As an experiment, the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team recently combined forces with the Oracle PartnerNetwork for a pilot event that lays the foundation for certification as an Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Specialist.
Misha Vaughan -- who directed this event, leads the Applications UX Communications & Outreach team, and owns the Voice of User Experience (VoX) blog -- said workshops like these help both partners and customers understand the investment Oracle has made in the user experience of its cloud applications. We featured Oracle Fusion Applications in this pilot event because that’s what our partners were looking for, but many of the user experience concepts and resources through this workshop apply to all of Oracle’s cloud applications. This particular pilot, however, was intended to be an overview for anyone starting on a Fusion Applications pre-sales project.
Presentations throughout the day were wide-ranging. The day began with a look at Oracle’s process for researching and designing the applications user experience, and included an hour on how to demo the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience.
One of the user experience main messages for our cloud user experience
Participants also got a look at what’s ahead in the Fusion user experience, and were introduced to several projects that lay between the concept and development stages. The Apps UX team also gave partners a taste of how Oracle designs got where they are with a look at the labs, where we do much of our research work in customer feedback activities, and a chance to see what a customer feedback session looks like.
The day ended with presentations on tailoring the Fusion Applications user experience, for both the business analyst using composers, and for the developer using UX design patterns.
This first workshop was attended by members of the Hitachi Consulting team, who implement Oracle solutions in the United States. Here’s a sample of their comments after the workshop:
Sona Manzo, Vice President, U.S. Oracle Solutions – HCM, Hitachi Consulting
“Regarding the tailoring content, this will be a particular focus for our HCM and CXM teams, both in terms of the capabilities now available as well as the extensibility options through use of the design patterns Oracle has made available.
“As part of Hitachi, we are partnering with our sister companies to deliver on Hitachi’s vision - Inspiring the Next. We are continually looking for innovative ways to enable social innovation through technology, so we will be looking for potential applications in that arena.”
• After the lab tour, you noted that it's one thing to get feedback as you try to finalize the product; it's another to get it as you're building the project. How does this change your perception of the Oracle user experience?
“Seeing the usability lab firsthand and hearing about the science behind the testing was eye-opening! I was very impressed with the level of investment Oracle has made to understanding all aspects of the user experience; not just the utilization and usability of the Oracle applications, but indeed how individuals are doing their job. This included understanding the true workflow required across multiple applications/systems, and the frequency and tools used in non-Oracle application tasking and communication. The analysis done on the data and the resulting utilization in the design has led to a much more intuitive and powerful user experience. This foundational work and usability feedback loops built in the development process are in some cases readily apparent, and in others transparent to the user. Eye-tracking, for example, provides invaluable input on where to place functions on the screen for maximum efficiency. I absolutely gained a new appreciation for the innovations that have been delivered and are on the horizon.”
David T. Ball, Senior Manager, U.S. Oracle Solutions, Hitachi Consulting
• How did your perception of Oracle change after this workshop?
“I was literally blown away!
“Some people may think of Oracle as a ‘big box company’, maybe like Microsoft; slow to change and stuck in their roots. At the UX class last week, I was overwhelmed by the energy and talent at Oracle. Oracle is very in-tune with their customer base and has some cutting-edge ideas, such as the new Fusion mobile interface. The new interface that comes in the newly released version 7 looks very progressive, something Apple would be proud of, compared to the typical Oracle light-blue screens.
“I was also very impressed with the private tour of the UX testing lab. I had no idea of the time and energy spent on bringing test subjects in to see how they react to the software. From eye scans that see where on the screen people look first, to cameras that track people’s expressions, this technology and due diligence that Oracle is doing for Fusion knocked my socks off. There is pure science behind this, which is very cutting-edge and very ‘non-Oracle’.”
Nathaniel Pease, Consulting Manager, Hitachi Consulting
• You called watching the customer feedback session in the usability lab “motivating.” What did you take away from that experience?
“First, I was very impressed with the tools and technology used to observe, record and learn from the feedback sessions. More importantly, I was overwhelmed with how enthusiastic, engaged, and excited the Oracle team leading the effort was. It was immediately evident that the team has a passion for what they do, are highly qualified, and they want to develop a tool that exceeds all expectations. Witnessing the feedback session and meeting the Oracle team leading the effort confirmed that opportunities for improvement are being exposed and creative solutions are being designed for today and the future.”
We love to share our vision for the Oracle User Experience. We hope we’ll be able to continue our work with Oracle’s partners, and enable those who are interested to earn certification as an Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Specialist. If you’d like more information about attending a workshop like this, leave a comment here or contact Misha.Vaughan@oracle.com.