Where Projects Are Born and Go to Die

The first time I heard someone say “post-mortem,” it sounded like something out of a medical TV drama. Upon Googling its definition, I was not far off: a post-mortem is defined as “an examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death.” How does it apply in the context of a project?
560  | 
Sarah Fathallah

SAP Fiori and Accessibility: It’s About Individual Stories

In the previous part of this blog, we had a first look over SAP Accessibility Expert Nicole Windmann’s shoulder. In this second part, Nicole tells us about the work she and her colleagues do regarding SAP Fiori and accessibility. Nicole, how does accessibility play a role in design and user experience? On the design side, our team is part of […]
833  | 
Saskia Guckenburg

Ramping up Accessibility: A Look over Nicole’s Shoulder

When you hear the word “accessibility,” you might at first think it affects few people. Consider though, for example, how many people you know who wear glasses or contact lenses. Without corrective lenses, it would be much more difficult for these people to access the content from the screen. This is just one point I […]
900  | 
Saskia Guckenburg

A Dozen Designers

When I started in design at SAP nearly 20 years ago, there was more or less one design discipline: usability. Some people were more focused on accessibility, others on interaction design, and my group was focused on product design. But basically, we were all heaped into one big usability boat. Since then, I have been […]
1252  | 
Esther Blankenship

Top 10 Tips to Set Up a UX Center of Excellence

In my experience, about 50% of the screens our customers use are not developed by SAP but instead are adapted or developed by partners or the customer’s internal IT organization. I also learned in more than 300 customer projects, that many IT organizations typically do not engage directly with their end users when they develop […]
904  | 
Andreas Hauser

The Dollars and Sense of UX

I visited with a customer recently who told me about a training program his company holds every 18 months for new contractors. The company needs to refresh its group of 3,000 contractors every year and a half. Each time new contractors are onboarded, they require two days of training, in which they learn what is […]
1609  | 
Andreas Hauser

How to Convince IT and Business to Value Design

  One of the biggest outcomes of the technology consumerization trend is how it has driven the importance of design. There’s no “waiting out” this trend – an unstoppable wave of interest in design centricity is hitting the business world, shifting the focus in product and service development from features to experience. But why? What […]
1019  | 
Andreas Hauser

#designmistakes – Making Users Learn the UI

As designers, our common goal is to create products that make work easier. After all, one of the most important features of good design is ease-of-use and understanding. We have to build tools that are easy to use from the start.
731  | 
Dragomir Ralchev

#designmistakes – Not Getting End User Feedback

To be honest, the words “religious about” above don’t necessarily need to be crossed out. As a user experience professional, you sometimes feel like you’re preaching a kind of gospel because you keep repeating the same words over and over to a succession of project teams: “Involve your end users.” “Get feedback from the end […]
738  | 
Clarissa Goetz

Design Thinking Meets Sketch Comedy

Design thinking is not just a big joke…or is it? I wondered about this recently when I attended a sketch comedy writing workshop led by our very own talented intern Bradley Naumann.
648  | 
Janaki Kumar

Does All Design Need to be Intuitive?

“We need to change our platform. If I can’t figure it out, then nobody can. It’s not intuitive!” In my previous job, I attended a meeting with the Head of Product and the design team. He had just tried a new product for the first time and, to put it lightly, was unhappy. To him, […]
717  | 
Esther Wolff

Learn the Basics of Design Research

Understanding your end-user’s needs is key to excellent design. But what is the best method to understanding your end-users? Surely, they think the same as you – right? Often we forget that our expectations of how somebody else uses our end product is completely different to the reality. To understand your end-user and to deliver the best user experience for your target group, you and your team need to carry out design or user research.
1556  | 
Claire Donelon

Meet Sam, Chief Design Officer at SAP

As Chief Design Officer, Sam Yen represents design and user experience at SAP. Find out what Sam enjoys about his job as well as some of the challenges he faces.
2879  | 
Esther Blankenship

#designmistakes – Not Caring about What Users Want

In an ideal world, “caring about what users want” should be true and self-evident for everyone. Let´s assume that caring about everyone is the right thing to do from an ethical point of view. Isn´t caring about our users at least as imperative? For me caring about a user means that I use all the […]
851  | 
Hanna Kieser

