when Oracle products go out the door. The Applications User Experience (UX) team recognizes that our customers may need to customize software to fit their work processes. And that’s why we provide tools such as user experience design patterns to help you maintain the Oracle user experience as you tailor your application to fit your business needs.

Often, however, customers may need some context around user experience. How has the Oracle user experience been designed and constructed? Why is a good user experience important for users? How does understanding what goes into the user experience benefit the people who purchase the software for users?

There’s a short answer to these questions, and you can read about it on Usable Apps. But truly understanding Oracle’s investment and seeing how it applies across product families occasionally requires a deeper dive into the Oracle user experience, especially if you’re an influencer or decision-maker about Oracle products.

To help frame these decisions, the Communications & Outreach team has developed several targeted workshops that explore what Oracle means when it talks about user experience, and provides a roadmap into where the Oracle user experience is going. These workshops require non-disclosure agreements, and have been delivered to Oracle sales folks, Oracle partners, Oracle ACE Directors and ACEs, and a few customers. Some of these audience members have been developers or have a technical background; just as many did not. Here’s a breakdown of the kind of training you can get around the Oracle user experience from the OAUX Communications & Outreach team.


For Partners:

Demostation
George Papazzian, Principal, Naviscent with Joyce Ohgi, Oracle

  • Oracle Fusion Applications HCM Pre-Sales Seminar:  In concert with Worldwide Alliances  and  Channels under Applications Partner Enablement Director Jonathan Vinoskey’s guidance, the Applications User Experience team delivers a two-day workshop.  Day one focuses on Oracle Fusion Applications HCM and pre-sales strategy, and Day two focuses on positioning and leveraging Oracle’s investment in the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience.  The next workshops will occur on the following dates:
  • Partner Advisory Board: A two-day board meeting in the U.S. and U.K. to discuss four main user experience areas for Oracle Fusion Applications: simplicity, visualization & analytics, mobility, & futures. This event is limited to Oracle Diamond Partners, UX bloggers, and key UX influencers and requires legal documentation.  We will be talking about the Oracle applications UX strategy and roadmap.

  • Partner Implementation Training on User Interface: How to Build Great-Looking, Usable Apps:  In this two-day, hands-on workshop built around Oracle’s Application Development Framework, learn how to build desktop and mobile user interfaces and mobile user interfaces based on Oracle’s experience with Fusion Applications. This workshop is for partners with a technology background who are looking for ways to tailor Fusion Applications using ADF, or have built their own custom solutions using ADF. It includes an introduction to UX design patterns and provides tools to build usability-tested UX designs.
  • Nov 5-6, 2013 @ Redwood Shores, CA, USA
  • January 28-29th, 2014 @ Reston, Virginia, USA
  • February 25-26, 2014 @ Guadalajara, Mexico
  • March 9-10, 2014 @ Dubai, United Arab Emirates
To register, contact Shannon.Whiteman@oracle.com
  • Simplified UI Customization & Extensibility:  Pilot workshop:  We will be reviewing the proposed content for communicating the user experience tool kit available with the next release of Oracle Fusion Applications.  Our core focus will be on what toolkit components our system implementors and independent software vendors will need to respond to customer demand, whether they are extending Fusion Applications, or building custom applications, that will need to leverage the simplified UI.
    • Dec 11th, 2013 @ Reading, UK
For information: contact Misha.vaughan@oracle.com
  • Private lab tour and demos: Interested in seeing what’s going on in the Apps UX Labs?  If you are headed to the San Francisco Bay Area, let us know. We can arrange a spin through our usability labs at headquarters.
  • OAUX Expo: This open-house forum gives partners a look at what the UX team is working on, and showcases the next-generation user experiences in a demo environment where attendees can see and touch the applications.

  • UX Direct: Use the same methods that Oracle uses to develop its own user experiences. We help you define your users and their needs, and then provide direction on how to tailor the best user experience you can for them.

For Customers

lab team photo
Angela Johnston, Gozel Aamoth, Teena Singh, and Yen Chan, Oracle

  • Lab tours: See demos of soon-to-be-released products, and take a spin on usability research equipment such as our eye-tracker. Watch this video to get an idea of what you’ll see.
  • Get our newsletter: Learn about newly released products and see where you can meet us at user group conferences.
  • Participate in a feedback session: Join a focus group or customer feedback session to get an early look at user experience designs for the next generation of software, and provide your thoughts on how well it will work.
  • Join the OUAB: The Oracle Usability Advisory Board meets several times a year to discuss trends in the workforce and provide direction on user experience designs.
  • UX Direct: Use the same methods that Oracle uses to develop its own user experiences. We help you define your users and their needs, and then provide direction on how to tailor the best user experience you can for them.
For Developers (customers, partners, and consultants):

Developers
Plinio Arbizu, SP Solutions, Richard Bingham, Oracle, Balaji Kamepalli, EiSTechnoogies, Praveen Pillalamarri, EiSTechnologies

  • How to Build Great-Looking, Usable Apps: This workshop is for attendees with a strong technology background who are looking for ways to tailor customer software using ADF. It includes an introduction to UX design patterns and provides tools to build usability-tested UX designs.  See above for dates and times.
  • UX design patterns web site: Cut the length of your project down by months. Use these patterns to build out the task flow you need to develop for your users. The patterns have already been usability-tested and represent the best practices that the Oracle UX research team has found in its studies.
  • UX Direct: Use the same methods that Oracle uses to develop its own user experiences. We help you define your users and their needs, and then provide direction on how to tailor the best user experience you can for them.

For Oracle Sales


Mike Klein, Jeremy Ashley, Brent White, Oracle
  • Contact your local sales person for more information about the Oracle user experience and the training available from the Applications User Experience Communications & Outreach team.
  • See customer-friendly user experience collateral ranging from the new simplified UI in Oracle Fusion Applications Release 7, to E-Business Suite user experience highlights, to Siebel, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards user experience highlights.  
  • Receive access to the same pre-sales and implementation training we provide to partners.
  • For Oracle Sales only: Oracle-only training on the Oracle Fusion Applications UX Innovation Sales Kit. 


