It’s the time of the year when the Danish Tax authorities release the annual tax statement, and all 5 million Danes want to see if they have to pay extra or will get a refund.
This used to be a day of crashes, downtime and unavailable systems, followed by ritual gnashing of teeth by politicians and the press. Today, the system simply places people in an orderly queue – I’m number 115,815 and my expected (more...)
Again and again, I’ve seen significant decisions made based on defective reasoning. One of the most common errors is the fallacy of the converse – the belief that if A leads to B, and B happened, then A must have happened.
This fails to take account of all the other things that might have caused B. But many people don’t see this because these other explanations are beyond their cognitive horizon.
I’ll talk more about (more...)
Together with other leading experts on User Experience from Oracle like Vice President Jeremy Ashley, Managing Partner Lonneke Dikmans from Vennster and CTO Lucas Jellema from AMIS, I’ll be speaking at the OAUX Expo in the Netherlands on March 18th.
I’m speaking on two topics:
- How to tailor an application to your user’s needs without coding
- How to implement a good User Experience in Oracle ADF for the cases where you do need to write (more...)
There are good places and bad places for an IT department in an organization.
Some organizations tuck the IT department away in some corner of the org chart, but that means that they miss out on IT as an engine of growth.
The above graphic is from my weekly “Technology That Fits” newsletter, where this week’s issue explains more about how IT fits into an organization. You can sign up for the newsletter here.
I just had dinner with a very successful consulting colleague, and he told me he was returning his new BMW because he hated the software. Instead, was getting a Porsche that has physical buttons for the controls instead the touchscreen in the BMW.
He was happy with everything else about the car, but a poorly designed interface killed the deal. Just because you can add fancy features like a touchscreen doesn’t always mean you should. (more...)
A long tail is a distribution of some data point where a few data point have a high value, but most of the data points have a much lower value. When sorting the data points by value, there will be a large “head” and a long “tail”.
Application usage displays the “long tail” characteristic: A few screens are used much more than others.
If you are re-developing your application, for example moving from Oracle Forms (more...)
The February issue of the ADF Mastery newsletter just went out. If you are not on the list, you can sign up here.
This month, I’m covering the following topics:
- Which version should I use?
- A learning plan for the ADF basics
- Best practice for good user experience
The first topic is often a matter of some debate. I recommend using JDeveloper 126.96.36.199 for now – this is the stable version that (more...)
If you have ever rented a car in the US, you will be familiar with the little LCD device on the counter where you sign your rental contract with a plastic stylus. On the same device, you’re also obliged to acknowledge other things. Since the text is written in 6-point font on a low-quality LCD device, it is for all practical purposes illegible. I assume I’m agreeing to things like that it’s not the rental (more...)
Until this month, I’ve never had to interact directly with the user interface of an SAP system. But now I understand painfully well what users mean when they complain about the usability of enterprise software.
There is an inflection point where usability gets so bad that people will actively try to avoid using the system. You do not want your system to be on the left side of this curve.
Measure how much your systems (more...)
Last Sunday, the Copenhagen Zoo put down one of its giraffes. The did not have room for it and its genes were already well represented in the giraffe gene pool by several siblings. In cooperation with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), it was decided that the space in the one zoo that could take it would be better used for a giraffe with a different genetic makeup.
I’ve discussed this with otherwise (more...)
If you are worried about internet surveillance by NSA and others, today is an international action day with demonstrations and events worldwide. See www.thedaywefightback.org for more information.
My son had finished his web application. He had actually thought about the hardware his users would be using and wanted to test it right. Dad, do we have an old Windows machine? Yes. First generation iPad? Yes. Old iPhone? Yes. I realized that I am unwittingly creating an IT museum in the basement…
What I also realized is how much harder testing has become over the last few years. We used to test our (more...)
In every business, there is a balance between business goals and various impediments.
You need to make sure that you don’t allow legal, QA, security and other internally-focused concerns tip the scale towards paralysis. There is more in this week’s edition of my newsletter “Technology That Fits” – sign up here.
Suddenly, our offshore colleagues could not access the database. We scrambled to find a solution, and and it soon transpired that the central security function had rolled out out a security policy upgrade the night before. Unfortunately, our offshore colleagues were connected to the network in an uncommon way, so the new security policy cut them off.
You don’t know what will happen when you change a system. Enterprise IT landscapes have reached a complexity (more...)
If you are working with Oracle software as a developer, DBA or application server administrator, you should read the new OTech Magazine.
The Winter 2014 issue is almost a book: 136 pages of high-quality technology articles by some of the leading experts in their respective fields. My contribution is the article “From Requirements to Tool Choice” about how to choose the right Oracle development tools (ADF, APEX, or Forms).
And did I mention it (more...)
I’ve just been comparing a number of online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. In this project, I had the opportunity to sign up to the free trial for various services as well as cancelling these demo accounts.
Modern CRM systems like Highrise, CapsuleCRM, and Batchbook all had a button or a link to cancel or delete an account, with appropriate warnings. But the 800-pound gorilla of CRM, Salesforce, did not. In fact, (more...)
As a system grows, it accumulates technical debt – improvements and cleanup that your really ought to get around to doing. However, no-one ever budgets time for this kind of refactoring and cleanup.
The consequence is that any major change opens a Pandora’s box of interrelated problems. I’m involved in a project where we thought we could simply make a minor change to all 2768 tables, but due various historical design decisions over the year (more...)
January is almost over, which means that most people have already given up their New Year’s resolution to become leaner in 2014.
However, your IT organization should become leaner – in January as in every other month. The application of “Lean” methodologies in IT (Lean IT) is well understood, but most organizations still have a lot of waste to eliminate.
When working as a consultant, I get to experience the provisioning process of (more...)
I’ve recently been involved with helping a customer decide on their strategic IT development direction for the next decade.
It never ceases to amaze me how much power programmers have. A decision that will affect the whole organization for years and years ends up being determined by which tool the developers like best.
And which tool do they like best? The one where you get to write a lot of code. No wizards, no assistance, (more...)
The first issue of my ADF Mastery newsletter has just been published (sign up here if you missed it). In this issue, I discuss Oracle ADF skill levels.
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
Gerald Weinberg, Weinberg’s Second Law
Too many programmers simply Google for a code snippet that seems like it might solve the problem at hand, and use it (more...)