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While listening to the User Experience Keynote of Sam Yen during TechEd 2014 in Las Vegas (http://tinyurl.com/kuwt5jj) with the topic: The Users Strike Back: The Force Behind a New SAP Experience, I was quite surprised by a quick demo of Caroline Welsh about SAP.Drive .

Even though the tool is quite interesting and accessible for everyone with a s-user or scn-account, the demo was just a 3:55 min walk-through.

You can watch the demo as part of Sam Yens keynote here:

http://www.snappytv.com/snaps/drive-sap-about-sap-teched-strategy-talks-on-sap-teched_vq

Nevertheless, I catched the URL to the tool (it was shown less than 5 s during the whole demo…):

https://drivesap.ondemand.com/

What is Drive.SAP?

The goal of Drive.SAP is to get prompt feedback on your design during an iterative project approach.

Or in SAP words:

Drive.SAP is an award-winning user experience application that enables SAP user researchers, product owners, and anyone working on design artefacts to validate and improve the user experience of SAP products.

Drive.SAP studies are simple to create and an ideal research tool that enables you to gather specific feedback from third parties, such as colleagues or customers, on images of your design artefacts.

The days are over when you sent screenshots in mails or via dropbox to get feedback from your customers end users, businness people or colleagues via mail, phone, chat or as annotated screenshots. At least that is the promise of Drive.SAP.

Let’s see if the tools really fullfills this purpose.

How does it work

According to the “award-winning” usability of Drive.SAP, it should not be necessary to create huge how-to documents or videos. Depending on how you define award-winning, the tool at least made it to the category “People’s Choice Honorable Mention” in the UX Awards 2014 Winners list.

http://userexperienceawards.com/ux-awards-2014-winners/#sap-ireland

Nevertheless, the usability of the tool is really good and intuitive which is important for the participants who just want to provide feedback.

So, how to get started?

First you need to fire up your Chrome or Safari browser since a big annoying popup reminds you that Firefox or other browsers are not working:

On the Help page you can read that IE10 should also work fine. At least on IE11, I got the same popup. We will see what the future brings.

The initial steps are actually quite easy: Create a study and upload your screens you want feedback for.

Using drag and drop, you can re-arrange the screens to  get the final screen flow you want to show to the participants. After that, you can specify for each screen which kind of feedback you want to get and also add a question to it like “Do you want to see the password in plain text?”.

Participants can answer in a free-text form or set marking points on the screen to highlight their feedback. After adding questions to EVERY screen, you are able to publish your study.

Attention! Once you have published the study, you will not be able to edit it anymore. So please ensure that you have the right order of the screens and added the right questions.

You can now share the study link to everyone you want feedback from. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to secure the study with a password. So your customer should be aware that everyone knowing the URL is able to see it. Currently, it is not possible to participate in a study without a scn- or s-user.

The good usability is shown especially for the feedback process. Before participating in the actual study, the participant gets a nice popup with some tips and tricks how to use the application.

Depending on the type of answers selected during creation (free-text or marker), the user can add responses to the questions or set four types of markers.

  • Like: simple Like icon + possibilty to add some text to it
  • Issue: yellow sign with an exclamation mark + possibility to add some text to it
  • Speech bubble: add some text
  • Arrow: to mark a position without adding text

That’s it for the participant. He or she can decide in the top menu to allow displaying the name or staying anonymous.

The feedback can now be seen by the study creator.

What are the benefits

During the quick check of the tool, I can see the following benefits:

  • A tool with an easy and state-of-the-art user experience just doing its job
  • Easy way to collect feedback from various people gathered through ONE channel
  • It is now fun to provide feedback!

What needs to be improved

  • You need a scn- or s-user
  • No password protection to secure studies
  • Help page is currently clearly written for SAP internal employees including SAP internal links
  • No support address or contact outside of SAP
  • Browser compatibility popup

Summary

The purpose of Drive.SAP is very simple but a huge advantage if you can use it in projects with a clear design focus. Good to see that SAP is on the right way to create simple but useful apps. Sure, there is quite some work to do but as SAP is not promoting the tool currently (try to search for Drive.SAP at google and you will find just a few hints…), I expect that they are working on it right now.

Personally, I will try the tool in one of our next user centered projects to see how it works in real life.

What are your thoughts on that? Have you already tried it?

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7 Comments

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  1. Robin Vleeschhouwer

    Hi Timo,

    Thanks for the information. I didn’t know about the tool.

    I have just tried it and it looks very good, but I think this tool can be especially useful when a reviewer doesn’t need to log in.

    Cheers, Robin

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    1. Timo Elbert Post author

      Hi Robin,

      yes I totally agree! In the current setup it could work in an “internal” project team where you can ask your members to sign up for SCN.

      But with end users and customers, you can’t expect that.

      I hope SAP will put this on top of the their todo list. 🙂

      Best

      Timo

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  2. Jeremy Good

    Timo,

    Thank you for taking the time to reflect on your experiences with the tool.  It so closely resembles my own personal experience that I felt like I was reading my own ‘unwritten’ blog. I also jumped immediately into my browser when watching the TechEd keynote replay to see the tool for myself (I laughed when I saw the browser popup captured in your blog – it was my initial reaction too since I use IE10).

    Seeing the historical application design approach that requires numerous phone calls, spreadsheets, powerpoints, etc., I really see this tool contributing to a greatly simplified effort for an asynchronous agile Fiori design approach for customers/partners.  Build the prototype with Web IDE, issue the study, incorporate the results – rinse/repeat!

    Regards,

    Jeremy Good

    Customer Experience Group – CEG

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    1. Timo Elbert Post author

      Hi Jeremy,

      thanks for your feedback! Do you have a deeper insight how this tool will evolve in the future? Is there any roadmap for it?

      We would really like to see that this tool will be maintained and enhanced by SAP in a way that we can use it in customer projects. And as already described by you an integration with Web IDE would make perfect sense.

      Best

      Timo

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      1. Jeremy Good

        Perhaps Caroline Welsh could add some insight concerning roadmap and future plans.  I am also quite interested in where this is headed (the keynote was the first I heard about the tool).

        On a slightly different topic (but #design_thinking related), I also recently had the chance to use the Tele-Board tool:  Tele-Board – Hasso-Plattner-Institut  Check it out!

        Envision the idea of virtual whiteboarding/post-it notes, exporting the imagery or details along with some quick Fiori / SAPUI5 prototypes in Web IDE into a Drive Study…

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        1. Caroline Welsh

          Hi Jeremy,


          Thank you for getting in touch. Drive has become a very popular tool for designers and user researchers. We now have over 700 users.  With this growing popularity Drive will now become a part of bigger vision. It will become a part  of a Design platform.

          The next functionality we hoped to provide is

          Gathering feedback on interactive prototypes

          Social Sign On to reach out to more external end users

          Collaborative Feedback to open up communication between designers/user researchers and end users.

          I have no timeline as this currently being scoped and planned out now. I will inform as soon as I now more information.


          Thank you,

          Caroline.

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