Wednesday Oct 09, 2013

Meet the Apps UX team at UKOUG Apps13 in London, UK, in October

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience


This year, the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) has created separate conferences for the applications and technology communities. UKOUG Apps13 is the must-attend event for users of Oracle Applications in the United Kingdom.

The Oracle Applications User Experience team is preparing to hit the road in the next few weeks and fly from Oracle headquarters to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. We will be at UKOUG Apps13 in London, UK, from October 14-16.

Onsite Usability Lab: Get involved, and give us your feedback
Our team has been hosting an onsite usability lab at the UKOUG conference in Birmingham, UK, since 2007. We are extremely excited about the conference changes and looking forward to collaborating with Oracle applications users and experts. Oracle customers and partners who plan to attend this conference or who are local to the London area are invited to participate in a usability feedback session. By participating in this activity, you will gain knowledge about new functionality directly from the source and ultimately influence the direction of the Oracle products.

UKOUG APPS 13
Angela Johnston, from left, Teena Singh and Tejas Peesapati from the Oracle Applications User Experience Team host the UX Lab at one of the Oracle User Group Conferences.    

When & Where: Usability feedback sessions will be conducted during the UKOUG Apps13 Conference in London on Monday, October 14th, and Tuesday, October 15th, at The Brewery in the Cardington conference room.


Who can participate? What will we test?

  • Oracle Fusion Application’s simplified user interface with social media features: We are looking for feedback on how well social media features can be used in the context of Oracle’s Fusion HCM applications. Social media features allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.
    • Participants: any type of manager with at least 2 direct reports who use any Oracle enterprise applications and who are savvy users of social networking sites and/or collaboration tools.

  • PeopleSoft Mobile Time & Labor: We will test features such as reporting and updating punch time and holiday time using a mobile version of PeopleSoft Time and Labor flow. This research will be conducted on a smartphone.
    • Participants: anyone who uses PeopleSoft Time and Labor or another  third-party time reporting application as well as a smartphone.

  • HCM Manager/Executive Dashboard (Infolets View): We will collect feedback on interactivity, animation, visualization, and content organization on Manager Dashboard.
    • Participants: managers who manage at least 3 direct reports and use one Oracle HR product such as Fusion, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft or Taleo.
  • Next-Generation UI Concepts: Provide early feedback on new design ideas for the next generation of Oracle Fusion Applications.
    • Participants: anyone who is familiar with Oracle Applications such as HCM, CRM, SCM, Financials, Procurement, etc.
  • New contest management capabilities in Oracle’s HCM offering: If you are interested in being able to run contests to help engage and motivate your employees, you must check out this activity.
    • Participants: individuals who run contests or competitions at their company. This can include things like: hackathons, best-ideas contests, sales contests, incident ”burn-downs” contests, ride-share/commuter contests, etc.
  • Data visualization, eye-tracking and emotional valence: We will use mobile eye-tracking equipment and facial recognition software to record participants’ physical responses during a feedback session. We will also collect verbal feedback on various design concepts on data visualizations for future versions of Oracle applications.
    • Participants: any enterprise software users who have to review reports and occasionally use Excel to generate charts based on data.


Contact Us
This event fills up quickly, and seats are limited. Advance registration is required. In order to reserve a spot for yourself and your colleagues, complete this Sign Up registration form. Contact jeannette.chadwick@oracle.com for additional questions.

Attend these presentations to learn about the Oracle User Experience strategy
The Oracle Applications User Experience team will give several presentations at Apps13 that offer a look at the strategy behind the Oracle user experience. Come to these sessions to get a look ahead at where the user experience is going.

Presentation: Applications Transformation Community Keynote
Presenter: Jeremy Ashley

Presentation: Update on PeopleSoft User Experience Enhancements
Presenter: Harris Kravatz

Presentation: Tailoring Your Applications User Experiences in the Cloud

Presenter: Kristin Desmond and Ultan O'Broin


You can also visit the Usable Apps Events page to see where these presentations at Apps13 will be held.


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.




Saturday Aug 24, 2013

What’s Coming for Oracle’s Applications User Experience Customers at OpenWorld 2013

By Misha Vaughan, Director, Oracle Applications User Experience

We are literally just a few weeks away from Oracle’s biggest annual event for meeting with customers and partners from around the world. This year, the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team is unveiling some pretty exciting things that we are very pleased to share with you.

First among our projects is an update from last year’s presentation around simplicity. We are still talking about simplicity, but we’ve added mobility and extensibility into the mix – which you can read more about in an article on UsableApps.


Simplicity: The Essential Information to Complete Your Work


OpenWorld 2013 Sessions


Apps UX Vice President Jeremy Ashley will be talking about what simplicity, mobility, and extensibility mean for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences at his OpenWorld presentations. You can catch him here:  

CON8029: Oracle Applications User Experiences In the Cloud: Trends and Strategy

Learn how simplicity, consistency, and emerging trends are driving the applications user experience strategy at Oracle. We will talk about trends in mobile workers and their devices in the cloud, gamification, new ways to visualize information, consumer-like experiences, and how to create applications that require a light touch and zero training. See the first demos of what’s new in the pipeline for Oracle Applications user experiences here.

Date: Monday Sept 23rd
, 2013
Time: 4:45-5:45 pm

Location: Moscone West 2006/2008

If you are a customer and interested in the deeper story about tailoring technologies and tools that are available for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences, you can find a lot more detail in this panel, which will be chaired by Killian Evers, Senior Director, and will include Tim Dubois, Architect, talking about our composer tool set. Ultan O’Broin (@ultan), Director, will talk about Apps UX design patterns and ADF tooling, and Floyd Teter (@fteter), Executive Vice President, EiS Technologies, will share a success story.

