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What the Heck is XOA?

by Michael Nadeau

October 20, 2010

by Michael Nadeau

Seems like you can't escape an SAP event these days without having to learn new TLAs (three-letter acronyms). On Tuesday, I learned a new one: XOA, or Experience-Oriented Architecture. It is an approach to user-interface design that takes the experience of the application user into account. (What a concept!)

Joking aside, the results of this approach demoed at SAP TechEd Las Vegas were very impressive. Presented by SAP's Matthias Zeller and Adobe's Stephen Webster, the session showed how the two companies collaborated on Adobe's Project Hendrix. Using Adobe technology, the team built an entirely new UI for Adobe's call center.

For me, the real star of the project wasn't the technology--all off-the-shelf. It was the XOA methodology where the UI designers actually manned the call center for several days so they understood exactly what those people did. As Webster pointed out, the goal of the session was not to make everyone in attendance a designer, but to give them an appreciation for the experience of the user.

You can get a glimpse of Project Hendrix from the presentation PDF at the SAP TechEd web site. The session number is CD120.

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