Thursday Mar 20, 2014

Simplified UI and the Oracle User Experience in Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8

With the launch of Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 this month, the Oracle Applications User Experience team gets another opportunity to talk about its simplified user interface (UI) and how our usability research is moving the Oracle user experience forward. 

The simplified UI is the modern, intuitive, streamlined interface for the Oracle Applications Cloud that brings to the surface frequently performed tasks, works across platforms, and requires no training. Oracle debuted this simple, mobile, and extensible interface in Oracle Applications Cloud Release 7, in Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud. That release in Fall 2013 illustrates the interface's focus on quick-entry, light-touch, contextual tasks that are tailored by role.

Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 is an extension of the same themes of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility that set the simplified UI apart. Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud can now take advantage of these user experience enhancements:

  • Expanded simplicity: Additional self-service, quick-action tasks are brought to the surface in this latest release, enabling more people in your company to easily access the essential information and actions that support the way they work in the cloud.
  • Expanded visualizations and analytics: Additional infographic-inspired, tablet-friendly, and interactive visualizations and embedded analytics appear throughout the UI in this release.
  • Expanded extensibility and customization: Not only can you rebrand the simplified UI with your own company logo and watermark and add unique company news and announcements to the simplified UI home page, but you can now restructure and rename the available functional areas and pages. 
Here's a look at just a few highlights in the simplified UI in Release 8.


Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 Simplified UI Entry Experience

Time entry
Time in Oracle HCM Cloud Release 8

Sales Campaigns
Sales Campaigns in Oracle Sales Cloud

Succession Plans
Succession Plans In Oracle HCM Cloud

Dashboard
Dashboard in Oracle Sales Cloud


Settings Structure
Settings in Simplified UI: Structure

Check the Usable Apps web site to read more about the user experience in the Oracle Applications Cloud.  

Monday Mar 17, 2014

Meet the Apps UX Team in Las Vegas during COLLABORATE14

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

COLLABORATE14, a technology and applications forum for the Oracle community, will take place at The Venetian and the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, April 7-11, 2014.

If you are an Oracle customer and scheduled to attend this conference, there are several ways to meet face-to-face with members of the Oracle Applications User Experience team: sign up for a usability feedback session, visit our demo pod, or attend our presentation on tailoring applications in the cloud.

This is also an opportunity for Oracle sales consultants and partners to see firsthand how Oracle dedicates a significant investment in user experience research and development efforts to maintain and improve Oracle’s products.

Onsite Usability Lab: Sign up to participate in a usability feedback session

Sign up to participate in a user feedback session, where you can contribute to and influence application design and direction through feedback or suggestions while test-driving Oracle’s next-generation applications. Your feedback will directly affect the existing and future usability of Oracle applications, and help us develop applications that are intuitive and easy to use.

What will we test? Participants will get a preview of Oracle product designs for Oracle HCM Cloud, the new user experience for Oracle Fusion Applications Help, Oracle Fusion Applications for procurement, Taleo recruiting, social relationship management using eye-tracking technology, and more.

Who can participate? Regardless of your current job title, we have a session that might interest you. Here are just a few job profiles we are looking for: Busines Analysts, Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Functional Subject Matter Experts, Application Administrator, Application Developer, Marketing/Communications professionals, Community Managers, Product Evangelists, and more.

Date: Tuesday-Wednesday, April 8-9, 2014 
Location: Sands Expo Meeting Room 401, Level 1 
Time: Advance sign-up is required for this event. RSVP now

*Participation requires that your company or organization has a Customer Participation Confidentiality Agreement (CPCA) on file. If your company or organization does not have a CPCA on file, we will start this process.


If you have questions or wish to recommend your colleagues or customers, please contact angela.johnston@oracle.com.


Angela Johnston and Yen Chan, both from the Oracle Applications User Experience team, welcome participants as they arrive to participate in user feedback sessions at a recent conference.


Attend Applications UX Presentation: Tailoring Fusion Applications User Experience in the Cloud

Oracle Fusion Applications continues to innovate and improve. In this session, learn how easy it is to customize and extend your Oracle Fusion Applications user experience in the Cloud using some of the new additions to Oracle Fusion Applications technology. See how Oracle composers and other features allow for powerful customizations and extensions within the browser and with no coding. We'll look at the Oracle Fusion Applications desktop user interface as well as the simplicity of customizing and extending the simplified user interface.

Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. 
Location: Level 3, Murano - 3201
Session ID: 14456


Visit the UX demo booth: Cloud Applications User Experiences: The Future of What Your Employees Will Touch, See, and Hear

Visit our demo station to see the simplified user interface in action, hear about a new way to interact with your enterprise by smartphone when you're on the go, and learn how to manipulate massive amounts of data elegantly through gestures on a tablet.  

Dates:  Wednesday-Thursday, April 9-10, 2014
Location: Sands Expo, Exhibit Hall A-C, Level 2: Kiosk 58

Demopod

Michael LaDuke, from the Oracle Applications User Experience team, runs the demo station during a recent user group conference.


Please visit the
Usable Apps Events page to learn more about our team’s presence at future conferences.


Sunday Mar 16, 2014

Wearables Design Jam @ Oracle Applications User Experience Labs

By Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), Oracle Applications User Experience

The conversation about new technology and what it means for enterprise users keeps moving forward at Oracle. The latest version of that conversation was an inspirational event at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California, on Feb. 4: a Wearables Design Jam led by Ultan O’Broin, Director, Oracle Applications User Experiences.

