Standard user interfaces (UIs) often have one big pain point: they need to serve all users or function groups! For that reason, they are often overloaded with fields, information, and buttons – most of these elements are often only required by real power users who are working very frequently, i.e. multiple times a day with this UI.
But what about the more occasional users who access the same UI just from time to time to perform only some minor tasks on it? Every time, this user has to remember “what was the right selection field?” – “which parameter do I need to set?” – “where do I need to make my entries?”
Now, imagine you are an employee working in the marketing department. Your role also covers ordering some external resources and materials. For each of your purchases, a separate purchase order (PO) is created, sometimes also with very high amounts. As you are submitting the POs, you will be the “goods recipient” for these orders.
The controlling department asks you to build financial accruals for every order you’re responsible for, and that’s on a monthly basis. For that reason, they hand out a tool to maintain accruals, the so-called “accrual cockpit”.
Oh, cool! There is a tool which supports this process (and no Excel 🙂 ), but which of these 50 selection fields should you use to query and get your PO displayed to maintain the corresponding accrual values??
Well, now imagine you are not alone – there are many “goods recipients” also from other departments, and you’re asking yourself: “Is it really so much effort to create a UI for a specific function group like for me in my role as goods recipient? Can’t believe that!”
You are right – it is even very simple to do so!
The solution is SAP Screen Personas. SAP introduced the new browser-based rendering engine for classic SAP GUI transaction some months ago. It is a Do-It-Yourself toolbox that offers consumer-grade personalization features that enable IT professionals or end-users to simplify business application screens quickly and easily in order to improve the visual appeal, productivity, and performance of SAP.
More details on SAP Screen Personas here: http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/Img/SAPScreenPersonas
Of course, some brainstorming is needed to evaluate how the final screen must look like so that it serves the needs for all goods recipients. The best way to find out what users need are interviews with these real end-users.
That’s exactly what we did internally in cooperation with SAP Controlling, SAP Marketing, and SAP IT. After several end-user interview sessions, we redesigned the Accrual Cockpit with SAP Screen Personas, always in alignment with the lines of business. We found out that just three selection fields are sufficient for every goods recipient. We were able to provide them an appealing and easy to consume UI, enriched with additional resources and information which makes their specific process to build accruals much easier and comfortable!
And last, but not least, also make sure to visit the SAP Runs SAP booth at the TechEd Showfloor for great discussions on how SAP Runs SAP internally and, of course, for a SAP Screen Personas demo! More details can be found in Eileen’s Blog.
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