CON8493: Tailoring Your Applications User Experiences in the Cloud

Date:  Weds Sept 25th, 2013
Time: 11:45am-12:45 pm
Location: Moscone West 3001


On-Site Usability Labs

There are a few more things available for customers, including access to the Apps UX on-site Oracle Usability Labs. If you sign up to participate, you can find out what Oracle thinks the future will look like and give us your feedback about what the future should look like.  Gozel Aamoth, Manager, Applications User Experience, said that this year attendees will get a preview of products designs for:

  • Oracle Fusion HCM and SCM
  • Fusion Applications Help
  • Oracle Social Relationship Management
  • Mobile Design Patterns
  • My Oracle Support
  • Oracle Social Network
  • Oracle E-Business Suite, that's right. E-Business Suite (thank you Steven Chan & Sara Woodhull!)
  • WebCenter Portal and more

The on-site usability labs at Oracle OpenWorld

Regardless of your job title, we can offer you a session that might interest you. Here are just a few job profiles we are looking for:

  • Employees
  • Business Analysts
  • Functional Subject Matter Experts
  • Marketing professionals
  • IT professionals
  • Developers, System Administrators
  • Product Managers
  • Managers of all levels more


If you want in on one of these sessions, reach out now to angela.johnston@oracle.com. Advance registration is required, and the slots are filling up.  

Cloud Applications User Experiences: The Future of What Your Employees Will Touch, See, & Hear

Check out our demopod this year at OpenWorld and take the chance to try out the new simplified user experience first-hand. You will also have an opportunity to chat about what’s happening with mobile design. 

Get on the Bus!

If you're staying through Thursday, Sept. 26, sign up for one of Oracle’s exclusive tours at Oracle Headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.  Customers and partners are invited to hop on 
one of our chartered buses to Oracle Headquarters to see where Oracle brings together best practices to create innovative, next-generation user experiences.


The Oracle Usability Lab Tour Bus

Our usability experts will demonstrate an eye-tracking device, how Oracle’s usability experts use an interactive SMART board, and show the latest design concepts for mobile enterprise applications on different mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Round-trip transportation will be provided from the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco to Oracle Headquarters.  Return times are estimated, depending on traffic.  Advanced sign-up is recommended, and spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To join a tour, register here.  For additional questions, email gozel.aamoth@oracle.com.

Tuesday May 28, 2013

100 Partners Later

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience team just did something new, and it was very cool.

The customer outreach arm of the Applications User Experience, or Apps UX, team held its first demo reception.

The team has done demos before. And new stuff. After all, this is a research and development organization within Oracle. It’s our job to be ahead of the market and in the midst of designing new user experiences with equal parts cutting-edge technology and creative innovation. So why was this different?

You may have read in a previous post here about simplicity, and how that idea is driving the Oracle applications user experience forward. In May, we showed that idea in action, with demos of several special user experiences actually undergoing development right now. Only previously vetted partners were allowed to see this – as a rule, Oracle does not share much before an application becomes generally available. So being able to share something that was actually in development just for the sake of showing it, well, that was quite exciting.

Aylin Uysal
Photographs by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience

Aylin Uysal, Director, Applications User Experience, demonstrates the new simplified UI.


Gathering feedback on iterations of the next generation of an application is part of the Apps UX mission. The team tests and measures and re-tests next-generation designs for enterprise software, gathers up the comments and reactions of specifically recruited users, and figures out how to solve problems with each iteration of the next use experience design. This often happens in one-on-one customer feedback sessions, or occasionally, a focus group.

But in May, about 100 partners were invited to a special reception, just to see what we’re working on.

Mark Vilrokx
Mark Vilrokx, Architect, Applications User Experience, shows how Oracle Voice works.


Sten Vesterli, a
Senior Principal Consultant with Scott/Tiger and Oracle ACE Director, posted in his blog that he had seen the future of ERP. Vesterli wrote: “Yesterday, the Oracle UX team hosted a confidential (strictly no photography!) event demoing some of the new stuff they are working on. If I told you the details I’d have to kill you, but what I can say is this: The future of ERP is as a platform, not an application.”

Floyd Teter, Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Products, EiS Technologies, Inc., also posted in his blog that he "had the opportunity to see plenty of new product prototypes ... none of which I can talk about (inserted frustrated sigh here) other than to say that there is some extremely cool stuff in the pipeline from the Oracle UX team.  Seems like this team's innovation engine is really taking their game up another notch."

This is an adventurous time for the Apps UX team. We’re always looking forward, but with the addition of new developers to our team in the last year, we’re moving forward at a spectacular pace. We’ll keep writing about it here on VoX, so check back frequently.

For a broad view of some of the areas the team is exploring, read this recent post about the road ahead.
To find out where members of the Apps UX team will be speaking next, check the Usable Apps Events page.

Wednesday Apr 17, 2013

Stay on Top of the Latest Trends in Enterprise User Experiences


By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experiences

Find your local expert in:

Dubai | Cyprus | Athens | Johannesburg  | Jordan | Prague | Moscow | Doha | Bucharest | Abu Dhabi | Munich | London | Gothenburg | Brussels | Copenhagen | Utrecht | Chicago | San Francisco | Washington DC


Photographs by Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience
Amsterdam canals, above, were outside the location for a recent workshop on enterprise applications user experience. 

In the fall of last year, the Apps UX team met with and updated the Apps UX Sales Ambassador (SAMBA) team in North America with a reprise of last year’s sales training event.

The SAMBA team is a global group of senior-level application solution consultants and applications technologists who provide front-line feedback on the Oracle applications user experience strategy and roadmap. We now officially welcome to the fold representation from Oracle’s Partner team, Alliances and Channels, as well.

Their brethren in Europe, Middle East, and Africa also wanted a chance to see and give feedback on what's new, what's coming, and what is officially "wow" in applications user experiences.  So we took our workshop on the road to create more regional user experience experts.


The new Oracle University training facility in Dubai, near where more UX training was conducted. Highly recommended!

What did they learn?
There was a significant focus on the Oracle Fusion Applications next-generation user experiences, with an in-depth discussion of the new simplified user interface, updates to the desktop user interface, as well as the role of Fusion's native applications.  There was also an extended conversation about how this frames Oracle's overall cloud user experience strategy.

Attendees also got a much more detailed view into how these innovations are spread across the Applications Unlimited product lines, such as E-Business Suite, Siebel, JD Edwards, and PeopleSoft. We offered specific examples of how Oracle invests in codifying proven, tested solutions to usability problems, known as user experience design patterns,  that any existing product can family leverage.



Ultan O'Broin, Director, Applications User Experiences, discusses how user experience design patterns allow developers to leverage Oracle innovations across applications products.