Ultan and Sarahi
Photo by Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience
Ultan O’Broin prepares, with his usual style, alongside Sarahi Mireles, for the wearables design jam

The goal of the event was to discuss wearables in the work world, solve an enterprise problem, and have fun. What was different about this event was that there was no coding required – it was a pen-and-paper, creative project.

Participants came from a variety of Oracle teams to share ideas – and compete - such as User Assistance, JD Edwards, the Apps Lab, Enterprise Performance Management, and the Mexico Development Center UX team.

Ultan kicked off the event with an introduction to wearables by calling them smart personal technology devices, worn or carried all the time. “It's about automating and augmenting activities,” he said. “Automating the things you hate, and augmenting the things you love. Using technologies you already know – cameras, watches – with new capabilities – GPS, optical character recognition to perform tasks hands-free, and see or easily capture information.  For us, these experiences are apps that are integrated with data in the cloud.” 

He discussed several consumer examples including Samsung Galaxy Gear watch, Oakley Airwave, Google Glass, and Fitbit Force.  "Right now, it's consumer driven usage, dominated by health and personal fitness,” Ultan said. “These expectations from the personal world will affect user expectations of the enterprise."  Examples in the enterprise space include the Hitachi business microscope. An example closer to home is the use of the Fitbit at Oracle HCM World. Attendees were given Fitbit wrist bands and encouraged to log their steps against other attendees in a fitness campaign.

Wellness leaderboard
The HCM World Wellness leaderboard counts the steps of attendees.

For the participants of our Wearables Design Jam, the challenge was to design enterprise solutions – their own wearables use cases – working in teams of three and four. With only paper, pencils, and wearables stencils, participants brainstormed ideas for wearables that could be useful in an enterprise context.

Stencil
This is an example of a stencil from the Wearables Design Jam.

Teams presented their designs to judge Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President, Oracle Applications User Experiences. Ideas ranged from smart employee ID badges to gloves to warehouse technology, to OpenWorld conference technology. The winning team presented a smarter OpenWorld badge that collects, shares, and exchanges contact information with attendees.

The winning team
The winning team: Adam Heller, Principal Usability Engineer; Bo Wang, Senior Interaction Designer; and Gurbinder Bali, Director, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Development.

Ashley said, "The key to wearables is a casual gesture. But you can go even further. Imagine you had warehouse management that took advantage of whoever was nearest, to make it more engaging or using specialists with skills."  He said the winning idea has implicit participation and is immediately available, and it also has immediate analytic capability and integration with Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud.

For more information on wearable computing, check out these related posts:
•    The AppsLab team participates in a recent AT&T developer hackathon in the Wearables track (@appslab).
•    Ultan explores the reactions to Google Glass globally.
•    Marta Rauch takes an awesome ride down Highway 84 through the eyes of Google Glass (@marta).










Saturday Mar 01, 2014

OAUX Expo: Oracle & AMIS bring new Applications Cloud user experiences to Europe on March 18th

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

Lucas Jellema
Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience
Lucas Jellema, Chief Technology Officer of Oracle partner AMIS Services BV, gets a look at new Oracle user experiences during a demo with Lulit Bezuayahu, of Oracle, at an OAUX Expo at OpenWorld 2013. The expo was his source of inspiration for an expo in The Netherlands in March 2014.

Lucas Jellema, Chief Technology Officer of Oracle partner AMIS Services BV, first saw the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) Expo at OpenWorld in September 2013 in San Francisco.

“The expo further enforced the message - simplicity, mobility, extensibility - and what that boils down to in terms of actual user interfaces,” Jellema said after the expo. “It also strengthened my confidence in what the UX team is doing. It helps me believe that Oracle actually can be a leader in UX in the enterprise space.”  He said he recognized the excitement and possibilities for inspiration for Oracle customers and asked if the UX team could bring the same experience to Europe in partnership with AMIS.

Join us on March 18 at the AMIS offices in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The Oracle Applications User Experience team will be showcasing the latest thinking in Oracle’s user experiences from noon to 8pm,  along with talks by speakers including Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President, Applications User Experiences; Sten Vesterli  (@techthatfits), Senior Principal Consultant, Scott / Tiger; Lonneke Dikmans, (@lonnekedikmans), Managing Parter, Vennster; and, of course, Lucas Jellema (@lucasjellema).

The event will be open to the public, including students, customers, and partners.  Registration is necessary to make sure we can accommodate everyone.    

Attendees can expect to see the latest in Oracle’s thinking on Oracle Applications Cloud user experiences, meet the creative AppsLab development team (@theappslab) try out Oracle’s eye-tracking usability research tool, and participate in talks ranging from wearable technology (@ultan) to Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) to Oracle Apex by a slate of Oracle and AMIS experts.  There even may be a Tesla user experience on display.

By special request of the AMIS team, Oracle will also host a Secret Chamber that requires customers to be under non-disclosure. Behind these doors, customers will be able to see Oracle’s applications cloud user experience roadmap.

OAUX Expo sign
Photo by Misha Vaughan

We hope to see you there! Please remember to register in advance to ensure your access!
More information is available on the Usable Apps web site.



Tuesday Feb 25, 2014

What is your perspective on enterprise mobility? Tell us!

By Julian Orr, Oracle Applications User Experience

Mobile technology
Photo by Brent White, Oracle Applications User Experience

Is there a certain device capability, such as the ability to capture mobile signatures or remotely wipe a device, that is so important to your mobile workflow that it has influenced your enterprise mobility strategy?  

When it comes to making decisions about your organization’s enterprise mobility strategy, there are a few inescapable themes: 

  • Allowing people to use their own devices vs. having to use company-supplied devices
  • Using browser-based vs. native applications
  • Optimizing your apps for smart phones vs. tablets
  • Whether or not to include or exclude a particular mobile platform.   

