For those of you familiar with the SAP User Experience Community site, you will notice that quite a bit has changed here over the last couple of days. For you first-timers, let me just say “welcome”!
If you are returning to the site, please note that all previous posts, and many new ones, are now under:
- Learn the Basics about Design and User Experience
- Skill up on Design and User Experience
- Design News from SAP
- and in our Discussion Forum
We have added new areas which focus on SAP’s user experience strategy and concepts, products, and services which are core to the strategy such SAP Fiori, SAP Screen Personas and SAP’s user experience design services. We also have a new section called “Participate in Improving Products with SAP” where you can learn about opportunities to engage with SAP product teams to help us improve the user experience of our software. Here you will also find short posts with frequently asked questions about participating in user research activities such as end-user interviews, site visits, and usability testing.
About the redesign process
In redesigning this site, we followed a classic user-centric design process of user research with customers and internal stakeholders, iterative prototyping and usability testing, and then finally mocking up a new visual design and implementing the design based on the specifications of our visual designer. (You can read more about this redesign project on SAPinsider, Collaborating with Customers to Design the New SAP User Experience Community.)
The site is also now responsive, meaning that it works on a broad range of device formats (e.g. laptop, tablet, smartphone). For this reason, we do require that if you are using Internet Explorer, you upgrade to at least version 9. Lower versions are not compatible with a responsive web design.
One perhaps unusual aspect of the redesign project was that we held an internal design contest for the final iteration on the visual and interaction design before beginning with development. By turning our research and initial wireframe results into a design brief and posting this on our internal Jam community, we were able to tap into the immense wealth of talent of SAP’s in-house designers. All of the design submissions were very valuable to us as a team and we learned from each of them. But it was really when the winner of our contest, Timo Bess, from the SAP Business Suite user experience team here in Walldorf, joined our developer and myself that we really got a tremendous boost. Timo’s exceptional design skills and solid experience were like turbo engines for our project. In a couple of months we worked out all the details (and there are always so many more details than you think there will be!) of the new design and implemented it in time for SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, Florida this June.
Our project team
- Jonas Brand – our very smart, super nice, and totally reliable developer
- Timo Bess – world-class visual designer and all-around good guy
- Christine Ley – our amazingly well-organized and amiable project manager
- Eva Ruegenhagen – top-notch user researcher and fantastic design thinking coach
- and me, Esther Blankenship – UX designer, manager of this site, and passionate advocate of end-user rights
Christine Ley cutting out digitalized feedback from end-users during one of our synthesis sessions
Eva Ruegenhagen during one of our synthesis workshops taping digitalized snippets onto butcher’s paper (that makes the synthesis work portable, in case you were wondering)
Many thanks to Ulrike Weissenberger, VP of Global Design Enablement, for her unflagging support of the redesign project and to Maricel Cabahug, head of the Global Design team, for her brilliant idea to hold the design contest in the first place!
So, in short, it’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been very rewarding and lots of fun to collaborate with an amazing team of very talented and nice people. We would also like to express our appreciation to the many internal stakeholders and customers who helped us along the way with their input.
We want your feedback!
This is an exciting time to be working at SAP. We are very pleased to have this Community channel to have an open and constructive dialog with you about design and user experience. So, please join the conversation!
Like housework, design work is never done! We will continue to listen to our users and engage in usability testing to improve and evolve the design and user experience of this site. We would love to hear from you. Let us know what improvements you would suggest by leaving a comment here or contacting us directly by email.