Monday Jun 22, 2015

Consistency? Check. Context? Check. More convenience, better participation in the mobile user experience? Oh, yes!

By Sarah Smart, Oracle Applications User Experience

Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series on the current strategy behind the Oracle user experience and the ideas that drive that strategy forward. 

In the first part of this series, we talked about transitioning  our three-part Oracle Applications Cloud story -- Simplicity, Mobility, Extensibility -- to an increasingly mobile enterprise. In the second part, we discussed how innovation  drives the evolution of our user experience design philosophy, “Glance, Scan, Commit.” But now we want to dig into specifics and tell you how Oracle’s research and development team is designing a mobile user experience that you won’t want to miss.

Consistency
First, realize that the platform is no longer the operating system, nor is it a single device, said Jeremy Ashley, Group Vice President for the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team. Think of the cloud as the platform instead. It doesn’t matter what device you use, only that you get the right information at the right time. Oracle is designing a user experience that is consistent across devices and built with a single code line. This helps us to achieve what Ashley calls “session portability,” in which a user who is migrating to various devices throughout the day still sees a consistent user experience that delivers the data he needs on command. 

Context
If you consider what an enterprise application is, you see that it’s basically forms and reports, Ashley said. You put data in a form in the database, and you pull data out of the database in a report. 

Contextual information helps shape the user experience by automatically filling in as much of that input as possible so that you don’t have to. Ashley said how well we do the context analysis determines what the user gets out it. If you have lunch with someone and want to file an expense report for it, you input that person’s name and the cost of the lunch. The context engine can pull from your calendar, your contact list, and more to fill out the form for you so that when you come back to finish the job later, the form may already have the date, location, name (if meeting often), company (if this is a top lead), and the amount. 

The context engine understands important relationships around the person and can fill in as much as possible, Ashley said, saving you time and increasing convenience.

Convenience and Participation
With any device, going forward, there is no killer app itself, Ashley said. There will, however, be a killer feature: convenience. How much effort does a user need to expend to participate in something? How many steps are required? “What we want to do in any task is continually reduce effort,” Ashley said. 

“Convenience is the ability to capture information and keep on moving; it’s all about keeping the person moving,” Ashley said. Consistency decreases the learning curve and enables you to be productive more quickly. Contextual information fills in as much of the input as possible, taking some of the busy work out. 

“Increased convenience decreases the barrier that the user has in their useful and effective participation in the system,” Ashley said. And increasing participation in the application so that our customers are getting the most out of their investment is always the goal behind the Oracle use experience. Participation can’t be assumed; the OAUX team has to work for it, and we know it.

Visualizations, Micro-Transactions, and More on the Horizon
Visualizations are one way Oracle Cloud Applications can increase participation by maximizing convenience. The standard enterprise application takes the user to a very limited level of BI data: It shows the information (for example, a decline in sales), and it might provide an infographic, which could offer a bit of the reasons behind such a decline. 


Oracle President Thomas Kurian, left, unveils forecast shaper, a visualization in Oracle Sales Cloud, at Oracle OpenWorld 2014.


A visualization should be easy to use. These visitors at the Oracle usability labs instinctively know how to use forecast shaper.

The forecast shaper, above, shows not only the information and the reasons behind it but also specific steps the user can take to influence this data in the future. The design is so intuitive that even a child knows how to use it – hesitation about participating in the app isn’t even part of the equation.

The OAUX team has also designed several tasks based around micro-transactions, which are the first step we design in the “Glance, Scan, Commit” philosophy. For example, suppose someone is going to his job at Best Buy. A message pops up on his smartphone or smartwatch to ask if he is starting a 9 a.m. shift, and he can press a button to say yes. Now he’s clocked in. That very specific and limited action is complete, with only minimal effort on his part. 

With new technology, such as smartwatches and devices that enable the Internet of Things (IoT), sheer convenience makes participation more likely, so naturally, it’s part of our research and development. Seamlessly moving across devices, pulling in important contextual information, and increasing both the convenience and the participation of our users is Oracle’s charter for the Applications Cloud user experience. 

Check in with us during Oracle OpenWorld in October 2015 to see our latest demos using new technology. 

To Learn More Now



Tuesday Jun 16, 2015

Big-picture innovation on the path to a better user experience

By Sarah Smart, Oracle Applications User Experience

Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series on the current strategy behind the Oracle user experience and the ideas that drive that strategy forward. Find the first post here.

You’ve seen how Oracle has deepened simplicity in the Oracle Applications Cloud with the simplified UI across Releases 7, 8, and 9, and you’ve heard us talk on this blog about the “Glance, Scan, Commit” design philosophy that guides the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team. 

You also may have heard us talk about developing this persistent user experience across all devices, setting the theme of mobility alongside the theme of simplicity. We’ve seen success with these approaches, and user experience is now widely recognized as a differentiator for Oracle. But these themes are only one part of the story. 

What inspires us? How do we move the evolution of the Oracle user experience along? We get there through innovation and the study of emerging technology.


Our studies recently have focused on wearables, and developing ways they can evolve the Oracle user experience. 

What is innovation?
In its purest form, innovation is to make something better than it was before, said OAUX Group Vice President Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley). He calls innovation a process of constant refinement, not a single killer idea from one visionary. Finding a better way to do something takes time and effort, he adds: “It takes work -- observation, understanding, the ability to see what is important about something. The simplified approach is how we attack that.” 

The OAUX team approaches innovation from two sources, Ashley said: 
  • new technology or materials that we can use to see opportunities for enterprise potential
  • research to identify a pattern or trend that gives us insight
UX designers on the team then leverage the information from these sources to build something interesting and useful for the enterprise world.

It’s just as important to understand when you don’t need innovation, Ashley said. The pencil, for example, would be hard to improve. It’s tried and true and has been around for 500 years (even the mechanical version has existed for almost 200). 

But what about the purpose of the pencil -- namely, to capture information? Ashley points out that the biggest competition for the user experience of enterprise applications is the pencil and the notebook. The latest designs of the simplified UI in Release 9 aim to replace the pencil and the notebook. If the designs show good innovation, capturing the right information will be easier, more elegant, maybe even more beautiful and more enjoyable to use.

An example of innovation
People have long used clocks to tell time. The Swiss, seeing a need for innovation to make the clock portable and accessible, created the pocket watch in the 16th century. But even the pocket watch was not up to the task in World War I, the first mechanized war where large-scale coordination of human forces was necessary. As time became less flexible and soldiers did not have the luxury of being able to fish a pocket watch out of a jacket, the wristwatch was born.


Jeremy Ashley demonstrates “the real estate of the wrist.”

Today, we have even more options for making good use of “the real estate of the wrist,” as Ashley calls it. The smartwatch, for example, helps us get what’s relevant directly and conveniently. Innovation has taken us from one level (the need to know the time) to another (the ability to wear the time on our wrists). Innovation has brought the visualization of the time and the ability to know it more quickly and conveniently.

How Oracle innovates

Innovation plays an important role on the OAUX team. We have to understand our changing environment to know how to adapt, and we put a lot of passion into understanding what is right, Ashley said. “Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.” We need to ask ourselves, is this applicable, and does it make sense?

