Friday Mar 11, 2011

Now that I've Installed Java, What do I do?

Consumers will eventually go through the experience of installing Java on their computer.  Some of the situations that trigger this activity are:
  • The computer they bought has Java pre-installed, and now there's a security update they want to get
  • The user wants to play a game (or use a banking app, file their taxes, etc.) that requires Java, and their computer doesn't have it, or has an old version.
  • Somehow they are told to install Java (perhaps an application that they use at work will need it).
Our current Java installer is really a "one size fits all" solution.  Although the situations are quite different, the user will eventually see the same set of installer panels.  The experience leading up to the installer launch is the only way we have to cater to the differences.

In the future, we are developing an installer that is more flexible and can be tailored to the specific scenarios where Java needs to be installed or updated.  This will streamline the experience so that installing Java will be easier.

You'll notice a new layout, simpler text and an overall cleaner look.  Where in some situations you would previously see a progress indicator before the installer Welcome panel was shown, you won't have to wait for that part of the download any more as it will occur while you're looking at the Welcome panel.

Once the Java installation has completed, the browser refreshes to a page that will verify that the various components of the Java platform are hooked up correctly.  Or, if you were installing Java because something on the page requested it, then the browser will show the desired Java content.

If you look around the web, there are examples of functionality that are implemented in Java because of it's unique power and flexibility -- or just because it's fun!  Some examples that I've found are:
Take a look around the web and let us know what Java content you find.  And let us know how your experience installing and using Java goes.  We really do read those comments that are entered through the little +/- icon on the lower right corner of the browser window!

Sunday Jun 14, 2009

JavaOne 2009: Thoughts from an Interaction Designer

JavaOne 2009 was a terrific event for developers.  Great engineers in the field presented their work and gave the attendees information on the latest Java developments. Vendors of Java frameworks, tools and other useful stuff were showing their wares in the Pavilion. Lots of new stuff like the Java Store, JavaFX 1.2 and JavaEE 6 was announced.

I've been attending JavaOne since Y2K and have learned a lot about both the platform and the developers who rely on it to get their job done.

Here's a blog entry from Karen Stanley, a member of the Java user experience design team who has just attended JavaOne for the first time.

And just for fun, here's my picture with Duke.Jeff and Duke at JavaOne 2009

Wednesday Jun 03, 2009

Deploying Java and JavaFX Consumer Applications

Jeff Hoffman

Jeff Hoffman is the lead user experience designer for Java Standard Edition.

JavaOne 2009 is here...

Last night the entire user experience team on Java and JavaFX gathered to discuss what we do with some of the attendees at our Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) session.

Tonight, we have a second BOF that is focused on deploying consumer applications through the web using Java and JavaFX.  For those interested, the slide presentation is available here.

Now it's back to the show...

Thursday May 21, 2009

Participate in Design at JavaOne 2009

Jeff Hoffman

Jeff Hoffman is the lead user experience designer for Java Standard Edition.

Hey There! JavaOne 2009 is almost here... The center of amazing developer activity will be the Moscone Center in San Francisco from June 2nd to 5th. Most of the exhibits and sessions highlight technology and the tools-of-the-trade for the Java developer set, however there is definitely content that is of interest to user experience designers.

I've made a list below of those sessions that are hosted by folks I know and respect. I heartily recommend checking them out. Make sure to add the ones you want to attend to your Schedule Builder since I expect that it may be hard to get in at the last minute.

I'm Speaking At JavaOne

Of course, there are the BOFs that I and my designer cohorts are hosting. We want to engage developers in an open discussion on user experience issues, help answer questions and provide pointers to useful resources.

I'm looking forward to seeing you at JavaOne 2009! Stop by the Designing the User Experience pod in the Pavilion to say hello, and come to one or both of the BOFs listed above.

Monday Jun 09, 2008

How did our JavaOne talk go?

JavaOne 2008 is done...and there are lots of good memories. Jindra and I spent the week learning and practicing our talk, as well as wandering the pavillion and attending sessions. Our slides can be accessed here on the JavaOne Online site (note that you will need to log in as an Sun Developer Network member to view the slides -- registration is free and you won't be spammed so go for it). Also check out the slides for the other User Experience related sessions (TS-6929 Creating a Compelling User Experience, TS-6470 The Layperson’s Guide to Building a Better User Experience, and TS-5500 The Desktop Java Technology Lovers Survival Guide)

Speaking at JavaOne is totally exhilirating. Our session took place in a large room and was well attended. This year's JavaOne enabled folks to "pre-register" for each talk for guaranteed admittance, so we watched the number of prospective attendees grow during the week. In the end, about 600 folks signed up and 500 actually showed up. Neither of us has presented to this large of an audience before (we were really excited last year when our BOF had around 150 people). Since we were both new to delivering a technical session, we went through the material much more quickly than during our rehearsals. Next time we will be better prepared by making sure we have some extra material in case we finish too early -- it's easier to keep talking about stuff than to make things up.

