SAP Sponsorship Provides Free Textbooks that Enable Better Software Design

Discussion Forum Design & UX SAP Sponsorship Provides Free Textbooks that Enable Better Software Design
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The IDF provides free textbooks and online education materials created by leading academics and practitioners of software design at Topics are User Experience, Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science, Business innovation, Design Thinking and Design Doing. The 100+ authors are leading designers, IT Leads, CEOs and Ivy League professors from e.g. IBM, SAP, MIT, Microsoft, University of Cambridge and Harvard Business School.

SAP is committed to simplifying solution development with design thinking, which puts people and their problems at the center of software. The sponsorship of IDF is a meeting of the minds and a natural outgrowth of SAP’s work to create an ecosystem that supports a more organic relationship between people and software. SAP and IDF will collaborate on spreading the word and democratize access to the top minds in the User Experience community.

Making high-quality educational materials like this available for free via an Internet platform will help educate the next generation of designers so they are qualified to enhance the design, function, and usability of technology worldwide.

Simply put: Businesses run better on better designed technology.

100+ expert authors – example IDF authors and topics

  • User Experience and Experience Design by German professor Marc Hassenzahl;
  • Don Norman, who as a renowned professor, practitioner and world leader in the field of cognitive science, design and usability engineering, is the grand old man of technology design;
  • Disruptive Innovation by Clayton M. Christensen who is professor at Harvard Business School and a New York Times bestseller, who is the architect of and the world’s foremost authority on disruptive innovation;
  • Wearable Computing by Steve Mann who is known for his contributions to wearable computing;
  • Bifocal Display by Robert Spence who invented the “magnifying glass” visualization that is familiar to anyone with an iPhone or iMac.
  • Stu Card, senior research fellow at Xerox PARC in the interdisciplinary field between psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science, is one of the pioneers of applying human factors in human–computer interaction, including his seminal work with computer input devices, including the haptic characterization of the mouse.


Why professionals use IDF’s free online textbooks

  • Each textbook has one expert introducing a design term or concept while 3-4 other experts amend, extend, and put their perspectives into play;
  • Learning and understanding the new cutting edge of User Experience practice and research and to explore new ideas and suggestions from experts;
  • Quick reference tool;
  • Keeping updated and recap topics;
  • Powerful resource to discover, study and teach technology design;
  • When putting together an academic or corporate course curriculum there is no reason to make participants spend more money on textbooks than necessary.

Example textbook: Open Content and peer-reviewed – written by leading figures.


IDF’s free online resources at

  • Textbooks – assembled in an encyclopedia: Open Content and peer-reviewed – written by leading figures. A magnum opus on how to design interactive systems;
  • Video library: Interviews with leading technology designers and professors. Filmed around the world;
  • Image library: Royalty-free images suitable as design inspiration, teaching and publications;
  • Wiki bibliography: The world’s largest wiki bibliography. A goldmine of research on designing interactive products;
  • Curated calendar of great conferences. Ideal opportunities for learning and professional networking;
  • Curated product catalogue to make your work life easier.

Example from the image library: Concrete advice on how to improve software design by using gestalt psychology.
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Professionals Association – free for SAP employees 

SAP has a company license so SAP employees can become members of IDF professionals association for free at:

As members of IDF professionals association SAP employees get access to e.g.:

  • Personal mentoring from the world’s tech elite;
  • An exclusive Q&A forum. Learn from your peers – fast;
  • Curated product catalogue to make your work life easier;
  • Offline versions of educational material.


SAP University Alliances

As part of the sponsorship, IDF will team with the SAP® University Alliances program to help its members create learning material that promotes simpler, more innovative and efficient product design.

Over 300 major universities globally are currently using IDF’s textbooks regularly in their classes. Giving access to free high quality textbooks can help bridge the higher education accessibility gap between privileged and underprivileged by making higher education affordable to all.

User Experience Evangelist

This is great news! This is a terrific resource for SAP and for all people working on design topics world-wide!

I can only second what Esther wrote — indeed great news for the design field.

Just a follow up note: SAP’s year-long sponsorship of the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) drew to a close at the end of September 2013.

It has been an honor for SAP to contribute to IDF’s educational goals through our sponsorship and to benefit from the privileges this partnership has afforded us.

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