Oracle dedicates a team to researching emerging technologies. This is how we can accelerate our rate of innovation in the Oracle user experience and drive forward the evolution of the Oracle Applications Cloud.

One example of research for the OAUX team encompasses beacons and the Internet of Things (IoT). Beacons capture information more easily than a pencil and notebook. They fill in forms for you -- no need to go in and do it yourself. We research IoT similarly to find ways to get beacons to talk about themselves and interact with each other. 

From Google beacons to Raspberry Pis, we've already evolved from a user experience of “walk up and use.” Now, the experience should only require walking up, Ashley said. The OAUX team is looking for -- and designing -- that walk-up interface in researching and developing other emerging technologies that could help drive the next generation of the Oracle user experience.

The goal of our research is not just being able to get notifications from an app designed for the mobile user on a wearable device. Oracle is pursuing an all-encompassing approach of increasing participation. We want our applications to be so intuitive and easy to use that you don’t even notice the system behind your system. 

From a notification in the “Glance” phase to a series of translators (Apple Watch, Android phone, etc.), which filter to your device and offer a way to scan your work, all of Oracle’s user experience projects are based on innovation and understanding what is important about something and how it can help improve your efficiency and ability to get your work done. 

To Learn More

Saturday Jun 06, 2015

Going Beyond the Notification: Transitioning With the Evolving Enterprise

By Sarah Smart, Oracle Applications User Experience

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series on the current strategy behind the Oracle user experience and the ideas that drive that strategy forward.

You may have read about the “Glance, Scan, Commit” design philosophy that informs innovation in the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team’s research. This is part of our Oracle Applications Cloud story on simplicity, mobility, and extensibility.

You might be wondering: When does this innovation trickle down to my company’s Oracle applications system and affect me? And how much is that going to cost?

Put aside your pessimism. The answer is: faster than you think. Here’s why.  

The Transition
The whole enterprise industry has been undergoing major transitions, according to Group Vice President Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), leader of the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team. The workforce is changing; no longer confined to certain generations and geographical locations, a team of employees can span many age groups, and each member can work from anywhere in the world.


Group Vice President Jeremy Ashley

It’s also becoming more mobile, meaning one employee in an office in New York can work seamlessly with another on a mobile phone inside a taxi in Abu Dhabi.

As Oracle’s customers go through these transitions, so do we. Oracle is taking the time and making the investment to understand the needs this transition brings, Ashley said. But we know our customers already have made a huge investment in Oracle Applications, so even in the midst of transitioning, we are building our platform based on 100 percent Oracle technology. What’s new is the way that we are designing the user experience.

The themes of simplicity and mobility are guiding us as we continue to develop a simplified UI and explore emerging technology for ways to improve the Oracle user experience. We want to reach beyond the standard notification and visualization while maintaining the technology with which our customers are already familiar.

That means that the investment you already made is still solid. And the integration problems you might be expecting if you want to tap into our simplified user experience – well, it’s far less complicated than you might think.

Our Inspiration
We know that we need to anticipate what’s coming so that we can respond appropriately, Ashley said. We want to take advantage of emerging technology and trends and develop a strategic approach to the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience that helps users increase their productivity and makes participation in using the system a no-brainer.  

To figure out how to anticipate the needs of our users, Oracle invests in its own research on industry, innovators, and media. The OAUX team looks at where companies are spending their money and time, where people are putting in sweat equity to get things started, and the way the media is influencing how people perceive technology.

Here’s what we’ve learned in our research about current innovation trends:

Connectivity: We expect to be connected 99 percent of the time, and we expect our devices to work in any location.
Devices: We want to get work done regardless of the device we are using, and we need all of our devices to be convenient. The laptop is no longer the Swiss army knife it used to be, so we now use the device that best fits a particular task.
Interactions: We want to see what’s essential immediately and understand what we need to do about it now with small, quick, casual interactions.

Oracle’s approach
The future of enterprise applications revolves around Oracle’s simplified UI design philosophy of “Glance, Scan, Commit.” An application should allow the user to glance at something and make a decision about it, but then offer an array of active choices to the user (scan) without forcing her to commit to entering the larger system at that moment. This level is a happy medium of personalized detail and encompasses the 10% of tasks that 90% of users are doing 90% of the time.

The Oracle user experience strategy has been successful because of the focus on simplification. Because we’ve built everything on Oracle technology, users don’t have to start over in their investment with Oracle (learning new software, adapting to new patterns, etc.), and neither do we. As we continue to refine the user experience, always keeping in mind how best to use the Oracle database, middleware, and apps technology, we look at actual changes that organizations are making and rethink how Oracle products may be able to support those trends.

There are no integration and capability issues with this approach, Ashley said. With a new Oracle release, customers shouldn’t have to start over with a new learning process or investment.

The point is, transition doesn’t have to be painful.

We've covered simplicity in a big way in the Oracle user experience with our current releases, and we've been working on mobility in a big way, which you'll see with the coming ones.


In this rendering of infolets from Release 10, we show how a design that embraces simplicity also works for our design theme of mobility. Infolets work across devices.

Look for our next post soon on how we define innovation and what that means for the Oracle user experience.

To Learn More

Monday May 25, 2015

Laying out the Oracle Applications User Experience Strategy for Partners in Beijing

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

After our trip to Singapore, the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team completed a similar series of briefing and feedback events in Beijing in May.

We were joined by more than 90 attendees, including Applications Cloud partners from Greater China hosted by Peggy Zhu, and from Korea hosted by TK Hwang, along with the local Platform Solution Center team lead by Mike Su and a handful of top-notch Oracle Solution Consultants.


We kicked off the day with Bessie Yuan, General Manager HCM for Greater China, setting the context about Oracle’s position in the cloud business.  

We then shifted gears into a presentation by Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Group Vice President, Applications User Experience, on the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience strategy and roadmap.  To revisit the main talking points, check out the free Oracle Applications User Experience Trends and Strategy e-book.

Shy Meei Show, our host along with TK, led a lively question-and-answer session between our partners and Ashley. 


Q:  In China and Korea, Microsoft and Amazon are being very aggressive, doing very aggressive marketing, and we want to know how user experience is competitive. How will Oracle compete? 

JA: To compete on user experience, Oracle must work from the strength it has. They cannot do what Oracle does. Only Oracle can offer a combined stack. This powers the user experience. I mentioned context before. You cannot offer the customer this power without it.  Also, productivity benefits come with being one vendor.  

Q: What key messages on user experience can I take back to C-level executives?

JA: Simplicity. For some companies, design is seen as a luxury. When they tackle a new project with a new design, it often fails. These innovations often fail because they are too ambitious. Our approach is to simplify, because that is a way to be successful on an innovation project. 

Q: In Korea, we are still involved in a lot of on-premise implementations. Do you have a plan?

JA: If you look at the very latest versions of PeopleSoft and E-Business Suite, you will see the uptake of our simplified UI design patterns. However, the timing and release of user experience enhancements is up to the SVPs. 

Q: What ADF (Application Development Framework) version and Alta design patterns will be available?

