This is the fourth in a series of interviews with SAP employees in a variety of roles in the area of user experience and design.
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.
Please briefly explain what you do at SAP as a Fiori designer.
My work is very diverse − from defining the way the user interface (UI) controls behave by considering the requirements of end users and application teams, working on the SAP Fiori guidelines and keeping them up-to-date, as well as consulting with development teams that create SAP Fiori applications, defining the interaction design of the SAP Fiori Reference Apps, to conducting user research for concept validation. Thereby I work very closely together with other development teams throughout the company and deal with a wide variety of use cases. Keeping in touch with our colleagues from visual design and development is as important as chocolate cookies. Without them, it just doesn’t work!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love variety. Each day is different. Fitting a new generic UI control that arises out of requirements into the existing control library is like putting together a huge puzzle and, while doing so, solving a very tricky riddle. I like this challenge. In the end, you are proud of the result, and it’s wonderful to see applications that use “your” control. Two years ago I joined this team directly from university. It’s really awesome to have so much responsibility after such a short time.
What are the most challenging aspects of your work?
After a proof of concept, it may happen that the specification can’t be implemented 100% as intended. Then we have to rework the spec until we find a solution that fulfills the end users’ needs best. In my team, we create generic UI controls that have to work in different use cases, resulting in the challenge of combining all the requirements from end users and applications and finding one solution that best fits a variety of needs.
In a typical project, who do you work with?
In the beginning, we try to collect as much information as possible from sources like end users, stakeholders and product managers. We also discuss our specification with them during the design phase. To test our concepts we conduct user research and, in parallel, we work closely together with the responsible development teams and visual designers.
How did your studies prepare you for your career as an interaction designer?
I studied audiovisual media at the Stuttgart Media University and e-learning and media education at the University of Education in Heidelberg. During my studies, I did several internships and that helped me to get work experience in this area. I’ve been fascinated with design since high school, but during my studies and internships, the picture of what I wanted became more and more clear. It started with an internship at IBM as a user experience designer. After that, I came to SAP as a working student and was able to collect valuable experience in different areas (SAP Business ByDesign, Knowledge Management, Global Customer Operations University). This combination of different experiences and theoretical input was the best thing that could happen to me to prepare me for my daily work here.
How is being an interaction designer in the Global Design Concepts and Tools team different from being an interaction designer in other teams at SAP?
In my opinion SAP Fiori is a mindset. I see my work as a way to show that SAP can create simple and enjoyable business software. What we create in our team are mostly generic UI controls. We deliver that as a basis for application designers to create easy-to-use products for our customers. Of course we talk to the application teams to make sure that we are delivering standards that meet the needs of the end user, but mainly our internal “customers”, i.e. the application teams, are responsible for showing the new mindset in the end product.
What is your design motto?
For me as designer it is necessary to be playful, curious, focused on the end user, and have fun at what I am doing. This is how you get those ingredients into the final result.
Tina, thank you for the interview!
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