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Ever wondered who was responsible for SCN visually? Come Behind the Scenes with SCN’s UI and Graphic Designer, Jodi Fleischman. Jodi is responsible for homepage designs, ensuring we maintain SAP branding and is the designer of our beautiful gamification badges! Please read on to learn more about Jodi and her role.


/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/jodi_tt_472808.jpgPlease share a bit about yourself (location, hobbies and more): I’m based in the SAP Palo Alto office.  I live in the Mission district of San Francisco with my husband Thierry and our 2 kids: Solenne-12 and Tristan-5.  Our kids both attend the Lycée Francaise in San Francisco.

Gali: Curious I had to ask Jodi why both kids learned in a French school. If there is a connection or if its simply a better school:

The Lycee is a wonderful school in the city with a French curriculum combined with American courses, and a great Pre-K program.  My husband is French-American.  My level of French is slowly growing (emphasis on slowly), but I’m convinced that an immersion program – like a long trip to France! – could solve that 😉 .

I enjoy outdoors adventures with my kids, camping, board games, tennis, and when I have time: sketching in my moleskine.

I’m originally from Milwaukee Wisconsin – where I graduated from design school.  As you might guess from my name, my family is of German descent and I’m proud to say that my brothers have carried on our family tradition of making the best sauerkraut 😉 .

Shortly before college graduation in 1998, I visited San Francisco for the “FUSE” design conference.  During that trip I realized SF was the place for me.

Jodi - solenne-tt.jpg

Can you please share about your role on the SCN Team: Since joining SAP I’ve been the UI and Graphic Designer for the SCN Team.  With the recent convergence of SCN and SAP.com becoming the Integrated Digital Team, I’ve joined the talented group of designers from SAP.com- on the SAP Digital Experience Design team  (for the purposes of this interview – I’ll focus on the SCN side of my world… ).

I joined SAP when SCN (SAP Community Network) was SDN (SAP Developer Network).  As the UI and graphic designer, I have worked closely/collaborated with each member of the SCN team as well as the SAP TechEd team, at one point or another.   Among other things: I manage the SCN image library,  create artwork for the SCN Gamification Project, support each SCN homepage re-design, support each SCN homepage update, and provide SAP brand guidance to the team projects.  It’s been fun to see and contribute to each design transformation of the site: as part of the Jive migration project, as we’ve brought on new areas, added new features, introduced new tools, aligned with SAP branding, etc.

Gali: Jodi provided a flashback screenshot from when she first joined SDN! Wow what a difference 🙂

Jodi - SDN_2004_screenshot.jpg

What do you enjoy most from your role? Besides my passion for design, I enjoy the people most. SCN is a fun and talented group of people to work with.

What would the community be surprised to learn about you: Hmm.  Well, I’ve held an Oscar.  Our friend, Nick Brooks, won the Oscar for the film “What Dreams May Come“. He casually stores it on his living room book shelf.

Gali: For those curious like me, he won the Oscar for best visual effects 😎

Can you share an interesting project you’ve worked on? The SCN migration to Jive and redesign project was a very interesting experience.  The project took place in late 2011 to early 2012.   Alongside many other work streams, I was the UI work stream lead and participated in each step of the design process.  We worked with the design agency (SolutionSet) as we very quickly went through wireframe and visual design reviews and approvals within our own team and the branding team.  We also conduct usability tests in the Palo Alto Usability Lab, which was a great addition to the project.   The UI work stream (as likely all work streams!) was an exercise in constant communication – of opening the lines between the relevant work stream participants/stakeholders as it pertained to each step of the design process.    I’m happy to have had the experience, and am (have been) quite happy with the results of the project 🙂

There’s another SCN project I’d like to mention….well, an “ongoing” project. I’m part of the Continuous Improvement Group led by Brian Bernard (previously called the Content and Design guidelines group). It’s a group of people with various backgrounds including Content, User Experience, SEO, UI Design, and Branding.  We meet regularly (~every other week) to discuss and execute on content/design issues or improvement ideas for the site.  It’s been a great way to bring together the different views and fine–tune specific areas of SCN, real-time.  It’s a nice concept for any project!

Please share a personal experience; one tip/resource/guide that he recommends after finding it helpful (from personal experience): Considering our One Digital Experience charter, I recommend checking out Jakob Nielsen’s UX articles.  It’s very relevant and timely information we can all use (even for those outside the 1DX project).  You can subscribe to his newsletters: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/subscribe/.

A few more specific questions I asked Jodi:

Personal philosophy: The Golden Rule is a good one.

Personal hero: My grandma. She’s simplya fun person to be with.  At 90 years old, I would be lucky to have as much energy, as good of a memory and as   wonderful a sense of humor.

Favorite book: “James and the Giant Peach” but also a fan of David Sedaris.