Finally, the main event: The applications user experience roadmap with Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Apps UX team. What are the next set of big ideas that we are paying attention to and doing research and development around? 

You can get an inkling of the conversation here. Both presenters and attendees debated the merits and risks of simplification, gamification, voice technology, and how to create frameworks for extending these platforms to tailor a user experience to the way a customer's business really needs to function.


Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo, Director, Mobile User Experience, talks about voice integration for end users of enterprise applications.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Kevin Li, Edward Dewolf and Julian Peters from Europe, and Anand Subramanian from Middle East and Africa, for serving as our spirit guides, and teaching us what you need for your customers and partners. 


Julian Peters, Master Principal Sales Consultant, UK


Anand Subramanian, Middle East and Africa Fusion Apps Leader, Dubai


Edward Dewolf, Principal Sales Consultant, Belgium

A last thank you to Andrew Gilmour for staying calm under pressure to help execute an awesome series of workshops.


Andrew Gilmour, Fusion User Experience Advocates and Apps UX Sales Ambassador Programs

For customers and partners
If you are interested in a briefing and want to stay on top of what's coming in applications user experiences, connect with your local solution consultant or alliances and channels representative -- they will reach out to our Apps UX Sales Ambassadors and can deliver an update for you. 

If you are fortunate enough to find your way to a local user group event, we try to make sure we have a representative from our team on the ground.  Check out our events pages on the UsableApps Web site.

Thursday Apr 11, 2013

The Cloud User Experience: Changing Everything for Users

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Cloud-delivered applications are one of those things you watch to see how the  phenomenon is going to fully express itself.  It’s one of those industry-wide happenings, perhaps even more compelling than tablet computers, that is making the world a better place for users.

Consumers have already seen the benefit of a cloud approach with tailored, consumer-driven experiences on sites like eBay.  



Whether it’s using a desktop user interface (UI) with powerful features such as a merchant user interface for uploading 100 long and short descriptions and photos, or a simplified UI on a tablet for browsing through items from the comfort of your couch, or monitoring an auction on your smart phone using a native application, these custom, tailored experiences are really enabled by cloud computing.  

Think about that. These user interfaces are tailored for what you are doing, on specific devices, and considering specific contexts of use. Add to that a consumer-level design aesthetic, and industrial-grade security, and you have the makings of a pleasant little revolution for enterprise users.


Enterprise Apps in the Cloud Should Work the Way You Do

Marry ease-of-use, device-savvy design, custom-fit experiences, role-based access, international compliance, and security -- that’s a heady combination. It means that users can and should expect their cloud-delivered solutions to work the way they need.

Let me give you some examples.  If I am a VP of sales, I am likely very mobile and use a simplified UI on a tablet quite a bit to browse and analyze my pipeline on the road.  But if I need to sit down and crank out a deeper level of analysis for territory modeling, I am only going to do that from the comfort of a delightfully wide screen on a desktop UI.  If I am dashing from a customer meeting to the airport, I want a quick user interface via a native application on my smartphone to capture only essential information.



If I am a general ledger clerk, I probably need access to a large-screen user interface.  In fact, if you try to make me do my day-to-day work on a tablet, I would likely smack you with it.  But I may be perfectly happy submitting my vacation schedule from a tablet-kiosk in the lunchroom.

It’s a pretty exciting time of change in enterprise software right now, and I am a big fan of these kinds of changes.  It means that our end users will only benefit.  Stay tuned to the Voice of User Experience (VoX) blog to hear more about some of the new stuff coming from Oracle.  


Friday Feb 08, 2013

Apps UX Team on the Road: Oracle Usability Lab at Alliance 2013 Conference

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

People
Wei Zhou and Gozel Aamoth from the Oracle Applications User Experience team welcome participants at Alliance 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.

Are you or your colleagues planning to attend the Alliance 2013 conference in Indianapolis this year? If yes, we’d like you to know that the Apps UX team will pack their bags and bring the usability lab to this user group conference. For the fifth consecutive year, Higher Education, Public Sector and Federal users of Oracle Applications will have an opportunity to collaborate with usability experts. Sign up for one of our exclusive user feedback sessions to get a peek at next-generation enterprise applications and learn about Oracle’s pioneering user-centered design process.

The usability lab will be open two days: Monday, March 18th, and Tuesday, March 19th, at the JW Marriott Indianapolis Hotel, Room #202. Attend a one-hour session where our usability experts will guide you through practical learning sessions covering aspects of business applications and more.

Who can participate: Employees, Business Analysts, Subject Matter Experts, Managers of all levels, and Students.

Give us your feedback on: PeopleSoft HCM Home Page, PeopleSoft HCM Manager Self Service, PeopleSoft FUSE Campus Solutions, and Fusion Help Design.

How do I sign up: This event fills up quickly, and seats are limited. Advance registration is required. RSVP now by sending an email to Gozel Aamoth at gozel.aamoth@oracle.com.  

To learn more about the team’s presentations and involvement at this conference, please visit UsableApps.

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.


Thursday Jan 31, 2013

Fusion HCM: The Next Generation of User Experience for Human Capital Management

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

I follow the trends internal to Oracle and areas of hotspots, and nothing is a hotspot these days like Fusion HCM.  With that in mind, I placed a call to Gretchen Alarcon, Group Vice President, Product Strategy, to get her take on the latest and greatest in Fusion HCM user experiences.  

Be warned, Gretchen is a powerhouse of ideas. You ask her one question, and you need to be ready for the fire hose.  

Gretchen Alarcon, Group Vice President, Product Strategy
Gretchen Alarcon, Group Vice President, Product Strategy

Q: What would you like to highlight for readers about the Fusion HCM User Experience?

Gretchen: There are a couple of ways to think about how we have invested in the user experience of Fusion HCM.

A big investment for us is focusing on the role of the user, and what is best for them, and what they need up front to be productive -- whether that is an HR specialist, or a manager who runs his or her work on an iPad.

For example, how do we help end users who are not HR savvy to engage with HR systems?  If you are a manager and you only interact with HR systems a few times a year, how do we make it so that when you open up Fusion and you get into it, you are guided?  How do all the features get displayed according to what the goal is?  If you are talking compensation management, you are used to working with Excel.  

