Your Mileage May Vary: Various Running and Fitness Apps UX

What follows is a collection of screens from the fitness and running apps on my iPhones, snapped right after a 16 mile run into Silicon Valley.

Your mileage may vary as they say, in more ways than one.

image

Runcoach app

image

Runcoach share feature

image

RunKeeper app

image

MapMyRun app with FitBit Integration 

image

MapMyRun app

image

FitBit Flex app

image

Misfit Wearables Shine app

image

Strava Run app

Fashion and Wearable Tech: We Don’t All Wear Overalls in Work

Big problem with wearable tech: It’s not particularly wearable.

Part of this failing is a clear lack of any fashion or sense of style evident in the current crop of wearable tech offered to the consumer. What chance then would using wearable tech for work have?

To use an analogy it seems as if wearable tech makers might think we all wear Star Trek uniforms or overalls to work and rely solely used character-based green-screen (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...)

UXer Will Wireframe for Food. Well, Bacon.

I had great fun—and learned a lot in the process—by taking part in an internal Oracle hackathon using Estimote beacons. I joined a team developing a find food fast app using sensors, cleverly named iBacon (iBeacon, iBacon, geddit?).

iBacon didn’t win.

But what we achieved in those three days of the hackathon really knocked me out. It taught me a lot about teamwork and flexible working, and gave me a real-world insight into how (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...)

Wearable Tech: Expectations and User Experience Starts with the Box

I always remember Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), über-UX story teller and master setter of expectations—and VP of the Oracle Applications User Experience team—explaining to me early on that a good way of grasping what user experience was about was to recall those feelings experience of opening an Apple product’s box and peeking inside.

Jeremy pulled an awesome emotional trigger for me with that example. I immediately empathized. Of course, it helped that the (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...)