Towards the end of my 9 years with SAP I did a 3-month fellowship with the DCC (Design Co-Innovation Center) team where I worked on a project with one of SAP’s major oil and gas customer.
Together with a colleague I created a financial dashboard based on SAP technologies. We iterated on existing designs and worked on a new dashboard as well.
For the iteration of the existing designs, we conducted group interviews with business analysts from different business lines and tried to understand their challenges and needs based on the current designs. We synthesized the findings, ideated and validated with the analysts multiple times. We met with potential end users and conducted a mini workshop where we let them partake in designing possible solutions. We ideated and validated all ideas with the stakeholders and refined the designs till we netted out on the final solution.
The designs provide meaningful and insightful visualization with intuitive interface for all business lines.
And I did… …conduct group interviews, create wireframes, produce visual designs and validate ideas.
Challenges The access to real end users was a problem. We sometimes had to deal with proxy users, which we needed to take in consideration when designing wireframes and validating them.
Key takeaways It was the first time that I got to work with an oil and gas company. To learn about their process was very insightful and interesting. There are definitely a lot of players in the game ;)
F&O view - financial dashboard for line of business
Allocated View - financial dashboard for line of business
First Incurred Cost Control - financial dashboard for line of business
SAP is the first software vendor empowering business analysts, developers and IT team within organizations to think like designers and deliver user centered solutions.
SAP Splash helps bridge this huge unmet need in user experience for enterprise apps. Business experts can go through a guided design process that involves byte-sized learning pieces, with relatable examples and templates. Simple tools can be used to create interactive prototypes with realistic sample data. In turn, more accurate user feedback supports to jumpstart their development process. Business experts not only get to build UIs that are inline with today’s best practices, but also gracefully ease into the discipline of user centered-design. When this process is duplicated, thoughtful design begins to scale in organizations.
We designed a beautiful marketing homepage with parallax effect and small animations (image 1). From there the user can access a gallery of projects that she can clone from (image 2), the tools, the learning content that offers UX basics and the community.
The User Experience Basics section (image 3) offers method cards that walk the user through a typical product development lifecycle where the design and feature decisions are focused on the end user. It also offers a new and broad portfolio of UX design services that guide organizations and companies into a user centric design perspective.
As mentioned above users can create interactive prototypes. They can do that from scratch or clone from a gallery of projects (image 4). It has never been so easy gathering feedback from users by simply creating a study and importing the designs or prototype.
SAP Splash won the Honorable Mention UX Award in 2015 and is shortlisted for the IxDA Award. See more
Check out the video on the right for more information!
And I did... ...design the user experience from information architecture and concept to interaction design and high fidelity mockups, and adjusting visual design. We solved for business analysts that need to translate business requirements into solutions that meet their business' and user's needs. We followed the Design Thinking principles from understanding the user and problem space to testing and validating our ideas and solutions. I also helped creating the UX Basics content: the method cards, Design Thinking artifacts and guides.
Challenges It was very interesting and challenging putting what I practice into words and creating learning content. I'm a Design Thinking coach since about 5 years, and I live and breathe it. SAP Splash gave me the opportunity to learn how to construct and structure educational material. Pushing the design to the next level in a highly political environment with a big team that is nationally distributed is not that easy. I used a lot of my leadership and communication skills to get the user experience users need.
Key takeaways There is a lot of interest in scaling user experience in enterprise businesses. Providing content and tools that help people to create beautiful, useful and usable apps meet their needs. Most off the shelf SAP applications need customization, and SAP Splash allows users to do quick modifications. Cohesion over consistency: we decided to have two different types of input fields. One type has the label inside the input field and the other type shows the label outside of the field. Depending on the context, the layout and other UI elements on the screen, we decided if the input field needs to be anchored with a label outside or not.
SAP Splash home screen (top part of marketing content)
SAP Splash gallery - projects to clone
User Experience Basics - byte-sized learning content
Personal workspace - users can create and clone projects
SAP Splash video - User Experience as as service
SAP Education Store
Virtual live classroom training by SAP Education supports companies all over the world in their efforts to work toward a common goal of creating superior value for customers, employees, partners and shareholders.
SAP Education Store offers flexible, scalable and affordable training options - from virtual live training to eLearning or iPad access.
In Q4 of 2014 our team was asked to improve the current SAP Education Store user experience. We mainly worked on the home page, the search, the results page, the certifications and the course details page.
The old education store was cluttered, and had redundant and confusing information. We cleaned up the content and gave the visual look and feel a face lift. Image 1 shows the end result of the home page, and image 2 is a mockup of a course details page.
And I did... ...create high fidelity mockups and tested them. I also took care of project management since we were a very small team.
Challenges We worked under a lot of pressure since we were given only 2 months. Fast and precise execution was key. Not only time was a challenging factor, but also technical constraints. Since we didn't redesign the entire education store, there was only little code that we were allowed to change, mainly the front-end. Most back-end related changes were not possible, so we learned to work around.