#designmistakes – Overcomplicating Things

Ever heard of the KISS method? When we don’t keep it simple, straightforward tasks often become more complex and complicated than they need to be.
1236  | 
Marcus Holger Erb

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Creating Effective Dashboards

If you have the job of designing an effective, actionable dashboard for your organisation, lots of advice is available. Most of the guidance for dashboard design focuses on what you should do during the process. Nothing wrong with that. But in addition to all of the ‘should-dos’ related to dashboard design, there are also some ‘better-not-dos’ that you should be aware of. These are 10 of the most critical mistakes commonly made during the process of creating dashboards…
1660  | 
Trang Nguyen

#designmistakes – Assuming Users Will Read the Manual

Have you ever looked for information only to find it where you didn’t expect it? This happened to me recently. Whenever possible, I avoid printing to “save a tree,” but then the time finally came when I had to print something and also install the printer driver on my computer. After clicking the “print” button, […]
1413  | 
Saskia Guckenburg

Food for Prototyping

On April 15th the European Design at Business Community met the first time in 2016. Hosted by Philips in Eindhoven the Design Thinking experts took the chance of an exchange at eye level on “Prototyping new Realities”.
1650  | 
Susanne Paulus

Meet Martin, Chief Designer at SAP

This is the eleventh in a series of interviews with SAP employees in a variety of roles in the area of user experience and design.
4029  | 
Esther Blankenship

Meet Janis, Design Manager at SAP

This is the tenth in my series of interviews with SAP employees. This time around I talk to Janis Shuttleworth, who manages the SAP Global Design Tools team.
1387  | 
Esther Blankenship

Design-Led Development – Behind the Scenes at SAP

  Can you imagine… … coding an application without a specified user interface design? … designing a screen without talking to an end user? … developing a product without knowing the customer? Clearly this would be a very bad way to develop software! This is why we in the Global Design team at SAP foster […]
3669  | 
Gudrun Krebs

Meet Philip, Development Expert at SAP

In this interview, I talk to Philip Miseldine, development expert in SAP's Global Design team. This is the ninth in my series of interviews with SAP employees in the area of user experience and design. About Philip Philip Miseldine is a development expert in the Global Design Frontrunner Apps team at SAP. Originally from the UK, Philip works in Walldorf, Germany.
1148  | 
Esther Blankenship

Using Design Thinking to Solve Community Problems

I keep a sailboat in Sausalito, a picturesque town that has more charm than commerce. In May, I was enjoying a glass of wine on the boat of a friend who was all worked up about the new ferry landing that the Golden Gate Bridge District wanted to install in Sausalito. “It’s horrible. It’s huge, […]
1644  | 
Carol Farnsworth

Meet Olga, UX Advocate at SAP

This is the eighth in my series of interviews with SAP employees  in the area of user experience and design. As you may have noticed, I’ve taken a tangent from interviewing people whose main job consists of traditional design activities like visual design, user research and interaction design, to talk with people who are very important to a successful user experience, but are […]
1506  | 
Esther Blankenship

How Cultural Knowledge Can Help You to Succeed in Business

Innovation is an omnipresent buzzword in today’s world. But when does it happen and where does it come from? At SAP’s Design & Co-Innovation Center, we believe there are three factors for innovation: people, process, and space. In our projects, we always put the person in focus and we do this all the more so […]
1104  | 
Kirsty White

Design, UX, UI … What Is the Difference?

In my work with design, user experience and user interfaces, I often run into confusion about these three terms, both within and outside of SAP. The tendency is to think they all mean the same thing. In reality, they are different parts of the puzzle, all working together to support the new way we need to think about enterprise software.
5611  | 
Andreas Hauser

From Platforms to User Experience: Navigating the Digital Disruption

There’s a digital disruption happening, and as an IT industry, we need to be aware of it and start to prepare. There are changes to come, but many are happening already, and it’s important that we take a leadership role during this period of rapid change. That begins by becoming innovation partners to business and […]
1233  | 
Sam Yen

