:: urbansheep (urbansheep) wrote,
:: urbansheep
urbansheep

[ L ] Browser Look And Feel Guidelines

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General Description
The Browser Look and Feel (BLAF) User Interface (UI) Guidelines are a set of standards to help designers, developers and product teams build HTML applications. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide a consistent look and feel, consistent interaction model, and ultimately a consistent user experience across the entire suite of Oracle eBusiness products.

Purpose and Goals of BLAF
A consistent user experience across all Oracle products is not only achieved through a common look and feel (same color palette, same art direction), but also through similar interaction behaviors. For instance, when a user is searching for an asset in a financial application, or searching for a campaign in a marketing application, the search behaviors should not only look the same, but also function and/or interact the same. The BLAF Guidelines provide standards to ensure not only the same look, but also to specify these types of common interactions.

The standards accommodate functional requirements from across the Oracle suite: Server Technologies, Tools, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Business Intelligence (BI). BLAF recognizes that functional requirements can be different based on application needs and user requirements, thus BLAF is flexible in providing options to encompass the varied domains and needs. Within a specific application family, though, consistency of page flows and templates can be helpful for ease of use and learning of the applications.

Since BLAF has such a wide range of influence, it is important that the guidelines have been well tested in the usability lab. We have conducted many usability walk-throughs of HTML applications that follow BLAF, and had extremely positive results. We have developed tests to evaluate usability results of many detailed and/or complex components and interactions. As we continue to test prototypes and live applications, we constantly gather new data to reinforce and add enhancements to BLAF. Usability testing is a high priority for the standards.

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