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.

Sunday Sep 21, 2014

Tchotchkes, Smchotchkes: Oracle Wearable Tech Meetup #OOW14

If you’ve got an Oracle OpenWorld or JavaOne 2014 pass of any sort, then drop into the OTN Lounge on Tuesday, September 30, for the Dress Code 2.0 - Wearables Meetup. Here’s more about the event:

Come along in your wearables best and share your wearables experiences, meet the UX team and friends, see some cool innovation, and find out how to do more with wearables using Oracle technology. You can also your hands on some “tchotchkes" (yes, I had to look it up too).

Read more about the event on the Usable Apps blog.

Saturday Dec 28, 2013

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.

Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

Don’t Sweat Them UIs: Cloud Makes Them All Part of the Service

For me, the most powerful UX pivot point that the cloud platform offers developers is flexibility and scalability to build optimized and contextual solutions, reflecting how users' roles, tasks, goals, environments, and devices--their context of use, if you like--can vary. With Platform as a Service (PaaS) or cloud development, the old client-server assumptive days of developers writing UIs on top of each operating system and then making calls to static and dynamic link libraries are gone. Instead, with the cloud, developers use services and APIs, Lego-like, and use such integrations to assemble contextual applications. This difference is explained far more eloquently, and expanded on, in this Engine Yard Cloud Out Loud podcast.

So, what do we mean by optimized and contextual UIs? Well, think about how you might use LinkedIn, for example. A power update to your LinkedIn profile such as adding abstracts for latest publications or completing your profile might be done on your PC using the LinkedIn website. Browsing through your contacts, groups or news features might be done with swipe gestures on the LinkedIn app on your tablet. Accepting a LinkedIn invitation to connect via email can be done on your smart phone with a few taps and you can see updates at a glance too.

Different UIs, different context of use

LinkedIn Different UIs, different context of use. All optimized. (photo: Ultan O'Broin)

We don’t have to think about these different LinkedIn usage scenarios devices. We just do it because the interactions have been understood and designed for. We know they all rotate around our profile's details as the source of truth. We perform the different tasks on different devices intuitively, as our context demands. That's the whole point of a great UX, I guess, commonsense ways of ensuring users don't have to think! Same principle applies to enterprise applications, really.

For developers, this offers great opportunities too to enable great UX from the Cloud by relying on APIs and service oriented architecture. By using integrated UI services and leveraging design guidance such as UX design patterns and guidelines and not sweating about writing new UIs from scratch for every device, developers and partners can spend more time on issues such as security, performance, integration, scalability, speed, all the stuff that's critical to business, while anticipating changes in UX that will come for sure. For customers, such cloud-based enablement means continued ROIs by using existing data while extending the UX of existing apps and providing new experiences too to make users even more productive.

Credit for LinkedIn analogy to Jeffrey Pease.

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.

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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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