Status of Document
This document shows the current state of the O4 development. The screens will change. The overall navigation concepts will remain the same.
The OASIS project began in 2001 and slowly evolved to the user experience we have today. The key was to both separate the major sections (applications) of OASIS, but yet link them together allowing users to quickly navigate complex projects easily. Those lessons were hard won over the past 18 years.
Today we have around 8000 individual OASIS users of different ages and computer skills. Additionally, we hear companies hire (and sometimes let go) individuals based on their knowledge of OASIS. For the basic business need of training individuals, we take any change to the OASIS user experience seriously.
With more millennials in the industry every day, the expectations of our users are changing dramatically. We have moved from having to explain why an application like OASIS is important for a successful sales agency to millennial users expecting a phone application to do everything OASIS does. And that is the direction we must go knowing it will take time.
2019 OASIS User Experience Goals
By May 6 - initial formal release date
The first release of OASIS O4 is a basic read only application from any device. This means the ability to access much of what is in OASIS with little more than a browser based device. The first problem to solve is to produce a simple user interface that isn't radically different than the traditional OASIS user experience. With 8000 OASIS users, we hope to have about as many individuals saying "more" as the number of individuals complaining about us moving their cheese (so to speak).
After May 6, we will begin work on a full featured O4 project editor. At that time, we will likely change the colors, and some of the look and feel. The idea will be to utilize the advantages of these new environments (browsers) while working around the limitations.
After login, we hope to present a consistent interface to navigate from one part of the application to another. Additionally, each "page" of the application will have user elements that are consistent - like menus and the purple "task bar" (also called a search bar). As mentioned above, the idea is to help 8000 users transition from a more traditional platform O4.
At the same time, there will be changes in the experience that will be loved by some and uncomfortable for others. The biggest will be a transition to a more "browser like" environment. Traditional OASIS loads data for a transaction (like a PO) into an editor. It is almost like editing a spreadsheet with a general tab. In O4, each of these will be a "page" and allow for better linking to parts of a transaction. The only real downside is the "feel" when the window opens.
Below are screen shots from a phone showing how to navigate OASIS. Whether working from a phone, a pad or a desktop (browser or GUI), O4 will be very similar. However, the developers are taking time to tune each screen to the different screen size. In short - don't expect a phone to have all the features of operating O4 from a desktop browser. It will be very similar, but different.
The "Home Screen"
What we today call the "Home Screen" or "Home Application" in OASIS will receive the biggest changes in O4. The default Home will show very little information. From the "Tiles" menu you can create a number of items to show. The idea is to personalize the system to what you normally work with.
OASIS Application Menu
Today, the OASIS application bar is convenient, but essentially wasted space. We moved the application bar to a traditional pull-down menu in the top left of the page. Clicking on the menu will show the different OASIS applications. Clicking (or touching in this case), will load the related OASIS application (e.g. you will go to the Orders application by clicking or touching the Orders menu item in the application menu).
NOTE: When editing a transaction, the OASIS Application menu will likely disappear. More about this behavior in another article.
The traditional OASIS task bar will likely change a bit during the development of O4. Initially, it looked the same. However, we are in the process of updating the look - but will likely keep the color. (The goal with some of the color choices is to help people transition to a new platform. Once we gain a little traction - they will likely change.)
Regardless of look and feel, the OASIS task bar is one of the most utilized features in the system. This is especially true for anyone managing shipping on orders.
One behavior change is that the task bar will show initially with the assumption the user may wish to do a search. After the search returns success, the task bar will automatically disappear. To toggle the taskbar, just click or touch the spyglass in the top right of the page.
After the search:
The help menu has evolved a bit already during the development of O4. Initial ideas were to keep some of the information in the menu bar at the top of the page. However, being consistent with the mobile devices required us to hide some of the information in the help menu.
Although the contents of the help menu will change over time, the goals will remain the same: support our users. Help for the current page is at the top of the menu. The "About OASIS" contains a lot if important support information that we may need by our support team.
Unfortunately, we also hid the "Logout" menu item there. Most likely it will remain in the help menu for now, but could move as we learn more about how our users utilize OASIS.
OASIS O4 will continue to use traditional pull down menus. The concept is easy to train on and we are able to move all the current OASIS features and retain users understanding of how the feature should operate.
One behavior change will be on mobile devices anytime the screen width is less than the size of the menus. OASIS will adjust by taking the following actions:
- Menus will begin to disappear from the right to the left (the right most menu disappears first)
- A menu item will appear showing all the menus for that screen.
Currently, the traditional web "hamburger" icon issued to show where the missing menus have gone. This will change to the newer "triple dot" icon that has become popular on the web for complex applications like OASIS.
Notice that all the menus appear under the "hamburger" menu. The idea is to keep some consistency for busy users and we see a time when having different content in the menu could cause a user to errantly activate an unwanted menu.
The conversations menu will be discussed in another article. The idea is to move the existing reminders and a new "conversations" feature to a common page. When there is a new conversation or active reminder, the red "dot" will show on the conversations menu. Clicking / touching the menu will go to the conversations page.
Colors and Application Images
Each application will be assigned a color and an image. The idea is to use a color to quickly identify the transaction data type. A good example will be the use of the color yellow for invoices. The image associated with invoices will also be used to indicate the application in the application menu and other sections of OASIS (e.g. attachments).
The colors and images will be documented in another article. This is because there will be at least three different sets of colors. The idea is to have a "bright" color pallet for most users and a subdued pallet for users with light sensitivity. Another pallet is being worked on for other needs.