At IntraSee, our approach to PeopleSoft and usability stands out for many reasons, but one often flies under the radar. We are big believers in the PeopleTools technology stack, and all of our products are built on PeopleTools combined with web technologies that fit inside that stack. But you would never know that by looking at our solutions. What you see is best in class usability. And what you get is reliability, scalability, and ease of maintenance.

In the early days, we considered the obvious question: why use a new technology when you have one your clients already know? Think about all the features you are already comfortable with that have been tried and tested over multiple decades:

  • Authentication/Authorization
  • Performance and redundancy
  • Caching mechanisms
  • Backups, clones and restores
  • Patching and migrations
  • Workflow
  • Search
  • And more!

Why would you build these things from scratch? More importantly, why would you risk redundant code by running two technologies that do the same thing? Even the simple stuff like user ID provisioning can become a problem. When you have two technology stacks trying to stay in sync and provision/de-provision accounts, messy stuff just happens!

Security

Maybe most importantly, when you introduce new technology stacks such as Microsoft .Net, PHP, and Java, you are increasing the moles in a game of security whack-a-mole.

Security Whack-a-Mole

It is one more system that could have a security vulnerability. One more place for a performance bottleneck. One more way for things to go wrong and they always find a way of blowing up on you. The more moving pieces you have in your architecture, the harder it is to keep up. We are only human, after all.

At IntraSee, we believe you should spend your time and energy on delighting your users. Don’t get bogged down in security patches, synchronizations and the maintenance of multiple technology stacks.  Contact us and learn more about our approach.

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When asked to develop something for people’s visual impairments, the first question that often comes up is: how will this work in a screen reader? Yes, while a complete visual deficiency tends to be the place where the most focus takes place, it does not always address the most common of the visual impairments; individuals with Color Vision Deficiency (CVD).

Braille Tablet

Figure 1: University of Michigan recently announced a braille tablet.

So, how prevalent is CVD? According to some estimates, it as high as 1 in every 12 men / 1 in every 200 women in the world, and in most cases inherited genetically. That’s an incredibly high number and it’s something that great design needs to account for. Let’s look at a recent case that highlights the effects of CVD on design.

During this year’s National Football League season, a major manufacturer of equipment for the NFL decided to go outside of the box and create super bright, monochromatic uniforms for the teams. As far as a marketing strategy went, this made complete sense – vivid colors make things pop! The players would appear to move more quickly; the game would be that much more exciting!

Green Jets vs. Red Bills

Figure 2: NFL Color Rush – Bills vs Jets 2015

The problem was, the uniforms were not designed to take CVD into consideration, as the NFL later admitted. When the game was ultimately played, there were thousands of people flooding the social networks up in arms that the game was impossible to watch.

Bills vs. Jets in Red/Green

Figure 3: What the Color Rush experiment looked like to a person with CVD.

IntraSee Believes Accessibility is Important!

The NFL is one of the biggest stages in the United States, and even they missed out on something that affects approximately 8% of men in the world. This could have been easily remedied if accessibility guidelines were taken into consideration from the beginning.

At IntraSee our design begins with accessibility in mind, and our development follows through with it.

Take for instance the IntraSee Academic Planner. It is designed to display each course in a student’s plan as a different colored element in a grid. This is incredibly useful to quickly group courses together and spatially determine if the schedule makes sense.

Academic Planner Contrast

Figure 4: IntraSee’s Academic Planner Auto Contrast Feature

Those colors, in the grid, are a configuration setting during implementation. Any color combination can be implemented to both match your organization’s brand and maintain the proper color contrast ratios. The Academic Planner even provides personalization options allowing the student to pick their own colors! Our technology will automatically adjust font colors for optimal contrast. Those are the details that make for great design for the entire population.

Our development methodology always includes rigorous accessibility reviews and our products are developed in a way that allows for configuration including the ability to incorporate advanced accessibility features such as ARIA.

At IntraSee, we have always said user experience is not a pretty picture. It is a mindset, and it considers angles that are often missed. We understand how important it is for your employees and students to be able to use the system you provide without any limitations. Contact us to learn more.

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The modern user

Gone are the days of purchasing software by a matrix of features. Today’s enterprise users expect more from their applications. They expect them to be easy to use, mobile, and integrated. Successful enterprise IT projects are now measured by user satisfaction, adoption rates, and reduced helpdesk calls. Your users expect more and now is the time for a new approach.

A link farm won’t solve your problems

Time and again, our user studies turn up one fact: people want one place to go for everything. One list of to dos, one search, and one look and feel. Link farms just won’t get the job done. They expect to see data and applications from PeopleSoft intermixed cohesively with Cloud applications. They expect easy navigation, step-by-step guides, logical organization and a powerful search.

Today’s IT environment is as complex as it has ever been and PeopleSoft usually sits in the middle. The confusion caused be this is overwhelming users and their frustration threatens an organization’s efficiency and its investments in various ERP solutions.

Our mission

IntraSee is focused on solving these problems with our blend of cutting-edge solutions and high-touch consulting services. We do it by always looking through the user’s eyes and challenging conventional thinking.

Learn more About Us or our Products & Services or Contact Us and learn how we can  help your organization.

This year’s conference highlighted the continuing focus in the industry on the User Experience and the Cloud. IntraSee was there, as presenters and at the HCM Pavilion, and here’s our summary on what we saw.

Fluid

In PeopleTools 8.55, a user’s homepage will now be the default landing page for Desktop, Smartphone and Tablet users (though this default can be changed). This is the familiar page with 9 tiles in a 3-by-3 formation. Additionally, all users will now only get the Fluid slide-out menu as the Enterprise Menu is being retired. If you have done work on your branding in PeopleSoft, you will want to allocate time during your 8.55 upgrade to ensure you don’t lose your current experience.Fluid HomepageMost importantly, Oracle announced that Classic and Fluid will co-exist for quite some time. Each organization needs to have a strategy for how this mix is best deployed to their users. If you need some guidance on blending Classis and Fluid, IntraSee can help. Just contact us and we will talk you through the considerations and can even show you a demo of how best this can be done.

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Cloud

The Cloud was probably the most used term all week. It is clear that Oracle’s strategy is to continually offer more and more Cloud options to its customers. Where Oracle differs is that it plans to have Cloud and On-Premise/Hosted options so that organizations can move at their own pace. Additionally, it allows organizations to not get trapped in the cloud should they ever need to move back.

It is clear most organizations are going to take baby steps into the Cloud. This seems the safest path. However, it does pose a user experience challenge. How does a user know that to process a transfer they need the PeopleSoft URL, to approve a job req they need the Taleo URL and to look at their team’s performance they need the HCM Fusion Cloud URL? Consequently there has never been a greater need for Cloud integration. Because of that we have built a suite of Cloud Adapters that allow the consolidation of multiple applications in the Cloud into one user experience. Our Cloud Adapters allow an organization to seamlessly take steps into the Cloud without putting a burden on its users. One site with PeopleSoft, Cloud apps, Classic components, Fluid Components, Content & Search. All fully accessible on both the desktop and mobile devices in a responsive fashion!

In the PeopleTools track there were more sessions on Fluid than any other technical feature. Fluid is a newly built page processor technology that allows the elements of a page to move around with changing screen sizes. This allows the developer to build pages that work on desktop browsers as well as mobile devices without having to create multiple versions. Initially there are a fairly small amount of Fluid pages compared to Classic pages that Oracle will deliver. But that number will grow over time.

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