Sunday Feb 16, 2014

It's Not How You Wink, It's How You Work

What might wearable technology user experience guidance look like? Well, we're sharpening up the guidelines and trying them out them out at wearables design jams, internally to Oracle for now.

The first Oracle UX design jam was held in January. This was a pilot event to try out some ideas for delivering wearables design enablement to a wider audience. It was a very successful event that showed off our own innovations and harnessed the smarts of a diverse audience drawn from across Oracle, worldwide.


Wearables design jam idea
Creative wearables design for enterprise problem. Design jam teams had to a) solve an enterprise problem with a wearables solution, and b) do it by integrating the device with Oracle technology.


Ultan demonstrating Necomimi Brainwave Ears Cat Ears
Ultan demonstrating Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears. A must-have for all wearables evangelists.

Customers and partners stay tuned. Follow along on the VOX blog and the Usable Apps website for news of outreach events. Follow along with @usableapps on Twitter too.

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!

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!

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.

Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

UX Design Pattern Spotting with Fusion Mobile Expenses

One of the great things about demoing cool stuff for Oracle Applications User Experience is that you're entering a world of discovery of guess what? Even more cool stuff! I was showing off the Fusion Mobile Expenses app live recently and explaining how our UX Design Patterns make for developer productivity and satisfied users. A developer hand shot up in the audience and asked me to point out which patterns were being invoked as I stepped though the mobile tasks. What a super question and a great demo value-add to include in future!




Fusion Mobile Expenses video on the Usable Apps YouTube channel

You can see the patterns at work easily. Look at the rockin' Fusion Mobile Expenses video, for example, and within one minute you can see a bunch of the publicly available Mobile UX Design Patterns in action. There you have the Springboard Navigation pattern (that screen at about 19 seconds in), the Page Header and the Input Form patterns (at about 40 seconds), and so on.

Shown live, the Fusion Expenses mobile app reveals even more patterns, such as the List pattern, my favorite the Actions pattern, and others.


List and Actions Pattern


List and Actions patterns in use together in Fusion Mobile Expenses.


So, come along to my next UX outing on building great mobile apps with Oracle Applications User Experience reusable design solutions and see the patterns used and explained in context. Don't miss this opportunity by staying tuned to the events and outreach page on the Usable Apps website. I might even start giving out prizes to the audience if you can name the patterns when they come to life in the apps shown!

If you want to read more about using design patterns for mobile apps in business, then head on over to the Vennster blog.

Altogether now: "Taxi! 25 Dollars!

Thursday Mar 28, 2013

Shout-outs for Oracle UX Design Patterns

Here come some Oracle partner blogs about publicly-available Oracle UX design patterns. Each explains why and how customers and partners are taking to Oracle's free usability resources to help build modern enterprise apps' UIs, just like Oracle does. So, if you need advocacy for UX design patterns in your development team, well, these blogs are a great start.

Application developers can be more productive by using these reusable common solutions to usability head scratchers with their Oracle toolkit (Oracle ADF, MDS, SOA, and so on), that same toolkit enables smart architectural decisions and business decisions to be made about data assets too. There is continued ROI for your Oracle apps investment as you develop and customize solutions and as users demand more, and different, ways of working. You can improve existing apps usability, extend new Fusion implementations UX, and develop stunning mobile UIs, as UX securely pivots through the cloud using services and APIs, with optimized UIs reflects the context of different users' roles, tasks, and how they work.

The first blog (actually in two parts) is via ORCLVille from Fusion User Experience Advocate (FXA) Floyd Teter (@fteter) of EiS Technologies. Featuring Oracle ADF Essentials, ADF functional patterns and Oracle Applications UX Direct, Floyd starts with a taster of how these resources can bring a great UI to life.


UI designed with ADF Essentials and functional patterns

UI designed with ADF Essentials, ADF functional patterns, and UX Direct guidance

Floyd then reveals some more to whet our appetite for what he will fully reveal at Collaborate 13.

The second is a more technical one from myself on the Usable Apps blog about partner Innowave Technology's approach of using UI abstraction, services, and Fusion desktop UX design patterns to cut time and cost for an EBS solution while delivering a compelling UX that can be easily extended in future. Some great quotes from FXA Basheer Khan, CEO, there if any C-level execs need convincing about the UX design pattern proposition!

The third is from Vennster managing partner, Lonneke Dikmans (@lonnekedikmans), also an FXA and co-author of a great book on making SOA simple too. Lonneke writes about going mobile in business, using UX design patterns, the role of services, and the underlying design need of understanding the nature of how mobile users work with apps. I presented with Lonneke at OBUG Connect 2013 on the subject where she also demoed the mobile design patterns themselves.

Update (May 2013)
And the story continues, with those ever-design conscious Danes adding to the advocacy! Here's another FXA, Sten Vesterli @stenvesterli of Scott/Tiger A/S on how to be productive when designing apps, by way of a nice anecdote from home: Smart People Use UX Design Patterns. From the same country I heard a great report about how one ADF development partner had used our UX design patterns in a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) to win a deal by emphasizing how consistency and best practices implemented in a design ensured great usability and rapid onboarding of users across the organization. Bear that in mind the next time you're out to win business!

And Floyd Teter has just attended a great hands-on ADF and UX workshop in Oracle HQ and has an awesome post called UX ADF Design Patterns - Connect The Dots that says it all about developer productivity (see that 75% figure!).

So, check out these great endorsements for the Oracle UX resources and insights shared with partners, customers and development community. If you have your own story, then send it to me using the comments. And, watch out for more design pattern and usability best practice outreach to the development community too!

About

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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