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Author's profile photo Andreas Hauser

The Dollars and Sense of UX

I visited with a customer recently who told me about a training program his company holds every 18 months for new contractors. The company needs to refresh its group of 3,000 contractors every year and a half. Each time new contractors are onboarded, they require two days of training, in which they learn what is expected of them and how to use the enterprise system.

That all made sense to me – except for the two days part. Why, I thought, would it take that long to get a group up and running? And if the company was doing this on a regular basis, had anyone ever thought of the resources expended on training time, trainer costs, and contractor productivity? What if it could cut that time in half or even more?

As it turns out, a big portion of the training course was dedicated to using the enterprise software, which was complicated. It had grown over time as new customizations and screens were added. It was no different from the enterprise applications that many organizations use today and vastly different from what we all experience with Amazon, Facebook or Google on our mobile devices.

Let’s face it: No one needs even five minutes of training when they get a new mobile app. The same should be true for this company’s contractors. Think of the cost savings that could be realized with streamlined training.

Such easily calculated savings are the crux of how you should think about user experience. Far beyond just screen design or user interface, UX (user experience) involves looking at how people work and then bringing that into reality through an intuitive solution. The result: happy users and business benefits that you can actually anticipate, measure and realize, such as productivity gains, lower training costs, decreased user errors and increased solution accuracy. If you are curious about the potential impact for your organization, take a look at our UX value calculator.


The online tool calculates potential savings based on learnings from hundreds of customer projects. Take a scenario like sales order creation. Here are the inputs you’d need in order to calculate the impact of user experience, in actual currency:

  • Productivity gains
    Annual salary of individual employees involved in order creation, task completion time, and task repetitions per day for all employees.
  • Lower training costs
    Training hours per year by trainers, training hours per year by participants, and training costs per hour for trainer and facilities.
  • Decreased user errors
    IT support tickets related to order creation, cost per support ticket, data errors to be corrected per year related to order creation, and cost per error correction.
  • Increased solution accuracy
    Change requests after rollout of the solution and cost per change request.

My advice: Don’t think of user experience in terms of what the user sees on the screen. The reality goes much deeper. Any company can realize business value and improve employee satisfaction if they stop accepting enterprise applications for what they are and instead use design thinking to understand the real needs of their users. Think about how we all experience consumer apps on our devices. Given the challenges businesses face today, such a transformation of the user experience is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-do.

Learn more about how SAP can simplify your user experience.

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      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Andreas,

      nice article and thought leadership.

      Are you saying:

      . If the Enterprise Application UI's are redesigned in a more simplified way, then less time will be needed for training, using the analogy that we don't need training to use our mobile phones ?


      . Are you saying the actual content and delivery of the training should be improved in a way that reduces costs ?

      I have thoughts on both, but first wanted to clarify your focus.

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Andreas Hauser
      Andreas Hauser
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Andy,

      thanks for your question!

      In the article I meant the first topic. People do not expect to get training on which buttons to click, how to navigate the system or how to personalize the user interface. This should be intuitive, if you know what your task is about.

      People for sure need to be trained on what is expected from them at work, how the business process runs etc. You are absolutely right that there are also possibilities to reduce costs in delivering these kind of trainings.

      You can also find further topics that you can use to calculate potential cost savings. My goal of this blog is to have a discussion about such topics to help organizations to have a more objective discussion about user experience and not just an emotional discussion - what sometimes is the case 🙂


      Author's profile photo Gavin Quinn
      Gavin Quinn

      Hi Andreas,

      Great points above on training costs as a driver to invest in UX. I'm sure the 2 days for the contractors is barely the tip of the iceberg when it gets to overall training inefficiencies which would also include ongoing problems & support associated with complex software, and also the employee costs of learning.

      I think your broader point is well taken though, that there is a tremendous ROI on investing in UX. The challenge though is that most customers consider SAP as packaged software (even with the massive customizations) and they expected it to work well out of the box and not HAVE to invest in UX.

      I think the real value will come when brand new applications are built with Fiori and proper UX and the complete end to end experience can be constantly enhanced by a UX CoE based on the constant learnings and adoptions of the business.

      Keep up the great blogs,