Sunday Apr 24, 2016

UX in a Heartbeat: Emotion and Happenin' Haptics on the Apple Watch

We know that user experience (UX) is increasingly an emotional concept and we need to design accordingly

UX is about how people feel about using applications. User experience design also enables us to express emotion too: Just look at the growth in popularity of emoji for example.

Here’s another emotional design feature I like: the Digital Touch capability on the Apple Watch that lets you share your own very heartbeat with another Apple Watch user. Not only does the person selected from your contact list see your heartbeat, but as it’s a haptic alert, they get to feel it too!

Apple Watch Digital Touch heartbeat exchange with my son, Fionn

As someone who travels a lot  on business and is away from a young son, I love this heartbeat feature. It makes me feel close to someone who is in reality very far away. 

Although being a Skype Dad doesn’t really cut as a way to stay in touch with my son, this little “in the moment” and deeply personal digital expression of my emotion helps me feel much better when away. It really means a lot to me.

It’s such a warm feeling to see and feel my son’s heartbeat on my wrist in return.

Saturday Apr 23, 2016

Your New Favourite Band? Watch Straps Get Smart

At last wearable technology makers are getting it: The fashion or style dimension of wearable tech (or #fashtech) is critical to user acceptance and market success. 

All the wearable tech majors are at it now, hiring fashionistas left, right, and center to consult on, design, and flash their products in public. The hot wearabletech space at the moment is, of course, smartwatches. Seemingly everyone is offering a device (Swiss Army?) and now must consider the impact of how fashionable the thing looks. 

But, whether these players are getting the balance between chic and geek right is another question. At least we are moving in the right direction: away from the wardrobe malfunction era!


Apple Watch bands

The recent launch of a new range of fashionable bands for the Apple Watch made me ponder: How come I saw nobody queuing overnight outside the Apple Store in Stanford to get the first ones? OK, I jest a little, but clearly people feel they can live without a new range of straps that don’t really add anything new.

Apple Watch bands

How might this be addressed? Well, consider the amount of UX real estate that is going a-begging for fashion or functional enhancement on a smartwatch band or strap compared to the device’s watchface itself. It’s a simply staggering oversight from a design perspective.

But innovation is at hand. 

Some people see the possibilities and potential of a smart strap or band. 

MainTool, Wotch, uBirds Unique, Samsung Tiptalk, Montblanc Timewalker, and more, are here. 

You will see watch bands become not only more fashionable but more functional -  smarter - in 2016.

As the CEO of MainTool says: “Let’s have the tech you want find a way to work around the watch you love.”

Watch that space on your wrist.

Saturday Jun 27, 2015

Jules of the Oracle Cloud: Wiring Developers' Use Cases to UX PaaS4SaaS Productivity

Two killer videos to watch. Together.

First up, Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience PaaS and SaaS enablement outreacher Julian "Jules" Orr (@Orr_UX) on how to select the right use case for PaaS4SaaS using the #JTBD (Jobs To Be Done) approach.

This video is part of the OTNArchBeat (@OTNArchBeat) Two Minute Tech Tip (2MTT) series.

Second, we have Oracle partner Hitachi Consulting talking about wireframing customer cloud solutions using OAUX enablement and what that means for shortening the HCM SaaS innovation cycle and increasing business.

No idea who the guy in the ETRO (@EtroOfficial) suit is. Damn hipsters.

Of course, the two videos are perfect together. Just like PaaS and SaaS.

You can read more about the Hitachi Consulting enablement on the Usable Apps blog.

Your First KiSS: Learning 2 ♥ #IoT UX with APIs

Services: that’s really what’s at the heart of the IoT (Internet of Things) device conversation and what makes the user experience (UX) design of IoT different. 

Think of your first KISS (Killer Integration Services, Simple) as the beginning of a love affair with ubiquitous connectivity of devices and data exchange through the cloud. 

I recorded this Two Minute Tech Tip (2MTT) with Mr. OTNArchBeat (@OTNArchBeat), Bob Rhubart, to explain more about where developers now need to place their affections in the cloud.



The O'Reilly ebook Experience Design addresses IoT, explains how services are at the heart of the IoT user experience, and outlines other differences too. 

Those services are made available via web APIs and developers and designers now need to approach UX by building UI services for task flows and fluid connectivity and not build hard-coded UIs. 

APIs are a form of UX design, and the future of developers implementing UX, as Jared Spool (@jmspool) would say. 


Learn to love APIs as UX design for the cloud
Oyster Card for transport in London. No card actually necessary!

This UX Mag article summarizes the basics you need to know about what’s different about UX design for IoT. The London Oyster Travel Card is a great example of the IoT UX: You don’t even need the card to travel, you can use NFC and tap your smartphone at the ticket barrier to get to the trains, for example. 

With that data is in the cloud and devices are connected, you’re good to go. Some of those “things” of course, don’t even have a UI! 

