Tuesday Nov 25, 2014

Back to Basics. Helping You Phrase that Alta UI versus UX Question

I often get questions about the difference between UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). This video explains it:

Check it out. It's particularly important you understand the difference so that you can correctly frame any questions you have about the look and feel of a UI, skinning, using settings to change the themes of a simplified UI in the Oracle Applications Cloud, or about the Oracle Alta UI.

Difference between UI and UX. UX is more than flat icons and a new CSS

The difference between UI and UX is also the reason we don't include visual design as part of our wildly popular wireframing enablement.

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

Copy is Interface Design

A superb blog in form and content, outlining why "Copy is Interface" by Daniel Burka. Every developer of user interfaces should memorize the list of best practices. If you haven't got writing skills, then find someone who has, or hire someone, if possible, and and apply any available guidelines, carefully.

Language (tone, style, and terminology) in the user interface (UI) is a critical part of an application's user experience. Getting the language right from the beginning of the development process ensures that it stays right. Of course, language must be tested iteratively, too. But, getting language wrong at the beginning, or adopting the Lorem Ipsum approach, well... the Swiss cheese model of language defects tells it all...






Swiss Cheese Model of Language Defects. Source: Des Traynor's User Interface Engineering "Microcopy" presentation.


Oracle partners and customers are working closely with the Oracle Applications User Experience team to identify the optimal toolkit to ensure that when they need to tailor the language in the user interface of their applications, they can do so simply and without the need for a major IT project or budget catastrophe. And, for enterprise applications developers who need guidance and practical resources on key UI terminology and their context so that they can build their own optimized Cloud UIs (be they desktop, simplified, or mobile) well, that kind of guidance is being discussed and readied too.

At the recent Oracle Applications User Experience communications and outreach team's Oracle Partner Advisory Board inaugural meeting in the UK, the importance of language quality in the UX was underscored. Not just in English, but in other natural languages too.

37 Signals' Getting Real gets the importance contribution that language makes to UX with the chapter called "Copywriting is Interface Design", and the Translation is UX website reminds us that UX is global and language excellence must reflect that, too.

For those interested in how language needs to be nuanced for the enterprise UX, and some of the approaches that can be taken, check out the Blogos article, "Working Out Context in the Enterprise: Localize That!".

Stay tuned for more on language as UX enablement from the outreach and communications team in 2014.

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!

Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

A mensagem de UX Design Patterns da Oracle vai para o Brasil

ORKUTIFIED! Uma grande lição do Brasil sobre o que acontece quando aplicações não dão aos usuários a experiência que eles realmente querem.

Aplicações precisam oferecer uma experiência moderna e atraente para manter os usuários de hoje em dia satisfeitos. Atender as demandas de usabilidade ao modo do consumidor para aplicações desktop e móveis, utilizadas também para o trabalho é vital na empresa. A experiência do usuário é o caminho, mas você não precisa ser um expert em construir aplicações que oferecem aos clientes um retorno de investimento maior ou que torna os negócios mais produtivos e usuários satisfeitos. Como o super livro Don't Make Me Think diz, você precisa “de uma abordagem de senso comum para usabilidade.”


Parceiros Oracle o conhecimento para construir de forma produtiva aplicativos com  excelente usabilidade

O workshop Oracle Applications User Experience "Building Great-Looking Usable Apps: Applying Oracle’s Best UX Design Practices in ADF and ADF Mobile" realizado em São Paulo, Brasil, e organizado pela Oracle Partner Network utilizando Oracle Application Development Framework, entregou aos parceiros Oracle o conhecimento para construir de forma produtiva aplicativos com excelente usabilidade.

O time Oracle Applications UX fez todo o trabalho científico para que os desenvolvedores de aplicativos e integrações não tenham que fazê-lo! Desenvolvedores que utilizam Oracle ADF e os comprovados Oracle Applications User Experience Design Patterns para resolver problemas comuns de usabilidade, podem facilmente, construir aplicações que os usuários vão ficar impressionados, ganhar produtividade e mesmo assim não precisarão pensar para utilizá-las.

Leia mais sobre o evento no blog Usable Apps Oracle.

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:

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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