In part two of a three-part series, Ultan O'Broin (@usableapps) talks with Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley) about his impressions of the Apple Watch and other insights during a day in the life of a Group Vice President in Oracle. Read part one.
"Perhaps it's an English thing,” says Oracle Applications User Experience Group Vice President, Jeremy Ashley, "but just being able to keep eye contact with someone when we're talking means I can pay closer attention to people."
Jeremy Ashley: Inspiring user experience leadership of strategy, science, and storytelling.
"A glance at my Apple Watch and I know immediately if something is important. I can decide if I need to respond or it can wait. I don't have to pull out my smartphone for that."
This story of combining the personal convenience of wearable technology with empathy for people is typical of the man who sets the vision for the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience (UX).
It’s just one of Jeremy's impressions of the iWatch, as it's known. Now that he's used the Apple Watch for a while since we first chatted, I wanted to find out about his experience and what it all means for enterprise UX.
"I just love the sheer build quality of the watch; so utterly Apple," Jeremy begins. His industrial design background surfaces, bringing together traditions of functionality, classic craftsmanship, and exuberance for innovation: "Sweet. I can even use it to tell the time!"
A bloke with an eye for pixel-level detail, Jeremy has explored how to get the best from the Apple Watch, right down to the exact precision needed for the force touch action on the built-in Maps app. He's crafted a mix of apps and favorite glances to suit his world, such as for battery life, his calendar, and stocks. He admires the simplicity and visualizations of the built-in Activity app too, swiping the watch face to see his latest progress as we talk in his office full of what's hot in technology and a selection of clocks and traditional woodworking tools.
Microtransactions at a glance from the wrist delight the wearer and make life—and work—more convenient.
"The watch really shows how the idea of context automates the routine and looks after the little things that make life easier and delight you in simple ways, such as not having to swipe a credit card to pay for coffee."
In the enterprise world, these kinds of little experiences, or "microtransactions" as Jeremy calls them, translate to wearer convenience when working. For example:
Oracle Glance and the Enterprise
"Smartwatches are like mobile dialog boxes," Jeremy explains. "They start that user conversation with the cloud in simple, 'in-the-moment,' deeply contextual ways. Glance and the cloud together automatically detect and deliver the who, what, and where of microtransactions, yet because it's all on a watch, the experience remains personal and familiar. That really resonates with wearers."
Jeremy Ashley: The smartwatch is a personal and familiar paradigm that also resonates in the enterprise.
Jeremy shared some thoughts on where such innovation is heading:
"The Apple Watch won't replace the smartphone, for now. We still need that identifier device—a kind of personal beacon or chip, if you like—that lets us make an elegant 'handoff' from a glance on our wrist to a scan for denser levels of information or to a commit to doing less frequent tasks on other devices. The watch just isn't designed for all that."
Apple Watch Activity glances for stand goal progress
But, innovating user experience in Oracle is an activity that definitely does not stand still. We'll explore how such innovation and design progress pays off for enterprise users in a future blog post.
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