Meet Beate, Design Thinking Coach at SAP

I’m very pleased to bring you the seventh in my series of interviews with SAP employees in a variety of roles in the area of user experience and design.   About Beate Beate Riefer is a design thinking coach with SAP’s Design and Co-Innovation Center in Heidelberg, Germany. Beate started working at SAP in 2010 as a user experience designer  and […]
1736  | 
Esther Blankenship

Software Design for Non-Designers

By now you know that design can improve the adoption of your software application. Even without a trained Designer at hand, there are things you can do to create a delightful experience for your users and incorporate good design into your software.
1649  | 
Andrea Anderson

Meet Tobias, Development Project Expert at SAP

After a bit of a summer break, I’m happy to bring you the sixth in my series of interviews with SAP employees in a variety of roles in the area of user experience and design.   About Tobias Tobias Hildenbrand, Development Project Expert, acts as an internal consultant and global lead for business model innovation […]
1597  | 
Esther Blankenship

Expert vs. End User from a Designer’s Perspective

From my experience as a designer at SAP's Design & Co-Innovation Center, one common issue we face during our design research is the (mis)understanding of roles–the expert and a typical end user. While these roles have a lot of overlap, they are not interchangeable.
1662  | 
Tim Thianthai

Empowering Teams – The Value Of Prototyping

Designers are familiar with different types of prototyping across user experience and product design. Prototyping is a key element of the Design Thinking process, and also of great value for communication, as IDEO founder and Stanford d.school professor David Kelley explains: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a million […]
2395  | 
Tay Kim

Design Thinking: Here, There and Everywhere

For the past three years, I’ve become a practitioner of Design thinking (DT) as part of my work as a Program Manager for SAP’s Design and Co-innovation Center (DCC). After working with DT on many projects, I began to notice that DT's real power lies in its simplicity.
1457  | 
Tina Tuan

Tricky Business – How Much Customer Engagement Is Enough?

Getting input from customers is vital to making sure we are building the right solutions. The tricky part is getting enough feedback to have a complete picture of the issues the majority of customers and users face. Ask too few users at too few companies, and the result is a picture very specific to their […]
877  | 
Ulrike Weissenberger

Fiori Jam Band @ SAP TechEd – Join in!

UX/design requires artistic ability and creativity, hence there's a good chance, many of you may have some musical talent in your arsenal. So if you are attending SAP TechEd in Las Vegas, come join Sam Yen, SAP Mentors and other Musical volunteers on stage to jam for an hour in the Networking Reception.
1085  | 
Matt Harding

Can Trainings Go beyond Business Entertainment?

My name is Mauro Rego and I am working as a designer at SAP´s Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC). I design experiences of new digital products and services for business through storytelling and games.  Over the last years, I have witnessed the rise of in-house trainings related to design. Thanks to Design Thinking and the presence […]
889  | 
Mauro Rego

Exploring The Real Working Life – How the DCC Inspires Future Students

I had the great honor of interviewing Johanna Welz (18) and Viola Benecke (17), the two young women who joined SAP´s Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC), based in the AppHaus in Heidelberg, for one month as interns. Johanna just having graduated and Viola still a continuing student are on their way to find out what […]
1165  | 
Franziska Reich

Experience Transformation with SAP Fiori UX

SAP S/4HANA, with the SAP Fiori user experience (UX), is transforming business users’ approach to SAP software and providing a personalized, responsive, and simple UX across tasks and devices.
2947  | 
Katie Moser

Meet Clemens, Design Intern at SAP

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with SAP employees in a variety of roles in the area of user experience and design.
1617  | 
Esther Blankenship

Simplifying for Usability

“With the ever growing spread of computers into our daily lives, software application design is more and more focusing on untrained and casual users. These users have very different requirements from professional users who for a long time dominated the business scene. Developers need to take this new breed of users seriously and design applications […]
1673  | 

Meet Tina, SAP Fiori Designer

Tina Rauschenbach is a designer with the SAP Global Design – Concepts and Tools team. Tina specializes in interaction design concepts and standards for SAP Fiori. She joined SAP in 2009.
3544  | 
Esther Blankenship

What Is a UI Control?

