Saturday Dec 28, 2013

Copy is Interface Design

A superb blog in form and content, outlining why "Copy is Interface" by Daniel Burka. Every developer of user interfaces should memorize the list of best practices. If you haven't got writing skills, then find someone who has, or hire someone, if possible, and and apply any available guidelines, carefully.

Language (tone, style, and terminology) in the user interface (UI) is a critical part of an application's user experience. Getting the language right from the beginning of the development process ensures that it stays right. Of course, language must be tested iteratively, too. But, getting language wrong at the beginning, or adopting the Lorem Ipsum approach, well... the Swiss cheese model of language defects tells it all...






Swiss Cheese Model of Language Defects. Source: Des Traynor's User Interface Engineering "Microcopy" presentation.


Oracle partners and customers are working closely with the Oracle Applications User Experience team to identify the optimal toolkit to ensure that when they need to tailor the language in the user interface of their applications, they can do so simply and without the need for a major IT project or budget catastrophe. And, for enterprise applications developers who need guidance and practical resources on key UI terminology and their context so that they can build their own optimized Cloud UIs (be they desktop, simplified, or mobile) well, that kind of guidance is being discussed and readied too.

At the recent Oracle Applications User Experience communications and outreach team's Oracle Partner Advisory Board inaugural meeting in the UK, the importance of language quality in the UX was underscored. Not just in English, but in other natural languages too.

37 Signals' Getting Real gets the importance contribution that language makes to UX with the chapter called "Copywriting is Interface Design", and the Translation is UX website reminds us that UX is global and language excellence must reflect that, too.

For those interested in how language needs to be nuanced for the enterprise UX, and some of the approaches that can be taken, check out the Blogos article, "Working Out Context in the Enterprise: Localize That!".

Stay tuned for more on language as UX enablement from the outreach and communications team in 2014.

APIs are User Experience Design Too

The developer's favorite UX guru and industry champion, Jared Spool, nails today's way of providing great user experiences in his User Interface Engineering (UIE) article "APIs: The Future is Now".

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a platform for user experience too, offering the prospect of a seamless user experience (UX) between applications and services. UX designers are emerging as the enablers of great user experiences in the cloud, all built using LEGO-like building blocks of application programming interfaces (APIs). Those other building blocks, UX design patterns bring those integrated experiences to life making design and development for cloud solutions more productive than ever.

Jared continues with his UIE insight:


To make APIs work, they need a design. The method of designing an API isn’t that different from any other user interface project, except the users are fellow developers and designers.

We’re seeing a branch of UX design emerging that deals with creating easy to use and maintain APIs. They provide documentation, sandbox tools for testing functions, example code, and simple maintenance models for getting the API integrated and running quickly and effectively.

It won’t be too long before our own organizations need to ask what could we build as an API for our own stuff? As designers, we can play a role in helping make our core competencies a integral part of
other applications.

Check out Jared's use of Twilio's cloud communication services as an example of how APIs solve problems for users. Twilio is also a service that makes total sense in the Oracle enterprise world of connecting people and information together when, where, and how it's needed.


Twilio integration with RightNow using PaaS


Twilio example integration using PaaS

Twilio is part of an ecosystem of partners that Oracle works with to provide value-add solutions for its applications. It's part of a strategy of delivering SaaS through PaaS so that applications and partners can tailor and integrate applications to increase return on investment for customers. Customers and partners can deliver even more compelling and modern user experiences to make enterprise employees more productive and satisfied with the tools they have to do their jobs, all using a common source of truth in the cloud.

The Oracle Applications User Experience outreach and communications team provides customers, partners, and enterprise applications developments with the toolkits and guidance to build such experiences in the cloud more simply and more productively than ever.

Stay tuned to the Oracle VOX (Voice of User Experience) blog and @usableapps on Twitter for news of the latest outreach in 2014!

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Simple to Use, Simple to Design, Simple to Build at UKOUG Apps 13

Come to the UK Oracle User Group's Applications Conference 2013 in London and see Kristin Desmond and myself deliver a powerful message about Tailoring Your Applications User Experiences in the Cloud.


Simplified UI: Simple to Use, Simple to Design, Simple to Build


Simplified UI: Simple to Use, Simple to Design, Simple to Build


Featuring the Release 7 Simplified User Interface experience for our cloud applications, we'll show you how to enable your business to take charge of tailoring your own modern and compelling UI that delivers on usability without needing the IT department, how you can design a new great user experience and partner integrations using UX design patterns, and how you won't have to write a line of code to build any of this. And all in the cloud. A must for partners and customers alike!

See you there!

And there's more from the Applications User Experience team at that event too. Check out the other UX sessions too. Don't miss 'em!

PeopleSoft UX Design Principles and Guidelines Available

The enablement of Oracle's applications customers, partners and development community continues! The PeopleSoft UX team have shared their insight and innovation by releasing a rocking set of easily read and applied PeopleSoft UX Guidelines and Design Principles.


PeopleSoft UX Guidelines Landing Page


PeopleSoft UX Guidelines Landing Page

These guidelines are ideal enablement for PeopleSoft Tools and Oracle partner development teams to create usable and consistent applications and integrations that meet those usability efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction goals that deliver on continued ROI for applications customers.

Bookmark the page and make it part of your design and development process. The sharing of the PeopleSoft UX guidance will continue, so watch for more information. If you have feedback or thoughts about the UX PeopleSoft Guidelines, find the comments.

