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An Oracle blog about Application UX

Front and Center: The User Experience

Karen Scipi
Principal User Experience Engineer, Oracle Applications User Experience

I recently returned from the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. This year over 50,000 people joined in the experience. The session tracks were many and chock-full of fascinating tech influencers and thinkers as well as creative technologies.

Web Summit 2016

(photo: Karen Scipi (@KarenScipi))

What a difference a year makes! Thinking back to Web Summit 2015 and comparing that experience with Web Summit 2016, I observed a tide shift for the once sidelined majority: the user. This year’s Web Summit left me with a clear sense that no matter how alpha, beta, or established the product design is, the light shines brightly on today’s user.

What resonated with me in all of the sessions that I attended was that the user experience in today’s world does indeed matter. Speakers and exhibitors alike tailored their pitches to consumers—users—of their product and spoke about how their product designs reflect and incorporate the unique needs of their users.

Oracle’s own Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Oracle Group Vice President, Applications User Experience and Oracle Thought Leader, focused on one aspect of user experience design in his SaaS Monster debate session: The customer is not always right.

Jeremy Ashley, Oracle Group Vice President, Applications User Experience (photo: Karen Scipi)

Jeremy Ashley, Oracle Group Vice President, Applications User Experience (photo: Karen Scipi)

The perspective that Jeremy argued was nicely captured by Oracle Vice President Killian Evers (@keversca):

Jeremy Ashley (Oracle), Andy O’Donoghue (The Gadget Buzz, TV3), and David Gurle (Symphony)

Jeremy Ashley (Oracle), Andy O’Donoghue (The Gadget Buzz, TV3), and David Gurle (Symphony)

Jeremy presented a key differentiator for Oracle user experience design: “It’s not what the customer says, it’s what the customer wants and needs essentially. The true designer, the true innovator spends as much time in investigation of that than they do in providing the solution.”

And do we. We do ethnographic studies. We also spend a great deal of time with our customers: we listen, we watch, we observe. We follow our customers around and observe where they work—the kinds of buildings they work in, their offices, their cubicles—as well as how they work, and with whom and how they engage with others.

Then we take that knowledge and design user experiences for our solutions—our platform, tools, and applications—that solve customer problems and empower customers to make the solutions their own, to enhance them, and enable them to innovate on their own.

Jeremy Ashley (Oracle), Andy O’Donoghue (The Gadget Buzz, TV3), and David Gurle (Symphony)

Jeremy Ashley (Oracle), Andy O’Donoghue (The Gadget Buzz, TV3), and David Gurle (Symphony)

Fundamentally each product we deliver should meet a real need. As Jeremy shared: “Every time you design for a large complicated system, there are a number of ways to go about it. . . . . What we [Oracle Applications User Experience] do is we go out to the customer and we identify the essence of the problem.” For example, “Who is the person I can call next that I will make the most money from for the least effort? If it doesn’t address that core essence, it doesn’t matter. Spending that time to understand what the essence is of the problem, that thing that will allow them to participate is a motivation. Identifying not the stories that people tell, but the truth underlying those stories.”

Jeremy Ashley (Oracle), Andy O’Donoghue (The Gadget Buzz, TV3), and David Gurle (Symphony)

Jeremy Ashley (Oracle), Andy O’Donoghue (The Gadget Buzz, TV3), and David Gurle (Symphony)

We work hard to advocate for our customers and to produce the right solutions for them. We believe that our solutions should simply empower the lives of those who use them. We embed great, consistent user experience throughout our solutions.

For more of Oracle GVP Jeremy Ashley’s sessions at Web Summit:

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