Key takeaways I learned a lot about online education and specifically about SAP's offers. There are all kinds of courses, online courses, in class courses, E-Academy and more. It was interesting to learn about their buying behavior. Who buys the courses? What type of courses get bought? Do they buy in bulk? etc.
Visual for home of training and certifications
IxD for course details page
SAP Group Seating
SAP Group Seating is the simple way to make sure friends sit together for the big game. Tailgates are nice and everyone loves a victory celebration, but wouldn’t you want to experience the game with the same people next to you? The app lets the users gather friends for the big game using social media or email. Anyone can be the rallying force behind the fun without playing the role of debt collector or nag.
Anyone who buys a ticket through your group will sit together. Once invited guests buy in, the app works its magic to sort out the seating.
There’s no worrying about whether seats will be close. No need to collect money. And both the group organizer and friends are able to view the guest list in real time.
Our team partnered up with Stanford’s Department of Athletics from the very beginning and followed the design thinking principles. Together we brainstormed about potential scenarios for Stanford’s sport fans and non-sport fans. We went through multiple iterations, created personas (image 2) and storyboards, wireframes (image 3), visuals (image 4), prototypes – and evaluated them with users (image 5).
We attended a few Stanford football and basketball games, interviewed and observed fans during tailgating, as well as during and after the game. This way we built empathy for our end users and got the real experience.
And I did... ...design lead for SAP Group Seating. I worked very closely with our customer, end users, product management, developers, copy writer and other designers (visual and research). I formed the vision together with the product manager and defined requirements based on our user research. I created the interaction design and high fidelity mockups. Since our team was a small team I took care of the project planning. I also helped our third party usability experts to run the usability tests. Last but not least I worked with our testers and helped them with quality assurance (QA).
Challenges SAP Group Seating was unfortunately never released due to integration problems with the third party ticketing vendor. You might think it was a technical problem, but this time it was the user experience. We weren't allowed to touch their interaction design so the break of two completely different experiences was too big. Till today people who know about our app and want to go to an event with a group, wish we had released it.
Key takeaways SAP Group Seating is my favorite project. The setup, team, topic and everything else was very startup like. I loved the fast pace, close relationship with the customers and users, and the little process we had. Dealing with third party copy writers and usability labs was interesting and insightful. I grew professionally during that project and learned a lot about leading design and forming a vision.
SAP Group Seating is responsive
SAP Group Seating video
Personas - Stanford alumni, families, sport enthusiasts and non-sport fans
IxD for the "Create Group" flow
Group overview - keep track of your groups
Our feedback wall: gathering input on different visual design concepts
SAP Player Engagement
SAP Player Engagement is an app for coaches and players of a sports team to communicate and exchange information. Coaches can share team philosophy and gameplay tactics with relevant statistics and videos. This way the players can prepare for the game more effectively and engage on tactical discussions (image 1). The team chat room is for pep talks and sharing fun moments with the team.
Since not every team has its players and coaches physically together at all time (especially national teams), it is very important to provide an easy way to communicate information. The SAP Player Engagement app creates a sense of family and strengths the bond between players and coaches.
We started off with a Design Thinking workshop with our customers and users (image 3), in which we explored the world of sports teams and gained an understanding of our target personas. Based on our user research we derived requirements and build the designs within a very short time frame.
And I did... ...mainly focus on user research, communication and interaction design.
Challenges Validation with end users was very difficult since soccer players where internationally distributed at their clubs and not really available. We got access to a handful of players, but we mostly used scouts as proxy users.
Key takeaways It was very interesting to learn about the dynamics in soccer teams and their philosophy. It is very hard for international teams to get hold of their players, especially to get some face time with them. SAP Player Engagement is helping them with their communicating, which is key!
SAP Player Engagement on iPad
Snippet of the SAP Player Engagment IxD document
Design Thinking workshop with our users
SAP Scouting empowers football franchises in the NFL to build better teams with the help of smart, intuitive analytics.
The SAP Scouting app presents all consolidated data in one place and allows a seamless flow of information between all scouts, trainers, and managers responsible for putting the best team on the field. This optimization has allowed scouts and management to spend less time wrestling with software and more time examining and discussing players.
Scouting players is not an easy job. You need the right information at the tip of your fingers at any time. Scouts can chose between different transaction views: they can see players and their info in a tile view (image 1) or a list view which reveals more insights. The player profile then provides all information that was recorded with the player since college football (image 3).
SAP Scouting won the IxDA People's Choice in 2014 and was one of the finalist for the category 'Optimizing'. See more
And I did... ...work very closely with the customer, product management and development, transforming requirements into wireframes. Communication was key with a globally distributed team. The most fun part was to learn about American Football! I grew up in Europe where soccer is no. 1 sport. Emerging in a new field was interesting and very exciting.
Challenges I didn't grow up watching American football, so trying to understand this entire world was very challenging. Walking in scouts' shoes was interesting and insightful. There were a lot of numbers, relations, documents and tools, that we had to understand. It's a very complex field.
