Understanding the SAP UX Strategy

SAP UX strategy is generally aimed at bringing excellent products to customers. Using principles of design-thinking, SAP aims at maintaining the core value-of listening to the customers’ needs & quickly incorporating the customers’ feedback into their products. With influence of the consumer software making its’ way in to the enterprise, the strategy is aimed at meeting the users expectations of easy to use software products in the work place. User Experience Strategy is basically designed to suit the customers’ needs and users’ personas. 

Understanding the SAP UX Strategy

User Experience is influenced-by Social Media

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Many people spend hours on the social media like twitter and/or facebook. Their User-Experience is influenced by usage of the social networks that strive hard to offer/provide lean, usable, & extremely fast applications. A majority of the mobile applications and sites are now being developed using jQuery, HTML5, among others. User Experience is highly influenced when the users spend most-of their free time using such sites or mobile applications. It’s obvious that when the users return to the business applications, the desire of having a similar User-Experience in business applications is influenced & thus, SAP developers have to understand the change in the users’ expectations.

SAP User Experience-Strategies cover the existing as-well-as the new applications. SAP basically intends to offer superior user-experience with the release of its’ new applications. There are some new applications like the Recalls Plus, the PhotoTribe, the Fan Experience, & My Runway, which are currently available.

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SAP User Experience Strategies

New: This is self explanatory and it simply means that new SAP offerings & applications will be well designed with the HTML5 as the base technology or the SAPUI5.

Renew: When SAP analyzed usage statistics-of SAP Screens & Transactions, it noticed that 80 percent of the users generally use 20 percent of the screens. This means that SAP will initially work on 20 percent of the most used-screens first & that comes under the renew approach. That’s where SAP-Fiori comes into picture. SAP-Fiori complies with SAP’s goal of “From Transaction-to Application” & by end of the year, the number of Fiori-applications may be around 900.

Enable: Obviously when 20 percent of the screens offer modern user experience, the customers will expect the rest of the other screens to offer a similar user experience & this is where the Enable strategy comes in. This is where users like you & me come into the picture & develop applications or/and migrate the old custom applications-to UI5 applications with HANA cloud platform, SAP HTML5 Toolkit, Eclipse, HANA Cloud Portal, the SAP Gateway Accelerator-Tools, among others.

Takeaway: SAP-UI is not a headache-of SAP Portal or the SAP ABAP. Many people have been-developing SAP Screens in many UI technologies & SAP intends-to unify this. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a SAP Portal Developer, and/or a ABAP Developer, sooner-or-later, you’re going to work-on SAPUI5. 

Core to the SAP UX strategy, of “new, renew & enable” are the SAP Fiori UX & the SAP Screen Personas. This strategy is complemented-by SAP UX design services, that offer design consulting-for customers or users in their journey-to achieve that optimal user experience. SAP helps customers and users meet all the needs of the end users, & supports IT groups/users in developing UX sensibility in organizations. For all the other exiting SAP-applications and the SAP modules, SAP basically intends to bring the User Experience at-par with new approach which is known as Transaction to Application.

With the new approach, SAP basically intends to convert the most used & business intensive transactions-to SAP Fiori Applications. Many common business processes are already being launched as separate SAP Fiori-Application and that trend is here to continue. SAP also released SAP-Portal, Mobile Editon and the SAP Cloud Portal which provide superior User Experience as compared to the traditional SAP Portal. With the Enable-approach, SAP intends to offer a Do It Yourself (also abbreviated as DIY) configuration-features with help of SAP Personas which enable customers & the end users to conveniently change the SAP screen which fits their very own specific needs. The SAP Personas, the SAP Floor Plan-Manager, the SAPUI5, the SAP Fiori Launch pad, the Theme Designer, are among the examples-of such tools which will enable the users to easily manage their very own User Experience.

However, it’s too early for the IT organizations to start adopting these standards. Even before thinking about designing the User Experience Strategy, one should start thinking about something known as User Mind-Map. This is basically a non SAP term. Don’t confuse the User Persona with the User Mind-Map. Both of these terms are different & understanding them is key to a successful User Experience. The User Persona may be designed after you’ve a User Mind-Map ready or you already know from your-experience. For instance, in case of SAP-Portal, you already know that there are going-to be developers, administrators, and end users who are using different features, thus you don’t have to design the User Mind-Map categorically.

The User Mind-Map can be described as a technique where you look at the application or a site from user’s perspective. You start with a couple-of basic steps which you feel the user will perform and/or a few basic ideas. You can then expand the steps or the ideas into sub ideas and keep on branching. After you find out that some of these steps are related, one can link the steps together & segregate non related steps so as to create a new-category. Even though, user mind-map is rather difficult to be perceived-in the context of SAP-development, it is, however, an important tool to-visualize your application & its’ User Experience. SAP states that the User Experience is the combination of the Business Needs, the Technological Feasibility, and the Usability. After you combine these 3 values you need to place the user experience at-the overlap.


SAP user experience strategy will bring business applications under a single umbrella which will provide web based entry point. SAP calls the umbrella a “Unified Shell”. The SAP Fiori Launch pad is a good example of such a Unified Shell which consolidates multiple business-applications and also provides a single entry point. Earlier on, the single entry-point feature was offered by SAP Portal. The goal of SAP UX strategy is to offer the leading user-experience for business applications & deliver attractive applications which make people more successful at work.

Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.