A user interface (UI) control is a visual element on a computer screen that helps humans to interact with the underlying software. (They are also sometimes referred to as “widgets.”) Examples of UI controls are buttons, checkboxes, links, tabstrips, charts, and windows, but there are many more that you probably use daily, but never gave […]
2257  | 
Esther Blankenship

Does Customer Engagement Sound Like Just a Buzzword to You?

The term “customer engagement” is used so often that it can admittedly sound a bit hollow. However, for those of us designing and developing enterprise software, it is a solid, hard-core matter of survival. Whether long-term or short-term, big or small, involving customers in the R&D process is vital to producing products people want to […]
914  | 
Ulrike Weissenberger

Observation Reveals a Different Picture – A UX Story

Putting user experience (UX) at the forefront of what IT does and using the principles of design thinking requires digging to the root of what users are actually trying to accomplish and what motivates them. This invariably paints a very different picture than making educated assumptions or just asking users for feature requirements. Getting to […]
2378  | 
Maricel Cabahug

To Improve the User Experience, Rethink IT

You probably wonder how improving User Experience relates to rethinking IT? There are some fundamental changes happening in how software is being developed. Having been in IT for many years before coming to SAP, I can clearly see these changes happening on both sides: at SAP and now also in our customer base. To illustrate, […]
3467  | 
Maricel Cabahug

Meet Fazlul, Interaction Designer at SAP

Fazlul Hoque is an interaction designer in the field of the Internet of Things. He currently works in the Predictive Maintenance and Service team in Walldorf, Germany.
2288  | 
Esther Blankenship

The Challenge – Connecting Executives with Users’ Pain

So here was my challenge. As the manager of a team of user researchers, I was asked some years ago to help shift the mindset of our executives from traditional software benchmarked by features and functions to one measured by the quality of the user experience.
2931  | 
Ulrike Weissenberger

Creating Business Value with User Experience

People often think that user experience is all about creating beautiful user interfaces to make users happy. Yes, of course enhancing your users’ experience will result in greater user satisfaction but did you know that UX has a range of other benefits, including financial advantages for your business?
1750  | 
Claire Donelon

Accessibility and User Experience

This post summarizes key facts about accessibility at SAP, and provides links to further resources on accessibility that were previously published on the SAP Design Guild.
8065  | 
Nicole Windmann

Designing Tools for Software Development

What does this mean? If you don’t know, don’t feel bad. Some time ago I would not have known myself, but now it’s my vocation.
2737  | 
Clare Johnson

Meet Eva, User Researcher at SAP

Eva Ruegenhagen is a user researcher with the SAP Global Design team. Eva has been working at the SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany for 8 years.
2233  | 
Esther Blankenship

Meet Timo, Visual Designer at SAP

Timo Bess is a visual designer for the SAP Business Suite and works at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. Since winning the internal design contest to create a responsive and beautiful design for the SAP User Experience Community, Timo is also responsible for the design of this site.
3882  | 
Esther Blankenship

UI vs. UX: What a Difference a Letter Makes

There’s a lot of talk about “user experience” today, but I’m not sure we’re all talking about the same thing. I often find myself midway into a conversation about UX, only to realize that some participants are really talking about UI, or user interface. In actuality, while the two are related, and both are important, […]
3402  | 
Adi Kavaler

Connecting and Convincing with Creative Confidence – The Basics

If being visual couldn’t be further away from your comfort zone, then trust me, you’re not alone. Discover how picking up a pen and getting a little more visual could help you reach the person you’re communicating with in a much more open, honest, and authentic way.
2671  | 
Varik Torsteinsen

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the usage of elements that are typical for games, such as  points, badges, levels and leader boards, in non-game contexts. This can be in business software, any other software (e.g. educational software) or in real life contexts (e.g. if your kids refuse to brush their teeth you can turn it into a contest). […]
2247  | 
Hanna Kieser

Four Simple Rules for Better Icon Design

People understand icons based on their unique, past experiences. That makes icon design particularly challenging. This post addresses 4 things to consider when designing icons.
3567  | 
Holger Maassen

History of Design Thinking at SAP

Design Thinking has a strong history at SAP that started in 2004 and continues today. Here is the Design Thinking journey! Watch the video and let us know your thoughts!  Visit the Design Thinking page on sap.com and follow on twitter @DTwithSAP to learn more.
6404  | 
Gloria Costa

We are all Design(Think)ers!