That businesses are committing resources to create and execute a mobile strategy is a given. The permutations of approaches to mobile strategies are endless, and the reasons behind them are varied and nuanced.  

These approaches and their justifications are well understood from a generic enterprise perspective, but what are the common themes of an Oracle customer’s mobile strategy? How does it vary from that of the marketplace as a whole?

If one thing is clear, it is that Oracle customers want to do big things with mobility.   

At Oracle, we are committed to using customer feedback to continually improve our products and services, and to help you realize exceptional business outcomes.   

As such, Oracle has created a survey to capture and understand enterprise mobility from an incredibly important perspective, that of an Oracle customer.

We want to know what our customers are doing now, what you plan to do in the near future, and most importantly, what are the key influences to your strategy -- employee engagement, security, cost, or something we have yet to hear about.  

Please take our enterprise mobility survey. The survey will remain open until March 28, and will take about 15 minutes to complete.  The survey also includes a follow-up option to become more involved in Oracle applications research.   

To learn more about the Applications User Experience team, please visit the UsableApps web site.


Thursday Feb 20, 2014

New Oracle developers get a taste of Raspberry Pi

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

There is a team within the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) group that basically plays with interesting technology. We call them the AppsLab (@theappslab). That technology may include fuzzy ears  (@ultan) that interact with your brain waves, robot arms, or Google Glass.

Recently, it included Raspberry Pi. And a day of hacking.

My team -- the Communications & Outreach arm of the Applications UX group -- sometimes works closely with this team. My boss has her own set of fuzzy ears. I’ve tried out the robot arms (I totally suck at moving them). And recently, I was introduced to Raspberry Pi.

Now, I’m a word person – if this small computer had been named anything else, my eyes might have glazed over. But the chance to tell folks about the creative ways that Oracle investigates and explores technology that can evolve the Oracle user experience … well, I’m much better at doing that. Especially if I’ve got a visual place from which to start the story.

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi in use during the Oracle Apps UX hackday
Photos by Rob Hernandez

Raspberry Pi, above, is actually an inexpensive computer that was originally made for kids. It was intended to give kids a device that would help them learn how to program computers. (Neat story there from the U.K. creators.)

Noel Portugal (@noelportugal), the developer who led the January training and hackday, said the credit-card-sized computer can do anything that a Linux computer can do. It’s easy to hook up and, because it costs about $35, easy to replace. So it’s a perfect starting point for kids, and it has an Oracle connection: Oracle’s Java evangelists worked with the Raspberry Pi creators directly to make sure Java runs natively on the device.


Noel’s one-day event included about 15 developers who also work for the Oracle Applications User Experience team. Many were from Oracle’s Mexico Development Center; others came from the Denver area or the Northwest. AppsLab talking head Jake Kuramoto said the idea was to provide a shortcut to the technology and tap into Noel’s experience with it, then get everyone up and running on it. The day was a way to investigate something new in a collaborative session.

Noel Portugal
Noel Portugal, center, hands out mini computers during the Raspberry Pi hackathon.

This hackathon took place at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, inside the Oracle usability labs. By the end of the day, I was hearing random, sometimes crazy noises as network hook-ups took hold and programming began.

Our developers were using the Raspberry Pi with their laptops and smart phones to create sounds, issue commands, and send signals through various devices. Noel said the maker community uses Raspberry Pi to control robotics, control a server, switch lights and off, and connect sensors, among other things.

Here’s a look at our developers at work.

Fernando
Fernando Jimenez shows off his button thing that was hooked up to Raspberry Pi and now plays Pandora.

Sarahi Mireles
Sarahi Mireles (@sarahimireles), center, makes something happen on Twitter with Raspberry Pi, and all the guys cheer.

Luis Galeana
I don’t know what developer Luis Galeana is doing, but you can tell it’s a big deal. Notice that he had to fuel up with a Snickers midway through.

OK, so some of this stuff was over my head. But it was fun to watch really focused, talented people do something they thought was fun. The creative bursts that come through while investigating and exploring are motivational. Technology, in any form, is fascinating. When applied to everyday objects in ways that evolve the user experience – it’s like watching science fiction unfold. But on the Oracle Applications User Experience team, it’s real.

The Applications UX team’s mission is to design and build “cool stuff,” as Jake puts it. Team members look at all kinds of technologies, because we know through research that this is what our users are also doing.

Stay tuned to VoX to learn more about the new, interesting, and creative ways we are evolving the user experience of enterprise software with similar methods of exploration. Be the first to see what’s coming!

Wednesday Feb 12, 2014

OUAB Member Harvard University Uses UX Direct for New PeopleSoft Campus Solutions

By Anna Wichansky*, Oracle Applications User Experience

Madhuri Kolhatkar, Michele Snyder, and Chaya Bijani of the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team made a weeklong site visit to Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in December, to help the university’s IT team kick-start the user-centered design process for a new implementation of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.

Madhuri created the Applications UX Direct program and chairs a Working Group by that name for the Oracle Usability Advisory Board. UX Direct enables software professionals to use the Oracle UX design process, to reduce implementation complexity and increase user adoption. The team met with a dozen Harvard professors, deans, and business analysts to understand faculty job requirements, context of use, stakeholders, working environments, and potential information flow between the 12 schools and hundreds of departments that comprise this world-famous university founded in 1636. The requirements will help inform the Harvard IT architects’ implementation of PeopleSoft student information systems software, which already reflects student requirements. Harvard joined the OUAB in 2013, and is a regular participant in board programs and training events.


