SAP User experience strategy


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The user experience strategy was crafted together
with customers in an intensive and iterative process.
It is both a pragmatic, yet also innovative approach
to bring a consumer-grade user experience to the
majority of users of SAP’s software.

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SAP User experience strategy

  1. 1. SAP® User Experience Strategy New, Renew, Enable. April 2013 ©2013SAPAGoranSAPaffiliatecompany.Allrightsreserved.
  2. 2. © 2013 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved. This document outlines our general product direction and should not be relied on in making a purchase decision. This is not subject to your license agreement or any other agreement with SAP. SAP has no obligation to pursue any course of business outlined in this document or to develop or release any functionality mentioned in this document. This document and SAP's strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by SAP at any time for any reason without notice. This document is provided without a warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of mer- chantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. SAP assumes no responsi- bility for errors or omissions in this document, except if such damages were caused by SAP intentionally or grossly negligent.
  3. 3. 3SAP User Experience Strategy © 2013 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved. SAP® User Experience Strategy User Experience User experience (UX) takes into consideration all aspects of the end user’s interaction with products, systems, processes, and services. It is not limited to the usability of a system, but also includes the users’ perception of the user experience. On the other hand, usability relates solely to the ease with which users can achieve their goals while interacting with a system. SAP constantly strives to achieve the right balance between feasibility (technology), viability (business), and desirability (human values) when developing innovative solutions. Trends, Design Direction, Vision, and Mission The way people work with software has changed dramatically over the last number of years. Today people use mobile devices as part of everyday life. They are used to the speed and simplic- ity of using Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon. This experi- ence raises the bar for business software as users demand a similar from SAP® solutions. Based on feedback from customers and trends in the IT indus- try, SAP defined a clear user experience strategy that incorpo- rates our aspiration, vision, and mission for user experience. Reflecting IT trends and user expectations, we have distilled our strategy into the following design directions: •• Solve the right problem the right way •• Design for the mobile mind-set •• Give the user one entry point •• Provide coherence for common activities •• Know and show the user context •• Provide brand coherence •• Integrate data meaningfully •• Enable adaptation and personalization •• Deploy to users in one day By 2015, SAP will make superior user experience and design an integral part of the SAP brand experience – just as the SAP HANA® platform has reconfirmed SAP’s reputation for innovation. SAP’s Approach A key consideration in improving the user experience of SAP applications was how to include existing applications, which al- ready deliver consumer-grade experience, while embracing such new technologies as mobile and cloud. SAP decided to fo- cus on three areas for applications: •• Provide consumer-grade UX for new applications •• Renew existing applications by improving the UX of soft- ware supporting the most commonly-used business scenarios •• Enable customers to improve the UX of the SAP software they use to perform their own mission-critical business scenarios Over time, the percentage of new and renewed applications representing SAP software will increase to significantly aug- ment the overall usability of SAP business solutions. Figure 1: Design Innovation Vision - Provide the leading user experience for business applications Mission - Deliver attractive applications that make people successful at work
  4. 4. 4 SAP User Experience Strategy © 2013 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved. The UX Strategy: New, Renew, Enable New Customers and users agree that SAP already delivers great new products with consumer-grade user experience. SAP will continue to deliver these applications in all areas – cloud- based and mobile solutions, SAP HANA, and on-premise soft- ware – thereby raising the bar for consumer-grade business applications significantly. We will also continue to deliver con- sumer-grade user experiences for consumer apps, such as the SAP Fan Experience solution and the PhotoTribe, Recalls Plus, and My Runway mobile apps. But SAP will not just design new user interfaces. Leveraging SAP HANA and HTML5 as core technologies, SAP will create a new experience to address emerging working models for busi- ness users that will have reach far beyond the traditional SAP user base. Figure 2: SAP® Financials OnDemand Solution The user experience strategy was crafted together with customers in an intensive and iterative process. It is both a pragmatic, yet also innovative approach to bring a consumer-grade user experience to the majority of users of SAP’s software. NEW
