Saturday Jun 27, 2015

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.

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Why Be Shy About Applications User Experience? Be Shameless like @ultan

Utterly shameless piece of self-promotion by way of a great video made by the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) team: Me talking about the how's and why's of user experience and my work in Oracle, hopefully communicated in a way that developers and builders of great-looking usable apps will relate to!

I was honored to be part of this tour and being asked spread the development and technical aspects of using UX Design Pattern and Guidelines message in person to customers, partners and developers in six countries.

Ultan Ó Broin - User Experience - Oracle OTN TOUR America Latina

The video was made during the Mexican part of the OTN Latinoamérica Tour of 2013.

A complete gallery of great videos from the different countries visited on the tour; featuring members of the local user groups and OTN rockstars is available too. Check them out! Looking at the gallery alone really conveys a tremendous sense of range, depth, diversity, as well as the flexibility of Oracle technology users worldwide. Plus there are some real characters in there. Some of them even speaking English (next year I promise to deliver in Spanish)!

Kudos to the OTN team for the production work and to all the local user groups.

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:

Saturday Aug 18, 2012

Top 10 Things To Read If You’re a Fusion Applications Developer

By Tim Dubois, Applications User Experience Architect (Bio)

Tim Dubois, rallying and orienting apps developers everywhere towards that great apps user experience.

This is a guest post by senior Applications User Experience team member, Tim Dubois. Tim really knows how to rally Fusion Applications developers to productively build a great apps user experience. Here, he fast tracks your onboarding to success...

Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW) represents a very powerful set of tools that enable you to build applications. Finding all of the relevant documentation, training material, or help can feel like a daunting task. Now, whether you are trying to find the latest Oracle JDeveloper to download, installation instructions, or the hottest Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) tips, you can check out some of the most common and useful links below to get you started.

Oracle provides apps devs with design, technology, tools, and training to take a great apps user experience from blueprint to reality.

Oracle provide apps devs with design, technology, tools, and training to take apps user experiences from blueprint to reality.

1. One of the first things to check out is the ADF Collateral Tour. This recording will walk you though the sites and explain how to get started, where to find information, and recommended next steps.

2. A great link to bookmark as a top link is the Oracle Technology Network's (OTN) Documentation Portal at From here you can get to many necessary links, such as:

For e-learning or tutorials, check out:

Looking for more information on Fusion Applications? Go here:

And, if you have further questions, there are also great community resources on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media available to assist you. Here are a few of the most relevant ones:

3. ADF Enterprise Methodology Group (ADF EMG). Covers best practices and methodologies for ADF enterprise apps development.

4. JDeveloper and ADF Community. Facebook, Twitter, Google Groups, and more channels and conversations.

5. ORA:FMW Fusion Middleware blog. Discusses SOA suite, ADF, Oracle Service Bus (OSB), Oracle WebCenter, and BPM issues.

6. ADF Code Corner Oracle JDeveloper OTN Harvest blog. Frank Nimphius blogs a selection of the best topics on Oracle JDeveloper OTN forum.

7. Oracle ADF Tips and Techniques blog. Murali Papana discusses ADF tips and techniques.

8. Java/Oracle SOA Blog. Syndicated feed of Java, JDeveloper, Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, and Oracle OSB/SOA suite information.

9. Beginning Java & SOA Development blog. Rommel Pino's blog about beginning Java and SOA development.

10. Activity, Gateway, Event. SOA/BPM on FMW blog. Niall Commiskey blog about SOA/BPM on Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Are you developing apps using FMW and ADF? Any additional bookmarked, favorited or Google+'d resources you think apps devs would find valuable? Find the comments to let us know about them...

About Tim Dubois
Tim Dubois is an Architect in the Oracle Applications User Experience group, focusing on extensibility and customization, development productivity, and next-generation user experience interactions. Previously, he worked as a Director in Fusion Functional Setup Manager and Business Intelligence. Tim has been with Oracle for over 13 years and has a strong understanding of both the functional and technical architecture of the application suite.

Friday May 25, 2012

Java+ADF+Apps-UX = Making Cool Stuff at the Maker Faire

I spoke at the Maker Faire Bay Area 2012, my first time at the event despite having lived for years in the Bay Area. And what an event! Hard to describe given such a sprawling mass of energy, ideas, creativity and construction, it was kinda JavaOne/OpenWorld on Haight meets Burning Man meets Kickstarter meets Fry's meets Steampunk meets Make magazine come to life. If you're into making stuff, crafts, hobbies, innovation, are creative, like fun, kids, and generally being inspired in a non-business suit environment while being surrounded and inspired by the potential of technology of all sorts--and are prone to wearing kilts--then it’s for you.

What I Got Up To

I had two commitments. Firstly, as part of a panel facilitated by Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and Developer Programs Director Justin Kestelyn (@oracletechnet) called Gamification, Robotics, Simulators: How to Get Started Using Java. This was geared towards how young folk (well, anyone really), could get going in Java programming, and why they should do it. See the OTN Java Programming Center for Young Developers resources to get started.

I talked about how Java was an internationalized programming language, and used globally. Is said that you could go anywhere in the world and be gainfully employed, using your Java skills to make cool stuff for a whole range of devices; everything from mobile apps to websites to games. I explained gamification in plain language for the audience. This tied in well with the contributions from the education and outreach folks with references to Minecraft, Oracle Academy, Greenfoot, Alice, and so on.