Dr. Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University and co-author of popular textbook Elements of the Theory of Computation, displays his office work environment in December 2013.

*Anna is the chair of the Oracle Usability Advisory Board (OUAB) and alumnus of Harvard, 1973.

Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Apps UX attends Oracle’s new conference in Las Vegas, Oracle HCM World 2014

By Gozel Aamoth, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle has announced its first industry conference, Oracle HCM World, to be held on February 4-6, 2014, at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oracle HCM World is designed as a forum for thought leadership, networking, and enhanced understanding of the changing role of human resources (HR) in today’s business world. Leaders of the HR community will discuss the latest happenings and the future of human resources. 

More than 1,500 customers, partners, press and analysts, as well as Oracle sales and product experts, are expected to attend Oracle HCM World. The conference will feature keynotes with Oracle President Mark Hurd and other executives, strategic content for HR professionals, the opportunity to network and see hands-on demonstrations, and ways to get involved with the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team through customer feedback sessions and a walk-in lab.

If you are an Oracle customer and scheduled to attend this conference, we invite you to get involved. This is also an opportunity for Oracle sales consultants and partners to see firsthand how Oracle dedicates a significant investment in user experience research and development efforts to maintain and improve Oracle’s products.

User Feedback Sessions

The Apps UX team will host an onsite usability lab, where HR professionals can see early designs of future HCM products, test-drive the product before it goes to market, and ultimately influence the direction of Oracle HCM product development.

We are looking for employees and managers to provide feedback on HCM applications that use social tools and voice. The one-on-one feedback sessions are very popular, and seats are limited. Advance registration is required. RSVP now.

Oracle mobile usability labs
Oracle customers get a preview of Oracle HCM Cloud Service applications at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco, USA.

Meet the UX Experts Walk-In Lab

Whether you have 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or half an hour, stop by the UX Walk-In Lab, where you can see a one-on-one demo and learn more about how user testing is conducted with a UX expert. Additionally, you can learn how you and your company can participate in future design and user research activities.  Advanced registration is not required.

Meet the Experts Station
Members of Apps UX team conduct an interactive eye-tracking demo on Oracle HCM Cloud Service application at UKOUG Apps13 conference in London, UK.

When & Where:
The onsite usability lab will be open Wednesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 6, 2014. Sessions will be conducted throughout the day at The Venetian Las Vegas Hotel, Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center, Conference room  Delfino 4001 A - 4th level.

If you have questions regarding this event, please contact gozel.aamoth@oracle.com.  For further information on our team’s involvement in this conference, please refer to the events page on Usable Apps.

Monday Dec 16, 2013

Six Things You Can Do Today to Jump-Start Your User Experience for Enterprise Applications

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience


Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle
A good user experience does not have to be a shot in the dark.

Ahmed Aboulnaga’s recent article in UKOUG Scene, “Usability – Ignored by Developers and Undervalued by Managers” made some great points about the benefits of usability research.  

As I was reading it, I wondered: Would a mid-market or small-market company read this and think, “Well, I just don’t have the budget or time, so I’ll just have to do without.”

Good usability practices are completely possible even on the smallest budget, and with no UX staff.  Here are a few ways that even small IT shops can inject some user experience goodness into their process. 
  1. Identify. Who is your user? We’ve published a cheat sheet on how to do this, courtesy of UX Direct, which is a web site that outlines the user experience process and guidelines Oracle uses.
  2. Work smarter. Jump-start your design with user experience design patterns.  We’ve already invested in the research and testing, so you don’t have to.
  3. Sketch. Wireframe before you code. 
  4. Visuals. A few key things on the visuals: Ultan O’Broin (@ultan) is working with ODTUG to get the word out about visual design for enterprise applications.
  5. Get feedback. Persuade a colleague to show your wireframes to real end users. If you do it yourself, it’s too easy to slant the results in your favor.
  6. Iterate. Re-design and re-test, as resources permit. It helps enormously to separate the business logic of your application from the user interface logic, as in this example (page 41) from Lonneke Dikmans of Vennster (@lonnekedikmans).
At this point, you might be thinking that I am making unrealistic claims, so I’ll point you to one of my favorite success stories. When Greg Duncan was with the City of Las Vegas,  he had the one most important resources -- an executive mandate from his CIO at the time, Joseph Marcella.

If that doesn’t convince you that you can incorporate user experience methodologies into your own process, let me share Floyd Teter’s (@fteter) story about a project with EiS Technologies.  He attended a UX and ADF training workshop and picked up some UX methodologies, like basic usability testing, and delivered a world-class user experience in a matter of weeks using ADF essentials for a reporting tool.  His budget consisted of Otter Pops and a Saturday afternoon of testing with end users.

In a story carried by O Tech Magazine (page 25), Marcel Maas (@mhjmaas) of AMIS actually had the benefit of a user experience designer, Sander Haaksma (@sanderha) of UX Company.  However, they still managed to keep costs down by using an agile methodology.

Would you benefit from UX expertise on a project, either as full-time staff or contracted resources?  Of course you would, because you don’t have to spend time developing a whole new area of personal expertise.   

Is that feasible for you? If not, try just one of the techniques above.

Monday Dec 09, 2013

Partner Gives a Thumbs-Up to Insight on Oracle User Experience

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Anne Meyer
Anne Meyer of MIPRO Consulting LLC, center, listens along with Kelly Bernie, Senior Manager, Oracle Applications Partner Enablement, left, to a demo from Ivy Leung, Applications User Experience, as she talks about Simplified UI for Oracle HCM Cloud at the OAUX Expo during OpenWorld in San Francisco in September 2013.

