Monday Dec 08, 2014

Hamburger is the New Discovery: Chinese Mobile App UI Trends

Shout out for a great article on Chinese Mobile App UI Trends by Dan Grover (@dangrover).

Chinese Mobile App UI Trends. Image via Dan Grover.

Chinese Mobile App UI Trends. Image via Dan Grover.

A really great read and a reminder that an awesome UX must be local and contextual. It's a practical example of importance of ethnography as a basis for empathizing with user requirements, and how simple everyday observation can offer many insights for designers and developers of global apps. In this case, Dan took advantage of a relocation from San Francisco to China to observe, document and share his insights.

Dan includes some great visual examples to illustrate the trends. I love the sections on how discovery is the new hamburger menu and how chat is a universal UI. And you thought QR codes were dead?

Oracle Applications Cloud Release 9 is available in 23 national languages, including Traditional Chinese (ZHT) and Simplified Chinese (ZHS), by the way.

And, in keeping with the inspiration for the article, Dan's article is now available in Chinese too: 中国移动应用设计趋势解读

Thursday May 22, 2014

Oracle ADF and Simplified UI Apps: I18n Feng Shui on Display

I demoed the Hebrew language version of Oracle Sales Cloud Release 8 live in Israel recently, and the crowd was yet again wowed by the simplified UI (SUI).

I’ve now spent some time playing around with most of the 23 languages, the NLS (Natural Language Support) versions, as we’d call them, available in Release 8.

Hebrew language Oracle Sales Cloud UI Release 8

Hebrew Oracle Sales Cloud Release 8

The simplified UI is built using 100% Oracle ADF. The framework is a great solution for developers to productively build tablet-first, mobility-driven apps for users who work in natural languages other than English.

Oracle ADF’s internationalization (i18n) support leverages Java and Unicode and also packs more i18n goodness such as Bi-Di (or bi-directional) flipping of pages, locale-enabled resource bundles, date and time support, and so on.

Spanish and Hebrew Simplified UIs Bi-Directional Components Compared

Comparing Spanish (left) and Hebrew Bi-Di (right) page components in the simplified UI.
Note the change in the direction of the arrows and alignment of the text.

So, developers don’t have to do anything special with regard to ADF components thanks to this baked-in UX Feng Shui, as Grant Ronald of the ADF team would say to the UK Oracle User Group.

Find out more from Frédéric Desbiens (@blueberrycoder) about ADF i18n on the ADF Architecture TV YouTube channel and check out the Developer's Guide.

Sunday Feb 12, 2012

Oracle E-Business Suite: Features and Capabilities for Global UX

There is excellent global user experience afforded to users of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, all based on solid internationalization (i18n) and out of the box multilingual support (MLS). The engineering and features were covered by Maher Al-Nubani, Director of Internationalization Development in his webcast about Oracle E-Business Suite Internationalization and Multilingual Features.

Maher covered such areas as single global instance deployment, Unicode, BiDi, regional preferences (locale), MLS architecture basics, international calendar and first day of the week support, currencies, and  multilingual reporting. Check out the presentation slides (PDF) for full details.

Bidirectional Support in EBS
Here's a few features and capabilities, amongst others, that I think are particularly well-grounded in meeting the user experience needs of Oracle applications customers who deploy globally.  These are the kind of usability areas that the Oracle Usability Advisory Board (OUAB) members address through the Globalization UX working group. EBS implementors, take note.

  • Lightweight MLS support: New in EBS 12.1.3, by using OAM, multinational companies can activate languages without applying NLS (translation) patches. This means the user interface (UI) remains in English but setup, data and reporting is in the customer's language.  This is a customer requirement often missed. Combined with localizations functionality, an English UI with language data entry and printing is a powerful and effective solution that enables enterprises to work globally while using and sharing information according to local conventions. Full translations can be later easily added if required, for extra flexibility and evolution of the user experience.
  • Complete Excel data exchange: Business users just love Microsoft Excel! And, in EBS 12.1.3, customers can export data using comma or tab separated values (commas, of course, can be other kind of delimiters in other countries/locales). Plus, a choice of Unicode UTF-8 or UTF-16 export options means users can safely use Microsoft Excel to handle their data's character set encodings.
  • Cultural calendars: EBS 12.1.1 added support for the Arabic Hijrah and Thai Solar calendars. EBS 12.1.2 allows users to specify their first day of the week (it's Sunday, and not Monday for some). These UI features allow users to work in accordance with their local customs and conventions, but without impacting business logic or data.
  • BI Publisher global reporting: BIP's excellent internationalization foundation enables customers to communicate with other parts of their organization, suppliers, vendors, and other agencies easily. Without any dependency on installed languages or the DB character set, customers can create a report template for their language, country or region, and translate it easily themselves using XLIFF. For apps customers, reporting in the local language using customized templates and flexibility in how they work is a very big deal.
  • More Unicode support: Been there for a while now through Unicode (UTF8) introduced in Release 11i, EBS 12.1 uses the AL32UTF8 encoding, based on the latest Unicode standard to support more characters and languages. AL32UTF8 is is the default Unicode database character set for EBS 12.1 installations for multiple languages. AL32UTF8 is the default in Oracle Fusion Applications Release 11g R2, by the way.
  • Additional language translations: EBS 12.1  is now translated into 34 languages, adding Indonesian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. The myth that  every enterprise apps user speaks English has long been exposed as just that, a myth. It is also important to realize that not only do local users demand UIs in their own language, but the domain specific aspects of enterprise apps means that it is easier for them to understand and use translated versions, even when they do speak conversational English. Better productivity and user satisfaction in the workplace is the result.

Great features and support for our global customers! Refer to the resources at the end of Maher's presentation for availability, implementation details and more information. Watch out for some news about OUAB activities globally soon, too.

About

Oracle Applications Cloud global user experience (UX): Culture, localization, internationalization, language, personalization, more. A globally-savvy UX making it all fit together for Oracle's worldwide partners and customers.

Audience: Enterprise applications translation and localization topics for the user experience professional (designers, engineers, developers, researchers)!
Profile

Ultan Ó Broin. Director, Global Applications User Experience, Oracle Corporation. On Twitter: @localization

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