Last book you read: “Duck on a Bike” – to my son 😉   (but really, the illustrator is great!)

The next four questions are taken from the Actor Studio interview questions:

What is your favorite word:  Empower

Least favorite word: Accuse

What sound do you love:  my kids’ laughter

What profession other than yours would you love to attempt: owning an art gallery or something in the field of alternative medicine

What do you do to relax? Get outside.  Ideally in an open natural space like (locally speaking) Ocean Beach or Golden Gate park.

Gali: as we can spot in the photos above 😉

Since Jodi is the one who designs all our beautiful badges, I had to ask if she has a favorite: I don’t have any favorites.  I love them all 😆 .

Jodi is a wonderful teammate who is a pleasure to work with. She keeps the SCN look up to date and ensures our site is aligned as it should. Please read the lovely quotes below from her colleagues on the team:

• “SCN literally looks good because of Jodi’s contributions. She understands our community and platform and somehow translates what it is into something visual and appealing. Because of her outstanding work, users benefit from a great experience, and they are able to use SCN in a meaningful way. Jodi is a joy to work with because she is always willing and eager to accept a challenge. She is the consummate teammate, and we are lucky to have her as part of our team.”

• “Jodi has always had the challenging task of managing the visual design of our large community, with its independent spirit, while keeping the SAP branding aspects in mind. She’s done a particularly wonderful job of this in the development of the badges for SCN missions. Personally, I think they rock! And Jodi is a pleasure to work with: she is a true supportive team player in the best sense.”

• “Jodi is creative, cooperative and a pleasure to work with. She provides excellent designs and responds well to critique, providing a great customer experience.”

• “I love the job that Jodi has been doing with the SCN badges! After working with Jodi more closely over the past couple of years, I’ve come to appreciate her reliability and interest in understanding the users that form the community. Plus she’s always available to help with her very useful graphics skills.”

• “Working with Jodi always brightens my day because she’s easy to work with and a real pleasure to be around. With her unique skill set she often gets called to work on and juggle lots of different projects at the same time but I know I can always count on her to deliver. She’s a great teammate and I’m always super impressed with her commitment and enthusiasm. “

Jodi is not on twitter, citing time constraints. Feel free to encourage her to join and to how to handle the time element in the comments below. 😉

I invite you to go ‘Behind the Scenes’ with additional SCN Team members.

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12 Comments

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  1. Matt Fraser

    Great summary.  I can relate to the “French immersion” as well.  My wife is French, and my French language skills are very rudimentary.  Each trip there has improved them slightly, but I’m sure an “immersion experience” would be just the thing!

    I once held an Oscar in my hands, too… surprisingly heavy.

    Great to “meet” you Jodi!

    –Matt

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  2. Ravi Sankar Venna

    Thanks Jodi Fleischman, good to know about you.

    Nobody knows there are many wonderful people behind the success of SCN.

    my kids’ laughter – you are right, that the laugh of the kids is very invaluable and somebody really has to feel that. Kids are a real treasure 🙂


    Thanks Gali Kling Schneider for introducing gems to the SCN Community.


    Best Regards,

    Ravi

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  3. Marilyn Pratt

    Love LOVE LOVE the behind the scenes concept. Although Jodi Fleischman is and has been our colleague for a number of years, I realize after reading this that I knew very little about her on a personal level as we rarely have the opportunity to engage one with the other and I’ve thought of Jodi as somewhat shy.  My most recent interaction with her was around Jodi’s creating the badges for #SAPCC I Care, I Gave, I Inspired and it pleased us no end that although she was asked to help gamify the mission with a very short lead time, she was helpful, quick and delivered by going beyond “the call of duty”.

    It was also gratifying to understand that Jodi really “cares” and creating the badges was a labor of love.

    I enjoy the “graphic” storytelling in this interview.  The image of OSCAR, French schooling of children, a the historic screen are all very engaging ways of connecting to the essence of Jodi.

    Thanks for this series and this interview.

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    1. Jodi Fleischman

      Thanks Marilyn…(yes, Gali pulled me out of my shell…for now).  Funny you should mention the badges for “I Care, I Gave, I Inspired”.   If I was to pick my favorite badge, and revise my answer above!, I would choose this set.  Visually – it accomplishes what we want in a badge: simple, bold, and gets the point across. Conceptually – what a great mission to support such a program.

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  4. Laure Cetin

    Great post Gali!

    Thanks Jodi for sharing things about yourself that even your colleagues here in Palo Alto didn’t know yet! I laughed when you said you have no favorite SCN badge. I guess it’s like with kids, there is no favorite you love them all!

    Thanks for all the wonderful work you do for SCN.

    Laure

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    1. Jodi Fleischman

      Exactly!  Its just like with kids.  But really, I’m going with the MSF mission badges as my fave.

      Overall, each badge has been a unique collaboration w/ various folks – which makes for a fun process.

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