By Sandra Lee (@sandralee0415)
What happens when co-workers try out wearable technology? Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), Director of Oracle Applications Communications and Outreach, explored just that.
“Instead of a general perspective, I wanted the team to have a personal experience of wearable technology”, said Misha. So, she gave each member of her team a Fitbit Flex activity tracker to use. The exercise proved insightful, with team members providing useful personal and enterprise-related feedback on device usage.
Your Fitbit Flex awaits [Photo: Sandra Lee]
Team Dynamic and Initial Reactions
It was a free choice for team members to wear the Fitbit device or not. Those that did were inspired and enjoyed comparing activities and goals. Shannon Whiteman, Communication Operations and Online Training Manager, loved the competitive aspect. “If I saw someone had 100 more steps than I did, I’d take the stairs and walk an extra 101 steps to beat them.” Kathy Miedema, Senior Market Research Analyst, noted that the Fitbit “really motivated and validated my personal fitness activity”.
Example of recorded activity: Ultan O’Broin’s (@usableapps) Fitbit dashboard
The exercise also provided observations on team dynamics in the workplace. Some chose not to wear the device whether for personal reasons, set-up issues, or lack of time; a reminder that although fun to try, such devices are not for everyone, and that’s OK.
The Fashion Perspective
Sarahi Mireles, User Experience Developer in Mexico, tried the Fitbit, but it didn’t fit her lifestyle, saying that “the interest is there [for wearables in general], but the design attraction is lacking.” Sarahi feels the ideal fitness tracker for her world is one with interchangeable looks, so she can wear it to work and to dinner. This typical user need is where fashion designers like Tory Burch offer value to technology developers, in this case partnering with Fitbit to make devices look more like beautiful bracelets and necklaces.
The Enterprise Employee Investment
Fitness plays a role in work/life balance, and health, happiness, and productivity are intrinsically linked. Overall, wellness contributes to the bottom line in a big way. Oracle is focused on such solutions too, researching user experiences that best engage, promote and support employee wellness.
Externally, at HCM World for example, Oracle's interest in this space offered analysts and customers complimentary Fitbit Zip devices for a voluntary wellness competition; the winner receiving a donation to the American Cancer Society.
Karen Scipi (@karenscipi), Senior Usability Engineer, reflected that companies like Oracle, in facilitating the use of the fitness device, are placing importance on employee health and fitness as an “employee investment.” Healthier individuals are happier and therefore more productive employees.
Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President of Applications User Experience, already leads his team in embracing wellness within the workplace, participating in the American Heart Association Bay Walk, for example. He explained how encouraging and measuring activity during the working day, whether through walking meetings or using activity trackers, is a meaningful way to identify with the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience strategy too.
Jeremy described how sensors in activity trackers—along with smart watches, heads-up displays, smart phones, and beacons—are part of the Internet of Things: that ubiquitous connectivity of technology and the Cloud that realize daily experiences for today's enterprise users to empathize with.
Your Data and the Enterprise Bottom Line
From the business perspective, employee activity data gathered from corporate wellness programs could lead to negotiated discounts and rewards for users from health care companies, for example; one possible incentive to enterprise adoption. Gamification, the encouraging of team members to engage and interact in collaborative and productive ways in work using challenges and competitions, is another strategy for workplace wellness programs uptake.
Ultan O’Broin, Director of User Experience, who travels globally out of Ireland, noted that although he personally hasn’t experienced any negative reactions to wearable technology, the issue of privacy of the data gathered, especially in Europe, is a huge concern.
Data accuracy, permitting employees to voluntarily opt in or out of fitness and wellness programs, privacy issues, and what to do with that data once its collected, all need to reassure users and customers alike. Having HR involved in tracking, storing and using employee activity data is an enterprise dimension being explored.
User Experience Trends
Smart watch usage is on the rise, combining ability to unobtrusively track activity with other glanceable UI capabilities. Analysts now predict a shift in usage patterns as smart watches begin to replace fitness bands, but time will tell in this fast-moving space.
Regardless of your wearable device of choice, and the fashion, personal privacy, employee data, and corporate deployment considerations we’ve explored, wearable technology and wellness programs are enterprise happenings that are here to stay. It’s time to get on board and think about how your business can benefit.
Perhaps your team could follow Misha’s great initiative and explore wearable technology user experience for yourselves? Let us know in the comments!
You can read more about Oracle Applications User Experience team’s innovation and exploration of wearable technology on the Usable Apps Storify social story.
By Joe Dumas, Oracle Applications User Experience
When you blog, are you reaching the right audience? Is blogging an effective way to spread your message? These are some of the questions that the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) Communications and Outreach team asked me to help answer.
The team made the Simplified User Experience Design Patterns for the Oracle Applications Cloud Service eBook available for free on the web. They announced its availability on the Usable Apps blog.