In the past 6 months, the Oracle Applications User Experience team has been experimenting with a new way to show the innovative user experiences we are building. This idea of a demo showcase evolved into the OAUX Expo at OpenWorld 2013, in September in San Francisco. Guests, who were required to sign non-disclosure agreements with Oracle and refrain from blogging, Tweeting, or other social media expressions about what they saw, were invited to attend an exclusive reception where they could see demos of just-released and future user experiences. These demos included everything from Simplified UI for the Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud to cutting-edge technology like voice and Google Glass that members of our team are exploring as we consider how to incorporate such technology into future user experiences.

Anne Meyer, representing Oracle partner MIPRO Consulting, was one of about 150 attendees. Here’s what she had to say about the expo and its value:

Q: What were you expecting to see at the OAUX Expo at Oracle OpenWorld 2013?


Anne:
“I wasn’t sure what the format or content would be other than expecting a view of Fusion Release 7.” (Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud Services Release 7)



Q: How did the demos you saw meet your expectations?

Anne: “The demos surpassed my expectations. I have worked with OAUX in the past for one-on-one feedback sessions and have always enjoyed participating in those. In this forum, it was nice to walk up to and see and hear about a variety of innovative prototypes as well as upcoming new features soon to be available in the Oracle product lines.

The innovation of the prototypes was truly exciting. I’m anxious for these products to make it to the marketplace.  Some may be game-changing for Oracle, and how people view Oracle products. They demonstrated a great sense of what the new workforce generation is expecting in the software solutions they use at work. I was particularly excited about the voice recognition prototype. There are endless applications for that capability across the Oracle product lines.”



Q: Would you attend future OAUX Expo events, or bring colleagues to such an event?

Anne: “Absolutely. I always try and expand my company’s participation in OAUX events.”  



Q: How was the OAUX Expo valuable to you and your company?



Anne: "The OAUX Expo was important on many levels.  First, we are implementing Fusion Release 5, so the view into Release 7 was important in our planning for when we upgrade next year.  Second, as I noted in a previous comment, to see the innovation is very exciting to us as we are an organization focused on PeopleSoft and Fusion. It supports our enthusiasm for the products and their future, and how we can infuse that enthusiasm to our clients and prospects.”



Q: Has the OAUX Expo changed your perception of the Oracle user experience?

“I don’t know if it changes my perception per se, because I enjoy participating in the one-on-one feedback sessions. This is just another approach, and a good one, to see more at one time.”

Anne said in a separate email that the expo demonstrated how Oracle is moving forward with technology innovation. “I’ve been a participant in individual user experience sessions, but to put them all together in one room was eye-opening to how there is an overall vision, to where the Oracle products are moving. So having multiple stations to view the innovations gives one a full view, and an exciting one, to the future.” 

She added that the one thing that stood out was the voice recognition technology. “All of my customers and prospects are excited about the mobile technology, but little do they know that the voice recognition technology is potentially on its way. That is very, very exciting. We have customers who have people using PeopleSoft on things like oil rigs. How much more convenient could it be to a foreman to be able to audible rather than type things into PeopleSoft than that?


“The example used was CRM, but I think the real bottom-line usage of voice recognition is, for example, when a nurse on a hospital floor can audible inventory items and not take valuable time to key that in. That’s powerful. That’s ROI as hospitals look to reduce cost to patient days.  That was the most impressive application I saw there.”

Thank you, Anne, for your time and feedback! For more information on how to attend a similar expo event, contact Misha.Vaughan @ Oracle.com.

Monday Dec 02, 2013

Learn more about Simplified UI for Oracle HCM Cloud Applications, new in Release 7

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Aylin Uysal
Photo by Anne-Marie McReynolds, Oracle Applications User Experience
Aylin Uysal, Oracle, shows the new Simplified UI for HCM users during a special show-and-tell event, before it was generally available in September 2013.

Simplified UI represents the direction that the Oracle user experience is heading for all of its cloud applications.

In September 2013, Release 7 for Oracle Cloud Applications became generally available for Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud. This is a significant release for the Oracle Applications User Experience team, and it represents Oracle’s strategy for cloud applications user experiences along the lines of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility.

In Release 7, there’s a particular focus on HCM users, especially self-service users and managers, said Jeremy Ashley, Vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience group. These users may be knowledge or information workers. They may also be users who don’t use enterprise applications all day – they may be asked to participate in using an HCM application to fill out information so that they can get paid, but it’s not what they do on a daily basis, Ashley said. They could be physical engineers, or production line workers who don’t even use laptops nor have e-mail, but they are all still expected to participate in the HCM system that their company provides.

Providing a consistent user experience for all of these users that doesn’t require weeks of training to navigate a hefty menu was the goal for the Simplified UI for HCM user experience. “If they have to go through four layers to get to the system, they have to be trained,” Ashley said. “So, we have looked to simplify standard employee tasks. Regardless of whether you’re a line worker or an executive, these standard tasks should be easy to do.”

The Simplified UI for HCM focuses on many self-service tasks that every employee needs to do – changing a phone number, checking a pay stub, looking up a co-worker’s information, or managing personal work goals on the company system.

HCM Cloud UI
Team performance in the new Oracle HCM Cloud.

But the full strength of Oracle’s Cloud Applications is always a click or two away, because Oracle recognizes that someone like the vice president of HR in the company also needs professional-strength applications. Simplified UI helps provide both balance and a gateway, because to think that all levels of HR employees can go through one UI is ridiculous, Ashley said. The UI would be either too simple or too difficult.