Let’s take that same format, grids, and content, but add in some more information to highlight exceptions, to give you better information in that moment to help you figure out if this person should be receiving more or less in a compensation adjustment. 


Fusion HCM Manager UI


In contrast, think about a talent review process that’s a lot less structured. Typically it’s more of facilitated discussion. How do visualize information about people to help engage in a conversation? So, be less focused on structuring information.

These are two products for managers with very different end results and features, vs. that of the end user who is trying to do a job.

The other investment is in mobile, in terms of thinking of managers, and how they have moved to tablets, and what they have done.

I think the thing to really think about here is that when tablets were first introduced, there were a lot of questions about who these tools were for, and how did this change things. For many people, the ability to run Fusion, if they are thinking about a tablet as a replacement for a laptop, the fact that it runs in a browser helps.  But if you are thinking about a tablet, and you are a manager, you are not necessarily connected to the Internet at all times.  

You may take a look at your organization and see who is available to attend a meeting. Who you should you give an assignment to? If you are recruiting, you need to look at candidates, and look at top people, and look at where they are from a risk-management standpoint.  

What’s really nice about Fusion TAP, if you are a manager and you do not need to separate out in your mind sales questions and HR questions, you stop opening up all different applications.


Fusion HCM Employee UI


We have also been investing from a social standpoint.  Thinking about ways that people can network, can find mentors, or interact through group spaces.  We want to change the way human capital management works for our customers  --  to make it a tool that enables all sorts of workers.

For example, now in the ERP world, companies are talking about “the system of record” or a “system of engagement.” We think about our social investment as a system of engagement.  We are very good as a system of record, but that information is the recorded thinking.  It doesn't explain how you work, who you work with, how you are productive and influential in an organization.  How do we take those things and think about where it’s contributing to business?  How do we help you with better collaboration if you are working on a goal? How do you let everyone else know how you are doing on a project?

For mentoring, it’s important, but many companies don’t have a formal program.  If I could track someone’s activities, it allows the growth of an informal mentorship process.

How does social change the information we have on an employee, make better decisions about this employee, from a talent management perspective?  For example, finding some skills that are not tracked but would be helpful in preparing them for a promotion?  Our products work to come up with a complete view of your employees and their progress.

Q: As you talk to customers about Fusion HCM what kinds of reactions are you getting?

Gretchen: I think there are a couple of differing reactions. There are still many companies that haven’t seen it.  There is a lot of interest overall. What’s interesting is when a customer comes in with a specific point of view.  I visited a customer last spring who asked a lot about analytics.  They asked if we had an app; I showed Fusion Tap and where we are going.  

She said, “That’s it. That’s what I’ve been asking for.”

The market is ready for what we have, and we know it meets their needs.

We now also have an opportunity to surprise them in the mobile and social spaces, in ways they may not have thought to transform their HR processes. There is a lot of positive feedback from our customer base.

Q: What else are you working on related to user experience?

Gretchen:  One of the areas that we continue to invest in is how we unify the user experience with Fusion, since Taleo is our acquired company. We have done a lot, and Taleo has done a lot.

It is has inspired us to think about where we want to go next with usability. Products like HCM we are very much influenced by consumer applications. The users of these products: what are they used to using, and are they coming off of a commercial website, and how can we help them feel that it’s in line with what else they use.

We are also putting some emphasis on areas that we want to extend, like the 9-box. As we are getting them rolled out to customers, they are asking for new ways of using Fusion.  How they structure an employee profile is changing, from a 9-box to a 12-box, or performance vs. potential to performance vs. labor costs.  Customers are taking what we have given them and wanting us to expand on it.

Q: How do you feel about the new face of Fusion?

Gretchen: The goal post continues to move.  Differing users have very differing ways they want to engage the system.

The original design of Fusion was great for power users, and users who needed to make use of wide-screen displays.  We wanted to find a way to give access to casual users working across devices.

The first area of implementation is employee self-service.  What are the 20% of activities you do 80% of the time?  Such as, if you are on a 15-minute break and you need to look up your pay slip because you are re-financing the mortgage your house.

Fusion HCM Simplified User Experience
Fusion HCM’s new simplified user experience

Our next focus is manager self-service. We are going to take on those same questions. One area we see managers coming in and out often is the ”company directory.’’ For example, if I want to give an assignment to somebody, but I need to see what else they are working before I pass this assignment out.

Q: What is the response to this new user interface from customers?

Gretchen: They love it. We have shown FUSE. We have done several design reviews, and we have updated our demo system to show this new UI.  They like the layout and say “my people will get it” and “it’s simple.”  When we are selling to HR users, they are buying for their own productivity, but they are also thinking about how they will engage employees.  It helps them feel confident that we are looking at this as a complete process -- not just a back-office process, but serving the entire enterprise.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

If you want to find out more about what’s coming, check out the HCM blog.

If you want more information, visit the Fusion HCM website.

Editor’s note: This document is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into a contract or agreement.

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.

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.


Sunday Jul 29, 2012

User Experience Roadmap for Oracle Applications: Direct from Jeremy Ashley

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

This is the third in a series of blog posts on the user experience (UX) highlights in various Oracle product families.

Last week’s post was with Gary Grieshaber, Senior Director, EnterpriseOne Product Strategy on JD Edwards. This interview is with Jeremy Ashley, Vice President, Oracle Applications User Experience team. Here, he talks about Oracle’s roadmap for simplifying Oracle Applications user experiences and what you might expect to see at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 this year.

Jeremy Ashley
Jeremy Ashley

These days, if you ask Ashley about Oracle’s strategy with Applications User Experience, his answer is short: “Simplicity.”

The enterprise application landscape is changing for user experiences, he says. The underlying technologies -- the software, the hardware, and the storage capabilities -- have become so sophisticated that users’ expectations have started to shift. They now expect even more from their devices. Users want their experiences to be smarter and simpler and portable.

You might be expecting to hear more about the consumerization of information technology, or the trend toward BYOD (bring your own device), or even big data.  

Ashley says he views these trends as byproducts, or symptoms, of a larger trend. Users now expect their software experiences to simply map to their needs. They are no longer willing to work to the device, spending hours on training and patiently wading through quirky work-around solutions. Instead, they want the device to work around their needs.