Key takeaways The analytics need to be very accurate and delivered in a timely manner, otherwise scouts might not be able to waive the players they want.
SAP Scouting visual of player transactions
SAP Scouting video
Snippet of SAP Scouting IxD document for player profile
SAP Expense Insight
SAP EPM OnDemand Expense Insight empowers department managers to understand details of anything charged to their departmental profit and loss statement (P&L). Department managers can dispute and resolve miscoded, incorrect, or duplicate expenses.
Currently, department managers do not have any solution which provides a consolidated view of department expenses. In order to plan better, mangers need full transparency into their expenses anytime and anywhere. They need to easily find potential spending issues including incorrect expenses and have the ability to resolve those issues on timely manner.
Mangers need to view spend trends, predict spending for future budget cycles and make better decisions and plans by simulating different plans via What-if-Scenarios simulation.
SAP Expense Insight is a web application, which runs on the desktop and mobile devices.
And I did... ...lead the design, conduct user research, define user interaction, design the user interface and visual design, as well as usability testing. I did work very closely with end users, the product owners, the development team and other designers. This role was very holistic, and I enjoyed covering the whole product and design cycle.
Challenges Most SAP EPM users are hardcore Excel users. Presenting them a completely new design didn't fly. When validating the first mockups they had problems to find the totals. We had to rearrange information and hierarchy to accommodate the users.
Key takeaways It was very helpful to use a heat map (image 2) to show the travel expense breakdown. This way users can see immediately where most money went. Paper or low-fidelity sketches (image 1) are great for early validation.
SAP EPM Balsamiq mockup for the expense overview
SAP EPM travel expense breakdown heat map
SAP EPM - visual design for expense overview
HIVE was SAP's first ever UX event created for all SAP employees. We had over 200 attendees, designers and non-designers. With 22 total speaking sessions and 9 demo pods, it was a day buzzing with ideas building on ideas – a little like you find in a one of nature’s amazing hives.
HIVE started with Sam Yen's (SAP's Chief Design Officer) keynote, which was followed by two talk tracks with ten speakers covering various SAP-related topics around what’s next in UX design and how SAP can continue to be an industry leader.
It was a packed house for afternoon keynotes headlined by Don Norman (Director, Design Lab, UC San Diego: Think Observe Make, Professor Emeritus Cognitive Science & Psychology, UCSD) & Justin Ferrell (Fellowships Director at the Institute of Design at Stanford University, aka "the d.school"), followed by two talk tracks with eight external speakers covering a wide range of interesting topics from what the d.school fellowship program is all about to highly productive pair design; empathy in design; transforming corporate culture with design thinking; and designing for different cultures.
We envision HIVE growing into a forum where people can connect and be part of a community that thrives, creating better design by working together.
And I did... ...within only 3 weeks organize the event, including coming up with a name and a theme; secure a venue, define the content, rally speakers, mc the event and much more... Our amazing visual design team took care of the branding, decor and overall user experience. SAP loved the success and asked me to help them with their biggest developer conference DKOM 2016.
Here's some feedback we got:
HIVE was huge success! Here's what people said...
"...great job with the HIVE event! That was very interesting and insightful - I would love for us to incorporate the philosophy in our initiatives!" - University Recruiter, SAP
"THANK YOU for bringing the event to our campus and inspiring both our employees and community." - Events Marketing, SAP
"Good to see we're breaking our "frankensoft" stigma and innovating customer-centric design. Are you guys hiring? :)" - Attendee
HIVE setup stage 1 - HIVE banners
HIVE setup stage 2
Don Norman's keynote
Open space inviting people to communicate and collaborate
Outside of work I love to stimulate my creativity with randomly picking a theme/word and creating mood boards.
The composition of text, images, illustrations and samples of objects visually illustrates a style or concept.
Based on the mood boards I then create color palettes. Connect me if you're interested in them!
I can spend hours and hours browsing Pinterest and looking for inspiring pictures. You should try it! It's the best meditation :)
I'm not only a UX Designer, but also a Design Thinking coach, who got in touch with Design Thinking (DT) in 2010 when working for SAP Research. I'm breathing and living Design Thinking in my daily work since I did the DT bootcamp. Whenever I have time I help facilitating workshops.
I also created a series of training for non-designers teaching Design 101. The training is divided in three parts: 1. Basics of UX, Design and Design Thinking 2. Exercise - Redesigning a website 3. Workshop - How can we work better together
In terms of training consumption I completed 'Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence' at the Case Western Reserve University through Coursera, 'Situational Leadership' at SAP, PMI at SAP Research and many more.
Other facts: XX+UX Mentor Mentor at Sequoia High School Winner of the SAP Twitter pitch contest Judge for the 2015 School of Information Final Projects Panelist at InfoCamp 2015
Design 101 training (cover)
SAP Pitch: It's the people that drive success for SAP