By Ultan O'Broin-Oracle on Jul 10, 2012
Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember, and now to admit that I really loved, the movie Top Gun. You know the one - Tom Cruise, US Navy F-14 ace pilot, Mr Maverick, crisis of confidence, meets woman, etc., etc.
Anyway, one of more memorable lines (there were a few) was: "I feel the need, the need for speed."
I was reminded of Tom Cruise recently. Paraphrasing a certain Senior Vice President talking about Oracle Fusion Applications and user experience at an all-hands meeting, I heard that:
Applications can never be too easy to use. Performance can never be too fast. Developers, assume that your code is always "on".
Perfect. You cannot overstate the user experience importance of application speed to users, or at least their perception of speed. We all want that super speed of execution and performance, and increasingly so as enterprise users bring the expectations of consumer IT into the work environment.
Sten Vesterli (@stenvesterli), an Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Advocate, also addressed the speed point artfully at an Oracle Usability Advisory Board meeting in Geneva.
Sten asked us that when we next Googled something, to think about the message we see that Google has found hundreds of thousands or millions of results for us in a split second (for example, About 8,340,000 results (0.23 seconds)). Now, how many results can we see and how many can we use immediately (10)? Yet, this simple message communicating the total results available to us works a special magic about speed, delight, and excitement that Google has made its own in the search space.
And, guess what? The Oracle Application Development Framework table component relies on a similar "virtual performance boost", says Sten, when it displays the first 50 records in a table, and uses a scrollbar indicating the total size of the data record set. The user scrolls and the application automatically retrieves more records as needed. Depending on the data model setup, developers can also supply paging control status text similar to Google. Naturally, displaying more information can have performance implications, another important variable in UX, so bear that constraint in mind.
Application speed and its perception by users is worth bearing in mind the next time you're at a customer site and the IT Department demands that you retrieve every record from the database. Just think of... Dave Ensor:
I'll give you all the (database) rows you ask for in one second. If you promise to use them.
(Again, hat tip to Sten.)
And then maybe think of... Tom Cruise.