Design Thinking is a term more and more people hear about lately but many perceive it to be confined to “designers”. Well, if you see something you don’t agree with and strive to change it, whether that be a business process or a piece of software, you are a designer too! As a designer I […]
2719  | 
Nissan Graisel

What is a Use Case?

The term “use case” is a common source of misunderstanding because it is often used to mean different things. Sometimes people use it to describe: a stakeholder’s high-level goal a step by step description of system action the flow of how users interact with a system If a team talks about use cases and everyone […]
5300  | 
Carolin Flesch

Infographic – Usability Testing with End Users

This is the third in a small series of infographics on the topic of design and user experience. The first infographic was an introduction to the design process. The second was about conducting field research with end users. In this third post, the graphic highlights the steps involved in conducting a usability test and provides a few tips and […]
3695  | 
Esther Blankenship

What is an End User?

Fortunately, the days are gone in which the end users were mysterious beings that hardly anyone from the development department ever met. But since it’s still not a matter of course that software professionals have the real end user in mind when the end user is meant, the question should be allowed: What is an […]
5084  | 
Ramona Winkler

What is a Prototype?

If you are not a UI designer and hear the word “prototype,” what comes to your mind? If you are a UI designer, please forget about your background knowledge for a while and try to answer the question as well. There are two things coming to my mind. On the one hand there are sentences […]
4023  | 
Hanna Kieser

What is a Persona?

A persona is a description of a typical user for a particular use case or scenario. It goes back to 1998, where personas were first introduced by Alan Cooper as a design tool and grew in popularity in the software industry rapidly from then on. Personas, as we use them today, can include different characteristics and […]
4165  | 
Carolin Flesch

A really interdisciplinary startup event

What happens if you bring together 10 founders, 50 team members, 10 coaches, 5 experts and one moderator in an inspiring location? Well, we tried it out during the "Gründerwerkstatt für Sozialunternehmertum" in the AppHaus in Heidelberg.
2086  | 
Jochen Guertler

8 things to keep in mind when setting up a field research project

Here are a number of important considerations that I have learned to take care of when setting up and running a field research project. Involve as many disciplines as possible The more people that participate in the research one way or another, the higher the acceptance of the research results. For example, a solution manager, […]
4379  | 
Clarissa Goetz

Infographic – Conducting Field Research with End Users

This is the second in a small series of infographics on the topic of design and user experience. The first infographic was an introduction to the design process. In this second post, the graphic highlights the steps of conducting field research and provides a few tips and benefits along the way. The infographic starts with […]
4222  | 
Esther Blankenship

What is Service Design?

Service design is a term that seems self-explanatory and ambiguous at the same time. Service design is the designing of services. But what is a service? A service is an intangible commodity. It is a set of actions that delivers value to users, without them having to own or manage any components. When sending a […]
5575  | 
Gunes Kocabag

Three Reasons for the Growth of Gamification

We all like to play, and games have been around for a very long time. Yet, it is only recently that the idea of applying game like qualities into work has taken hold of our collective consciousness. Why now? This article examines the three main drivers behind the increase in the interest in gamification in today’s business community.
9362  | 
Janaki Kumar

What is a Mock-Up?

If you look up “mock-up” in a dictionary you will find several explanations. The one that fits best to a mock-up in the context of UI design is “It is a life-size model”. You could also say that a mock-up is an imitation, but one that comes before that actual product, not after. While looking […]
17516  | 
Hanna Kieser

Infographic – How to Design Products That Delight End Users

The following infographic is a fun take on a serious topic – integrating users into the design process. The graphic takes the reader on a journey which starts with a multidisciplinary team and then moves swiftly on to scoping the design project appropriately. The “real” work then starts with 360 degree research, after which, everything […]
6550  | 
Esther Blankenship

d.Camp Impact and Reflections

The experiences of a d.Camp at SAP helped to shape my perception and represent a valuable contribution to my daily work.
3835  | 
Ann-Sofie Ruf

What is User Research?

In the context of business software, user research is a systematic approach to find out what exactly target users of a software product do in their work-related duties. The main focus of the research is on capturing the users’ goals, tasks, needs, pain points, information and interaction requirements. These findings are then used as input […]
6081  | 
Clarissa Goetz

What is a Wireframe?