You can read more about services and how APIs are UX design for IoT, PaaS, and SaaS on the Usable Apps blog

Devs, it's time to heart APIs if you’re not already Oracle Cloud smitten.

How End Users, CIOs, & Sales Reps Can Have Their ERP Cake & Eat It: Oracle Cloud UX

Cakes seem to be a popular storytelling vehicle in the enterprise user experience world. Hardly surprising, really.

Sales program cakes at Congress FY16 event

Cupcakes for the Cloud: Seen at the Oracle Direct Sales Congress for FY16 in Dublin, Ireland

The very genesis of ERP, for example, was in the tea and cakes business in the UK after WWII. Since then, ERP user experience (UX) has evolved in ways that tell one tasty story about how innovation in the enterprise keeps the entire business sweet.  

Making that ERP UX cake story.

Making that Oracle ERP Cloud UX cake story on location: David Haimes (@dhaimes), Senior Director, Oracle Applications Product Development , and Karen Scipi (@karenscipi), Principal UX Engineer.

I came across more killer cakes at the Oracle Direct Sales Congress FY16 event in Dublin where I had been invited to tell the UX story to eager and passionate sales folks from across Europe about how to use the "must-have" message in their work. The cakes reminded me that delivering on end-user satisfaction and business productivity are messages that decision-makers want to hear. It’s all about ROI and UX is the way to bake that deal-maker in.

UX is a competitive must-have in the Cloud for sure, but remember: you must know your audience.

CIOs and other decision-makers want to see and demonstrate an ROI on their Cloud applications, and satisfied users and a more productive business are a great return that transfers well to corporate stakeholders, analysts, and FY reports. And--because we can build optimized UIs from data in the Oracle Cloud using web services, being agnostic of the devices themselves--we can also offer those decision-makers a roadmap of UX evolution using their data.

You can read more about how the Oracle ERP Cloud UX makes for happy users and decision-makers on the Usable Apps blog.   

And, of course, the story is about cakes

Monday Dec 08, 2014

Capturing that Applications User Experience: What Happens Offline Is As Important as Online

Communicating why UX is important is all about a good story, one preferably backed by facts and one that ends in a conclusion that resonates with the user!

At a recent Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) roadshow in London, OAUX VP Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley) told the audience of customers and partners how most sales reps still liked to write down opportunity and other sales details at the time using paper and pen. True to form, a glance around the room revealed that insight to be true!

Capture. Simple way to get information into the cloud

Capture: A simple and consistent way to get data into the cloud, reflecting the flexibility of the way we work today.

It's also a reminder that when it comes to UX design, an empathy with what happens offline is as important as what happens online.

This behavior has been observed in ethnographic studies of real reps, of course. In addition to the fact that sales reps can have a dislike of enterprise apps (with good reason in the past) and will use anything necessary to close that deal, there is strong evidence to suggest that the act of writing things down aids recall later.

Yet, sales information still needs to be entered into the applications cloud as part of the overall sales process for reps to eventually close the deal. Enter Capture, an easy way to get that information into the cloud.

Capture is one of the four common actions we design for that delivers a consistent experience across devices using the same data in the cloud. So, if a rep writes something down, hey, they can quickly use Capture to get those details into the enterprise system over the next coffee after their meeting!

You can read more about Capture and how it fits into our UX approach in the free Oracle Applications User Experience Strategy and Trends eBook.

Monday May 26, 2014

Wearables and UX Innovation: En Español y Inglés

Good examples of Oracle's commitment to tech diversity and to innovation can be seen everywhere.

Here's a couple of videos from the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team, featuring Sarahi Mireles (@sarahimireles) and Noel Portugal (@noelportugal) who work together on some very cool stuff.

The videos are available on the Oracle Technology Network Architecture (OTNArchBeat) Community Video Channel on YouTube. Sarahi and Noel show you how cool people work together on some awesome innovations, worldwide.


Pebble Watch Spanish Facebook watch face notification

Sarahi Mireles showing off a Spanish language Pebble watch Facebook notification.

The videos are in Spanish and English and feature the latest in wearable technology that the UX team is exploring and that UX team members themselves love to use. Check out what they have to say in your preferred language.




Manos libres y vista al frente: Con el futuro puesto


Heads Up and Hands Free: Wearing the Future

Interested in knowing more or joining us?

Find out more on Facebook about the Oracle Applications User Experience team and the Oracle Mexico Development Center.

About

Oracle Apps Cloud UX assistance. UX and development outreach of all sorts to the apps dev community, helping them to design and deliver usable apps using PaaS4SaaS.

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Ultan Ó Broin. Senior Director, Oracle Applications User Experience, Oracle EMEA. Twitter: @ultan

See my other Oracle blog on product globalization too: Not Lost in Translation

Interests: User experience (UX), PaaS, SaaS, design patterns, tailoring, Cloud, dev productivity, language quality, mobile apps, Oracle FMW, and a lot more.

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