Simplified User Experience Design Patterns for the Oracle Applications Cloud Service eBook in use.
The eBook contains user experience design guidance and examples for building the Oracle Applications Cloud simplified UI. The target audience was developers building applications with Oracle ADF in the Oracle Java Cloud Service. To download the eBook (in a tablet-friendly format of choice), developers registered their name and email address on the eBook landing page.
To gather the information for analysis, I created a short online survey of questions and, using that database of thousands of email addresses, invited those registered users to complete the survey, without either obligation or incentive.
However, when I tabulated the survey results, more than half of the respondents had found out about the eBook from the blog.
Furthermore, I found that of those who used the book extensively, some 70% said they had first heard about it from the blog.
I also found that the survey respondents were mostly the very people for whom the book was intended. 70% of respondents made user interface design decisions for applications development teams, and all either worked for Oracle Partners or were applications development consultants for Oracle products.
I’ll explore in a further blog article about what parts of the eBook developers found most useful and other insights. But, as a taster, I can let you know now about receiving positive comments again and again about developers being “thrilled” with the content.
In these days of pervasive social media and other communications channels and a debate about the effectiveness of different online platforms, these findings show that blogs are indeed an effective way to reach out to a target audience, especially one committed to finding ways to work faster and smarter.
Do you communicate with developers or other information technology professionals using a blog? How often do you blog, and why? Share your experience in the comments.
Desarrollador de Experiencias de Usuario (User Experience Developer), Sarahi Mireles escribe:
El pasado 4 y 5 de Noviembre, tuve la oportunidad de participar en el Shape and ShipIt Design Jam interno que se llevo a cabo en Oracle HQ. Ahí, diferentes miembros del equipo de User Experience nos reunimos para investigar e innovar soluciones móviles empresariales.
¿El objetivo de todo esto? Conocer más sobre el concepto de desarrollo enfocado al contexto, lo que da como resultado una interacción más natural e intuitiva entre el usuario y las soluciones empresariales que utiliza día con día.
Participantes Cindy Fong, Sarahi Mireles, Tony Orciuoli, y Thao Nguyen [foto: Karen Scipi]
Estuvimos trabajando en equipos durante dos días, y debo decir que fue muy divertido (¿quién dice que el trabajo no puede ser divertido?). En ese tiempo hicimos lluvia de ideas, las afinamos, hicimos nuestros propios wireframes basados en casos de uso y finalmente comenzamos a codificar.
Participantes Luis Galeana, Julian Orr, Raymond Xie, Thao Nguyen, y Anthony Lai [foto: Karen Scipi]
¿El resultado? Soluciones empresariales fáciles de entender, de usar y relevantes, brindando al usuario la información necesaria en el momento más oportuno, lo que se ve reflejado en una experiencia de usuario simplemente increíble.
Equipo ASCII_kerz! presentando su solución a los jueces (jueces (sentados) Jeremy Ashley y Bill Kraus; participantes (de pie) Cindy Fong, Sarahi Mireles, y Tony Orciuoli) [foto: Karen Scipi]
Si quieres conocer más acerca de Oracle Applications User Experience visita el sitio de Usable Apps, y el blog theappslab.com para conocer más acerca de lo que el equipo de Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot) está haciendo. Y por supuesto, sí quieres conocer más acerca del Oracle MDC (México Development Center) echa un vistazo a nuestra página de Facebook.
Your free eBook, Oracle Applications Cloud User Experiences: Trends and Strategy, is now available. Go to tinyurl.com/UXstrategy to register and download the PDF.
This is a colorful, beautifully illustrated, and simply written document that shows and tells you everything you need to know about the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience. From strategy and design philosophy to current innovation and emergent trends, the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team has it covered.
Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Oracle Applications User Experience Vice President, tell you just what you need to use that Oracle UX message to increase your cloud business.
So, what's in it for partners and developers? As you scan through the eBook, you'll discover as innovation and ideation comes to life using Oracle technology toolkit and the guidance shared on the Usable Apps website, the OUAX outreach enables you to build similar awesome cloud user experiences. You can use the eBook to confidently explain key cloud UX concepts to your customers and to jointly inspire new business ideas and solutions.
And hey, it's a great resource to share with anyone interested in design, technology, and building things with a user experience too!
We enable business users and developers to build and tailor simplified user experiences for the Oracle Applications Cloud productively, in ways that make sense for their customers.
The cloud is our platform. You can also design optimized, contextual user experiences easily, using familiar, core elements across experiences.
Watch out for more eBooks from OAUX. Stay tuned to the usual channels.
For now, enjoy!
