Sunday Aug 18, 2013

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.

Related Visualizations?

Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

A mensagem de UX Design Patterns da Oracle vai para o Brasil

ORKUTIFIED! Uma grande lição do Brasil sobre o que acontece quando aplicações não dão aos usuários a experiência que eles realmente querem.

Aplicações precisam oferecer uma experiência moderna e atraente para manter os usuários de hoje em dia satisfeitos. Atender as demandas de usabilidade ao modo do consumidor para aplicações desktop e móveis, utilizadas também para o trabalho é vital na empresa. A experiência do usuário é o caminho, mas você não precisa ser um expert em construir aplicações que oferecem aos clientes um retorno de investimento maior ou que torna os negócios mais produtivos e usuários satisfeitos. Como o super livro Don't Make Me Think diz, você precisa “de uma abordagem de senso comum para usabilidade.”


Parceiros Oracle o conhecimento para construir de forma produtiva aplicativos com  excelente usabilidade

O workshop Oracle Applications User Experience "Building Great-Looking Usable Apps: Applying Oracle’s Best UX Design Practices in ADF and ADF Mobile" realizado em São Paulo, Brasil, e organizado pela Oracle Partner Network utilizando Oracle Application Development Framework, entregou aos parceiros Oracle o conhecimento para construir de forma produtiva aplicativos com excelente usabilidade.

O time Oracle Applications UX fez todo o trabalho científico para que os desenvolvedores de aplicativos e integrações não tenham que fazê-lo! Desenvolvedores que utilizam Oracle ADF e os comprovados Oracle Applications User Experience Design Patterns para resolver problemas comuns de usabilidade, podem facilmente, construir aplicações que os usuários vão ficar impressionados, ganhar produtividade e mesmo assim não precisarão pensar para utilizá-las.

Leia mais sobre o evento no blog Usable Apps Oracle.

Sunday Aug 11, 2013

Oracle User Experience Design Patterns Tour Latin America with OTN & Friends

I joined the Oracle Technology Network's 2013 Latin America Tour to present the Oracle Applications User Experience Design Patterns message to audiences in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay.

Opening slide for presentation delivered at Sao Paulo, Brazil event.

Opening slide for presentation delivered at the Grupo de Usuários de Tecnologia Oracle do Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil event.

It was a great experience, reaching out in person through local Oracle user group-hosted events to hundreds of eager developers, customers, and partners to explain our UX design pattern strategy, how developers in Latin America can benefit from our shared insight, and how they get these resources into their hands. I was especially delighted with the number of queries I received after each presentation (not to mention all the "how can I work for Oracle?" questions from students).

UX blueprints for building great software like Oracle Fusion Applications means developers don't have to sweat over usability and users won't have to sweat over using the results! TITLE=

UX blueprints for building great software like Oracle Fusion Applications means developers don't have to sweat thinking about usability and users won't have to sweat when using their results!

The presentation told technical audiences how Oracle Applications User Experience has made UX design patterns and other usability guidelines for Oracle Fusion Applications (desktop UI and mobile), Oracle Endeca and OBIEE dashboards available for free on OTN, accessed through that easily remembered gateway for all your Oracle Applications UX resources, the Usable Apps website. Using the great usability book that ADF EMG developers love Don't Make Me Think (also available translated into Spanish) as attention grabber, I explained how the UX design patterns were blueprints that meant:


  • Oracle ADF and Java developers don't have to think too much about implementing usability because we've baked in the usability (for example in the ADF UI Shell) so they can be really productive making great-looking usable apps. Developers have enough to think about with scalability, integration, performance, and security. And then doing it in the cloud.
  • Today's enterprise workers (in offices or on the go) using the apps built using the UX design patterns won't have to think too hard about using the apps because Applications UX scientific usability research, design and testing processes means the patterns give a known and usable result. They'll love the apps too because the UX design patterns are informed by consumer expectations, vital in a social and mobile world of technology, one that's globalized and where your workforce is getting younger too!

There benefits to using UX design patterns across the entire software development lifecycle, and they also become a roadmap for developers and partners to continually offer more than just functionality to clients who have Oracle applications. UX design patterns offer continued return on investment in Oracle that includes desktop and mobile UIs, intranets, portals, integrations, co-existence solutions, tailored Fusion implementations, and so on, and for deployments in the cloud or on-premise too. If you're an ADF or Java developer, well now you're a UX developer too! Our UX patterns are reusable solutions based on our deep understanding of the Oracle toolkit (ADF, FMW, SOA, MDS, and so on). They're readily implementable by developers and I showed how too.


Trying to be cool in that coolest of cities, Buenos Aires, with the Grupo de Usuarios Oracle de Argentina at the OTN Latinoamérica Tour event.

