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 shown inside 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



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.


Tuesday Jan 06, 2015

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

By DJ Ursal, Oracle Applications User Experience


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

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

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

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


Angel Investor voting stations were set up for event attendees.  

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


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

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

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

Tuesday 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!

Friday Jun 27, 2014

More Wearables: A wearables design jam out-of-house with EchoUser and FATHOM

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team hosted its first Wearables Design Jam with people outside of Oracle in May. Members of the team headed up to San Francisco for the event, which was held at EchoUser, a user experience (UX) design and consultancy firm and a collaborator on UX with Oracle. Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps), OAUX Director and partner outreach dynamo, was the host. This reprised event updated an earlier internal event, also the first of its kind here, on wearables. Our goal, as before, was to get design teams thinking about the enterprise use cases for wearable technology.


O’Broin shows off wearable ears.
Photos by Rob Hernandez.

Ultan said at the event: “The goals for the day were to build a relationship with a partner in the wearables and innovation space - to see if we could work together in a way that was mutually beneficial and to increase the awareness of users in this space. We are ahead of the curve and ready to offer optimal user experiences, and the technology is there. This is a pilot event because we want to do more of this. We want to work out the methodologies so we can take it on the road. I’d like to try this next in the UK, and in a culture that hasn’t been exposed to the wearable hype, and try it in countries that are very conscious of what goes on in the public and private sphere, like Germany, and try it in Asian countries as well.” 

Ultan said the event was great. “People entered into the spirit of openness, their own experiences, their own background - and they applied it in a fun and meaningful way," he said.

Ultan and Anthony Lai (@anthonyslai), of the TheAppslab team at Oracle (@theappslab), delivered a level-setting presentation on the state of the art for wearables, including examples of Google Glass. Attendees were from Oracle, EchoUser, and FATHOM, a 3D-printing company in the Bay Area.  


Veronica De La Rosa of FATHOM, Carol Chen of EchoUser and Aylin Uysal of Oracle develop on-boarding concepts that incorporate wearables.

Attendees then broke into teams of three and four to brainstorm on enterprise wearables concepts. They sketched, drew, debated, and produced an idea for an enterprise wearable use case in 2 hours. All teams delivered a 5-minute pitch at the end of the day to judges Mick McGee (@micklives), CEO, EchoUser; and Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), VP, Oracle Applications User Experience. Teams pitched employee on-boarding wearables, shipping delivery driver wearables, and retail worker wearables.


Mick McGee, EchoUser, and Jeremy Ashley, Oracle, discuss the design themes emerging around wearables.

Mick and Jeremy gave comments on the team presentations, which are recapped here: 

Mick: “There was a theme of people interaction and people connection, enabling our interaction with work colleagues. where you can actually get around the social stigma of using wearables to connect. I like the idea of interaction in different, small, productive ways. One thing that stuck out to me in talking to Jeremy was all the small gains in end user experiences – that will be the killer app.”  

Jeremy: “I agree with all of those points, especially the small gains. There are different cultures where being tracked is actually motivating, e.g., you being monitored while you are doing a safety check, so you want to be monitored. In another environment, you may not want to be tracked; the level and type of tracking needs to be different. I think understanding role by role where the comfort level is, is important.”  

Mick: “If you recall the iPhone days, that was only 7 years ago. There was a big platform change, from my perspective, all this investment going on, this next platform is right around the corner. Enterprise has more of a chance, to me, than consumer for this kind of technology because they make us work better. I’m excited to see where wearables goes.”

Jeremy:  “It’s exploring what is already in the environment, and leveraging what we might consider mundane tasks, and automating them. These are the small gains that we are going to get with this kind of technology. I like the idea of things happening around you -- rather than going to websites to onboard, giving a device – eyelashes, a ring, or whatever -- where they can have a personal on-boarding experience.”

Mick: “I see a lot of potential in these ideas to help the end-user consumer, especially to help reduce the social stigma associated with these technologies.” 

So which idea did the two execs think had the most enterprise merit?

Jeremy: "The Thought Box was the best solution. It would have a high impact using existing infrastructure, with off-the-shelf parts, and would greatly enhance the whole experience, and could viably be done now.  And it combines many small gains. That would be, overall, a big impact." 


The winning team, Thought Box: Kimra McPherson, EchoUser; Amaya Lascano, EchoUser; and David Haimes, Oracle. With Jeremy Ashley and Mick McGee in the background.

