What I learned from the UX Event

Last Tuesday, March 18, there was an UX Event organized by AMIS Services together with the Oracle Applications User Experience Team. Between noon and 8 p.m. I visited a total of 13 sessions, 3 demonstrations and had a lot of great discussions, overall a great day and amazing event.

I picked up various things, from small tips and tricks to big lessons. Instead of keeping my notes to myself, I will try to give a brief overview of what I learned and what will stay with me.

Oracle Slogan
First off, the Oracle slogan, consisting of three key words: Simplicity, Mobility, Extensibility.

In short:
Simplicity: In your design, only present the user what he needs. Give the user less to learn (about the application) and more focus on their actual work.
Mobility: Not mobile, but mobility. The user should be able to access his or her information anywhere. Whether it is a laptop, smart phone or tablet.
Extensibility: Use tailoring for successful implementation for customers. The UX team provides both the Simplified UI (more later) and Best practices & Guidelines for the best UX.

The road to success
Remember that user experience is an umbrella for multiple disciplines. The usability is not just the look and feel of an application. 
  • Business value is key. 
  • It is not free, creating a better usability cost time, effort and knowledge. 
  • Quickly visualize and validate, know where you are heading and organize UI Workshops. 
  • Use an agile methodology.
  • Use wireframes or screen sketching tools to envision your product.

How do we present information?
Traditionally we present data on screens, however, data does not equal information. How to present your data as information? Use techniques to transform data into information that the matches the user his or her needs: 
  • Filter
  • Sort
  • Abstract
  • Aggregate
  • Associate/Interpret
  • Predict

Tips & Tricks
Tablet-First Design, the world is moving away from desktops and monitors, use a tabled design to think about how your application runs on a mobile device.  
Use a multi channel approach, it shouldn’t matter through which channel the users provides his or her input. 
Building blocks, keep in mind: Just because you use the correct building block does not guarantee you end up with a useable interface. 
Usability test, organize usability tests with actual users of your product, not just their managers. 

Simplified UI
By far the most sessions I visited and talks I had were about the new Simplified UI and the Design Patterns concerning this UI. 

The Simplified UI, is a 100% ADF design, there were a few slides that give detailed information about which ADF Components are used to create this UI:

However, the most exciting news might be the fact that there is an starters kit in the making. This starters kit will help you create a custom ADF application with default functionalities of this simplified UI. Not limited to, but including functionality as:
  • The layout, look & feel and skinning of the Simplified UI.
  • Starting an isolated sandbox session to record changes to the application.
  • Using (page)composers to edit the application.
  • Writing this changes to the MDS to support tailoring. 

Last, but not least, patterns, or in more detail, design patterns! 
Sten Vesterli explained pretty powerful in one slide why we need patterns:

Good news, Oracle has a lot of information online about design patterns.
At the Oracle UX website, there is a special tab ‘For Developers’ to browse through UX Design Patterns, best practices and read about success stories. Next to the UX there is also an UX Direct website, here you find a quick look at the design process. You can read more about the ‘Discover, Desgin, Deploy’ circle and browse through resources.    

A great example of how these patterns can come into use, is for example this Pattern Set Decision Table:

Besides the web content Oracle gave out a free eBook during the UX Event, containing 60 pages of Design Patterns for the Simplified UI. The book is called: ‘Simplified User Experience Design Patterns for the Oracle Applications Cloud Service’. I wasn’t able to find the book online yet, but I’m sure they will publish it sooner rather than later.


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