Google Glass Grows Up and Pivots

Been reading the ‘tubes about withdrawal of development interest in Google Glass and the imminent demise (for now) of Google Glass itself

Still, we have have some news that might indicate the project will continue on a different platform perhaps, and with some experimentation in the enterprise space.

We’ll see. I do think Google Glass in its current iteration is over. But, if Google Glass is withdrawn, it’s not the end of (more...)

Making it Easy to do the Right Thing

I was just in Stockholm visiting a customer, and I noticed a new feature in my Volvo rental car: You could set the cruise control to a speed limit.

Speed_limit(apologies for the blurry picture, it was taken by my Narrative shirt pocket camera)

You drive the car as you would normally do, but when you approach the set speed, the car does not go any faster when you press the accelerator further. Unless you kick (more...)

Unlimited Session Timeout

There are a lot of security admins out there that are going to hate me for this post. There are a lot of system administrators, developers, and users, however, that will LOVE me for this post. The code I'm about to share with you will keep the logged in PeopleSoft user's session active as long as the user has a browser window open that points to a PeopleSoft instance. Why would you do this? I (more...)

Poor Usability Puts Dangerous Criminals on the Street

Good usability is often seen as optional – something we can include in a system if we have the time and the resources for it. But sometimes, bad usability can cause economic damage. A couple of years ago, here in Denmark, a large, well-respected organization had to write manual checks for months to avoid having their phones cut off. The reason: Their new ERP system was so hard to use that invoices were not getting (more...)

Late to the game: SAP

Having working with Oracle Fusion Applications, I know what a modern, cutting-edge user experience for enterprise software looks like. Something like this:

fusion-applications-screenshots-3I’ve also sometimes been subjected to SAP. Suffice to say, it does not look like this.

But maybe they’re upping their game – according to job hunting site Glassdoor.com, SAP is looking for 58 User Experience engineers. A bit late to the game, given than Oracle is already shipping stuff like the (more...)

Cool or Safe? Volvo Chooses Cool

Safe driving has two components: Safe cars and safe drivers.

A Volvo car is built like a tank and is equipped with all kinds of safety features – it’s a very safe car. Unfortunately, Volvo has unthinkingly undone all the advances they have made on the car side of the equation by making the driver much more likely to cause an accident. How did they do that? With touchscreens, of course.

A driver in a (more...)

Cool or useful?

This is the dashboard of a Tesla S:

tesla dashboard

With a large touchscreen and very few physical buttons. A lot of design time went into building this. Very cool-looking.

This is the steering wheel of a Formula One racecar (which is incidentially the whole user interface of the car):

formula1 steering wheel

A small screen and a lot of physical buttons. A lot of usability engineering went into building this. Very useful.

If you are going to be handling (more...)

Thinking it Through – Nest Smoke Alarm Fail

The company Nest, recently acquired by Google for the usual billions, makes smart thermostats and smoke detectors. Unfortunately, they did not think through the user experience of their Nest smoke and CO detector.

In principle, it’s great that you can turn off your smoke detector by waving your hand at it – like in “oh, cut it out, I just overcooked my microwave popcorn a bit.”

Less great is that if people experience an (more...)

Good User Experience at Low Cost

The business wants IT to deliver a good user experience at low cost. Many people in IT considers these two goals to be conflicting, but they are not. The secret to good user experience at low cost is to use existing best practice, codified in User Experience Design Patterns.
UX patternsSo where do you get these magic, cost-saving design patterns? A good starting point is the very comprehensive library of UX design patterns that Oracle is (more...)

The Future of User Experience

I’m off to the Netherlands for the first and finest Oracle User Experience Event in Europe, arranged by Oracle Platinum Partner AMIS Services BV at their offices in Nieuwegein.

AMIS and Oracle are pulling out all the stops – Oracle is flying in their top UX talent to speak, AMIS has lined up some of their experienced consultants, and they’ve even invited a few outside experts (like me).

I’ll be co-presenting with Killian Evers (more...)

User Experience Event in the Netherlands

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...)

“I’m returning the BMW”

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...)

An Interview with Jeff Robbins

At OpenWorld 2013, I had the opportunity to catch up with Jeff Robbins and ask him some questions about PeopleSoft's User Experience. You can watch the video here:

Watch more videos from Oracle's User Experience team on the oracleuseableapps YouTube channel.

Stop listening to your users

Here is a way you might build a IT system: The users tell you what they want, and you build what they asked for. Sometimes you get it right, especially if you have good communication with end users and an iterative approach. Sometimes you get it wrong, especially if you (more...)

Fixing little things

Why does some software gather rave reviews while functionally equivalent software never takes off?

Because of a relentless focus on good user interface, exemplified in their effort on eliminating “paper cuts”.

A “paper cut” is a little interaction that is in some way annoying or not quite right. It can (more...)

Oracle Cloud: Demonstrating Dark User Experience Patterns

You know there are good User Experience Design Patterns. There are also anti-patterns – bad stuff done by people who don’t know better.

And then there are Dark Patterns – User Experience deliberately crafted by clever people to trick users. The Oracle Cloud trial is unfortunately an example of the (more...)

Sorry, the lawyer ate my user experience

I occasionally use www.istockphoto.com for finding and buying images to use in my presentations. They have a nice, user-friendly interface for selecting images. There is a good keyword search, the option to search by color, orientation and even available space for your own text. So far, so good.

(more...)

User Attention Deficit Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association has just released the fifth edition of “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, known as DSM-5. Currently, 20 percent of American boys aged 14-17 are diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and with the new guidelines, that number is set to increase.

Maybe that’s why your (more...)

Do You Even Test?

During the workshop here at Oracle in Redwood shores, we were taught about the importance of usability testing. Maybe that is why I noticed the switches in the washroom at my hotel.

Can you tell what they do? On entering the washroom, I press the button closest to the door (more...)

I have seen the future of ERP

I’m at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores this week for a workshop on implementing Oracle’s best user experience (UX) design practices in ADF.

Yesterday, the Oracle UX team hosted a confidential (strictly no photography!) event demoing some of the new stuff they are working on. If I told you (more...)