It was an exciting event here at Oracle Headquarters as our User Experience AppsLab (@theappslab) Director Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot) recently hosted an internal design jam called Shape and ShipIt. Fifteen top-notch members of the newly expanded team got together for two days with a packed schedule to research and innovate cutting-edge enterprise solutions, write use cases, create wireframes, and build and code solutions. They didn’t let us down.
The goal: Collaborate and rapidly design practical, contextual, mobile Oracle Applications Cloud solutions that address real-world user needs and deliver enterprise solutions that are streamlined, natural, and intuitive user experiences.
The result: Success! Four new stellar user experience solutions were delivered to take forward to product development teams working on future Oracle Application Cloud simplified user interface releases.
Design jam event banner
While I cannot share the concepts or solutions with you as they are under strict lock and key, I can share our markers of the event’s success with you.
The event was split into two days:
- Day 1: A “shape” day during which participants received invaluable guidance from Bill Kraus on the role of context and user experience, then researched and shaped their ideas through use cases and wireframes.
- Day 2: A “ship” day during which participants coded, reviewed, tested, and presented their solutions to a panel of judges that included Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President of the Oracle Applications User Experience team.
It was a packed two days full of ideas, teamwork, and impressive presentations.
Participants Anthony Lai, Bill Kraus, and Luis Galeana [photo: Sandra Lee (@SandraLee0415)]
The participants formed four small teams that comprised managers, architects, researchers, developers, and interaction designers whose specific perspectives proved to be invaluable to the tasks at hand. Their blend of complementary skills enabled the much needed collaboration and innovation.
Diversity drives more innovation at Oracle. Participants Mark Vilrokx, Osvaldo Villagrana, Raymond Xie Julia Blyumen, and Joyce Ohgi hard at work. [photo: Karen Scipi (@KarenScipi)]
Although participants were charged with a short timeframe for such an assignment, they were quick to adapt and refine their concepts and produce solutions that could be delivered and presented in two days. Individual team agility was imperative for designing and delivering solutions within a two-day timeframe.
Participants were encouraged to brainstorm and design in ways that suited them. Whether it was sitting at tables with crayons, paper, notebooks and laptops, or hosting walking meetings outside, the participants were able to discuss concepts and ideate in their own, flexible ways.
Brainstorming with notebooks and pens: Cindy Fong and Tony Orciuoli [photo: Sandra Lee]
laptops: Noel Portugal and Ben Bendig
[photo: Karen Scipi]
As with all of our simplified user interface design efforts, participants kept a “context produces magic” perspective front and center throughout their activities. In the end, team results yielded responsive, streamlined, context-driven user experience solutions that were simple yet powerful.
Healthy “brain food” and activity breaks were encouraged, and both kept participants engaged and focused on the important tasks at hand. Salads, veggies, dips, pastas, wraps, and sometimes a chocolate chip cookie (for the much needed sugar high) were on the menu. The activity break of choice was an occasional competitive game of table tennis at the Oracle Fitness Center, just a stone’s throw from the event location. The balance of think-mode and break-mode worked out just right for participants.
Healthful sustenance: Lunch salads [photo: Karen Scipi]
Our biggest marker of success, though, was how wrong we were. Yes. Wrong. While we expected one team’s enterprise solution to clearly stand out from among all of the others, we were pleasantly surprised as all four were equally impressive, viable, and well-received by the design jam judges. Four submissions, four winners. Nice job!
Participants (standing) Cindy Fong, Sarahi Mireles, and Tony Orciuoli present their enterprise solution to the panel of judges (seated): Jake Kuramoto, Jatin Thaker, Tim Dubois, Jeremy Ashley, and Bill Kraus [photo: Karen Scipi]
Stay tuned to the Usable Apps Blog to learn more about such events and what happens to the innovative user experiences that emerge!
To ideate with our partners to create user experience (UX) enablement that delivers, we first empathize with how partner development teams go about their business. By understanding their world, we can rock it.
The Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) Communications and Outreach team has just executed on a very successful internal event called the UX Design Lab for PaaS. The event's attendees adopted the role of partners delivering typical simplified UI (SUI) SaaS solutions using PaaS.
This new kind of event used a new visual style agenda designed by the team.
We’ve got that partner message cloud and clear: SUI and PaaS are differentiators. And, we know how the cloud has changed everything, including user experience (UX). Partners need to build UX solutions in the cloud, quickly and easily, to meet those ever-demanding customer expectations.
User experience is baked into the simplicity of our enablement for busy partner developers.
So, a group of our own software architects, UX designers, Oracle ADF developers, platform experts, and other partner enablers, took typical PaaS and SaaS use cases and designed and built solutions using our Simplified UI Rapid Development Kit (based on Oracle ADF). They then deployed their applications using the Oracle Java Cloud platform services.