JA: Alta is design at the component level – an input box, a table. They are the components we use to design and build our apps. Alta is the latest version of ADF.  ADF and Alta are the parts. The cloud user experience, and the simplified UI in particular, are the design approach you will see in our Cloud Apps. Release 10 is where you will start to see use of these components, using ADF 11.1.1.7.4.

Q: How do you choose what we invest in, in new technology? 

JA: We are enduringly human and we go through particular work patterns. There is the bit we contribute intellectually to work. And there is work we do because of human behavior. For example, many people choose to do their most creative work in the morning. So the most effective technologies will be the ones that support human work patterns. That's what we look to. 


Attendees then explored Applications Cloud user experience demo stations, including:
  • HCM Cloud
  • Sales Cloud
  • Service Cloud
  • ERP Cloud
  • Cloud extensibility 
  • Platform-as-a-Service for SaaS (also known as PaaS4SaaS)
  • Emerging Technologies including wearables & visualizations
Greg Nerpouni (@gnerpouni), Senior Manager of Cloud UX Extensibility, said he was impressed with the sheer number and attentiveness of the attendees.  “The extensibility and PaaS4SaaS stations were mobbed by our Chinese and Korean partners, especially when they realized the combined power of our extensibility and PaaS4SaaS capabilities.  At the extensibility station, they saw tangible ways to increase end user participation and overall success of their cloud rollout for our mutual customers.  And at the PaaS4SaaS station, they saw immediate value in being able to leverage the UX rapid development kit to emulate Oracle’s user experience in their own PaaS implementations - and seamlessly integrate their PaaS applications into Oracle Cloud Applications.” 

Deep-dive sessions on the second day focused on Applications Cloud UX tools for implementation specialists, along with pre-sales messaging.  Led by Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps), Killian Evers, and Anthony Lai, the goal was to raise awareness with partners of how they needed to begin developing in-house skills around: 

O’Broin said partners engaged in an intense way with the PaaS4SaaS UX enablement message, were eager to know more and make things happen for their Cloud business in a way that would see them building smart, secure, reusable value-add Cloud solutions of simplicity for customers in a matter of hours.  “Our APAC partners also recognized the huge potential of PaaS with SaaS. With 95% of our products lifting off into the Cloud by OOW15, the PaaS4SaaS UX business propositions could not be ignored by any partners keen to grow their Cloud business, sure, but any partner who also demands to be seen and recognized as a leader and influencer in the ecosystem.”


Want to find out more?
Check out the UsableApps partner page for Applications Cloud.


Friday May 22, 2015

Showing the Oracle Applications User Experience Roadmap to Oracle's Asia Partners

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

After months of planning, the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team has completed a series of packed events to update Oracle ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) partners on the Applications Cloud user experience strategy in Singapore in May.  

We owe a huge thank you to our hosts: Check Yang Ang, Senior Director, Alliances & Channels, Asia Pacific; and Shy Meei Siow, Cloud and Business Analytics, Alliances & Channels, Asia Pacific. It is always a privilege to work with colleagues with such great event vision and execution.

We kicked off events with Kang Song Lim, Managing Director of Singapore Partners, setting the context about Oracle’s position in the cloud business.  He focused on: 
  • Our momentum worldwide in the cloud, including Mark Hurd’s comments on reaching $200 million in annual recurring revenue in the cloud and closing in on being the largest service provider in the cloud.  
  • Complete SaaS wins the deal, and players who have the most complete SaaS suite will win.  Oracle now has every category from HCM to ERP to CX, and according to Mark Hurd, expects to have 95% of its products in the cloud this year.  We are either a leader or competing to be a leader in the space. We are the only vendor to offer IaaS to PaaS to SaaS. 
  • Partners have an opportunity in the customization, integration, and extension space for customers, who are looking for support from trusted advisors.


He then shifted gears into a question-and-answer format with Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Group Vice President, Applications User Experience, before the OAUX team opened up a series of demo stations for partners to explore.

KS: This is the first time we have seen a team this big come to the region, especially from development.  What are you hoping to accomplish?

JA: The investment in cloud user experiences is a corporate-level initiative.  We know we have to get the word out very quickly.  Oracle is going through a transition, as are our customers, so we need to get out in front very quickly.

KS: The entire approach we have taken for this user experience team and the conversation we want for you [our partners] to have with our customers is quite different now.

JA: It’s a very different perspective.   If you look at the old enterprise software side, it was about quantity, it was about the number of features you could put in front of a customer.  

Just because we have all those capabilities does not mean we have to show all those capabilities firsthand.  If you show a product and every feature is there, you are showing how much power it has, yes, but the performance will slow and the experience will be intimidating.  It’s not that we have gotten rid of features; we have a very particular philosophy to allow customers to remove and control the performance and complexity of the cloud user experience.

KS:  We have a very different setup in terms of engaging partners. What do you want the audience to take away about this afternoon?

JA: You will come away seeing the pride, time, and effort we have put into these products.  You will see the quality and care that we have put in the products.  As you go through, pick up the product, use it, and ask questions, and share your feedback. 

Ashley then talked about the Oracle Applications User Experience trends and strategy. Get the high points of that presentation from our free e-book.

 The afternoon was a whirlwind where we got to show off our Applications Cloud user experiences for:
HCM Cloud 
Sales Cloud
Service Cloud
ERP Cloud
Cloud extensibility 
Platform-as-a-Service for SaaS (also known as PaaS4SaaS)
Emerging Technologies including wearables & visualizations


Day 2 brought a well-received deep-dive session, for implementation specialists of the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience sales and toolkit capabilities. Led by Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps), and Greg Nerpouni (@gnerpouni), the goal of the day was to raise awareness with partners of how they needed to begin developing in-house skills around: 
Nerpouni, described the event this way: “It was obvious that they enjoyed hearing our messaging around extensibility, but they were even more appreciative of learning the tangible ways to apply Oracle’s tools to deliver results.”  

O’Broin said that partners were immediately drawn to PaaS4SaaS UX enablement as the cloud differentiator and their competitive must-have. “Backed by a live demo of a simplified UI deployed to JCS and with wisdom of the cloud from Debra Lilley, Steve Miranda, and Mark Sunday and others still resonating in the audience, the energy, enthusiasm and eagerness I felt made me think we'd hit the mark,” he added. 

Want to find out more?

Check out the UsableApps page for Applications Cloud partners.


Monday May 18, 2015

Customer Connect: Oracle’s online community for Applications Cloud customers

By Sarah Smart, Applications User Experience

When you have a question about Oracle Applications Cloud, where do you turn? If you don’t want to navigate a help line phone tree or wait an entire weekend for a response, try asking the Oracle Applications Customer Connect community.


What is Customer Connect?
Customer Connect is more like a forum than a help desk, a nontechnical version of Oracle Support. Members all over the world can collaborate, share ideas, and ask questions of other Oracle Applications Cloud customers -- validating their own user experiences -- and membership requires no more than being an approved customer. 

"It is an exclusive community for members to connect with other members and discuss issues or share ideas. They can also get exclusive previews and look at other areas they may have not purchased yet," said Senior Director Katrine Haugerud, Oracle Applications Development, who initiated Customer Connect in 2012 at the request of a handful of new Applications Cloud customers.

