Following the previous post discussing the changes in the requirements for the Fusion specialisation program, I thought I’d start attacking the list of exams required.
The one that looked the most interesting – to me – was the new UX (User Experience) exam. I’ve always had a soft spot for good design and I’d loved the revamped look and feel in Fusion release 8. I also liked the fact that the Oracle UX team had released their Design Patterns to the general public. I’ve worked at a couple of clients which had internal ‘best practice’ guides and I’d often talked with colleagues about creating a community ‘development standards’ wiki for PeopleSoft, but this was the first time that I’d seen one from a vendor. It’s refreshing that Oracle is being open and contributing to the community.
The course contains online learning materials from Oracle’s UX luminaries like Mischa Vaughan, Ultan O Broin and Tim Dubois. Some of the content is still specific to R7 but even this functionality is surprisingly good. Oracle have a separate division of UX experts and the material shows that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the UX of Fusion.
Much emphasis is placed on key UX principals such as:
Surfacing the information that you need – and only that information – with the absolute minimum of navigation, but still letting users drill to the detailed information should they need it. A good examples of this is dashboards which give access to headline/summary info and allow pop-ups, hover text or drilling to more detailed content, and transactional pages if needed.
Unifying all information about one person in one place. Data is organised to prevent UI overload for the end user – we’ve all seen screens from different systems that have too high an information density. This also includes bringing in Social components such as activity streams to aid collaboration.
Consistent UI, which speeds user familiarity and adoption, in turn reducing training and support needs. Make it behave as the users would expect – this is where the design patterns will be of particular use.
Other topics covered include the use of the Simplified UI vs Desktop UI (which we’re pretty comfortable with now) and Mobile Development (which I hadn’t seen as much about). Here they showed the use of ADF Faces for desktop and tablet UIs, and ADF Mobile for Mobile Apps (especially those that have access to phone capabilities – eg. GPS, Camera, gestures and local/offline storage). The idea being that the code is written once in ADF and it is cross-platform (i.e. iOS and Android).
At the conclusion of the course content is an assessment that you can take and become a ‘Fusion UX Specialist’. The objective is more about the learning than any kind of certification, however most vendors have similar programs that show a baseline level of knowledge so it’s a useful exercise to fulfil.