To explain what a wireframe is, you do not need 500 words. If you limit the definition to the basics, 10 words are enough. This is the definition of wireframe: “A wireframe is a simple sketch of a user interface.” Since I have about 460 words left, let´s take a closer look at the words […]
6754  | 
Hanna Kieser

What is Interaction design?

Consider this: a product is not complete until a person uses it. A chair is not complete until someone sits down; a shopping website, not until someone orders something. My first design teacher chose this idea to make a point: the product is there to be used by a person. What does he want to […]
6268  | 
Clare Johnson

What is usability?

The answer to this question depends on how you define the term “usability.” So let’s take three different definitions and see where they led us to: Usability is “effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction” In this definition, the target of usability is effectiveness (the user is able to reach his goal), efficiency (the user can reach […]
3928  | 
Ulrich Kreichgauer

7 Do’s and Don’ts

Sometimes a solution looks marvelous on paper but turns out to be a failure.  Read this to get 7 design thinking tips to help your solutions swim instead of sink.  I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Austrian Innovation Forum on “Business Design Thinking” in Vienna, and now I’d like to share my personal […]
5452  | 
Simon Posch

Why is UX so hard for some developers?

Creating great software is hard. It’s one thing to create software that works. It’s something else to make software that people love. This difference is where many software projects run into problems. Here is how one developer on StackOverflow described the problem: Some of us just have a hard time with the softer aspects of […]
10900  | 
Karl Fast

Responsive Web Design

Everybody is currently talking about responsive web design. Be it when following the current web design discourse on blogs or when speaking with colleagues – responsive web design is on everybody’s lips. 2013 even was named the year of responsive web design. In this brief introduction to the topic I will deal with the origins […]
8193  | 
Johannes Osterhoff

What is Visual Design?

Colors Color is a primary and powerful ingredient of visual design. Designers create a color palette for a user interface (UI) to support the intent of the interaction, and to bring the personality of the brand to the application. There should always be a rational reason for choosing a color and they are mixed according […]
8167  | 

The Different Types of Designers

Design plays a prominent role in our modern society. Think of designer clothes, designer clocks, and even designer cakes. Increasingly, design has become an important differentiation factor and many companies define themselves from the competition through design. In the software world, quite a few directions of designers have emerged. In the following, I would like […]
8452  | 
Gerd Waloszek

What is User Experience?

User experience (UX) refers to the overall interaction that people have with a product and, most importantly, how they feel about that interaction.
6116  | 
Esther Blankenship

What is Accessibility?

When I first worked on the accessibility topic some years ago, I had a basic idea what “A11y” (short for Accessibility) stands for, but within 2 days, a customer message reaching my inbox titled: “I cannot access my system anymore because I forgot my password”. At least, you can learn from this what Accessibility is […]
4618  | 
Gisbert Loff

What is Usability Testing?

A usability test is a method for validating prototypes and designs with actual end-users. In simple terms, a usability test is a one-on-one structured session between a moderator and a test participant as the participant performs a set of predefined tasks with a prototype or system. It does not involve a group discussion or observations […]
4265  | 
Carolin Flesch

A Brief History of Information Visualization – Part I

This two-part article takes a high-speed journey through the history of information visualization, mostly by presenting outstanding examples. Part I of the article takes a look at the pre-computer era, while Part II looks at more recent history and discusses the impact of the computer and the Internet on information visualization. It also presents a […]
1494  | 
Gerd Waloszek

A Brief History of Information Visualization – Part II

This two-part article offers a brief history of information visualization, mostly by presenting outstanding examples. Part I of the article takes a look at the pre-computer era, while Part II looks at the more recent history and discusses the impact of the computer and the Internet on information visualization. It also presents a list of […]
1618  | 
Gerd Waloszek

What Is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is one of the more recent buzz words in the design community. I would therefore like to ask, “What is Design Thinking?” and suggest a few answers. A Design Methodology Basically, Design Thinking is a design methodology, which differs from traditional design approaches in specific ways. For example, it is characterized as more […]
9250  | 
Gerd Waloszek