Despite its relative newness, the platform has also been open to Oracle’s key implementation partners and those who have licensed cloud services since spring 2014. “Partners are really good collaborators with the community," Haugerud said. “I think [opening membership to partners] is a great addition.”



The Customer Connect home page puts forums, news, upcoming events, and even links to Oracle Support at your fingertips.

How does Oracle leverage this community for user experience? 
The platform offers special benefits to Senior Manager Gozel Aamoth, Applications User Experience, and her team. When they want to recruit participants for an Oracle HCM Cloud usability lab, for example, they can contact the applicable customers directly through Customer Connect without spamming the rest of the members. "No other forum can generate so many cloud customers," she said. "I love that I can reach out to that specific group of users." 

Updates and networking are also objectives of the platform. Members see an up-to-date calendar of upcoming UX events, webinars showing new features, and so on. "Members know when they have the opportunity to hear from Oracle product managers," Aamoth said. 

They also can reach out to other members in their industry, for example, to set up their own network. "This is the perfect way for customers to stay connected and understand what's happening with the release or product they own," Haugerud said.

How can a customer stay up-to-date on the latest Applications Cloud user experience news using Customer Connect?

Here’s just a sampling of some of the webinars you can access as a Customer Connect member: 


How do I get connected?
Interested in leveraging the benefits of Customer Connect? Click here to register.

Monday Mar 23, 2015

Helping Partners Compete on User Experience with the Oracle Applications Cloud

By Sarah Smart, Oracle Applications User Experience

When a customer comes to you and asks, “I have a business identity and process, but how do I maintain that with Oracle Applications Cloud?” how do you respond? Understanding and embracing the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience is a multifaceted process encompassing the full product experience, from desktop and tablets to smartphones and, yes, even wearables. But even if you’re excited about the product, it can be a challenge. 

Watch this video with Jonathan Vinoskey, Director, Oracle Applications Partner Enablement (HCM), and Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), Director, Oracle Applications User Experience Communications & Outreach, for a quick view into what Oracle Applications Cloud partners should know about the Oracle Applications user experience.

The User Experience Specialist Role

To better educate customers as well as meet their needs on user experience, you need a way to learn. That’s why Oracle created the User Experience Specialist role for Oracle Applications Cloud partners. We now have a UX Guided Learning Path  and assessment live on the Oracle Partner Network for this role, which better enables partners to sell the Oracle Applications Cloud. 

It targets sales and pre-sales roles within your organization to learn about Oracle's investment in UX for cloud and how to position its benefits. It will help you conquer your fear of not being a UX expert, show you how to demo the product across all devices, and custom-fit the Oracle Applications Cloud to your customers to close gaps and overcome objections in the sales cycle.

New Partner Page

Need a one-stop shop for all things UX-related -- from sales tools to developer tools for Oracle Applications Cloud partners? Click on the new For Partners page on the Usable Apps website! It’s full of great resources and offers user experience guidance and tools to make it easier for you to tailor implementations for your own customers and further your joint business with Oracle.

New Partner Events

Check out the new Partner Events page for our team’s upcoming exploits. We'd love to meet up with you on the road to share strategy and assist you with your current issues. Hope to see you soon!

Thursday Dec 18, 2014

Oracle HCM Cloud Release 9 UX highlights: ‘Glance, Scan, Commit’ design philosophy at work for Hiring

By Sarah Smart, Oracle Applications User Experience

As Oracle Applications Cloud Release 9 gets under way, the simplified UI continues to improve the Oracle user experience. Continuing the prime directives of Release 7 and 8, Release 9 delivers even more improvements to the applications’ simplicity, mobility, and extensibility. Here’s how Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud moves the Oracle user experience forward.

“Glance, Scan, Commit”


The Oracle HCM Cloud dashboard

Oracle’s Release 9 user experience unites even more seamlessly with the design philosophy driving Oracle Applications Cloud. This is the first example of a unified user experience with Taleo. In Hiring Activities, users can easily update the hiring process from a macro view -- at a glance. But if they need to, they can scan for the important pieces and commit to drill deeper. 


Viewing actions to take in Requisitions: Use the drop-down in this innovative “smart card” view to reject, move forward, or add comments on a candidate from any level of commitment. 



Timeline: Visualize data on candidates in different stages of the hiring process, from the first interview to the offer, and quickly scan for a glance at status and next actions. 

Better Understanding: Infographics in Analytics

Simple, modern, well-designed analytics help executives and managers effectively evaluate their organizations with a speedy once-over. The graphics are large, smart, and colorful, making them great for presentations, and progress toward goals is easy to see.


Analytics: See performance ratings in one simple view, and eliminate digging through reports to understand how your organization is doing. 



Headcount Budget view: Check your employee count quickly and easily, and if you need an extra pair of hands, you can jump directly into creating a requisition. 

Maximum Engagement: Social and Competitions

Expanded social capabilities and competitions give employees across generations an extra push to engage in their work life. The Social Panel allows users to access Conversations and Walls to update information without having to leave the home page, and they can have as many Conversation threads as they desire while keeping them organized.


Social Panel: Post to your Wall or the Wall of a business object in which you are actively involved from anywhere in HCM.

Competitions uses the same glance-able view found throughout Release 9, allows actions at multiple levels of commitment, and gives users more information on request. 


Competitions: Perform the most common competition-related tasks from this level, or drill deeper to check rankings or add a score -- number of steps taken for a wellness competition, for example.


Competitions Leader Board: This design approach makes reaching goals as a team fun and engaging.

Pulling It All Together

Oracle HCM Cloud Release 9 provides a smooth, streamlined, more unified experience for human-resources activities and processes. The “glance, scan, commit” design philosophy, the beautiful and easy-to-understand analytics, and the maximized wo

rk-life engagement encouraged by Social and Competitions complement one another in the simplified UI. 

What People Are Saying

“Oracle has also simplified the alphabet soup of its many business-intelligence tools and embedded them in applications, created a single mobile-user experience and introduced many on-premise integration toolkits and pre-packaged integrations.” Bill Kutik, Human Resource Executive Online 

“ ... In Release 9 of Oracle HCM Cloud, much of the focus is on usability. The company has worked to unify the user experience of HCM Cloud applications with those of Taleo Recruiting and Taleo Talent Management so that they function as a consistent suite of applications. One aspect where this has improved the applications is the new “smart cards” for the recruiting application, which organize candidate information in a readable graphic format. Leone espoused the larger goal of providing the same user experience in all the enterprise cloud HCM applications.” Stephan Millard, Ventana Research 

“ ...  Release 9 of HCM Cloud enhances functionality in the Oracle Mobile application. It aligns several parts of mobile recruiting including the hiring work list and interview evaluation screens as well as parts of performance management to look and work similarly to the user interface for the Web-based version of the application. Future versions will continue the effort to harmonize the mobile and Web user interfaces for talent management. ... In addition, our benchmark research on human capital analytics shows that a solid majority (65%) of organizations are using mobile applications for talent management today or plan to do so over the next year.” Stephan Millard, Ventana Research 

To Learn More

Saturday Dec 13, 2014

Meet the OAUX team on the road! Next stop: Mexico City!