Maker Faire Oracle Panel

Oracle panel at Maker Faire: Left to right: Justin Kestelyn, Caron Newman, Daniel Green, Kevin Roebuck, and Ultan Ó Broin. Photograph: Martin Taylor

Tori Wieldt's Games, Robots, and Java, Oh my! over on the Java Source blog provides a good summary of the talking points. You can now view a video of our Centre Stage panel too.

My second input was a set of presentations at the Oracle Java zone. I told a story woven from model making about making applications, how personalization and customization took over from making stuff out of the box, and how Applications User Experience (UX) science and technology related to observing chimpanzees in the wild, the US space program, science fiction, comics, and to other interest points.

Ultan speaking at Maker Faire's Java Zone

Java zone preso: Chimpanzees, Superheroes, Comics, Games and Star Trek: Making cool apps from kits with Java, Oracle ADF, & User Experience Design Patterns. Photograph: Oracle Java. Shirt: Erik Peterson, Oracle Mexico Development Center

I explored the kit parts we used in making Oracle Fusion Applications (Application Developer Framework (ADF), based on Java Enterprise Edition and well-known blueprints and models) and how knowing a little more Java allowed you to go even further, limited only by your creativity tied to what users really wanted to do. Of course, our kit featured the science behind our own sets of instructions for makers: the Applications User Experience Design Patterns and Guidelines. I closed out with a superhero approach to users of apps, using the Avengers-style motif of remembering different users had different skills and jobs to do, so design appropriately.

Check out the Oracle Java Facebook page for a set of pictures of the Java zone activities.

Kids chilled out in front of me on bean bags and afterwards I was quizzed about ADF, Java, design patterns and usability, and asked for recommendations on books and other resources. All around me kids programmed 3D dragons and more in Alice (reminded me of Ireland's CoderDojo that my son attends) and leaped about in front of the Xbox360-controlled Greenfoot ball game.

Enjoying the Greenfoot ball game at Maker Faire. Photograph: Ultan O'Broin

What Does This Mean for User Experience in Oracle?

A number of business uses for game controllers, Oracle technology, and gesture-based interaction, and a wide range of web app technologies on different platforms and a range of non-traditional (in the enterprise apps sense) devices, came into my mind...

With tons of energy, ideation and creation going on at Maker Faires, Oracle Applications UX and Java will certainly be back and the inspiration behind such kind of anything goes, out of the box, creativity across all technologies can be harnessed and used to think about how we innovate internally in Oracle. Stay tuned.

Between deliveries I checked out the many exhibits, met old friends from my Oracle Applications Technology Group days, and chatted with other attendees. I was especially interested in Raspberry Pi (great combo with Java), 3D printers, the robots everywhere, the games, the remote control stuff and... just thinking about how we can use these in the UX space had me exhausted. Ideas are already in the minds of UX management.

Anyone up for knitting a UI Shell Pattern for ADF, and using Nintendo 3DS for expenses (oops, sorry Financials team and Misha!), or Raspberry Pi for SCM and DOO, ping me now.

Many thanks to Justin Kestelyn, Michelle Kovac (Director, Java Marketing and Operations), and the other Oracle people who made this all happen. Count me in for more of such events worldwide. Delighted to help. And next time, the Utilikilt might make an appearance.

Sunday May 06, 2012

From Airfix to Apps: Oracle Applications User Experience at the Maker Faire Bay Area 2012

I've been an avid maker of model kits since I was about five years old. My first attempt at assembly was a FROG P-38J/L Lighning Long Range Fighter in 1/72 scale. Since then, I've built mostly model aircraft, but have done some pretty cool AFVs, ships, submarines, space, science fiction, and railroad things in my time too. From U-boats to Saturn V rockets, I've assembled, painted, customized and displayed hundreds of made models over the years. When I relocated from the US to Ireland a few years back, I shipped over 1,000 unassembled kits with me (and a large numbers of built ones). I've built (and flown) remote control versions too.

Me, and some of my kits at home

Me, and just some of my kits at home. Photograph by Fionn Ó Broin.

As a maker of kits, once you get the hang of it, you quickly find yourself wanting much, more more. It's not enough to read the instructions and build out of the box. You want to customize the kits, extend them with different parts, work with different materials, and of course build your own subjects from scratch. You want completed ones that delight you, versions that nobody else has, and have fun from the process too. And, the resources are all there for you to do that: from airbrushes to special decals to aftermarket parts and the various bits and pieces to enable you to make your models your own way.

And what's this got to do with user experience (UX)? LOTS! I'll be at the Maker Faire Bay Area 2012 in San Mateo, telling you the Oracle Applications UX story about how you can make cool stuff yourself too: software applications to use in work that are drop-dead easy to use and look the business too. I'll talk about the tools, components and design guidelines that Oracle provides for you to do that, how this fits within our powerful Java ecosystem, so you can turbocharge your making of applications and also have a fine career and see the world out of it too!

Some additional coverage about what to expect from Oracle about Java at the Maker Faire is on the Java Source blog.

So, come along and see and hear me and Oracle coworkers in action. If you want to chat about model kits, that's cool too! Stay tuned for more details.


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.


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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