The Simplified UI for HCM appeals to these many levels of HR participation. All users should be able to approach it and understand it the first time they see it, no matter their comfort level with the deeper Fusion Applications that sit behind the Simplified UI.

The Oracle user experience also includes opportunities to tailor settings for all employees or implement a company brand, in just a few clicks, which provides easy customization to the Simplified UI for HCM Cloud.

Where can you find out more?

To find out more about the simplified UI and Oracle’s ongoing investment in applications user experience innovations, come to one of our sessions at a user group conference near you.

To get a quick view of what the new user expeirence is about, watch these videos on the HCM Cloud Simplified UI for employees and managers.

Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Will You Be Wearing Your Enterprise Application Data?

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience group has begun to explore the role of wearable computing and enterprise use cases, which is part and parcel of our charter to watch for future trends that will matter to our customers’ workforce.  See, for example, some of the recent posts by The AppsLab team and Ultan (@ultan) on wearables.

Heads-Up Displays: Google Glass

Anthony Lai (@anthonyslai), a User Experience Architect at Oracle, has been roaming the halls of Oracle with what are now easily identifiable as Google Glass.  In this post, he talks about his experience using Google Glass and what he has learned about wearing them in an enterprise setting.

Anthony Lai
Anthony Lai
Photo by Misha Vaughan

Q:  Let's start with the basics. What is Google Glass, and what is the vision behind the technology?

A: Glass is a device that is supposed to be non-intrusive, to give you information when you need it.  It is a way for you to quickly know about stuff right away, without even opening up a tablet or device.  It provides notifications to you for things you are interested in.  It provides you with navigation.  You can ask questions in a free-form format.  You can take pictures and do video recording for memories.  Quick snapshots. The photos are nice; they are wide-angle.  

Q: Do people around you find it intrusive at all?  Do they object to the video-recording capacity?

A: If you take a picture, you hear the click sound and there is a flash.  It’s not like you don't know it's happening. That brings in a paradigm about glass.  They position it just above the eye. You need the eye contact to create trust.

Q:  What have you found to be useful for yourself, in terms of work?

The first thing is that I subscribe to things I'm interested in on Twitter.  In Twitter, you can have a lot of people you are following.  You can select which people you want to receive on your Glass.  I put some technology things on there, and Glass would notify me.  I feel like it's really annoying now to go to my phone or my desktop. With Glass, it's just instant. That's key for me.

The other side is in-car navigation.  I was using my phone, but with Glass, I can see straight ahead and get the directions in my ear.  If it is time for you to turn and take actions, it will tell you.  So it's not really distracting you from driving.

Q:  As a developer working for Oracle, what enterprise use cases occur to you?

Take a CRM use case. What does a sales rep need to do when they go into a sales meeting?  What information do they need to know wherever they are?  One example is if there is a sales meeting coming up at 3 p.m., Google Glass can remind you, and then give you quick information, like attendees.  If you want to call an attendee right away, you can.  If you need to make a quick note, if you need to find where the meeting is, how bad traffic is to get there.  

During a meeting, we thought, what if you want to take a picture of the attendees so you don't forget who was at a meeting?  

At the end of the meeting, you may want to debrief.  You go to a coffee shop around the corner, where you can sit and make notes of the meeting with co-workers. You can even run a Google Hangout, or video-conference, with people who are there and not there.

Q: Final thoughts?

It's amazing technology.  I think it is an appropriate technology to move into the future.  I think there are a lot of people right now that are skeptical.  Right now, it is expensive.  Ultimately, the price will go down.  

Wearables: An Executive Perspective

Jeremy Ashley
Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, with his Pebble Watch.

"It's not just about Google Glass,” says Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President of Oracle Applications User Experience. “What we are doing is taking the application of computing power here, and moving away from it being a single device. We are moving to multiple devices that sense the world around you. It's really a matter of what these other devices can provide for you.”

Ashley said users are demanding smaller snippets of more detailed information, like Google Now and Windows tiles. “Instead of providing this large dashboard with this information all over it, you will see little tiles with snippets of information that you can drill on. It's no longer about providing lots of detailed information. It's providing lots of detailed information with context.”

The platforms for information delivery include glasses, watches, and other types of devices. The glasses derive their context from where you are, what you are looking at, and what you are supposed to be doing at that time. They use sight, sound, GPS, motion, direction, gesture and more.

Glasses are piggybacking on a set of interactions that you are already doing, and adding extra information on top of that, as opposed to a computer that you have to walk up to and begin providing context to. Glass augments a lot of your movements to gain input and complete a particular task.

Google Glass is an obvious use case for supply chain, Ashley said, when the user needs a third hand to reference material or communicate with someone about a part or a checklist. It can be recording what you are doing, or provide a channel for another technician to look over your shoulder as you check your work.

More use cases

Wearing Google Glass in meetings might also make sense. The user could be acting as a proxy who is sitting in the room for someone else and providing a feel of the room. 

In the financials spectrum, a user might want to keep information secret as opposed to making information public. Google Glass could be used by a CFO, who receives real-time data as opposed to opening up a laptop in a public place.

“When they say ‘augmentation,’ people think of Borg-like things on your head,” Ashley said. “Instead it’s about taking something that you already have, and just increasing the sensitivity to make it more meaningful or useful.”

As our data moves to the cloud, these kinds of experiences become more possible.

Monday Nov 11, 2013

Moving the Oracle User Experience Forward with the New Release 7 Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

In September 2013, Release 7 for Oracle Cloud Applications became generally available for Oracle Sales Cloud and HCM Cloud. This significant release allowed the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team to finally talk freely about Simplified UI, a user experience project in the works since Oracle OpenWorld 2012.