On a personal note, it was great to be back in Latin America meeting interested, engaged and smart people in one of our key regions. I localized each presentation to take into account the latest happenings in the local consumer tech space, reflecting a key driver for the UX design patterns development, using this as an opportunity to explain that translation is UX too and our UX design patterns and guidelines are tested and applicable globally. Plus, I got to test out my rather rudimentary Spanish on the stage (I didn't attempt Portuguese!). The audience appeared to be able to understand my mid-Atlantic tones but, for those who could not, simultaneous live translations were available.

Thank you to everyone who came to hear my talk, to the local organizations, and to the OTN and IOUC folks for including me. Stay tuned for updates on the UX design pattern story, as we make it simpler all the time for developers, customers and partners worldwide to build great looking usable apps using Oracle technology and shared user experience insight.

For more information on the local Oracle user groups involved on my parts of the tour, check out the following links:

Sunday Jul 28, 2013

Keep Taking the Tablets. Early Adopter UX Developer Type Wanted

Here's a free "how to" guide from Oracle Applications User Experience published on OTN that will excite designers, developers, and project managers and get them productively building great tablet solutions with enterprise-level methodologies (are you listening ADF EMG [Application Development Framework Enterprise Methodology Group]?).

If you're embarking on a tablet application design project, then start out with our interactive Oracle Applications User Experience Tablet Guide iBook (yes, you need an iPad).


Develop cool optimized tablet solutions to leverage your cloud applications data with Applications UX's resources.

There's a great conversation on the ADF EMG group about this new resource. And we have a request of our ADF development community: If you're a mobile developer on a tablet project, developing for a native O/S or (preferably, natch) with Oracle ADF Mobile or ADF Faces, who wants to evaluate the guide and provide feedback and examples of how you've used it to build solutions, then let us know using the comments. We can feature your work and findings, if you wish.


Oracle Applications User Experience Tablet Guide

Oracle Applications User Experience Tablet Guide: Early adopter developer wanted.

If you must, well there's a PDF version too.

The outreach continues! Watch out for more announcements of events and happenings to enable developers and other stakeholders in the applications development world to build great looking usable apps on mobile and other devices by checking in regularly on the Voice of User Experience (VoX) blog and following along on Twitter at @usableapps.

Saturday Jun 29, 2013

Loose Coupling and UX Patterns for Applications Integrations

image of train coupling, creative commons licensed from wikipedia

I love that software architecture phrase loose coupling. There’s even a whole book about it. And, if you’re involved in enterprise methodology you’ll know just know important loose coupling is to the smart development of applications integrations too.

Whether you are integrating offerings from the Oracle partner ecosystem with Fusion apps or applications coexistence scenarios, loose coupling enables the development of scalable, reliable, flexible solutions, with no second-guessing of technology.

Another great book Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions tells us about loose coupling benefits of reducing the assumptions that integration parties (components, applications, services, programs, users) make about each other when they exchange information. Eliminating assumptions applies to UI development too. The days of assuming it’s enough to hard code a UI to software code with linking libraries running on a desktop PC in the office are over.

The book predates PaaS development and SaaS deployments, and was written when web services and APIs were emerging. Yet it calls out how using middleware as an assumptions-dissolving technology “glue" is central to applications integration. Realizing integration design through a set of middleware messaging patterns (messaging in the sense of asynchronously communicating data) that enable developers to meet the typical business requirements of enterprises requiring integrated functionality is very Fusion-like.

User experience developers can benefit from the loose coupling approach too. User expectations and work styles change all the time, and development is now about integrating SaaS through PaaS.

Cloud computing offers a virtual pivot where a single source of truth (customer or employee data, for example) can be experienced through UIs (desktop, simplified, or mobile) that are optimized for the user's context of a varying world of work. Smart enterprise applications developers, partners, and customers use design patterns for user experience integration benefits too.

The Oracle Applications UX design patterns (and supporting guidelines) enable loose coupling of the optimized UI requirements from the application logic and hooks. Developers can get on with the job of creating integrations through web services, APIs and SOA without having to figure out design problems about how UIs should work. Adding the already user proven UX design patterns (and supporting guidelines to your toolkit means ADF and other developers can easily offer much more than just functionality and be super productive too. Great looking application integration touchpoints can be built with our design patterns and guidelines too for a seamless applications UX.

One of Oracle’s partners, Innowave Technology, used loose coupling architecture and our UX design patterns to create an integration for a customer that was scalable, cost effective, fast to develop and kept users productive while paving a roadmap for customers to keep pace with the latest UX designs over time. Innowave President and CEO Basheer Khan, a Fusion User Experience Advocate, explains how to do it on the Usable Apps blog.