The Thought Box team pitched a wearable designed to be worn by a shipping delivery driver – such as a UPS or DHL driver. The wearable, such as a pair of sunglasses, would provide detailed information about the shipping delivery location such as:
Whether any hazards exist
Whether the recipient is home
Step-by-step directions to the location 
How to be more efficient in the delivery based on past experience
How to be safe, such as using a trolley when moving a heavy load up a steep grade
Sending alerts to the recipient when the driver is close
Taking a picture of the package at the drop location and sending it to the recipient
Even integrating construction details.

This device is aimed at making small efficiency gains that can scale across the whole business. 


The Thought Box concept and pitch sketches

The overall benefit of this wearable concept was aimed at making faster and more reliable deliveries to increase a driver’s rate of success. The related goal is also reducing customer calls, because of the real-time trouble-shooting.

My personal favorite wearable technology of the day: 
I personally was delighted by the idea of custom wearables designed by Team ConneXtion, and modeled by Aylin Uysal below.


Aylin models wearable eyelashes, intended to aid new hire on-boarding.

How do you find out more?
The Oracle Applications User Experience team is going to be going on the road in the year ahead.  If you want to chat with us about our experiences with wearable technologies, along with other technology we see on the horizon, feel free to find us at an upcoming event on UsableApps.  

If you will be at OOW 2014, so will the Apps UX team. Come find us!

Sunday Mar 16, 2014

Wearables Design Jam @ Oracle Applications User Experience Labs

By Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), Oracle Applications User Experience

The conversation about new technology and what it means for enterprise users keeps moving forward at Oracle. The latest version of that conversation was an inspirational event at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California, on Feb. 4: a Wearables Design Jam led by Ultan O’Broin, Director, Oracle Applications User Experiences.

Ultan and Sarahi
Photo by Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience
Ultan O’Broin prepares, with his usual style, alongside Sarahi Mireles, for the wearables design jam

The goal of the event was to discuss wearables in the work world, solve an enterprise problem, and have fun. What was different about this event was that there was no coding required – it was a pen-and-paper, creative project.

Participants came from a variety of Oracle teams to share ideas – and compete - such as User Assistance, JD Edwards, the Apps Lab, Enterprise Performance Management, and the Mexico Development Center UX team.

Ultan kicked off the event with an introduction to wearables by calling them smart personal technology devices, worn or carried all the time. “It's about automating and augmenting activities,” he said. “Automating the things you hate, and augmenting the things you love. Using technologies you already know – cameras, watches – with new capabilities – GPS, optical character recognition to perform tasks hands-free, and see or easily capture information.  For us, these experiences are apps that are integrated with data in the cloud.” 

He discussed several consumer examples including Samsung Galaxy Gear watch, Oakley Airwave, Google Glass, and Fitbit Force.  "Right now, it's consumer driven usage, dominated by health and personal fitness,” Ultan said. “These expectations from the personal world will affect user expectations of the enterprise."  Examples in the enterprise space include the Hitachi business microscope. An example closer to home is the use of the Fitbit at Oracle HCM World. Attendees were given Fitbit wrist bands and encouraged to log their steps against other attendees in a fitness campaign.

Wellness leaderboard
The HCM World Wellness leaderboard counts the steps of attendees.

For the participants of our Wearables Design Jam, the challenge was to design enterprise solutions – their own wearables use cases – working in teams of three and four. With only paper, pencils, and wearables stencils, participants brainstormed ideas for wearables that could be useful in an enterprise context.

Stencil
This is an example of a stencil from the Wearables Design Jam.

Teams presented their designs to judge Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President, Oracle Applications User Experiences. Ideas ranged from smart employee ID badges to gloves to warehouse technology, to OpenWorld conference technology. The winning team presented a smarter OpenWorld badge that collects, shares, and exchanges contact information with attendees.

The winning team
The winning team: Adam Heller, Principal Usability Engineer; Bo Wang, Senior Interaction Designer; and Gurbinder Bali, Director, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Development.

Ashley said, "The key to wearables is a casual gesture. But you can go even further. Imagine you had warehouse management that took advantage of whoever was nearest, to make it more engaging or using specialists with skills."  He said the winning idea has implicit participation and is immediately available, and it also has immediate analytic capability and integration with Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud.

For more information on wearable computing, check out these related posts:
•    The AppsLab team participates in a recent AT&T developer hackathon in the Wearables track (@appslab).
•    Ultan explores the reactions to Google Glass globally.
•    Marta Rauch takes an awesome ride down Highway 84 through the eyes of Google Glass (@marta).










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.



Thursday Feb 20, 2014

New Oracle developers get a taste of Raspberry Pi

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Here’s a look at our developers at work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Will You Be Wearing Your Enterprise Application Data?

