The Redwood UI

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There has been an unnecessary amount of concern about the new UI which arrived / is arriving in 20C (depending upon which wave you’re on). Admittedly the wording of the announcement probably hasn’t helped (calling it the new default UI is technically true, but does raise worries). For those already on 20C you’ll already know most of this, but for the others here’s what you need to know.

What is the Redwood UI?

Redwood is the new user interface to Oracle Cloud Apps. If you’ve seen any Oracle presentations or their website since OpenWorld last year it’ll be immediately familiar – a really quite stylish and softer look with African/Oriental/Aboriginal influences and more natural tones than the bright red that Oracle used to use everywhere.

Why are people confused?

The announcement said that Redwood replaces the default theme. This panicked some clients into thinking their carefully crafted, corporate theme was going to overwritten. That isn’t the case of course.

If you have customised the theme you’re using, Redwood will be added as an option that you can select, but will not change the theme in use.

It’s only if you are using an unmodified version of the Sky Blue theme will you be automatically changed. Pretty much everyone will have at least changed the logo and saved as a new theme so will be OK.

Things were confused a little further as some of the documentation for Redwood also touted the benefits of the Newsfeed/Responsive UX. We should all be using Newsfeed already so this shouldn’t be new to us so to mix this in too was a bit superfluous.

Branding Redwood

If you like the look of Redwood but want to give it a flavour of your own organisation you can, but your options are much more limited than if you chose one of the other Newsfeed themes. You can change the logo and background, that’s it – and even then it says they’ll be “Redwood-ised” with a Redwood colour overlay.

Replacing the logo works just fine (although you are instructed to use a monochrome version to maximize readability and accessibility). I tried swapping the background however and it didn’t work, so I think there are still some wrinkles to iron out. Or at least it only changed the cover image, not the background:

To me it had the feel of a theme that has been designed for Oracle to do attractive demos and isn’t quite so geared to customer pods – at least not yet.

I suspect you could change the background with some CSS cleverness but I haven’t tried this yet.

Is that everything?

Nearly. Even if you remain on your custom not-Redwood theme you may notice some new icons creeping in that weren’t there before. I’ve not seen any information on this from Oracle so this may be an undocumented change. They do look to have the Redwood style to them, so it looks like we get these regardless of the theme chosen.

If Shooting Stars, Ice Creams and Birds Nests aren’t your thing there’s an idea lab suggestion to give us the option to revert if required. Find it here.