What does Ashley mean when he talks about “simplicity”?  

He calls it a process of reduction. Rather than building more, he says, look at how you can get more out of what you have.  

At OpenWorld, you’ll be able to see what Ashley means by this. This process of reduction, this simplification, becomes imperative for Oracle customers who have a high number of users, on a high volume of transactions, and need walk-up-and-use ease of use.

On the Applications User Experience team, we call this the “entry experience.”

Ashley said that Oracle is evaluating its product lines with an eye toward design, and looking for specific opportunities to simplify. Whether it is with a product family or a spot solution, the Applications UX team is really paying attention to where simplification is needed most and makes the most sense. For example, he said, that could mean providing a simplified user experience or performing inventory receiving using Oracle Fusion Applications Supply Chain Management (SCM).

The other part of simplification is about integrating a user experience across features and across devices of all shapes and sizes -- seamlessly. Rather than presenting the user with a full menu of options, simplicity means making sense of how to pull together the best set of features and information to fit whatever device a user may be working on, as Oracle has done in Oracle Fusion Applications.

Ashley will lead a general session at OpenWorld on the topic of simplification, and he is planning to demo what are likely to be some of the most exciting enterprise applications user experiences Oracle’s has ever showcased. He will be joined by ACE Directors Basheer Khan, CEO of Innowave; Debra Lilley, Oracle Alliance Director and Fusion champion of Fujitsu; and Edward Roske, CEO of InterRel.

Don't miss Ashley’s session at OpenWorld this year.

CON9467 - Oracle’s Roadmap to a Simple, Modern User Experience

This is where you will get a look at the promised demos.

CON9438 - Oracle Fusion Applications: Transforming Insight into Action

In this session, you'll hear again from Basheer Khan, CEO of Innowave, as he presents with Ashley and Katie Candland, Director, Oracle Fusion Applications, on his experience with implementing Fusion Project Portfolio Management, or PPM. A video interview of Khan is also available, where he says his company's implementation of Fusion Applications is bringing efficiencies to their business that they've never seen before.

Find out more about how you can connect with the Oracle Applications User Experience team at OpenWorld 2012.


Thursday Jun 21, 2012

Tailoring the Oracle Fusion Applications User Interface with Oracle Composer

By Killian Evers, Oracle Applications User Experience

Changing the user interface (UI) is one of the most common modifications customers perform to Oracle Fusion Applications. Typically, customers add or remove a field based on their needs. Oracle makes the process of tailoring easier for customers, and reduces the burden for their IT staff, which you can read about on the Usable Apps website or in an earlier VoX post.

This is the first in a series of posts that will talk about the tools that Oracle has provided for tailoring with its family of composers. These tools are designed for business systems analysts, and they allow employees other than IT staff to make changes in an upgrade-safe and patch-friendly manner.

Let’s take a deep dive into one of these composers, the Oracle Composer.

Oracle Composer allows business users to modify existing UIs after they have been deployed and are in use. It is an integral component of our SaaS offering. Using Oracle Composer, users can control:
    •    Who sees the changes
    •    When the changes are made
    •    What changes are made

Change for me, change for you, change for all of you

One of the most powerful aspects of Oracle Composer is its flexibility. Oracle uses Oracle Composer to make changes for a user or group of users – those who see the changes. A user of Oracle Fusion Applications can make changes to the user interface at runtime via Oracle Composer, and these changes will remain every time they log into the system. For example, they can rearrange certain objects on a page, add and remove designated content, and save queries.

Business systems analysts can make changes to Oracle Fusion Application UIs for groups of users or all users. Oracle’s Fusion Middleware Metadata Services (MDS) stores these changes and retrieves them at runtime, merging customizations with the base metadata and revealing the final experience to the end user.

A tailored application can have multiple customization layers, and some layers can be specific to certain Fusion Applications. Some examples of customization layers are: site, organization, country, or role.

Customization layers are applied in a specific order of precedence on top of the base application metadata.


This image illustrates how customization layers are applied.

What time is it?

Users make changes to UIs at design time, runtime, and design time at runtime. Design time changes are typically made by application developers using an integrated development environment, or IDE, such as Oracle JDeveloper. Once made, these changes are then deployed to managed servers by application administrators.

Oracle Composer covers the other two areas: Runtime changes and design time at runtime changes. When we say users are making changes at runtime, we mean that the changes are made within the running application and take effect immediately in the running application. A prime example of this ability is users who make changes to their running application that only affect the UIs they see.

What is new with Oracle Composer is the last area: Design time at runtime.  A business systems analyst can make changes to the UIs at runtime but does not have to make those changes immediately to the application. These changes are stored as metadata, separate from the base application definitions. Customizations made at runtime can be saved in a sandbox so that the changes can be isolated and validated before being published into an environment, without the need to redeploy the application.

What can I do?

Oracle Composer can be run in one of two modes. Depending on which mode is chosen, you may have different capabilities available for changing the UIs. The first mode is view mode, the most common default mode for most pages. This is the mode that is used for personalizations or user customizations. Users can access this mode via the Personalization link (see below) in the global region on Oracle Fusion Applications pages. In this mode, you can rearrange components on a page with drag-and-drop, collapse or expand components, add approved external content, and change the overall layout of a page. However, all of the changes made this way are exclusive to that particular user.



The second mode, edit mode, is typically made available to select users with access privileges to edit page content. We call these folks business systems analysts. This mode is used to make UI changes for groups of users. Users with appropriate privileges can access the edit mode of Oracle Composer via the Administration menu (see below) in the global region on Oracle Fusion Applications pages. In edit mode, users can also add components, delete components, and edit component properties.



While in edit mode in Oracle Composer, there are two views that assist the business systems analyst with making UI changes: Design View and Source View (see below).



Design View, the default view, is a WYSIWYG rendering of the page and its content. The business systems analyst can perform these actions:

  • Add content – including custom content like a portlet displaying news or stock quotes, or predefined content delivered from Oracle Fusion Applications (including ADF components and task flows)
  • Rearrange content – performed via drag-and-drop on the page or by using the actions menu of a component or portlet to move content around
  • Edit component properties and parameters – for specific components, control the visual properties such as text or display labels, or parameters such as RSS feeds
  • Hide or show components – hidden components can be re-shown
  • Delete components
  • Change page layout – users can select from eight pre-defined layouts
  • Edit page properties – create or edit a page’s parameters and display properties
  • Reset page customizations – remove edits made to the page in the current layer and/or reset the page to a previous state.