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience 

If you missed meeting up with the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 this year, you still have a chance to connect with us. The next stop on our regional update tour is Santa Fe, Mexico, just outside of Mexico City. Our first stop during the first week of December 2014 was London

The goal for the visit is to update Oracle Applications Cloud partners, as well as a few select customers, on the Oracle Applications Cloud strategy and roadmap. Oracle is continuing to invest in moving the user experience forward, and by spending a couple of hours with us at this event, you will find out what to start thinking about for your own organization down the road.


Jeremy Ashley, Oracle Applications User Experience vice president, talks with Dionne Healy, of Oracle, about Oracle’s cloud user experience strategy for Oracle HCM Cloud at the OAUX Exchange during Oracle OpenWorld 2014. 

What: Oracle is hosting a series of executive briefing events, each two hours long, for director-level and above Oracle partners and Oracle customers located in Latin America. These events near Mexico City will focus on the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience strategy for HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, ERP Cloud, extensibility, and emerging technologies (wearables and beacons).


Oracle employees Kristin Desmond, from left, and Killian Evers talk about the next generation of the Oracle Sales Cloud user experience being shown during the OAUX Exchange, held during Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco in September.


Holger Mueller (@holgermu), left, and Ray Wang (@rwang0), both analysts with Constellation Research, are shown at the OAUX Exchange in September 2014, with Oracle Applications User Experience VP Jeremy Ashley, far right, and Director Misha Vaughan, center right.

Who (maximum of 30 attendees for each session):

  • The briefings are for Oracle partners, ideally director level and above, who are located in Mexico City or Latin America generally, for Oracle’s HCM Cloud, Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, and ERP Cloud. 
  • Select Oracle Applications Cloud customers, ideally director level and above, who are located in Mexico City or Latin America generally, are also invited to attend briefings for Oracle’s HCM Cloud, Service Cloud,  Sales Cloud, and ERP Cloud. 

Why: Our team would like to share strategy and roadmap on Oracle's ongoing investment in its cloud user experiences for applications, as well as to collect feedback and perspectives from our partners and customers.

When: 

  • Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 - For Customers
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 – For Partners
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Location:  
Oracle Office Santa Fe
Prolongacion Paseo de la Reforma 600, Álvaro Obregón, 01219, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal, México.
Conference room: Yautepec

Agenda: Jeremy Ashley, VP of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, will listen and respond to the issues that are top of mind for attendees around user experience, as well as share the big-picture trends Oracle is paying attention to, and where Oracle is doing research and development from an enterprise software perspective. 

Attendees will also have an opportunity to engage with the OAUX team, talk to the experts, and try for themselves the forward-looking user experiences for Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, and Oracle ERP Cloud. It’s a great way for us to get direct feedback about our investment approach.

Attendees will also have the chance to take a deeper dive into the user experience plans for Oracle Applications Cloud Extensibility and Paas4SaaS. 

Finally, we will be bringing along representatives from our Emerging Technologies team to demonstrate and discuss what we think about new technologies such as wearables and beacons for the enterprise space.

Register for the event now.


Tuesday Dec 09, 2014

What’s next for Oracle’s Cloud User Experiences post-OpenWorld?

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience 

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 was quite the whirlwind this year. As Floyd Teter (@fteter) said, trying to keep up with the press releases alone required real work.  (This is a great summary of his perspective, by the way, and worth the read.)

Thomas Kurian
Thomas Kurian, executive vice president, center, showing off the user experience for Oracle Sales Cloud

Cloud UX Strategy Day

It is an exciting time to be on the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team, and I really think this was our best year ever. We had our largest Oracle Applications Cloud UX strategy and roadmap day yet. Attendees encompassed the gamut of the OAUX community and included Oracle ACE Directors, UX Sales Ambassadors, key Applications Cloud partners, and a few select customers. They are a pushy lot, so you get you get with these guys, but it’s also time well spent if you want to put your messages and vision through a crucible of refinement.

It was a great place to launch our FY ‘15 plans. We started the day with Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), vice president, talking about the overall trends and strategy that are shaping our user experience investment areas including wearables, Internet of Things, and session portability. Also, on display were the Oracle Sales Cloud UX Strategy, with Killian Evers, senior director; Oracle HCM Cloud UX strategy with Aylin Uysal, director; and Oracle ERP Cloud UX Strategy with David Haimes, (@dhaimes) senior director. We also had a packed house discussing user experience extensibility with Greg Nerpouni and Tim Dubois, and our complement to the PaaS4SaaS space, the simplified UI rapid development kit, with Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps). It was also the first time Oracle’s UX innovation history was put into perspective by Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot).

A special bonus for me was getting to see some of our UX Sales Ambassadors, Mike Klein, Tuan Nguyen (@tuan735) and Anand Subramanian (all the way from Dubai), and to witness their excitement at what was coming next.

Everyone was genuinely excited and pleased to see how much progress has been made across the board – from SaaS to PaaS – in moving Oracle’s cloud user experience strategy forward.

Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Exchange

As most folks who have crossed paths with the user experience team know, partners and customers get their biggest “ah ha!” moments when they see the work firsthand. I liken it to the difference between telling you how well a car drives, vs. handing you the keys and saying, “take it for a spin yourself.” There is nothing quite like trying out the next-generation design work for yourself to really digest where things are going and what the enterprise possibilities are. We had excellent participation from the Oracle Partner Network, Oracle Analyst Relations, and Customer Connect.

Sherry Mead
Sherry Mead, Architect, discusses next-generation UX technologies.

Special thanks to Vlad Babu (all the way from Romania) and Bharath Ram and Sona Manzo (@sonajmanzo) of Hitachi Consulting for hanging out at the Simplified UI Rapid Development kit station to talk about their own successes.

So what was the reaction to the user experience message at OpenWorld?

For a quick digest, read the Usable Apps Storify post to see what folks Tweeted or otherwise posted. And here are a few additional comments:

Floyd Teter (@fteter), Oracle ACE Director, said “user experience is not only important, but is a value-add product in and of itself.’’ Read his thoughts yourself.

Debra Lilley (@debralilley), Oracle ACE Director, calls out her particular interest in the investment in PaaS and user experience as well as her interest in the growing capabilities of Voice.

Lucas Jellema, (@lucasjellema), Oracle ACE Director, writes perhaps more than anyone I know. I’m not actually sure he sleeps. You can read his lengthy and thoughtful analyses of all things OpenWorld and UX-related.


Jeremy Cox of Ovum, center right, chats with Oracle’s Ultan O’Broin, far left, Vlad Babu, and Tim Dubois about extensibility in the cloud at the OAUX Exchange.

A special bonus was running across a Tweet from Debra Lilley via Ultan calling out the Constellation Research mention of user experience at OpenWorld.

Ray Wang (@rwang0), Constellation Research, said: "One of the things that was really astonishing was going into the UX lab. There was a UX lab that was set up. And you could see where Oracle was thinking about different paradigms. Where consumerization of IT could match back to what enterprise applications could look like. So anything from that to what was going on with BLE (Blue Tooth Low Energy). They had a whole BLE lab."

