“An incomparable user experience will increasingly be a key competitive differentiator for digital businesses.”
In May 2013 SAP Fiori was released to the world with its first wave of 25 apps. Setting a major precedent with an entirely new SAP user experience, Fiori has certainly delivered. Today more than 600+ lightweight SAP Fiori apps are available to users who want to take advantage of the role-based, mobile-first approach in accomplishing common business tasks. These applications support a diverse set of roles across all lines of business with a holistic and consistent experience on any device to help businesses realize quick insight-to-action, anywhere, anytime.
Now SAP has deemed the SAP Fiori User Experience to be the foundational UX of all future SAP applications, such as the SAP HANA platform, adding emphasis to this paradigm shift in SAP’s user experience strategy.
So how important is user experience?
If you are living in the 21st century with a smartphone you have surely seen the proliferation of mobile apps. And more than likely you are using apps like Facebook, Twitter, or dare I say it – Candy Crush, on a daily basis. The growth of the consumer mobile app marketplace has exploded. In fact, mobile games became the largest category in gaming in 2014, and the total number of mobile apps available for download soared over 3.5 million in 2015.
So what is driving this growth of mobile app adoption and how do these apps manage to glue users to their screen? In terms of design, one factor is certainly the immense ‘delight’ the apps create through colorful screens and easy navigation to successfully engage users. These consumer apps expect minimum technical knowledge from users while fulfilling user requirements and exceeding their expectations, in turn yielding higher user adoption and engagement rates. Combine these factors together and the result is a consumer-grade User Experience that has created a new benchmark for users and the applications they use most.
Redefining the User Experience of Business Applications
With consumer apps setting a new standard for user experience there is a growing expectation and demand by employees for enterprise applications with the same simplicity. The bar has been raised – and now employees expect a change in the enterprise-grade user experience to match the same ease of use and convenience of consumer apps. We can also see that the rapid change in technology has shifted the way people work, consume content, and decide how to get things done. Now smartphones, tablets, and laptops make business happen around us, anywhere and anytime. This situation is making it imperative for businesses to transform into flexible organizations with a renewed focus on how their employees work to best support them in their efforts. Today, making business available on all the devices with a consistent user experience is a smart way to seize opportunities and remove barriers from work.
To address the need of an improved enterprise-level user experience, SAP used a design thinking approach to redefine how business users perform their daily tasks. The end result: SAP Fiori. These Fiori apps have been exclusively built for business users with simplicity as the foundation, and to ensure consistency throughout all applications, the SAP Fiori user experience (UX) has been defined by five core design principles.
SAP Fiori UX Design Principles
The new age of Fiori’s user experience is based on the following modern design principles:
Role-Based – Designed for People and How They Work
Applications are built for different users or roles with each app specifically designed for only that user to best support their work. By segmenting the apps this way users are only exposed to the tools that are relevant to them, in turn, removing the complexity seen too often in the old SAP GUI.
Responsive – What You Need, Where You Need It
SAP Fiori apps are responsive, meaning they can run on different devices, such as mobile or desktop, all from one code base. This delivers a consistent experience on any device and provides employees with the freedom from their desk.
Simple – Focused on what is Important
Complexity only slows us down. The SAP Fiori UX follows a simple 1-1-3 mantra: 1 user, 1 use case, 3 screens. This reduces applications to only what is important for a specific scenario and delivers the solution within a maximum of three screens, getting rid of unnecessary functionality and content.
Coherent – One Fluid Experience
The Fiori Launchpad integrates all apps into one coherent environment accessible on any device. And with all apps sharing the same user experience – irrelevant of the task – the actions to complete it are performed in the same fashion.
Delightful – Beyond The Expected
SAP Fiori uses the latest SAPUI5 front-end technologies offering many ways to boost the experience with advanced visuals, animations and interactivity. The use of SAPUI5 creates a modernized front-end that is on par with the consumer apps we see today.