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Focus Groups Give Oracle New Insights into the Needs of Educators

With the help of executives from colleges and universities, Oracle recently expanded its efforts to gather user feedback about its applications and get insights into the viability of future capabilities in its software.

To do this Oracle organized a collaborative focus group at the recent Alliance ’12 conference sponsored by Oracle’s Higher Education User Group. Oracle used the sessions to gather user research, illustrate its user-centered design process, and showcase its latest designs for customers.

The studies invited “super users” from colleges and universities in part to provide feedback on new designs for search and navigation in the user interface of Oracle Fusion Applications.

The focus group at Alliance was an innovative method for Oracle because professionals interacted with each other to discuss the pros and cons of the designs. “We gained insights into how the person who will be using the software on a day-to-day basis wants to see it work,” says Teena Singh, principal product manager with the Oracle Applications User Experience team. “We went to the experts.”

Other sessions looked at the human capital management capabilities of Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications and how people interacted with PeopleSoft applications using an Apple iPad.

“We wanted to understand the mindset of these users so when we develop the next stage of an application we really know what their needs are,” Singh adds.

The next venue for Oracle’s usability studies will be Oracle OpenWorld 2012, and Singh invites attendees from education and research who may want to participate in studies to contact her directly, read additional information about Oracle's user experience offerings at Oracle OpenWorld, or watch a video about Oracle’s mobile usability labs.
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