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It came as a surprise on a fine day when I was asked if I can present a session for ‘Ux Infoday – Developer Meets Developer’ at SAP Labs which is purely focussed on Usability. I was so enthusiastic to be part of this focussed on Usability and hence agreed my presence for the Infoday event.

Why focus on Usability?
Usability is considered as one of the most requested and visible investment by our customers. This initiative of celebrating a day for Usability shows how much importance SAP is giving for our customer needs.Usability is a qualitative attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use.

Why Developer Meets Developer?

Usability is a non-functional requirement. Hence it will not be addressed carefully in the initial stage as the Requirements Specification document focuses on functional requirement. Hence the developer’s focus will be to achieve the functionality thereby resulting in poor usability. And if at a later stage when it is found less usable, it may result in complete rework if it cannot be adapted to achieve the usability. Due to such reasons, it is very important to create awareness of Usability among developers. This will help to focus on usability at an early stage of the development. More than a Speaker-audience session, this was named as ‘Developer meets Developer’ as this was a stage where in developers share their ideas and views to other developers. I would say this was really an informative event.

Usability as a Standard

Usability is one of the product standard for SAP like Performance, Security, Accessibility etc.The product standard for usability (PSU) ensures comprehensive coverage of standard usability quality criteria to be used to assess the product’s

  • User interface (UI) technical environment
  • Common user activities
  • Navigation & Interaction design
  • Information design & brand

The primary focus of usability is the end user(not the customer or the administrator) and his or her tasks.

Does it really benefit our Customers?

It really adds value to our products. If we see the benefits it provides to our customers, am sure everyone would agree the importance that we are giving and that we should give for Usability.

Some of the benefits are :

  • Lower costs for customer training
  • Reduction in user errors
  • Increased productivity
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Improved user attitude
  • Better application integration
  • Software better suited to the tasks
  • Higher acceptance through user orientation
  • Lower costs by avoiding late, cost-intensive corrections
  • Greater user identification with and acceptance of the solution
  • Higher motivation to use the system

Ux Infoday – Developer Meets Developer
It was quite an informative event with interactive sessions and demos where people shared their experience, provided tips and tricks and answered questions about usability, new UIs and used technologies. You can already find some of the revitalizing UIs SAP has provided like eg. Best Practices for UI enhancement with NWBC which is mainly provided for building flexible user interface by integrating Xcelsius dashboard analytics and related SAP applications, and Side Panel Applications. I really enjoyed my session talking to my fellow developers and clarifying their questions. Also I could gather more information about the other topics that are being carried out in SAP towards usability. Usability is one of the major topics in this year’s SAP DKOM. So we can expect a lot more from SAP.

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3 Comments

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  1. Richa Gupta

    Very informative. Such experiences are really valuable. Usability is something which should be focused in every application. It has such an important feature. Various examples are there in the market where many products have not been accepted by users because of usability issues.

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  2. Cailin Yates

    I am pleased to have stumbled across this post but feel that the subject has not yet received its due.  The number one complaint I receive in regards to SAP is that it is not user friendly.  End users find it cumbersome.  Developers need to understand this and work towards a more user friendly end product.

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  3. Sharath M G

    Well, Usability or User Experience ( fashionably called UX ) should be part of the specs and its not the customer responsibility to share it.

    As the implementation team and as developers its our obligation provide a vision and preview of the UX of the solution. Apart from the fulfilling the business requirement, the US is one of the expected deliverable.

    Nice Blog.

    Regards,

    Sharath

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