• What is application architect? “Primary responsibility of the application architect is to provide the overall guidance and structure for creating and maintaining the whole software effort of a company”• Application architect is as important and requires as much attention as web site architect.• As UX practitioners it is our job to make sure that applications are just as easy and simple to use as websites! If anything, making applications usable and friendly to use is a more challenging task.• Just like there are guidelines and best practises for websites, the same can be applied to applications.What is Application Architect?
Complex applications have moved aware from simple top navigation, which include drop-downs etc. Instead you are seeing more applying the Microsoft Ribbon approach. This approach allows more options to be facilitated. The navigation can adapt to the situation on screen. In larger applications, it’s not essential to have all the same options available all the time. Instead it’s ideal to have the navigation adapt to what is available on what needs to be done on screen. It’s important to have the transition between the navigations to be flawless. You do not want to confuse the users by changing the navigation randomly. Microsoft’s Ribbon adds extra options to the main navigation depending on what is on screen or what the user has selected.Navigation
Applications normally involve complex functionalities, which can influence the way a layout might look. Rather than placing all options in one go and making things look overly complex. It’s the responsibility of IA practitioners and designers to make the layout as simple as possible. This can be done by simplifying what is displayed, and expect to use an ‘advance’ to access complex options. This approach will allow the layout appear more simple, but it doesn’t remove any important functionality. However, for this to work well, you need to make sure the ‘advance’ options can be accessed easily.Page Layout (1)
The layout of palettes & canvas needs to be well structured and easy for them to do work. Sections should be moveable to make it easier for users to organise the screen layout to best suit their needs. Expandable screen sections, which allow the resizing of section. This means users can give priority to certain functions when required.Page Layout (2)
To make the interaction with applications much easier, a range of functionality can be used. Drop downs, drag & drop, sliders etc. are all appropriate functionalities that can help the overall user experience. You can add drop downs to group lists, sliders to make it easier for users to increase/decrease a value, drag and drop images for an image application.Functionality
Feedback based on the actions of users is very important. If the wrong feedback is given then it may result in the user responding in an incorrect manner. It’s important to give users guidance on what they need to do. For example, providing users with introduction text or clear titles can help give them an understanding of what is expected. Form feedback is really important. It’s important to guide users on what buttons are inactive/active. Also, give users expectation on what needs to go in each fields. This can help new users learn quickly to fill the form easily and accurately. Applications are self contained. At times users will be interacting over multiple windows. Therefore it’s important focus on particular window is highlighted. This will allow users to easily focus on what they are doing and be productive with less distractions.On-screen Feedback
The call to actions need to be clear and obvious to the users. It is advisable to have an on-screen position for these options to be displayed. It will make it easier for users to know what the next action is. Also, this will make the application more intuitive to the user.Calls To Action
Icons should be used to make it more visually appealing. Applications can have a lot of things going on and rather than using text based buttons, icons can be used instead. Using icons can take up less on screen space allowing you to add more options. It can be hard to come up with meaningful icons. It is advised that you have text with the icon to make it easier for the user to understand.Iconography
• Oracle is a well known as a database system.• The application has it’s own development framework which allows the create of complex applications.• One of the main application development apps is called Oracle Fusion Middleware.• What is Oracle Fusion Middleware? 1. Collection of software, which include Java EE and development tools. 2. The tools offer complete support for development, deployment, and management. 3. It is integration solutions, to identity management, collaboration, and business intelligence reporting.Oracle Fusion Middleware
• Going through a number of cases studies produced by Oracle. It’s clear that Oracle development framework allows you to create clever interactive systems.• Here are a few points, which users can be created: 1. Web look & feel. • Oracle development framework allows the creation of interfaces, which are very similar to web-based applications. • This means that users will be more accustomed to the interface and will not need a lot of training. • Other application functionalities can be duplicated. For example, MS Excel table functionality has been incorporated such as filter, sort, hide, reorder, etc. 2. Web functionality • Using Oracle development framework, there is no limits on the type of functionality you incorporate. • Oracle allows the creation of shopping baskets & invoice entry processes. • This shows that complex functionality can be created whilst using Oracle development framework.Oracle Application: What can you do?
3. Customisable Items • Customisable dashboards can be created. For example, a dashboard was created to allow users to monitor and verify all in one page. The aim was to make sure users can do everything in a single area to make life easier for them. • In past projects involving Oracle development framework, role-based dashboard has been created. These applications have set up to push information to the user rather than having them seek it. 4. Multi-functioning Areas • Multi-functions have been successfully created. Work areas have been created to allow users to view information instantly and make appropriate actions. 5. Integration • Oracle development framework allows integration with other software. There have been successful integration with MS Excel, which allow users to work with tables and databases.Oracle Application: What can you do?
6. Global Navigation • Oracle development framework allows the creation of interactive and creative navigation. • Applications have seen the creation of global navigation where users are able to easily access all areas of the site. • It’s essential that the navigation is really clear. In addition to the main navigation, other options such as quick links can help users get around the application.Oracle Application: What can you do?