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interaction design

interaction design

The Openbravo Product Tour is a nice tool that allows people to get a first impression of our products through a guided and interactive tour. Since its launch it has become one of the most used evaluation tools. Today we are happy to announce the availability of a new version

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interaction designRetail

After announcing our plans for a mobile solution of Openbravo 3 last year, we decided to first launch the Openbravo for Retail solution with Web POS as the primary mobile interface. Having delivered, we continued working on the core mobile experience. Based on earlier interaction design, we are now in the last stage of completing the Openbravo Mobile platform.

This video shows the power of Openbravo Mobile. It features a lightweight HTML5 GUI that uses Enyo, the state-of-the-art open source development framework. This is an important step towards delivering our mobile vision where all standard windows in Openbravo 3 can be accessed through any mobile device with a web browser. This means full functionality, including record addition and modification, process execution, reporting, notes and attachments.

The featured video demonstrates Openbravo Mobile in different business contexts. Elena´s outdoor store is selling a lot of winter gear due to the cold weather that is coming up. Rob, the sales director, notices this trend while looking at Openbravo Mobile widgets on his phone and directly requests the purchase manager to order additional stock. A few minutes later he receives a notification that the order was placed and he approves, again using his mobile phone. The next morning, the goods are received in the store and Miguel, the warehouse employee, uses Openbravo Mobile on a tablet to register the incoming goods. The circle is closed and business continues.

Openbravo Mobile works seamlessly together with the standard Openbravo 3 browser experience against the same centralized database–further enhancing productivity and accessibility, making your business truly agile.

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interaction design

After the first month working on Openbravo Mobile, here´s a little update in pictures on the progress. At the bottom you will find links to a clickable mockup you can play with. Enjoy and let us know what you think.

First, we had to change our mindset from PC to mobile. My first thought was: “How is Openbravo 3 ever going to fit on a mobile device without losing the great user experience?”

Then we dedicated some weeks to analysis, sketching and playing with phones, pads and every device we could lay our hands on:

It became clear that we had to reduce the PC GUI radically and focus on the basics: Lists and contextual actions. Here´s an example of how a sales person would book an order on an iPad:

We also learned that it is important to offer actionable information. Don´t ask users to go out there and find it but bring it to them! Here´s a director reading updates about his team and commenting on an action:

We realized that mobile ERP is all about browsing, viewing, filtering and applying actions. Now let’s see this in action. Here´s a clickable scenario for mobile phones. Here´s a clickable scenario for tablets.

Note that these are just mock-ups without any visual design or coding done yet. In this stage everything is still possible, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you think via Google+, Facebook or an old-fashioned email to yours truly (rob.goris at you-know-which-company)

UPDATE: The second iteration for tablet and mobile can be found here and here.

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interaction design

As a prelude to the roadmap 2011-12 that will be published in the next few days, let me reveal one of the many exciting things we plan to do: A touch/mobile interface for Openbravo 3.

(Credit: US PTO/Apple)

Tablets and smart phones are soon to overtake the role as the preferred device to access the internet. Although enterprise software is typically used in an office environment, this is also changing.

The advantages are clear. A mobile enterprise can benefit from a higher workforce productivity – up to 45% [1], faster decision-making and increased employee satisfaction.

Openbravo 3 has a highly sophisticated architecture where the GUI is defined in metadata. This allows us to easily optimize the GUI for smaller screens and touch interfaces.

Simplification is critical in designing for touch/mobile. Too often mobile apps or sites try to mimic their desktop siblings without looking at the specific opportunities and constraints of mobile devices. We intend not to do the same.

At this point I´m trying to get a grip on which business tasks are essential for mobile. We aim to make all functionality of Openbravo 3 accessible through mobile devices but at the same time we need to make sure that the user experience of the key flows is superb. Let´s focus on what´s important first.

Here are some examples of tasks that could be candidates:

  • A manager approving employee expenses while traveling
  • A sales rep placing an order together with the customer
  • A sales director checking the sales figures before a meeting with his team
  • A CFO checking the financial health of the company in a chart in a widget on his mobile phone
  • A shop owner using her tablet as both a POS and ERP
  • A warehouse person picking orders using his tablet
  • A sales rep being notified that a customer placed an order that cannot be delivered because it is out of stock

Now I´d like to know what would be the typical tasks for your business (or your customer) while away from the desk.

Throw your ideas at us in the comments, via Google+ or Facebook, thanks!

[1] bfrench:”Survey: Mobile Apps Increase Enterprise Performance and Productivity Advantages, Top Three Mobile App Strategies Gain Momentum“. iPad CTO. Retrieved 8/11/2011.

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communityfeaturesinteraction design

A super short video that shows why Openbravo 3 is so cool :-)

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featuresinteraction design

We noticed that with lots of filtering and scrolling in the grid, you might lose track of your selected row(s). You could scroll up and down to look them up, but this could become tedious when you have hundreds of rows. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Here´s what we did.

So you got this invoice selected in the grid. It is highlighted in orange.

You now decide to filter the grid to look for all “East Coast” invoices that have status “Payment Complete = No”.

Ok, cool. We´re done with that and clear the filters. Hang on, where did my selected row go? It must have scrolled outside the visible area.

To get the selected row back in the visible area, we simply click on the selected-row-counter button.

And the selected row moves back in the view port!

Lost-No-More will be available in maintenance pack 1 (Openbravo 3-MP1) due for end of next week.

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