As part of an SAP-wide initiative to reduce the number of contact points between SAP and interested parties, we must say good-by to the SAP Design Guild website. From the time of its launch in April 2000, the SAP Design Guild was SAP`s go-to site about design and user experience. Initiated by Peer Hilgers from SAP’s Product Design Center and supported from the outset by SAP’s founder Hasso Plattner, the site provided the public with SAP’s UI design resources as well as editorial content on a wide range of design topics.

When talking about the SAP Design Guild, it is impossible to not also mention Gerd Waloszek. Part of the original team that was put together to design and launch the site, Gerd quickly also became its “all-in-one manager,” sometimes also fondly referred to as “Mr. Design Guild.”

In the beginning

At the start, the website’s main purpose was to make SAP’s user interface design guidelines available to the public. The guidelines were accompanied by a collection of articles under the label “innovation.” These were meant to capture the momentum of the Enjoy initiative that SAP had started in 1998, which revolutionized the design of business applications. Over the years, however, the site’s focus shifted and new content was added to accommodate the changes and to broaden the information the site offered.

Soon after the launch, the team realized that a website is a “living thing” that cannot be based exclusively on relatively stable content such as guidelines. Gerd therefore expanded the site over the years with new types of content.

Then 3 things happened…

The model of the SAP Design Guild was editorial-driven in nature. In an amazing display of professional expertise and personal dedication, Gerd not only coordinated the content on the site written by various authors but was also penned the lion’s share of the content himself. As social networking began to take the internet by storm, SAP decided to take a community approach to the design and user experience topic. And so the SAP User Experience Community, the site you are on right now, was born. That launch was at Sapphire NOW in Madrid in 2012.

In November 2013, Gerd took his well-deserved retirement from SAP. With “Mr. Design Guild” no longer keeping existing guidelines and articles up-to-date or writing new content, the decision to retire the site was at hand.

The third and final reason for shutting down the site was the company-wide initiative called One Digital Experience (1DX) which started in early 2014 as part of SAP’s “Run Simple” program. The scope of 1DX encompasses all of SAP’s digital experiences, with a focus on simplification and giving our audiences what they need, when they need it.

The SAP User Experience Community team has migrated much of the popular information from the SAP Design Guild to the SAP User Experience Community. To find all of the migrated posts from the SAP Design Guild, simply click on this link: (And keep in mind that we still have all the files hidden away here on an internal server. So if you really are missing something, let us know! We’ll do our best to make it available to you.)

And so it is with some sadness that we say good-bye to this great resource, but also with hope that readers will find a wealth of useful and interesting information on the SAP User Experience Community. With this new approach, we hope to move forward together with you on the topic of design and user experience in a collaborative way.

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  • Eckhard Jaeger   6 years ago

    @Andreas Lackner: That one: 😉

  • Anonym  5 years ago

    I was so disappointed to read about the end of the SAP Design Guild project. It was a trove of such valuable information! When I was teaching, I would direct my more advanced students to the Semiotic Engineering Glossary for further information about various topics. While SAP may have viewed the contents as being “editorial in nature”, I think it’s worth consideration that many of the theories associated with the Bauhaus were as well. I would argue that the SAP project did more to advance public understanding and theoretical development of interaction design than most of what I’ve been seeing lately (a Bauhaus of the 21st century, so to speak). There are so many “new ideas” from the designer/developer communities that become popularized before they have been vetted by anything resembling a scientific method. The SAP Design project (in my view) provided a needed “thought framework” that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

    My concern about “user communities” is that the user loses the “amazing display of professional expertise”. On the other hand, you have the occasional disruption of the normal discourse and discover something new from someone who may be outside of the immediate circle of professionals. Who knows what will happen next?