By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience
In September 2013, Release 7 for Oracle Cloud Applications became generally available for Oracle Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud. This significant release allowed the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team to finally talk freely about Simplified UI, a user experience project in the works since Oracle OpenWorld 2012.
Simplified UI represents the direction that the Oracle user experience – for all of its enterprise applications – is heading.
Oracle’s Apps UX team began by building a Simplified UI for sales representatives. You can find that today in Release 7, and it was demoed extensively during OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco.
See the the new Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud, a user interface built for sales reps.
Analyst Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research, saw Simplified UI at Oracle Openworld 2013 and talked about it with CRM Buyer in “Oracle Revs Its Cloud Engines for a Better Customer Experience.”
Wettemann said there are distinct themes to the latest release:
"One is usability. Oracle Sales Cloud, for example, is designed to have zero training for onboarding sales reps, which it does," she explained. "It is quite impressive, actually -- the intuitive nature of the application and the design work they have done with this goal in mind."
The software uses as few buttons and fields as possible, she pointed out. "The sales rep doesn't have to ask, 'what is the next step?' because she can see what it is."
In fact, there are three themes driving the usability that Wettemann noted. They are simplicity, mobility, and extensibility, and we write more about them on the Usable Apps web site. These three themes embody the strategy for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences.
Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud
In developing a Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle’s UX team concentrated on the tasks that sales reps need to do most frequently, and are most important. “Knowing that the majority of their work lives are spent on the road and on the go, they need to be able to quickly get in and qualify and convert their leads, monitor and progress their opportunities, update their customer and contact information, and manage their schedule,” Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Applications UX team, said.
Ashley said the Apps UX team has a good reason for creating a Simplified UI that focuses on self-service. “Sales people spend the day selling stuff,” he said. “The only reason they use software is because the company wants to track what they’re doing.” Traditional systems of tracking that information include filling in a spreadsheet of leads or sales. Oracle wants to automate this process for the salesperson, and enable that person to keep everyone who needs to know up-to-date easily and quickly. Simplified UI addresses that problem by providing light-touch input.
“It has to be useful to the salesperson,” Ashley said about the Sales Cloud user experience. Simplified UI can tell sales reps about key opportunities, or provide information about a contact in just a click or two.
Customer information is accessible quickly and easily with Simplified UI for the Oracle Sales Cloud.
Simplified UI for Sales Cloud can also be extended easily, Ashley said. Users usually just need to add various business fields or create and modify analytical reports. The way that Simplified UI is constructed allows extensibility to happen by hiding or showing a few necessary fields.
The Settings user interface, starting in release 7, allows for the simple configuration of the most important visual elements.
“With Sales cloud, we identified a need to make the application useful and very simple,” Ashley said. Simplified UI meets that need.
Where can you find out more?
To find out more about the simplified UI and Oracle’s ongoing investment in applications user experience innovations, come to one of our sessions at a user group conference near you. Stay tuned to the Voice of User Experience (VoX) blog – the next post will be about Simplified UI and HCM Cloud.