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience group has begun to explore the role of wearable computing and enterprise use cases, which is part and parcel of our charter to watch for future trends that will matter to our customers’ workforce.  See, for example, some of the recent posts by The AppsLab team and Ultan (@ultan) on wearables.

Heads-Up Displays: Google Glass

Anthony Lai (@anthonyslai), a User Experience Architect at Oracle, has been roaming the halls of Oracle with what are now easily identifiable as Google Glass.  In this post, he talks about his experience using Google Glass and what he has learned about wearing them in an enterprise setting.

Anthony Lai
Anthony Lai
Photo by Misha Vaughan

Q:  Let's start with the basics. What is Google Glass, and what is the vision behind the technology?

A: Glass is a device that is supposed to be non-intrusive, to give you information when you need it.  It is a way for you to quickly know about stuff right away, without even opening up a tablet or device.  It provides notifications to you for things you are interested in.  It provides you with navigation.  You can ask questions in a free-form format.  You can take pictures and do video recording for memories.  Quick snapshots. The photos are nice; they are wide-angle.  

Q: Do people around you find it intrusive at all?  Do they object to the video-recording capacity?

A: If you take a picture, you hear the click sound and there is a flash.  It’s not like you don't know it's happening. That brings in a paradigm about glass.  They position it just above the eye. You need the eye contact to create trust.

Q:  What have you found to be useful for yourself, in terms of work?

The first thing is that I subscribe to things I'm interested in on Twitter.  In Twitter, you can have a lot of people you are following.  You can select which people you want to receive on your Glass.  I put some technology things on there, and Glass would notify me.  I feel like it's really annoying now to go to my phone or my desktop. With Glass, it's just instant. That's key for me.

The other side is in-car navigation.  I was using my phone, but with Glass, I can see straight ahead and get the directions in my ear.  If it is time for you to turn and take actions, it will tell you.  So it's not really distracting you from driving.

Q:  As a developer working for Oracle, what enterprise use cases occur to you?

Take a CRM use case. What does a sales rep need to do when they go into a sales meeting?  What information do they need to know wherever they are?  One example is if there is a sales meeting coming up at 3 p.m., Google Glass can remind you, and then give you quick information, like attendees.  If you want to call an attendee right away, you can.  If you need to make a quick note, if you need to find where the meeting is, how bad traffic is to get there.  

During a meeting, we thought, what if you want to take a picture of the attendees so you don't forget who was at a meeting?  

At the end of the meeting, you may want to debrief.  You go to a coffee shop around the corner, where you can sit and make notes of the meeting with co-workers. You can even run a Google Hangout, or video-conference, with people who are there and not there.

Q: Final thoughts?

It's amazing technology.  I think it is an appropriate technology to move into the future.  I think there are a lot of people right now that are skeptical.  Right now, it is expensive.  Ultimately, the price will go down.  

Wearables: An Executive Perspective

Jeremy Ashley
Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, with his Pebble Watch.

"It's not just about Google Glass,” says Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President of Oracle Applications User Experience. “What we are doing is taking the application of computing power here, and moving away from it being a single device. We are moving to multiple devices that sense the world around you. It's really a matter of what these other devices can provide for you.”

Ashley said users are demanding smaller snippets of more detailed information, like Google Now and Windows tiles. “Instead of providing this large dashboard with this information all over it, you will see little tiles with snippets of information that you can drill on. It's no longer about providing lots of detailed information. It's providing lots of detailed information with context.”

The platforms for information delivery include glasses, watches, and other types of devices. The glasses derive their context from where you are, what you are looking at, and what you are supposed to be doing at that time. They use sight, sound, GPS, motion, direction, gesture and more.

Glasses are piggybacking on a set of interactions that you are already doing, and adding extra information on top of that, as opposed to a computer that you have to walk up to and begin providing context to. Glass augments a lot of your movements to gain input and complete a particular task.

Google Glass is an obvious use case for supply chain, Ashley said, when the user needs a third hand to reference material or communicate with someone about a part or a checklist. It can be recording what you are doing, or provide a channel for another technician to look over your shoulder as you check your work.

More use cases

Wearing Google Glass in meetings might also make sense. The user could be acting as a proxy who is sitting in the room for someone else and providing a feel of the room. 

In the financials spectrum, a user might want to keep information secret as opposed to making information public. Google Glass could be used by a CFO, who receives real-time data as opposed to opening up a laptop in a public place.

“When they say ‘augmentation,’ people think of Borg-like things on your head,” Ashley said. “Instead it’s about taking something that you already have, and just increasing the sensitivity to make it more meaningful or useful.”

As our data moves to the cloud, these kinds of experiences become more possible.

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
Usable Apps

Search

Archives
« July 2015
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
   
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
 
       
Today