Whether users are performing tasks or looking for information on a website, smartphone or tablet, the interface should be familiar, intuitive and easy to use. That’s the driving concept behind IFS’s Aurena user experience (UX), which is now available across the vendor’s full suite of solutions.
Aurena is a browser-based UX that helps users navigate and find information across IFS solutions such as ERP, CRM and field service management. It follows common website and mobile app layout patterns for ease of use, and is highly customizable for power users who have to change it to suit organizational needs. Aurena also features an intelligent assistant, or chatbot, which users can interact with through Facebook Messenger, Skype and Skype for Business to perform tasks or get information.
Christian Pedersen, IFS Chief Product Officer, told customers and partners gathered for IFS World Conference that Aurena was released ahead of schedule even though it required a massive effort to complete. He called it a “complete paradigm shift in how you interact with IFS systems.”
Aurena’s appeal is primarily attributable to its “shaping-shifting” capabilities, which enable automatic rendering to different browsers and form factors – and to easily switch between them. As it does so, it gives prominence to the information that is most relevant to the user, making different items easy to find with color-coding and the use of common navigational patterns.
For instance, a typical web page layout features a menu bar across the top with various tabs that link to other resources and a navigational column on the left. The main content usually appears below the top menu bar and is scrollable. Aurena’s layout follows the same patterns, making it easy for even a new user to quickly figure out where to click find the information they need. This is what IFS calls a “people-centric” approach to UX.
Aurena also lets users mark certain types of information as “favorites” in the same way you would with items on an online shopping site. For instance, think of an enterprise user who periodically places the same order. Rather than having to look for the part again when it’s time to reorder it, the user can get to it quickly because Aurena remembers it.
Although IFS is giving attendees an opportunity to learn about Aurena, the UX is already in use at some customer organizations. One of them is U.K.-based Volac, a developer of dairy ingredients.
Mark Large, the company’s Head of Business Systems and Processes, said Volac originally deployed Aurena as a “casual user interface,” but has since put it to use across the organization because of its functionality and adaptability to different form factors and operating systems. Large said younger users especially like it because the interface relies heavily on visuals.
Personalization and Customization
During breakout sessions at IFS World Conference, IFS experts discussed Aurena’s personalization and configuration capabilities. For personalization purposes, IFS Senior Advisor Marcus Eriksson explained, users can make changes in areas such as visibility, themes and colors to fit individual tastes.
Configuration capabilities are more relevant to power users or experts who can make changes to the interface and distribute them wholesale across their organizations. Using the Page Designer tool, such users can perform such modifications as change labels and create custom fields.
Aurena also has “extend inside” and “extend outside” capabilities. The former makes it possible to customize solutions or build entirely new solutions and entities. The latter allows users to leverage APIs to navigate from inside Aurena to other applications such as a client mashup, link to workflows, and enable traditional integrations.
Aurena will be updated on an ongoing basis in an evergreen approach to add new functionality and features as they become available.
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