Detailed information on each of these capabilities and the additional actions not covered in the list above can be found in the Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.


This image shows what the screen looks like in Design View.

Source View, the second option in the edit mode of Oracle Composer, provides a WYSIWYG and a hierarchical rendering of page components in a component navigator. In Source View, users can access and modify properties of components that are not otherwise selectable in Design View. For example, many ADF Faces components can be edited only in Source View. Users can also edit components within a task flow.


This image shows what the screen looks like in Source View.

Detailed information on Source View can be found in the Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.
Oracle Composer enables any application or portal to be customized or personalized after it has been deployed and is in use. It is designed to be extremely easy to use so that both business systems analysts and users can edit Oracle Fusion Applications pages with a few clicks of the mouse. Oracle Composer runs in all modern browsers and provides a rich, dynamic way to edit JSF application and portal pages.

From the editor: The next post in this series about composers will be on Data Composer. You can also catch Killian speaking about extensibility at OpenWorld 2012 and in her Faces of Fusion video.

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.

Wednesday May 23, 2012

VIDEO: Fusion Mobile Expenses

By Misha Vaughan, Architect, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle Applications Fusion Mobile Expenses

Want to see something that clearly demonstrates that Oracle gets mobile?

Check out this video crafted by the Oracle Applications User Experience team and the Oracle Financials Product Strategy team. The video is for Oracle Fusion Applications Mobile Expenses, and it integrates with Fusion Expenses.



EVERYone hates entering expenses. This application, and the video, show how Oracle takes that pain away.

This application really showcases how mobile devices, and their new onboard technologies like voice input and cameras, are making completely new user experiences possible for enterprise users.

I had a chance to ask Diana Gray, Senior Manager for Financials Product Strategy what users were saying.  According to Gray, "Based on the feedback we've received, the users are delighted about the voice integration that creates expense lines based on your recording details as well as scanning receipts to create expense lines. Being able to capture expenses 'on the go' and submit them for online report creation makes the business traveler's life so much simpler. No more lost receipts. No need to remember how much you paid out of pocket for taxis and tips."

For more information, go to Oracle.com under Financial Management. Or you can get more details in this data sheet.

Want to find out more about Diana and her vision for mobile expenses?  Check out her Faces of Fusion Video

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 Apr 10, 2012

Nucleus Research Note: Oracle's Focus on Usability in Fusion Applications

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

I recently noticed that Nucleus Research Inc. released a research note summarizing their findings on Oracle Fusion Applications.

It's always nice when an outside firm is savvy enough to acknowledge the value of a user experience strategy. When it is applied to what Oracle has done with Fusion Applications,  it's even more satisfying. 

In the note, Nucleus states:

"Based on the demos and testimonials from early adopters Nucleus has reviewed, Oracle has clearly focused on usability with in-application analytics and other smart application features.

 "In Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracle has built not just transactional corporate applications where users enter and extract data, but smarter applications that driver user productivity."

Read it for yourself here.

Read more about the story behind Oracle's Fusion Applications User Experience here.

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.

Tuesday Dec 20, 2011

The Oracle Applications User Experience team at UKOUG 2011

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

This was my first time attending the UK Oracle User Group conference, or UKOUG, and I was thrilled, frankly, to meet a whole new constituency for Oracle.

Attending the conference presented a chance to meet with a whole new raft of customers face-to-face, hear their issues, and connect with a bevy of Oracle folks I otherwise would only know as voices on the phone.

Circus near Birmingham International Convention Center

ADF and Fusion Apps

Special thanks goes to Debra Lilley, UKOUG president, for being such an awesome host and inviting the UX team to attend the ACE Directors dinner. As luck would have it, I met Grant Ronald, Senior Group Product Manager for ADF (Application Development Framework) at Oracle, at this same dinner. He told me that customers were starting to tell him: “I want to build an application, and I want it to look like Fusion.”

As a user experience professional who has labored under secrecy around Oracle Fusion Applications for many long years, it was outstanding to hear. Fusion Applications was just announced as generally available at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 in October. Now, suddenly, our work is going before everyone.

I learned about Grant’s Oracle Technology Network Channel on Application Development Framework, as well as his new book, “Quick Start Guide to Fusion Development: Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF.”


Grant Ronald signs his book for me.

Fusion Learning Paths

Debra Lilley and Sten Vesterli, who are both ACE Directors and Fusion UX Advocates for the Oracle Applications User Experience team, announced the release of the Oracle user groups’ collective effort to help provide customers with a third-party perspective on Oracle Fusion Applications – called Fusion Learning Paths. Oracle can’t cover all of the nuances and every question customers will have, so having an organization that partners with us to provide another avenue of information is a good thing.

Their information is pretty thorough already.

If you want to stay abreast of updates, register at: http://www.tinyurl.com/fusionapps.

Another hidden gem was the Oracle support story, as told by Richard Bingham, Senior Principal Support Engineer for Oracle Fusion Applications at Oracle. In choosing to redesign what it means to deliver an “enterprise user experience,” I did not realize how even the support experience was transformed for customers. He was kind enough to point me to his new book, “Managing Oracle Fusion Applications. Look for more to come on this.

Applications Sessions

Once again, Oracle brought its usability labs to UKOUG. Special thanks go to Teena Singh, Angela Johnston, and Gozel Aamoth from the Oracle Applications User Experience team for their consistently hard work at pulling this off. If you were not able to make it, this team has a LinkedIn Group you might want to subscribe to in order to find out about future opportunities.

Other members of the Applications User Experience team did a stand-out job, in a presentation by user experience architect Patanjali Venkatacharya on what was coming next in the E-business Suite user experiences, as well as a session on Fusion Middleware and the Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience. Applications User Experience vice president Jeremy Ashley, Fusion User Experience Director Katie Candland, and Debra Lilley also delivered a presentation on the Fusion Applications User Experience; and Director of Global User Experience, Ultan O’Broin gave an unorthodox presentation on applications messaging as well.