From paper to cloud. The event tested the PaaS4SaaS process from “All I want to do is... ” use cases to more complex solutions for Oracle Sales, HCM, ERP Cloud, and more.
This was a strategic event with Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President of OAUX as executive sponsor. Furthermore, 20% of attendees had “Vice President” (or higher) in their titles reflecting the importance that Oracle puts on this kind of partner enablement. What’s more, they got down to business with the design and the development tools too.
Our next step is to evaluate our experience and validate the outcome of the event with partners themselves. We're fine-tuning our partner communications and outreach with more awesome PaaS4SaaS resources, already proven for developers and ready to win business.
The occasion was an opportunity to try out ways of organizing partner events, so we added fitness and wellness breaks, fun activities, and tailored the event to reflect the diversity of the tech community.
Minute-To-Win-It. Attendee wellness and engagement was one focus of the event. David Haimes (@dhaimes) and Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan) display their dexterity with all matters cloud, facilitated by the Oracle HQ Reach Fitness team.
We also looked at ways of communicating UX in a simple, effective way, one that resonates with busy developers, such as using a Jobs To Be Done framework applied to agile simplified UI user requirements gathering and wireframing.
Julian Orr (left) and Ultan Ó Broin (@ultan) fronting the #JTBD approach.
As this was an internal event, I can’t disclose use case details, of course. But, I will reveal that we are soon hosting one partner onsite for high-touch simplified UI design and development best practices to add to their existing Oracle ADF and Oracle Fusion Middleware knowledge. We'll fast-track that partner to rapidly build a solution that will grow their cloud business and add real value to the Oracle Applications Cloud partner ecosystem.
You could be the next partner. So, if you are an eager partner in North America or EMEA and have compelling simplified UI Oracle Applications Cloud use cases that fit the PaaS model, reach out to us through the usual channels.
Senior Director, Oracle Applications User Experience
The 2014 International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) was recently held in Chicago, on October 27-31, 2014. This conference deals with all the latest research and issues in the field of human factors, the study of human-machine systems. Some 1450 professionals in human factors, user experience (UX), and related fields attended the event.
Anna Wichansky and Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps) of the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team presented a half-day workshop on How to Create User Requirements for Software to HFES members and students, including industry consultants and end-user customers. This is their third presentation of the workshop, which features a highly interactive format with small groups engaged in hands-on role-playing exercises.
In this unique workshop, students prepared a business case about a fictitious auto parts company requiring a financial software upgrade to a more efficient, effective, and satisfying application. They worked in small groups and played the roles of UX consultant, user, and stakeholders in the implementation. Ultan and Anna facilitated the groups, played stakeholder roles as needed, and presented relevant concepts and methods for setting UX requirements based on the NIST IR 7432 Common Industry Format for Requirements. Students left with a completed template of user requirements for the workshop business case.
Understanding the context of use (the who, what, where, how, and with whom) dimension of software user requirements gathering is fundamental to a successful implementation. The HFES workshop explored context of use thoroughly as an underlying layer of the Common Industry Format for Usability Requirements.
In other highlights of the conference, Deborah Hersman, President and CEO of the U.S. National Safety Council and former head of the National Transportation Safety Board, gave an invited speech on the importance of human factors in promoting safety. One particular theme was computer-distracted operators of transportation vehicles. She related examples of the Northwest Airlines pilots who overflew their destination while reading rosters on a laptop, a texting engineer responsible for a train collision in Chatsworth, California, and the Delaware River tug boat mate in charge of towing a barge that collided with another vessel because he was distracted by his cell phone. Her clear message is that we need to use technology thoughtfully to ensure the benefits outweigh any detrimental effects. Automated cars, for example, could have many benefits in providing a very safe ride, possibly decreasing the effects of driver distraction, fatigue, and aging on highway accidents.
The fastest growing technical group in HFES is Healthcare, with many papers and sessions presented on testing medical devices, the design and human factors of electronic medical records, and online consumer information systems for patient compliance and support.
A symposium on research being conducted to support the NASA manned extra-planetary missions was also presented, with many relevant findings for life here on Earth, including the effects of sleep deprivation and sleep inertia (when you are suddenly awakened in the middle of sleep) on human performance.
BMW presented research on the optimal design for augmented displays in automated driving scenarios. The research found that drivers’ reactions to the displayed alerts and warnings as they attempted to avoid hazards in simulated driving tasks were often unpredictable, depending on features of the visual design.
About the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is a 4500-member professional organization dedicated to the study of human-machine systems. Anna Wichansky is a Fellow of the HFES.
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (2007) NIST IR 7432. Common Industry Specification for Usability – Requirements, U.S. Department of Commerce. (Available online. Accessed 19-September-2014).
- Read about our own innovation and ideation on the AppsLab blog and about the research and science that grounds our shared UX insight on the Usable Apps website.