Dr. Natalie Petouhouff (@drnatalie), Constellation Research, also wrote about the UX labs at OpenWorld: "I did see that, and I thought that was really interesting and really forward-thinking. Because that is what customers expect. Being on the CX side of things, really that's what people expect apps to look like. So that they are thinking about that, what that says to me is that they actually have the customer in mind.”


Analyst Rebecca Wettemann, of Nucleus Research, gets checked in and set up on a personalized wearable that will help guide her around the demos at the OAUX Exchange thanks to Raymond of @theappslab team.

Find out more

If you want a quick way to find out what you missed, download our Oracle Applications Cloud UX strategy e-book.

Friday Nov 14, 2014

Download the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Strategy e-Book

By Misha Vaughan, Applications User Experience

Cover

Our core strategy still focuses on simplicity, mobility, and extensibility for Applications Cloud user experiences. This year we have fleshed that out with more discussion of our current design approach, Glance – Scan – Commit, as a method of building specific, consistent experiences across platforms.

At OpenWorld 2014, we first released our Applications Cloud User Experience strategy e-book, which explains what we are focusing on, what we see coming, and what we think may impact the next generation of cloud user experiences, including things like geo-fencing, wearables, virtualization, and Internet of Things. Some of these concepts may make it to the finish line, others may not, but these are the areas where we are actively conducting research and development.

We are launching it publicly today!


Tuesday Nov 04, 2014

Come tour the New Cloud UX Lab at Oracle HQ

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience


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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Oct 28, 2014

Meet the OAUX team on the road! Next stop: London!

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

If you missed meeting up with the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 this year, you still have a chance to connect with us. The first stop on our regional update tour is London, during the first week of December.

The goal for the visit is to update Oracle Applications Cloud partners, as well as a few select customers, on the Oracle Applications Cloud strategy and roadmap. Oracle is continuing to invest in moving the user experience forward, and by spending a couple of hours with us at this event, you will find out what to start thinking about for your own organization down the road.

Jeremy & Dionne
Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Oracle Applications User Experience vice president, talks with Dionne Rodrigues, senior client executive, of Oracle, about Oracle’s cloud user experience strategy for Oracle HCM Cloud at the OAUX Exchange during Oracle OpenWorld.

What:
Oracle is hosting a series of executive briefing events, each two hours long, for director-level and above Oracle partners and Oracle customers located in the UK, Ireland, and Northwestern Europe. These events will focus on the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience strategy for HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, ERP Cloud, extensibility, and emerging technologies.



Kristin, Killian
Oracle employees Kristin Desmond, from left, and Killian Evers talk about the next generation of the Oracle Sales Cloud user experience being shown during the OAUX Exchange, held during Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco in September.

Holger, Ray, Jeremy, Misha
Holger Mueller (@holgermu), left, and Ray Wang (@rwang0), both analysts with of Constellation Research, at the OAUX Exchange, with Oracle Applications User Experience VP Jeremy Ashley, far right, and Director Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), center right.

Who:

  • The briefings are for Oracle partners, ideally director level and above, in the UK, Ireland, and Northwestern Europe for Oracle’s HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, and ERP Cloud.
  • Select Oracle Applications Cloud customers, ideally director level and above, in the UK, Ireland, and Northwestern Europe are also invited to attend briefings for Oracle’s HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, and ERP Cloud.
  • All attendees will need to be under non-disclosure.

Why:

Our team would like to share strategy and roadmap on Oracle's ongoing investment in its cloud user experiences for applications, as well as to collect feedback and perspectives from our partners and customers.


When:

Maximum of 30 attendees for each session.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 – For Customers
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 – For Partners
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

  • Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 – For Partners
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Location:  


Oracle London, One South Place, London EC2M 2RB. 
Waterloo conference room

Agenda:
Jeremy Ashley, VP of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, will listen and respond to the issues that are top of mind for attendees around user experience, as well as share the big-picture trends Oracle is paying attention to, and where Oracle is doing research and development from an enterprise software perspective.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to engage with the OAUX team, talk to the experts, and try for themselves the forward-looking user experiences for Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, and Oracle ERP Cloud. It’s a great way for us to get direct feedback about our investment approach.

Attendees will also have the chance to take a deeper dive into the user experience plans for Oracle Applications Cloud Extensibility and Paas4SaaS.

Finally, we will be bringing along representatives from our Emerging Technologies team to demonstrate and discuss what we think about new technologies such as wearables and beacons for the enterprise space.

Register your interest for the event.



Saturday Sep 27, 2014

Day of sharing UX Cloud strategy kicks off OpenWorld for us

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

For the Oracle Applications User Experience team, Oracle OpenWorld 2014 got off to an early start with an invitation-only Applications Cloud UX Strategy & Roadmap Day the week before OpenWorld kicked off. 

We gave partners, customers, and Oracle sales reps a first look at the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) just ahead. About 40 participants had the chance to show, see, hear about, and discuss Oracle R&D efforts behind our upcoming cloud user experiences, including near-production design work and ongoing plans, at Oracle headquarters on Wednesday, Sept. 24. 

The audience included many dedicated OAUX Speakers, Oracle ACE Directors, strategic partners, and key Oracle sales reps and solution consultants who are part of the OAUX Sales Ambassador (SAMBA) program. Several of the participants had been trained already on the Oracle user experience and often speak at user group conferences or write about Oracle frequently.

Audience shot
Photos by Rob Hernandez, Oracle Applications User Experience

Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience, above, set the stage early for a day of sharing and outreach. As he gave an overview of the Oracle user experience strategy, he reminded the audience that a simplified user experience was first launched a year ago for the Applications Cloud at Oracle OpenWorld 2013. “We’re not just talking about what we’ve got anymore, we’re actually showing it,” he said. “When we talk about the roadmap, we have examples of products already released to show you what we mean. This is part of a cultural shift for Oracle – we’re responding more quickly to the market and our users' needs than ever before.” 

He added that what OpenWorld attendees see this year won’t be conceptual. “What you’ll see at OpenWorld is product or will be released soon,” he said. “We’re proud of what we have, and we’re showing it.” 

Questions from the audience centered on how all of Oracle’s applications products, such as HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, ERP Cloud, E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft, are integrating the simplified UI into current releases. The answer is that many updates have been released throughout the past year, and examples of user experience features are visible throughout the application suites. 

But the user experience team always wants to go beyond “when can we get this?”. An example that struck a chord with the audience repeatedly throughout the day was geo-fencing  – concepts around built-in security that is tied to wi-fi access and location. Is anyone else talking about this?, audience members asked. And then they added what we always love to hear: “This is cool.”

There were several breakout sessions throughout the day that highlighted new user experiences in the Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle ERP Cloud, PaaS for Saas and extensibility, and the path to product for many user experience concepts. Visit the Usable Apps Events page to see where you can catch bits of these presentations at OpenWorld this year, or watch our channels (links are available on the Usable Apps website) for new content on the same topics. You can also check back with VoX on these topics – we’ll get something posted as soon as these user experience features are released.

