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SAP Is Taking Cues from You to Create Easy, Intuitive, and Engaging UIs

by The SAP Useability Team | SAPinsider

October 1, 2001

by The SAP Useability Team SAPinsider - 2001 (Volume 2), October (Issue 4)

"SAP seems to be aggressively catering to its customers. The usability tests are testimony to this."

This comment is just part of the positive feedback the SAP Usability Group received in reaction to the Usability Activities it conducted at the Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG) Annual Conference & Vendor Fair, May 20-23, held in Miami Beach, Florida. A team of approximately 40 SAP developers, product managers, and usability experts conducted more than 250 one-on-one test sessions with SAP customers, partners, employees, and prospects. These sessions gave ASUG members the opportunity to test and give feedback on some of the latest SAP development projects. SAP developers had the chance to speak directly with users and bring back improvements, design ideas, and unanswered questions to their respective development groups.

     Tests were run in a variety of product areas:

   mySAP Business Information Warehouse (BW)
   mySAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
   mySAP Financials
   mySAP Mobile Solutions
   mySAP Marketplace
   Enterprise Portals

     Each test session lasted approximately 60 minutes, and entailed a brief introduction to the test scenario, lengthy hands-on work by the tester, and wrap up. For example, in the CRM area users were asked to take on the role of a sales representative or sales manager to "perform his daily tasks of checking and creating activities, opportunities, quotations, and orders using a personal digital assistant (PDA)."

     Feedback included praise for new directions that SAP is taking, but also constructive criticism about navigation, interface terminology, icons, sort and search functionality, and general design and visualization issues. Some general comments from testers:

"(The application) needs some work to make it more intuitive in terms of what tabs contain what information."

"(I) feel it's a good idea to get the best navigation techniques for end users."

"Keep doing this! It's a great barometer for workability of your products."

"Excellent chance to interact with designers to make product friendlier."

"I think this is fabulous! A great opportunity to gain information about upcoming products and give my feedback in advance! I plan to take advantage of this every chance I get."

"Great idea - very useful - better than client demos."

     Developers are now working to incorporate the feedback into actual changes in the products, with a focus on the ultimate goal: innovative, user-centered designs for SAP customers.

Join us!

The SAP Usability Team is making plans to conduct similar Usability Activities on a smaller scale at a handful of ASUG group meetings in October and November. If you are interested in participating, visit usability_index.htm to fill out a participation form.

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