  5. 5. 5SAP User Experience Strategy © 2013 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved. Renew With a well-established solution portfolio, SAP is focused on improving the user experience of its most significant existing software – SAP Business Suite applications. As the business scenarios it supports and the associated user interface ele- ments number in the thousands, it’s impossible to improve them all. SAP will focus on the business scenarios of highest impact and value for our customers. Top-Use Scenarios Analysis reveals that employees widely use a limited number of the scenarios supported by SAP software, for example, em- ployee and manager self-services for requesting and approving leave of absence. SAP refers to these scenarios as “top-use” scenarios and will build new apps for the top-use scenarios supported by SAP Business Suite. All functionality that does not require the user to have a strong business background will eventually be covered by this approach. The preferred technol- ogy to develop these applications is the UI development toolkit for HTML5. Core-Use Scenarios A different category of highly-used scenario at most customer sites is that employed by specialized business users – sales or- der entry clerks, HR professionals, and financial accountants. SAP refers to these as “core-use” scenarios. So far SAP has identified about 25 roles eligible for renewal, which includes: •• Renew role-specific key transactions •• Optimize the role for mobile use where applicable •• Consistently apply generic UX innovation using state-of- the-art best practices SAP has already started renewal of core-use scenarios in SAP enhancement packages 4, 5, and 6 of the SAP ERP application 6.0, and in the related enhancement packages of the SAP Cus- tomer Relationship Management, Supplier Relationship Man- agement, and Supply Chain Management applications. The preferred technology for renewal of key transactions in these enhancement packages is the Web Dynpro development envi- ronment and the ABAP® programming language, using the “floor plan manager” framework and the UI development tool- kit for HTML5 for landing pages. Figure 3: Total Distribution of Use Scenarios The UX Strategy: New, Renew, Enable RENEW
  6. 6. 6 SAP User Experience Strategy © 2013 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved. The UX Strategy: New, Renew, Enable Enable Every customer has a set of scenarios considered most strate- gic to the business. SAP refers to these as “customer value-use scenarios.”Value-use scenarios vary from customer to custom- er and from industry to industry. SAP cannot improve all value- use scenarios. Instead, SAP can and does provide enabling tools to improve the UX of current products and to develop customer-specific user interfaces. Enabling tools Tools enabling customers to improve the UX of current prod- ucts include SAP Screen Personas software, side panels within SAP NetWeaver® Business Client software, and “floor plan manager” and Web UI frameworks. SAP Screen Personas helps customers redesign SAP GUI screens, not just to hide fields to achieve focus and simplicity, but also to deliver a slicker user experience. Tools to develop customer-specific user interfaces Several options to develop customer-specific user interfaces in a nondisruptive way include “floor plan manager” for Web Dyn- pro using ABAP and the UI development toolkit for HTML5. An “AppDesigner” for developing customer-specific applications based on the toolkit is planned. Figure 4: Before (on left) and After (on right) Screens with SAP® Screen Personas ENABLE
  7. 7. 7SAP User Experience Strategy © 2013 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved. Key UI Technologies and Frameworks from SAP The key UI technologies which render the application user in- terfaces as of today are: •• UI development toolkit for HTML5 (SAPUI5) •• Web Dynpro ABAP with Floorplan Manager •• Web UIF •• Dynpro SAPUI5 is SAP’s HTML5 UI technology best suited to flexibly build user interfaces across different devices (mobile and desk- top) on top of SAP NetWeaver Gateway. Web Dynpro ABAP with the Floorplan Manager and Web UIF are proven UI technol- ogies that allow the configuration of form/pattern based appli- cations on desktop browsers. Focus is on UI consistency and development efficiency. A set of highly usable customization and personalization options is also provided. Dynpro remains the most used UI technology. The Dynpro transactions are typi- cally very rich in functionality. Data consumption, application logic, and the UI are typically deeply mixed. SAP will use SAPUI5 or Web Dynpro ABAP with Floorplan Man- ager to build new applications in SAP Business Suite. User Interface clients like SAP NetWeaver® Business Client software and the SAP NetWeaver Portal component act as the entry point for users to enable a coherent user experience across different applications and UI technologies. Recommendations for Customers SAP recommends that customers base their own user experi- ence strategy on the benefits they require from using SAP soft- ware. This enables business and IT to jointly develop a UX road map aligned with the SAP UX strategy. To help customers de- velop their UX strategy, we provide the following recommendations: 1. Investigate the new and renewed applications available by consulting: •• SAP Business Suite road map for user experience: (https:// 013E.pdf) •• •• 2. Evaluate enabling tools 3. Follow the design directions for building new SAP applica- tions at: •• •• 4. Follow the user interface technology strategy SAP provides: •• Use “floor plan manager” and the UI development toolkit for HTML5 (SAPUI5) for building new applications •• Use SAP NetWeaver® Business Client software and the SAP NetWeaver Portal component as the user interface (UI) client 5. Leverage UX services from SAP: •• UX optimization services – To assess current software us- ability and make UX improvements •• UX enablement services – To develop an individual UX road map •• UX advisory services – To get advice and guidance on building UX capabilities towards a Center of Expertise (COE). Figure 5: SAP’s Key UI Technologies and Frameworks (Desktop Perspective) Technology and Recommendations
  8. 8. Sam Yen, Andreas Hauser, Carsten Polenz, Nis Boy Naeve, Volker Zimmermann, Jörg Rosbach, Gerrit Kotze (April 2013) © 2013 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or for any purpose without the express permission of SAP AG. The information contained herein may be changed without prior notice. Some software products marketed by SAP AG and its distributors contain proprietary software components of other software vendors. National product specifications may vary. These materials are provided by SAP AG and its affiliated companies (“SAP Group”) for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and SAP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for SAP Group products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and other countries. Please see for additional trademark information and notices.