The day ended with a showdown, followed by more cool demos (because that’s what we do best) provided by our own AppsLab (@theappslab), George Hackman, and Laurie Pattison. Our audience was game, and several stepped up to the front of the class to talk about what they had learned and why they had a passion for user experience. 

Winners
Gustavo Gonzalez (@ggonza4itc), from left, Oracle employee Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps), Sten Vesterli (@techthatfits), Floyd Teter (@fteter), Lonneke Dikmans (@lonnekedikmans), Debra Lilley (@debralilley), and Oracle employee Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan) pose for a picture of the winners’ circle after a speaker showdown at the end of the OAUX Day. Ultan and Misha judged the competition. All were declared winners and received fabulous wearables hand-picked by the OAUX team. Floyd won the grand prize for including the OAUX design philosophy of “glance, scan, commit” in his presentation.

Watches
But in the end, all of the speakers were winners in our book, and everyone took something fun home.

Where can you find us next?

The OAUX team will be on the road in FY 15 (Oracle-speak for June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015), visiting EMEA, LAD, and APAC.  We will have a specific focus on Oracle Applications Cloud partners, and a few of their key customers as follows:

  • Dec 4-5, 2014 - London.  Contact: Ishacq.Nada @ oracle.com 
  • Feb 25-26, 2015 - Sao Paulo, Brazil. Contact: Marcelo.Medeiros @ oracle.com
  • May 4-5, 2015 - Singapore & (tentatively) Hong Kong May 7, 2015.  Contact: John.Pisani @ oracle.com

In addition, we will be at usergroup conferences throughout the year - stay tuned to this blog for updates on that or check out our upcoming events page. 

Not enough for you? Join our quarterly call hosted by Michael LaDuke, michael.laduke @ oracle.com.

We look forward to meeting you in the year ahead!




Friday Aug 15, 2014

See the latest Applications Cloud user experiences at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

wide shot of crowd training

OAUX Day:
Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Strategy & Roadmap
.
This event is for partners, Oracle sales, and customers who are passionate about Oracle’s commitment to the ongoing user experience investment in Oracle’s Applications Cloud. If you want to see where we are going firsthand, contact the Applications UX team to attend this special event, scheduled the week before Oracle OpenWorld.

All attendees must be approved to attend and have signed Oracle’s non-disclosure agreement.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014
Location: Oracle Conference Center, Redwood City, Calif.




jeremy presenting

Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Partner & Sales Briefing
This event is for Oracle Applications partners and Oracle sales who want to find out what’s up with release 9 user experience highlights for: Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, cloud extensibility, and Paas4SaaS. It will be held the day before Oracle OpenWorld kicks off.

All attendees must be approved to attend.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, Calif. , in the Telegraph Hill room.



george secret chamber

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 OAUX Applications Cloud Exchange.
This daylong, demo-intensive event is for Oracle customers, partners, and sales representatives who want to see what the future of Oracle’s cloud user experiences will look like. Attendees will also see what’s cooking in Oracle’s research and development kitchen – concepts that aren’t products … yet.

All attendees must be approved to attend and have signed Oracle’s non-disclosure agreement.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
  1 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, Calif., on the Spa Terrace.

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.  

Saturday Mar 01, 2014

OAUX Expo: Oracle & AMIS bring new Applications Cloud user experiences to Europe on March 18th

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Lucas Jellema
Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience
Lucas Jellema, Chief Technology Officer of Oracle partner AMIS Services BV, gets a look at new Oracle user experiences during a demo with Lulit Bezuayahu, of Oracle, at an OAUX Expo at OpenWorld 2013. The expo was his source of inspiration for an expo in The Netherlands in March 2014.

Lucas Jellema, Chief Technology Officer of Oracle partner AMIS Services BV, first saw the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) Expo at OpenWorld in September 2013 in San Francisco.

“The expo further enforced the message - simplicity, mobility, extensibility - and what that boils down to in terms of actual user interfaces,” Jellema said after the expo. “It also strengthened my confidence in what the UX team is doing. It helps me believe that Oracle actually can be a leader in UX in the enterprise space.”  He said he recognized the excitement and possibilities for inspiration for Oracle customers and asked if the UX team could bring the same experience to Europe in partnership with AMIS.

Join us on March 18 at the AMIS offices in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The Oracle Applications User Experience team will be showcasing the latest thinking in Oracle’s user experiences from noon to 8pm,  along with talks by speakers including Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President, Applications User Experiences; Sten Vesterli  (@techthatfits), Senior Principal Consultant, Scott / Tiger; Lonneke Dikmans, (@lonnekedikmans), Managing Parter, Vennster; and, of course, Lucas Jellema (@lucasjellema).

The event will be open to the public, including students, customers, and partners.  Registration is necessary to make sure we can accommodate everyone.    

Attendees can expect to see the latest in Oracle’s thinking on Oracle Applications Cloud user experiences, meet the creative AppsLab development team (@theappslab) try out Oracle’s eye-tracking usability research tool, and participate in talks ranging from wearable technology (@ultan) to Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) to Oracle Apex by a slate of Oracle and AMIS experts.  There even may be a Tesla user experience on display.

By special request of the AMIS team, Oracle will also host a Secret Chamber that requires customers to be under non-disclosure. Behind these doors, customers will be able to see Oracle’s applications cloud user experience roadmap.

OAUX Expo sign
Photo by Misha Vaughan

We hope to see you there! Please remember to register in advance to ensure your access!
More information is available on the Usable Apps web site.



Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Apps UX attends Oracle’s new conference in Las Vegas, Oracle HCM World 2014

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle has announced its first industry conference, Oracle HCM World, to be held on February 4-6, 2014, at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oracle HCM World is designed as a forum for thought leadership, networking, and enhanced understanding of the changing role of human resources (HR) in today’s business world. Leaders of the HR community will discuss the latest happenings and the future of human resources. 

More than 1,500 customers, partners, press and analysts, as well as Oracle sales and product experts, are expected to attend Oracle HCM World. The conference will feature keynotes with Oracle President Mark Hurd and other executives, strategic content for HR professionals, the opportunity to network and see hands-on demonstrations, and ways to get involved with the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team through customer feedback sessions and a walk-in lab.

If you are an Oracle customer and scheduled to attend this conference, we invite you to get involved. This is also an opportunity for Oracle sales consultants and partners to see firsthand how Oracle dedicates a significant investment in user experience research and development efforts to maintain and improve Oracle’s products.

User Feedback Sessions

The Apps UX team will host an onsite usability lab, where HR professionals can see early designs of future HCM products, test-drive the product before it goes to market, and ultimately influence the direction of Oracle HCM product development.

We are looking for employees and managers to provide feedback on HCM applications that use social tools and voice. The one-on-one feedback sessions are very popular, and seats are limited. Advance registration is required. RSVP now.

Oracle mobile usability labs
Oracle customers get a preview of Oracle HCM Cloud Service applications at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco, USA.

Meet the UX Experts Walk-In Lab

Whether you have 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or half an hour, stop by the UX Walk-In Lab, where you can see a one-on-one demo and learn more about how user testing is conducted with a UX expert. Additionally, you can learn how you and your company can participate in future design and user research activities.  Advanced registration is not required.

