Tasks Pane Guidelines Print this Page
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The Tasks pane is a standard panel at the top of the regional area that exists in all work areas. This pane provides a common mechanism from which users can initiate a task flow. The layout, contents, and behavior of the Tasks pane are described in this guideline.
Figure 1. Tasks pane in context of the UI Shell
The Tasks pane:
  • Always appears at the top of the regional area
  • Is labeled “Tasks”
  • Is expanded by default
  • Accommodates three different layouts that support task grouping needs (figure 2)
  • Displays content that is specific to the current work area and varies from one work area to another
  • Is a common place on the page from which users can initiate a task flow inside a work area
  • Is not intended to include direct links to all tasks in a work area
  • Must include a usable way for users to reach their tasks
    • In order for a task to be available to users, it must appear as a Tasks pane link or as a page- or component-level action. Ensure that users will have a usable way to reach their tasks.
    • Here are examples of ways in which to organize tasks that are available to users:
      • General tasks may appear in the Tasks pane (for example, Manage Requisitions or Create Pick Wave)
      • Rather than appearing in the Tasks pane, object-specific tasks should appear as page- or component-level actions. For example, users may:
        • Select the Create action on a table toolbar to create a new object instance
        • Highlight a table row and then select the Edit action
The Tasks pane is most commonly used to access tasks that belong to the current work area. Additionally, it may also be used for the following:
  • Accessing a task that belongs to another work area
    • In a No-tabs work area, the task flow appears in the local area with its related contextual area content, and the regional area remains unchanged. Any regional area content that is available around the selected task in its native work area will not be available.
    • In a Dynamic Tabs work area, the task flow may be loaded in the local are of a new dynamic tab, along with any associated contextual area content. The regional area remains unchanged.
  • Navigating to another work area (while not recommended--instead use global area links for navigation between work areas--it is possible to include links to other work areas in the Tasks pane)
    • Consider the purpose of the Tasks pane and its limited space before including links to other work areas. For example, some setup tasks may be exposed in the Tasks pane of a transactional work area; the link navigates users to the corresponding Setup and Maintenance work area.
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Depending on the tabbing model of the work area, the selected task can:
  • Replace the local area content (No-tabs model)
  • Open a new dynamic tab or select an open tab (Dynamic Tabs model)
  • Launch a dialog box
For more information about tab models, see the Introduction to Work Areas and the Dynamic Tabs Work Area.
Layout and Task Groups
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The tasks pane supports three different layouts (figure 2):
  • Grouped lists of tasks with headings
  • Grouped list of tasks without headings
  • An ungrouped list of tasks
Figure 2. Tasks panes with and without groups
Follow these guidelines for the Tasks pane layout:
  • Consider grouping tasks if there are more than five tasks.
  • Organize task groups by object type or process.
    • Task group headings should describe the object type or process. For example,
      • Standard Journals
      • Journal Import
  • Use whitespace or a heading and whitespace between task groups.
  • Capitalize nouns and verbs in each task name and group heading.
Consider the following:
  • If a heading or task name is too long for the available width, it will wrap and consume multiple rows.
  • Customers may rename group titles.

Tasks Pane Entries
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  • Capitalize all words in task names except articles or prepositions (for example, in, are, a, an, the, until, from, and, or, and so on).
  • List tasks in order of importance, frequency of use, or sequence of events, whether in groups or a flat list.
  • When the order of importance or frequency of use is unknown, tasks within a group may be listed alphabetically.
  • A bullet point precedes a task name but not a task group heading. If the text is longer than will fit in the available width, the task name or heading will wrap.
  • The tasks pane should contain no more than 20 rows of text. This includes rows used for displaying task group headings. Multiple rows consumed by a single task name are counted as such.
  • Remember that customers may rename Task pane entries.
  • Begin task names with an approved verb followed by a noun. Use modifiers as needed.
    • The format would be <verb> <noun>, or <action> <object>. For example:
      • Create Journal
      • Manage Mass Allocations
      • View Auto-allocation Status
    • There may be exceptions to the previous point (for example, Instant Refund).
      • While the task name may be reworded to better adhere to <verb> <noun> format (for example, Issue Instant Refund), it lengthens the task name and does not improve clarity.
      • Issue Refund works even when not in <verb> <noun> format because the word "Refund" is a common and universally understood word; "Refund" is also used as a verb. Therefore, the action is self-explanatory without the use of an action word. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of tasks should follow the <verb> <noun> format.
  • Ensure that each task name reflects a business goal: the end result the user will achieve after completing the task.
  • If the user will act upon a single object during an instance of a task, use a singular object name.
    • For example: Create Shipment
  • If the user can act upon multiple objects during an instance of a task, use a plural object name.
    • For example: Manage Shipments
  • If the Work Area Entry page is a Manage page, do not include that Manage task in the Tasks pane. Users can always return to the Work Area Entry page by clicking the work area title in the work area information area.
  • Do not include the following in the task name:
    • A reference to a role
    • Acronyms
    • Abbreviations
    • Symbols (including slashes or parenthesis)
    • Names of specific fields or concurrent programs
    • Articles (for example, use Create Purchase Order rather than Create a Purchase Order)
  • Remember that it is not necessary to have a one-to-one relationship between the task names populated on the Tasks pane and BPM tasks.
    • BPM tasks are industry-standard descriptions of work that needs to be done and are not proprietary to Oracle.
    • The way in which any BPM task surfaces to the Tasks pane is a function of the context of its use on the user interface, not necessarily an indicator of its relationship with other BPM tasks and activities.
  • Remember that customers can add, modify, and remove tasks pane links.

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