Oracle is aware of Janus Boye and my blog posts and tweets on Twitter about Oracle usability issues. Oracle want to help resolve these. I’m starting with Oracle UCM.
Am I missing any of your issues?
1. Publisher control
Oracle UCM has poor ‘granularity’ of permissions and no obvious back end to see who has access.
The permissions only allow two (publisher) levels, a limited ‘only edit what’s already there’ and a far too powerful ‘does lots of complicated stuff with a very complex interface’. This suits organisations with a few powerful people in a central group, but not BT’s intranet governance model which has decentralised publishers.
A hard coded menu item called ‘switch region context’ has no place on an interface I expect a large number of users to use, and that’s only one part of a convoluted process to add a new page.
The user ids do not integrate with other user ID systems and it is difficult to integrate this with other processes (e.g. make sure that only people who have done training have access).
2. Quality of web pages
Oracle UCM should never be able to generate invalid code.
The conversion from MS Word is very poor ‘out of the box’, producing inaccessible and invalid code. With a lot of work – BT was able to improve this but never approached an acceptable level. Oracle UCM needs only to allow ‘well written’ MS Word documents (i.e. only accept well formed documents) and to reject (with explanations) documents it cannot convert to valid, accessible pages.
The site studio interface is poor and difficult to apply standards to. The browser version support is difficult and you have to rely on using admin permissions to install a clunky java applet. I don’t know if the applet is usable to people with disabilities. If it must use ‘rich’ interface elements then accessibility must be considered.
3. Template creation and management
There seem to be few well written components to use in the templates. Additional features (e.g. embedded video, RSS) need to be custom written and template specific. That’s a maintenance headache waiting to happen.
Management of templates appears to be awful. This encourages poor re-use of template development resource. It’s hard to quantify the effort required creating a template, but it seems to be excessive compared to other competitors. BT’s aim is to reduce, not increase, costs.
Please help me to help you with Oracle applications’ usability by commenting.