Jeff and Jindra during Q&A

Here is a photo of us during the question and answer period of the talk. We definitely have a bit of that "deer in the headlights" look. One disadvantage of having your talk scheduled on Friday of JavaOne week is that you are nervous with anticipation for pretty much the entire conference. There are certainly benefits to presenting early and getting it "out of the way".

JavaOne attendees have high expectations, and since this year's conference featured a set of good user experience sessions, we were in very good company. Our audience was very supportive and we didn't lose many people after we started talking... If anything, I believe the folks wanted more details than our 101 level talk provided. Once we've reviewed the feedback on our audience response cards, we'll start planning for next year's session and take their comments in to account.

If you have some ideas for user experience topics that would be of interest to the wide range of Java developers who attend JavaOne, we invite you to leave your comments on this blog.

Jeff Hoffman is the lead user experience designer for Java Standard Edition.

Jindra Dinga devotes his time to improving the deployment experience of Java for both developers and end users.

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Speaking about User Experience at JavaOne

Jeff Hoffman is the lead user experience designer for Java Standard Edition.

Jindra Dinga devotes his time to improving the deployment experience of Java for both developers and end users.

Jeff and Duke at JavaOne 2007In a couple of weeks, my colleague Jindra and I will be presenting our process for creating a graphical user interface to the developers at JavaOne. In my last entry, I mentioned a set of user experience talks happening at this year's conference. Now I'd like to describe a bit more about how we developed our session and what's in it.

At last year's JavaOne, our merry little band of Java UE designers presented a very basic overview of user experience design best practices at a 9pm BOF. We dutifully put together a presentation with slides covering a variety of things, and cheerfully presented them to the much larger than we expected crowd. We were terribly nervous, but overall the experience was great and the questions were great too. Some months later the survey results came in and they weren't bad, but not great... Most of the comments were asking for more detail and more examples, so we started discussion about this year's presentation with that idea.

Based on the feedback, this year we are going to take a real example and walk through our process with it. Since we only have 50 minutes (and some of that time needs to be available for questions), we will try our best to reach the level of detail our audience desires. JavaOne Speaker

At the beginning of our presentation we will talk about why it is hard to create good GUIs and how important it is to understand the user's tasks and goals. Later on we take the existing command line process for configuring a network interface connection in Solaris (see Project Brussels) and make it over in to a GUI.

Jindra and I have spent years in the user experience field and we know that it's hard to follow an exact process for every project. We also know that making sure our designs work for our customers requires that we adhere to the principles of design, and we want to make sure that the developers out there understand how these principles apply to a real design problem.

If you're planning to be at JavaOne, sign up to come to our session (TS-4968). Also, if you'd like to say hello to some of the contributors to this blog, stop by the User Experience pod near the Spin-the-Wheel Game in Sun Booth at the JavaOne Pavilion.

Monday Apr 07, 2008

User Experience Blooms at JavaOne 2008

Jeff HoffmanJeff Hoffman is the lead user experience designer for Java Standard Edition. He's been designing both consumer and developer oriented products since before the boom.

Springtime is in the air! The flowers are blooming and the trees are sprouting branches. Along with nature's beauty all around us, it's a sign that we're getting closer to a special time of year for Java developers...JavaOne!

I've been attending this show since 1999 and have always been amazed at the array of Java development related topics -- except for putting good user experience design practices to work for your applications. Sure, there are always wonderful discussions about adding fun visual effects like animations, reflections and transparency to help make your application stand out from the crowd. But developers have deeper questions -- like how to make an application work the way their users expect.

JavaOne SpeakerI'm very excited to report that the 2008 JavaOne show (May 6-9 at Moscone Center, San Francisco) will include at least four technical sessions focused on user experience. There are also a whole bunch of sessions on the latest fun stuff you can do with Java 2D and 3D Graphics, Swing, JavaFX Script and more. I'll be holding a session along with my xDesign colleague Jindra Dinga called Designing GUIs 101 (TS-4968) where we will use an end-to-end example to illustrate our straight forward, repeatable process for designing GUIs that meet the user's needs effectively and efficiently.

Our talk will cover the important phases of a good design process:

  1. Discovering the User's Goals and Tasks
  2. Gathering Requirements
  3. Defining the Task Flow
  4. Designing the GUI
  5. Gathering Feedback

And how we apply these practices when we are designing a specific feature (based on a current command line interface) within a GUI desktop tool. I'll be writing more about our technical session in the weeks right before JavaOne.

To round out this "mini-track" of User Experience sessions, I've discovered three talks from folks who (like me) are interested in enhancing the user's experience with software and are spreading the word about how to make sure it is properly considered during development. They are:

Looking forward to seeing you at the show!


xDesign is a software user experience design group at Sun.
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