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.
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 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:
By Tim Dubois, Applications User Experience Architect (Bio)
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 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 http://docs.oracle.com. From here you can get to many necessary links, such as:
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.
This is a super book about the Oracle Application Developer Framework (ADF) using with the (recommended) Oracle JDeveloper IDE, communicated in plain language and easy-to-read style. Suitable for novice and experts with web development or Oracle Forms background, the book is written very much from the “let’s see great software running now” perspective.
All the essentials are there: the concepts behind ADF, the nuts and bolts of the components, and great how-to technical execution stuff. This is blended with valuable process insights and best practices right across the application development lifecycle, such as a proof of concept phase, planning, estimating effort, assembling a team, testing, deployment, and so on. Sten also includes information on how Oracle used ADF to create Oracle Fusion Applications. Take a look inside the book.
Of special note is a chapter on internationalization (i18n) and localization (L10n), something I am always relieved--if not delighted--to see, given my technology globalization interests. The market for Oracle applications is global and ADF has superb baked-in i18n and L10n capabilities: BiDi-enabled components using Start and End properties (instead of left and right), externalized text in resource bundles, hard-coding checks, XLIFF support, and so on.
Sten also brings usability into the application development process, with information on the importance of design (see the YouTube video below about the ADF Faces Rich Client Visio stencils provided by Oracle) and adding usability expertise to the team. This is a critical aspect to the success of any developed product or implementation (ADF-based, or otherwise). We (Oracle, working with partners and customers) continually up the Oracle apps community’s level of usability awareness and know-how that leads to successful outcomes for system implementors and consulting teams. We also curate customer and partner insights and experiences for the benefit of others too, notably through the Oracle Usability Advisory Board (OUAB).
Getting the benefits of apps usability to developers and implementors is what our UX Direct consulting service (featured at the October 2011 OUAB meeting) is about.
UX Direct take the superb out of the box functionality and flexibility offered by Oracle’s apps, matches it with Oracle UX expertise, and enables customers to accelerate their apps usage to the next level of user performance. You really don’t need special resources or teams to do it (but if you have them it’ll work too!), just UX Direct’s service and resources explaining usability benefits to implementors, showing how to find end users, gather their requirements and keep them engaged throughout the implementation process, what usability best practices and design resources to use, how to measure the results, and demonstrate ROI.
Using the UX Direct service's know-how and examples about Oracle apps tailoring opportunities (personalization, customization, extensibility, localization, and so on) delivers benefits of improved adoption rates, increased user productivity, lower training and support demands, and the satisfaction of knowing employees end their day happy with the app.
Develop Those Usable Apps Now
Watch out for more about the UX Direct service offerings from Oracle soon. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to read Sten’s book and take your apps to the next level of usability by using his work along with the Oracle ADF Rich Client User Interface Guidelines.
Incidentally, some folks asked me where the Browser Look and Feel (BLAF) guidelines used with the Oracle Applications Framework (OAF) for EBS are? They’re available on OTN here.
I chatted recently with Chris Warticki, Senior Principal Regional Customer Advocate from Oracle Software Support--he's our best-known "spokesmodel" for community support in Oracle.
Chris, being the guy in touch with customers all the time knows exactly what's going on in the community support space, and gets to hear it all from customers. He helped me navigate through the different Oracle support communities out there. And he told me succinctly what the essence of the community approach is. It's about connecting people to people, not people to a portal. Wow, what a great line (I'll use that elsewhere)!
We first looked at My Oracle Support communities. These are moderated by Oracle and are for supported, licensed customers (so if you're not one of those, there's no point in me providing a link). Some super communities there, and collaborative approaches such as forums and patch download ratings and reviews too.
Next, we explored the hugely popular and massive Oracle Technology Network (OTN) forums. The OTN communities are self-moderating, for all products, with downloads of products, documentation and other materials available. You can check it out yourself--a very rich resource indeed!
Oracle Technology Network
After that, we checked out the Oracle Wiki (I have signed up to be a writer). Again, essentially a self-regulating community with some ground rules, members can contribute and edit content. I was especially delighted to see non-English language content there too (see this Consortium for Service Innovation presentation if you think translation of community-provided or official support content can be ignored).
Then we went to Oracle Mix, a community where "blending" is the order of the day: members create blended groups of product, technology, industry, interests, you name it! I've created a few groups myself on Oracle Mix--for Arbortext, arcolinx IQ, and user assistance.
Finally, we had a great exchange about the role of Twitter. Oracle, too, cannot ignore the power of microblogging, with its huge uptake and real-time nature, and we have a strong presence on Twitter. Twitter clearly offers tremendous potential for support, but also customer relations generally. And of course, we didn't miss out the key role that our communities of user groups play too.
There is no greater change agent than the collective voice of our users, Chris tells me. I agree.
In terms of community generally, we've moved past the notion that the official corporate web site and marketing efforts will completely form the reputation of Oracle. Loyalty and user experience generally is all about listening to the community conversation and responding to it the right way.
Personally, I think we need to really look a lot more closely at what wikis, self-regulating communities, and microblogging offer in the user assistance and customer support space, as user-generated content explodes (70% of the digital universe, say IDC) and the age profile of customers changes. But, as for Facebook in that space? Forget it.
These are exciting times, and it's great to have people with initiative and vision, people like Chris, driving the model forward, and harnessing its power. I want to be part of that too!
Thanks Chris for talking the time to talk with me.