Sunday May 12, 2013

Building Oracle Partner Fusion Apps UI Integrations in the Cloud with UX Patterns & Guidelines

Oracle has a powerful and rich partner ecosystem that offer many value-add solutions for users of our applications. To get the most of integrating these solutions with Fusion and other applications, ISV developers need to go beyond functionality and provide a great UX too. The basis of this UX is a consistent and streamlined navigation and a productivity-based task completion user interface (UI) between applications; one that is as seamless and transparent to the users as possible. This means much more than "look and feel".

By using the Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Design Patterns and Guidelines developers can now easily provide the same elegant navigation 'touch points' that Fusion applications. No need to sweat over designing new usability solutions! Here is a quick overview of a couple of UI options when integrating Fusion applications and other applications.

Remember to read up on the best toolkit to apply these touchpoints and what your preferred deployment can support, but for Desktop UIs you can get going right away applying these integrations using the Application Composer. Check out the information on extensibility on the Fusion Applications Developer Relations blog.

So, let's assume our UI use case is to integrate a Fusion CRM opportunity with a quote or price configuration solution, and see how we might use the UX design patterns and guidelines when designing UI integrations.

The simplest integration point afford no context for users, so is really a quick solution or one used when there is no context needed, no requirement to exchange data, and there is no specified object being configured. To implement, add a link from the relevant functional area in the global Navigator to the solution concerned. In this case, we have added a link called Quotes under the Sales area.


Global Area Navigator


Fusion Application UI Global Area Navigator

Your key design resource here is the guidance we provide about the applications Navigation Model.

A much better, contextual and object-specific integration would be to leverage a task-based flow and exchange data between Fusion and the other application. You can do this using the tasks area in the UI Shell to create and manage tasks, a page-level button to inititate an action without navigating away, and a tab with an iFramed UI mashup of data showing the results of the data exchange with the other application. In the following screen mockups you can see the Create Quote and Manage Quotes links in the Tasks Pane, the Quote page-level action button and then a tab with Quotes illustrating this kind of UI.


Tasks Pane with Create and Manage Actions


Fusion Application UI Tasks Pane with Manage and Create Links


Page Actions Button and Tab


Fusion Application UI Page Actions Quote Button and Quotes Tab with UI Mashup of Table Data

The key design resources for this higher-level integration are the UX guidelines on the Navigation model, UI Shell template, Tasks Pane, Page Actions, and Work Areas information on tabs.

Typically with such integrations, you can then take this much further and also use saved search and collaboration guidelines too to provide a richer UX. You can find design information about those interactions, and more, on the Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Design Patterns and Guidelines website.

The Applications UX team is working closely with our ADF and Platform Technology Solutions colleagues to enable partners and customers to build great-looking usable partner integrations for the Desktop and Simplified UIs on-premise and in the cloud, so stay tuned for news and coverage of our outreach workshops and more resources.

Unsaved Changes: Oracle ADF Functional Patterns and Best Practices Shout-out

One UX question that seems comes up now and then with ADF apps is how to handle when users navigate away from an application page that has unsaved or uncommitted changes on it. This might happen when users decide to navigate to another location to look something up without opening a new tab, or when they use the browser back button to try go back to a previous step in a task.

Now, it is not an unreasonable these days that users would want to navigate using the back button. But this consumerized IT expectation is not something that our ADF apps can accommodate. A combined productivity hit and the high value of enterprise data means that users need to be warned of the implications of navigating using the browser back button or loading a new page, if they continue.

There is another UX implication should users choose to use the back button. Because of how our task flows are constructed they will be taken back to the last URL, which is not necessarily the last step in their task flow if the URL hasn't changed within the flow. So there is an unpredictable outcome to where users will be taken within the application.

Using the backspace key can have the same result as using the browser back button, because it most browsers the backspace key is mapped to the back button.

One handy way to warn users about unsaved and uncommitted changes on navigating away from their page is to use the af:document tag's uncommittedDataWarning property. This is explained, along with use cases, and other great patterns on on the Oracle Application Development Framework Functional UI Patterns & Best Practices website.

Shay Shmeltzer also has a great video of how the unsaved or uncommitted changes warning is implemented on his blog.



What ADF is providing here is a hook into a warning message which comes from the browser, not from ADF itself, so the phrasing of the message in the dialog box is not something developers can control. So, although users can informed of about unsaved changes being lost should they continue, the unexpectation navigation issue is not mentioned (this is something being worked on by Applications UX).

Check out the implementation of the unsaved and uncommitted data warning and the other ADF functional patterns and best practices on the site too. This is a great resource for productive development used along with the ADF Faces Rich Client User Interface Guidelines and Oracle Fusion Applications UX design patterns.

About

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

Profile

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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