Saturday Aug 31, 2013

Design Patterns as Grand Theft AUX? Come See Us At OOW13 and Find Out!

"Good artists borrow, great artists steal" so the saying goes. Smart artists have to do neither, and builders of great-looking usable apps with the Oracle Application Development Framework don't either. Using the freely available Oracle Applications User Experience design patterns and guidelines to develop and tailor your own applications and integrations in the cloud is guilt free. Yes, we have given them away! We want you to have them so you can use those ADF resources to focus on harder things!

Tailoring at Henry Poole and Co., London, England

Tailoring at Henry Poole and Co., London, England (Image from Wikipedia Commons)

UX design patterns are all about developer productivity in the cloud. Developers don't have to think about usability when developing apps, and the users of the apps won't need to think when it comes to using them either. Usability is baked into the ADF components and templates that patterns are based on and we've also proven how the organization of those components (or patterns) can solve common enterprise usability problems in a reusable way for developers. Yes, we've tested how the developer productivity with UX design patterns is realized as return on investment by built apps used by real workers doing real tasks in real situations, office and street, so we know they work!

Patterns are part of an overall tailoring solution for the cloud that Oracle Applications User Experience (AUX) provides to customers, partners, and the ADF build community represented by our friends in the ADF EMG and ODTUG. At Oracle OpenWorld 2013 we've got a great panel that will explain the approach and what it means for apps user experience, applications ROI, and customer and partner development productivity. Come along and learn more from myself, Tim Dubois, Killian Evers, and the irrepressible Floyd Teter as we show and tell about Oracle Fusion Applications: Tailoring Your User Experience in the Cloud.

And don't forget the other UX presentations and opportunities to input to future applications and find out more about our usability labs too! Full details are on the Usable Apps website.

Sunday Aug 18, 2013

ADF Mobile & UX Design Patterns: Online or Offline, You're Never Too Remote For Great Mobile Field Service

Oracle customers and partners will love the Oracle University demonstration of the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 Mobile Field Service mobile app as much as the users! The app is a great example of how the baked-in, proven usability of the Oracle mobile application UX design patterns can be implemented using Oracle ADF Mobile to build a full-featured, easy-to-work-with, mobile app for mobile field technicians, one that’s integrated with the rest of the suite.


Mobile field service technicians want to use modern and compelling smartphone apps as much as the rest of us! Home Springboard shown. Mobile field service technicians want to use modern and compelling smartphone apps as much as the rest of us! Google Maps integration shown.

Mobile field service technicians want to use modern and compelling smartphone apps and features as much as the rest of us!

Watch the demo and you will see mobile UX design patterns such as Actions, Create, Forms, Lists, Navigation, and more, in action. Oracle ADF developers can use UX design patterns productively to build cutting-edge mobile apps, integrating them with different device capabilities such as cameras, barcode readers, GPS, and so on, using the Oracle ADF Mobile “code-once” approach.


Oracle ADF Mobile's hybrid architecture means the local storage capability enables offline and online working as one seamless task regardless of connectivity.

Oracle ADF Mobile's hybrid architecture means the local storage capability enables offline and online working as one seamless task regardless of connectivity.

This combination of UX and ADF implementation represents a continued return on investment for applications owners, moving a job role we would not normally consider demanding of modern and compelling experiences from Oracle Lite and Windows Mobile to a higher level of user satisfaction and productivity. The consumerization of IT in the enterprise and arrival of a younger workforce means we can no longer make assumptions about the UX requirements for any job role.




Actions menu on iOSActions menu on Android

Oracle ADF Mobile's code-once hybrid solution means a consistent UX across devices and device-level native interactions and features (Left to right: iOs and Android devices showing Actions menu)

Now, Oracle partners, customers, and Oracle ADF enterprise methodology developers can apply their Oracle toolkit know-how to go beyond functionality-only solutions for business to providing optimized mobile experiences that enterprise workers are familiar with from their personal technology world and can use with zero training.

The free UX design patterns, for desktop and mobile UIs, offer a productive way for licensers of all Oracle’s applications, not just Oracle Fusion Applications, to realize more return on their investment. And, as we simplify the message with further shared UX insight, the customer and partner roadmap for more business benefits and user satisfaction is extended further, so stay tuned!

Oracle BI Mobile App Designer and Dashboard UX Design Patterns and Guidelines

Just saw this cool video about the Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer. A great solution for mobile analytics that doesn't need an IT project to make it happen.




Oracle BI Mobile App Designer

Reminds me to tell you that the Applications User Experience team has made user experience design patterns and guidelines for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) available for free.


Information Display Decision Table

Information Display OBIEE dashboard design pattern helps you make decisions between alternatives

Use these resources to help build great-looking dashboard UIs, making sense of data in a sharp, consistently usable way. Whether it’s visually reviewing KPIs, metrics, reports, or analyzing aggregated data and drilling down to more detail, you can enable users to turn that breadth of insight into action, and all from the same UI.

You can access the OBIEE patterns and guidelines through the For Developer section of the Usable Apps website.

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Oracle applications user experience (UX) assistance. UX and development outreach of all sorts to the apps community, helping to design and deliver usable apps.

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

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

Interests: User experience (UX), user centered design, design patterns, tailoring, BYOD, dev relations, language quality, mobile apps, Oracle FMW and ADF, and a lot more.

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