Simplified UI represents the direction that the Oracle user experience – for all of its enterprise applications – is heading.

Oracle’s Apps UX team began by building a Simplified UI for sales representatives. You can find that today in Release 7, and it was demoed extensively during OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco.



See the the new Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud, a user interface built for sales reps.

Analyst Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research, saw Simplified UI at Oracle Openworld 2013 and talked about it with CRM Buyer in “Oracle Revs Its Cloud Engines for a Better Customer Experience.

CRM Buyer
Wettemann said there are distinct themes to the latest release:
"One is usability. Oracle Sales Cloud, for example, is designed to have zero training for onboarding sales reps, which it does," she explained. "It is quite impressive, actually -- the intuitive nature of the application and the design work they have done with this goal in mind."

The software uses as few buttons and fields as possible, she pointed out. "The sales rep doesn't have to ask, 'what is the next step?' because she can see what it is."

In fact, there are three themes driving the usability that Wettemann noted. They are simplicity, mobility, and extensibility, and we write more about them on the Usable Apps web site. These three themes embody the strategy for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences.  

Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud

In developing a Simplified UI for Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle’s UX team concentrated on the tasks that sales reps need to do most frequently, and are most important. “Knowing that the majority of their work lives are spent on the road and on the go, they need to be able to quickly get in and qualify and convert their leads, monitor and progress their opportunities, update their customer and contact information, and manage their schedule,” Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of the Applications UX team, said.

Ashley said the Apps UX team has a good reason for creating a Simplified UI that focuses on self-service. “Sales people spend the day selling stuff,” he said. “The only reason they use software is because the company wants to track what they’re doing.” Traditional systems of tracking that information include filling in a spreadsheet of leads or sales. Oracle wants to automate this process for the salesperson, and enable that person to keep everyone who needs to know up-to-date easily and quickly. Simplified UI addresses that problem by providing light-touch input.  

“It has to be useful to the salesperson,” Ashley said about the Sales Cloud user experience. Simplified UI can tell sales reps about key opportunities, or provide information about a contact in just a click or two.

Customer screen shot
Customer information is accessible quickly and easily with Simplified UI for the Oracle Sales Cloud.

Simplified UI for Sales Cloud can also be extended easily, Ashley said. Users usually just need to add various business fields or create and modify analytical reports. The way that Simplified UI is constructed allows extensibility to happen by hiding or showing a few necessary fields.

Settings
The Settings user interface, starting in release 7, allows for the simple configuration of the most important visual elements.

“With Sales cloud, we identified a need to make the application useful and very simple,” Ashley said. Simplified UI meets that need.

Where can you find out more?
To find out more about the simplified UI and Oracle’s ongoing investment in applications user experience innovations, come to one of our sessions at a user group conference near you. Stay tuned to the Voice of User Experience (VoX) blog – the next post will be about Simplified UI and HCM Cloud.

Monday Oct 28, 2013

Sangam 13: Hyderabad, India

by Teena Singh, Oracle Applications User Experience

Sangam 13

The AIOUG (All India Oracle User Group) will be hosting Sangam 13 November 8th and 9th in Hyderabad, India. The first Sangam conference was in 2009 and the AppsUX team has been involved with the conference and user group membership since 2011. We are excited to be returning to the conference and meeting Oracle end users there.

For the first time at Sangam the AppsUX team will host an Onsite Usability Lab at the conference. If you or one of your team members is attending the conference and interested in attending a pre-scheduled one on one usability session, contact gozel.aamoth@oracle.com. In addition to pre-scheduled sessions in the Onsite Usability Lab, our team will also be hosting Walk In studies.  Whether you have 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or half an hour, you can experience a one on one demo learn more about how user testing is conducted with a UX expert. Additionally, you can learn how you and your company can participate in future design and user research activities.

The AppsUX team will also be available at the Oracle booth in the Demo area if you want to ask questions.

Finally, you can learn how simplicity, consistency, and emerging trends are driving the applications user experience strategy at Oracle when you attend Thomas Wolfmaier's (Director of SCM User Experience, Oracle) presentation on:

Applications User Experiences In the Cloud: Trends and Strategy,  November 8th, 2013.

For further information on our team’s involvement in the conference, please refer to the events page on Usable Apps here.

Workshops, online content show how Oracle infuses simplicity, mobility, extensibility into user experience

By Kathy Miedema & Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience


Oracle has made a huge investment into the user experience of its many different software product families, and recent releases showcase big changes and features that aim to promote end user engagement and efficiency by streamlining navigation and simplifying the user interface.

But making Oracle’s enterprise software great-looking and usable doesn’t stop when Oracle products go out the door. The Applications User Experience (UX) team recognizes that our customers may need to customize software to fit their work processes. And that’s why we provide tools such as user experience design patterns to help you maintain the Oracle user experience as you tailor your application to fit your business needs.

Often, however, customers may need some context around user experience. How has the Oracle user experience been designed and constructed? Why is a good user experience important for users? How does understanding what goes into the user experience benefit the people who purchase the software for users?

There’s a short answer to these questions, and you can read about it on Usable Apps. But truly understanding Oracle’s investment and seeing how it applies across product families occasionally requires a deeper dive into the Oracle user experience, especially if you’re an influencer or decision-maker about Oracle products.