Meet the Experts Station
Members of Apps UX team conduct an interactive eye-tracking demo on Oracle HCM Cloud Service application at UKOUG Apps13 conference in London, UK.

When & Where:
The onsite usability lab will be open Wednesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 6, 2014. Sessions will be conducted throughout the day at The Venetian Las Vegas Hotel, Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center, Conference room  Delfino 4001 A - 4th level.

If you have questions regarding this event, please contact gozel.aamoth@oracle.com.  For further information on our team’s involvement in this conference, please refer to the events page on Usable Apps.

Monday Dec 09, 2013

Partner Gives a Thumbs-Up to Insight on Oracle User Experience

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Anne Meyer
Anne Meyer of MIPRO Consulting LLC, center, listens along with Kelly Bernie, Senior Manager, Oracle Applications Partner Enablement, left, to a demo from Ivy Leung, Applications User Experience, as she talks about Simplified UI for Oracle HCM Cloud at the OAUX Expo during OpenWorld in San Francisco in September 2013.

In the past 6 months, the Oracle Applications User Experience team has been experimenting with a new way to show the innovative user experiences we are building. This idea of a demo showcase evolved into the OAUX Expo at OpenWorld 2013, in September in San Francisco. Guests, who were required to sign non-disclosure agreements with Oracle and refrain from blogging, Tweeting, or other social media expressions about what they saw, were invited to attend an exclusive reception where they could see demos of just-released and future user experiences. These demos included everything from Simplified UI for the Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud to cutting-edge technology like voice and Google Glass that members of our team are exploring as we consider how to incorporate such technology into future user experiences.

Anne Meyer, representing Oracle partner MIPRO Consulting, was one of about 150 attendees. Here’s what she had to say about the expo and its value:

Q: What were you expecting to see at the OAUX Expo at Oracle OpenWorld 2013?


Anne:
“I wasn’t sure what the format or content would be other than expecting a view of Fusion Release 7.” (Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud Services Release 7)



Q: How did the demos you saw meet your expectations?

Anne: “The demos surpassed my expectations. I have worked with OAUX in the past for one-on-one feedback sessions and have always enjoyed participating in those. In this forum, it was nice to walk up to and see and hear about a variety of innovative prototypes as well as upcoming new features soon to be available in the Oracle product lines.

The innovation of the prototypes was truly exciting. I’m anxious for these products to make it to the marketplace.  Some may be game-changing for Oracle, and how people view Oracle products. They demonstrated a great sense of what the new workforce generation is expecting in the software solutions they use at work. I was particularly excited about the voice recognition prototype. There are endless applications for that capability across the Oracle product lines.”



Q: Would you attend future OAUX Expo events, or bring colleagues to such an event?

Anne: “Absolutely. I always try and expand my company’s participation in OAUX events.”  



Q: How was the OAUX Expo valuable to you and your company?



Anne: "The OAUX Expo was important on many levels.  First, we are implementing Fusion Release 5, so the view into Release 7 was important in our planning for when we upgrade next year.  Second, as I noted in a previous comment, to see the innovation is very exciting to us as we are an organization focused on PeopleSoft and Fusion. It supports our enthusiasm for the products and their future, and how we can infuse that enthusiasm to our clients and prospects.”



Q: Has the OAUX Expo changed your perception of the Oracle user experience?

“I don’t know if it changes my perception per se, because I enjoy participating in the one-on-one feedback sessions. This is just another approach, and a good one, to see more at one time.”

Anne said in a separate email that the expo demonstrated how Oracle is moving forward with technology innovation. “I’ve been a participant in individual user experience sessions, but to put them all together in one room was eye-opening to how there is an overall vision, to where the Oracle products are moving. So having multiple stations to view the innovations gives one a full view, and an exciting one, to the future.” 

She added that the one thing that stood out was the voice recognition technology. “All of my customers and prospects are excited about the mobile technology, but little do they know that the voice recognition technology is potentially on its way. That is very, very exciting. We have customers who have people using PeopleSoft on things like oil rigs. How much more convenient could it be to a foreman to be able to audible rather than type things into PeopleSoft than that?


“The example used was CRM, but I think the real bottom-line usage of voice recognition is, for example, when a nurse on a hospital floor can audible inventory items and not take valuable time to key that in. That’s powerful. That’s ROI as hospitals look to reduce cost to patient days.  That was the most impressive application I saw there.”

Thank you, Anne, for your time and feedback! For more information on how to attend a similar expo event, contact Misha.Vaughan @ Oracle.com.

Monday Dec 02, 2013

Learn more about Simplified UI for Oracle HCM Cloud Applications, new in Release 7

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Aylin Uysal
Photo by Anne-Marie McReynolds, Oracle Applications User Experience
Aylin Uysal, Oracle, shows the new Simplified UI for HCM users during a special show-and-tell event, before it was generally available in September 2013.

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

In September 2013, Release 7 for Oracle Cloud Applications became generally available for Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud. This is a significant release for the Oracle Applications User Experience team, and it represents Oracle’s strategy for cloud applications user experiences along the lines of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility.

In Release 7, there’s a particular focus on HCM users, especially self-service users and managers, said Jeremy Ashley, Vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience group. These users may be knowledge or information workers. They may also be users who don’t use enterprise applications all day – they may be asked to participate in using an HCM application to fill out information so that they can get paid, but it’s not what they do on a daily basis, Ashley said. They could be physical engineers, or production line workers who don’t even use laptops nor have e-mail, but they are all still expected to participate in the HCM system that their company provides.

Providing a consistent user experience for all of these users that doesn’t require weeks of training to navigate a hefty menu was the goal for the Simplified UI for HCM user experience. “If they have to go through four layers to get to the system, they have to be trained,” Ashley said. “So, we have looked to simplify standard employee tasks. Regardless of whether you’re a line worker or an executive, these standard tasks should be easy to do.”

The Simplified UI for HCM focuses on many self-service tasks that every employee needs to do – changing a phone number, checking a pay stub, looking up a co-worker’s information, or managing personal work goals on the company system.

HCM Cloud UI
Team performance in the new Oracle HCM Cloud.

But the full strength of Oracle’s Cloud Applications is always a click or two away, because Oracle recognizes that someone like the vice president of HR in the company also needs professional-strength applications. Simplified UI helps provide both balance and a gateway, because to think that all levels of HR employees can go through one UI is ridiculous, Ashley said. The UI would be either too simple or too difficult.

The Simplified UI for HCM appeals to these many levels of HR participation. All users should be able to approach it and understand it the first time they see it, no matter their comfort level with the deeper Fusion Applications that sit behind the Simplified UI.

The Oracle user experience also includes opportunities to tailor settings for all employees or implement a company brand, in just a few clicks, which provides easy customization to the Simplified UI for HCM Cloud.

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.

To get a quick view of what the new user expeirence is about, watch these videos on the HCM Cloud Simplified UI for employees and managers.

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, Senior Director, Applications User Experience
@mishavaughan on Twitter

Learn more about us at
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