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

A Direct Line to UX: Answering Your Questions About UX Tools, Methods, and Fusion HCM

In April, Oracle sponsored a webcast called “Putting the User First – Moving Beyond the User Interface to a User Experience.” Listeners learned how the Oracle Applications User Experience team worked closely with customers around the globe to build a deep user experience in Oracle’s next generation of Human Capital Management (HCM) applications: Oracle Fusion Applications HCM.

The webcast was delivered by Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of Oracle Applications User Experience (UX); Aylin Uysal, Senior Manager, HCM UX; Jay Richey, Director, Oracle HCM Applications Marketing; and Beth Correa, founder and CEO of Official Payroll Advisor.

The webcast, which had more than 200 attendees registered, is now posted on the HR.com site and available.

Picture of Jeremy Ashley, VP of Applications User Experience

Photo by Martin Taylor - Oracle Applications User Experience

Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, sits at an eye-tracking station in the Redwood Shores, Calif., usability labs.

Attendees had several questions, and we’d like to answer them here on the Usable Apps blog. We invite you to take the opportunity to add a comment or question at the bottom of this blog.

From Todd Grubbs, an analyst at WellPoint, Inc.:

Q: I've visited the Oracle Usability Labs, and I’ve done the eye-tracking demo. I'm very interested in learning how you guys apply the eye-tracking data you gather to influence changes in your design.

A: Oracle’s eye-tracking tools help members of the Applications User Experience team record the flow of a user’s visual attention during enterprise tasks. Based upon both qualitative and quantitative methods, researchers can tell whether users clearly understand icons, whether page navigation is intuitive, and whether page layout is confusing. This information helps product teams to make specific decisions that are targeted to visual and/or navigation features of pages. Eye-tracking methods are a complement, and not a substitute, for more traditional usability testing. The interface designer can be informed about unclear or distracting features on an interface, and can help determine why certain errors are made while completing tasks.

For more in how the Oracle Apps UX team uses eye-tracking, visit Usable Apps, or look for our demopod at OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco, Oct. 2-6.

From Narayan Moni, a director at Aeroxchange, Ltd.:

Q: What software did you use to study the eye-tracking?

A: There are several steps, each with associated software, required to analyze the results from an eye-tracking study. First, detailed samples of gaze-points are translated into strings of behavioral fixations using software made by the manufacturer of the eye tracker, Tobii. Metrics from these scanpaths are then exported to Excel. Data may also be loaded into our own prototype analysis software, which finds matching clusters of similar scanning strategies. Metrics from both of these are then put into SPSS for further statistical analysis. We are also conducting trial studies with software by Noldus, called FaceReader, that can record several dimensions of emotion (e.g., happy, surprised, angry) based upon automated facial gesture analysis.

Q: Also, what was the size of the team that worked on soliciting user feedback? The reason I ask is that my company is a small company, and I am trying to understand the most effective and cost-efficient method to solicit user feedback. I understand that face-to-face is best, but it is also the most expensive and resource-hungry.

A: When Oracle began developing Fusion Applications, its next-generation enterprise software, Oracle had the advantage of being able to incorporate user experience teams from several recent acquisitions. To read more about how the teams came together and what that meant for Fusion, as well as for current application releases that have benefited from this user experience work such as PeopleTools 8.50 and E-Business Suite 12.1.3, please visit Usable Apps. We understand, however, that our work with Fusion Applications was done on a grand scale with a large investment from Oracle, and few businesses could replicate such an effort -- even with substantial resources. So we’ve been talking with Oracle customers and capturing their best practices in the field of user experience. You can read more about the type of research other Oracle customers have done to improve their own user experience – whether it was on a portal or their entire Web site – at Usable Apps as well.

Q: Could you speak about the organizational structure of the team that worked on Fusion and the responsibilities of each team? I am trying to understand how you were able to outline clear roles for each team without having teams step all over each other.

A: Our teams are responsible for certain product areas such as HCM, FIN, or CRM, or certain tool feature sets, such as collaboration (Web 2.0) tools or user assistance. But you have an excellent point, and it’s something we’ve been able to take advantage of: All of our research behind Fusion has been used to improve other Oracle applications as well as develop Fusion, and designs from one area may well serve a task flow in another area. So, because the Oracle Applications UX team enjoys a very collaborative atmosphere, we’ve taken many designs for Fusion HCM and incorporated them into recent releases of PeopleSoft, Agile, and JD Edwards, among other product lines. In addition, you will find collaboration tools and user assistance resources, for example, across the entire product suite of Fusion Applications. Because Fusion is a suite of applications that crosses many pillars smoothly and without interruption to the user, our UX team is designed somewhat the same way.

Kathleen Noble, NM DESIGN:

Q: Are there visuals?

A: Yes, and once again, we invite you to visit Usable Apps to read our growing series of articles on Fusion Applications. Here, you will find several articles on certain areas of the Fusion user experience with screenshots showing the highlights. Articles on Fusion Applications HCM, Fusion Mobile Portrait Gallery, Fusion Financials, and Fusion User Assistance are scheduled for publication before OpenWorld 2011.

Marsha Oremland, a director with ADP, Inc.:

Q: Can social networking be opened to individuals outside of the company?

A: Social networking in Fusion Applications is powered by the WebCenter Framework within Fusion Middleware (FMW). Fusion Middleware provides the ability to offer its services within an organization or outside a secure firewall -- the choice is up to the customer. However, in Fusion Applications, out-of-the-box social networking capabilities have been enabled for internal behind-the-firewall usage across global enterprises. But since Fusion Application runs 100% on Fusion Middleware, this capability can be extended outside of the enterprise through customization. Specific capabilities in FMW that could be opened to individuals outside of the company include discussion forums, wikis, and blogs. Read more about our collaboration tool set on Usable Apps.

Sue Wood, an analyst with Peopleclick Authoria:

Q: How many people work on the UX team?

A: Our team is a conglomeration of existing and acquired UX teams. The Oracle Applications UX team consists of dozens of micro-teams who all research, design, and test specific areas of the user experience of software applications.

About

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

Misha Vaughan
Misha Vaughan, Director, Applications User Experience
@mishavaughan on Twitter

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