To help frame these decisions, the Communications & Outreach team has developed several targeted workshops that explore what Oracle means when it talks about user experience, and provides a roadmap into where the Oracle user experience is going. These workshops require non-disclosure agreements, and have been delivered to Oracle sales folks, Oracle partners, Oracle ACE Directors and ACEs, and a few customers. Some of these audience members have been developers or have a technical background; just as many did not. Here’s a breakdown of the kind of training you can get around the Oracle user experience from the OAUX Communications & Outreach team.


For Partners:

Demostation
George Papazzian, Principal, Naviscent with Joyce Ohgi, Oracle

  • Oracle Fusion Applications HCM Pre-Sales Seminar:  In concert with Worldwide Alliances  and  Channels under Applications Partner Enablement Director Jonathan Vinoskey’s guidance, the Applications User Experience team delivers a two-day workshop.  Day one focuses on Oracle Fusion Applications HCM and pre-sales strategy, and Day two focuses on positioning and leveraging Oracle’s investment in the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience.  The next workshops will occur on the following dates:
  • Partner Advisory Board: A two-day board meeting in the U.S. and U.K. to discuss four main user experience areas for Oracle Fusion Applications: simplicity, visualization & analytics, mobility, & futures. This event is limited to Oracle Diamond Partners, UX bloggers, and key UX influencers and requires legal documentation.  We will be talking about the Oracle applications UX strategy and roadmap.

  • Partner Implementation Training on User Interface: How to Build Great-Looking, Usable Apps:  In this two-day, hands-on workshop built around Oracle’s Application Development Framework, learn how to build desktop and mobile user interfaces and mobile user interfaces based on Oracle’s experience with Fusion Applications. This workshop is for partners with a technology background who are looking for ways to tailor Fusion Applications using ADF, or have built their own custom solutions using ADF. It includes an introduction to UX design patterns and provides tools to build usability-tested UX designs.
  • Nov 5-6, 2013 @ Redwood Shores, CA, USA
  • January 28-29th, 2014 @ Reston, Virginia, USA
  • February 25-26, 2014 @ Guadalajara, Mexico
  • March 9-10, 2014 @ Dubai, United Arab Emirates
To register, contact Shannon.Whiteman@oracle.com
  • Simplified UI Customization & Extensibility:  Pilot workshop:  We will be reviewing the proposed content for communicating the user experience tool kit available with the next release of Oracle Fusion Applications.  Our core focus will be on what toolkit components our system implementors and independent software vendors will need to respond to customer demand, whether they are extending Fusion Applications, or building custom applications, that will need to leverage the simplified UI.
    • Dec 11th, 2013 @ Reading, UK
For information: contact Misha.vaughan@oracle.com
  • Private lab tour and demos: Interested in seeing what’s going on in the Apps UX Labs?  If you are headed to the San Francisco Bay Area, let us know. We can arrange a spin through our usability labs at headquarters.
  • OAUX Expo: This open-house forum gives partners a look at what the UX team is working on, and showcases the next-generation user experiences in a demo environment where attendees can see and touch the applications.

  • UX Direct: Use the same methods that Oracle uses to develop its own user experiences. We help you define your users and their needs, and then provide direction on how to tailor the best user experience you can for them.

For Customers

lab team photo
Angela Johnston, Gozel Aamoth, Teena Singh, and Yen Chan, Oracle

  • Lab tours: See demos of soon-to-be-released products, and take a spin on usability research equipment such as our eye-tracker. Watch this video to get an idea of what you’ll see.
  • Get our newsletter: Learn about newly released products and see where you can meet us at user group conferences.
  • Participate in a feedback session: Join a focus group or customer feedback session to get an early look at user experience designs for the next generation of software, and provide your thoughts on how well it will work.
  • Join the OUAB: The Oracle Usability Advisory Board meets several times a year to discuss trends in the workforce and provide direction on user experience designs.
  • UX Direct: Use the same methods that Oracle uses to develop its own user experiences. We help you define your users and their needs, and then provide direction on how to tailor the best user experience you can for them.
For Developers (customers, partners, and consultants):

Developers
Plinio Arbizu, SP Solutions, Richard Bingham, Oracle, Balaji Kamepalli, EiSTechnoogies, Praveen Pillalamarri, EiSTechnologies

  • How to Build Great-Looking, Usable Apps: This workshop is for attendees with a strong technology background who are looking for ways to tailor customer software using ADF. It includes an introduction to UX design patterns and provides tools to build usability-tested UX designs.  See above for dates and times.
  • UX design patterns web site: Cut the length of your project down by months. Use these patterns to build out the task flow you need to develop for your users. The patterns have already been usability-tested and represent the best practices that the Oracle UX research team has found in its studies.
  • UX Direct: Use the same methods that Oracle uses to develop its own user experiences. We help you define your users and their needs, and then provide direction on how to tailor the best user experience you can for them.

For Oracle Sales


Mike Klein, Jeremy Ashley, Brent White, Oracle
  • Contact your local sales person for more information about the Oracle user experience and the training available from the Applications User Experience Communications & Outreach team.
  • See customer-friendly user experience collateral ranging from the new simplified UI in Oracle Fusion Applications Release 7, to E-Business Suite user experience highlights, to Siebel, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards user experience highlights.  
  • Receive access to the same pre-sales and implementation training we provide to partners.
  • For Oracle Sales only: Oracle-only training on the Oracle Fusion Applications UX Innovation Sales Kit. 


About

Check here for opinions, updates, and events from Oracle's Applications User Experience team: Applications Cloud, E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Siebel, PeopleSoft, and more.

Misha Vaughan
Misha Vaughan, Director, Applications User Experience
@mishavaughan on Twitter

Learn more about us at
Usable Apps