Recently at the SAP CRM conference in Orlando, we had the chance to speak about the topic of SAP User Experience, and users' expectations regarding SAP UX in the marketplace today. While there were many examples that were cited from the audience, in particular SAP CRM, many different words were used to describe what the SAP User Experience should be. When the dust settled and all the comments were in, it seemed that two words were just right to sum up the UI expectations of those that use SAP applications - Easy and Fast.
Here's a clip of the session http://blog.excelliscorp.com/2012/03/29/sap-ui-projects-iterative/
And while those buzzwords are certainly great guiding principles to shoot for in your SAP based UI Projects, its much easier said, than done. Great UI's don't just happen overnight. It takes thought - the kind that places us in the users' shoes, lots of user feedback, and keeping up on current UI best practices. Any project that is UI intensive though, will undergo many iterations till the UI is right - that is to say, the UI has decreased risk and inversely increased potential for adoption.
And that's how we like to describe our experiences with SAP UI based projects - Iterative. Perhaps highly iterative, maybe more so than non-SAP based UI projects. And we've also seen, as you've seen in the clip, that "Iterative" is best served "Onshore". Many times, the proverbial hand-off between tech specs, time zones, complex explanations of usage patterns, and use cases, are lost in the weeds between onshore and offshore personnel. No manner of tech spechs, no matter how well written, properly keeps the UI requirement sand from inevitably falling through the cracks in the offshore UI model. These hand-offs represent failure points to producing iterative, intensive, UI driven SAP projects.
In the end though, it really doesn't matter whether the platform is SAP, Non-SAP, complicated, or easy. Why - because that's how the use sees it. In the end, they simply want easy and fast.
Its our job, here in the SAP world of assorted UIs, to give them exactly that. And it starts and ends with the acceptance of being highly iterative.