UX as a Service: Designing the right apps, with the right user experience
One of the reasons that people hesitate to embrace enterprise apps is quite simple: poor user experience. A study by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, reported that 48% of respondents think enterprise apps are too complex to use and apps lack necessary functionality. That number is simply ridiculous! If half of users think things are too complex then the industry has some work to do to simplify mobility!
The good news is that we are experiencing a turnaround in app development practices thanks to PaaS solutions. User Experience (UX) design tools and development tools are becoming more accessible in the cloud.
The concept of User experience-as-a-Service (UXaaS) is a relatively new term that I’d like to talk about. Essentially it provides an integrated platform approach to UX in the cloud. SAP’s brings together tools and content to make the app creation experience easier for the teams of designers, analysts, developers, administrators and end users who are involved in the process.
As a born collaborator, I think it is so important to help extended app development teams work together to build what people actually care about. That’s why I’m excited about how SAP HANA® Cloud Platform now provides a unique UXaaS offering that combines integrated tools that address all phases of the application lifecycle. I’d like to talk a bit more about one of these tools – Build – a new user experience prototyping and design tool.
Build extends the design process to business users and non-technical users through easy-to-use design tools that do not require coding skills or in-depth design skills. It also reduces costs and time needed to re-work apps during the development and implementation phases by applying user research from surveys, annotations, and usage analytics.
I like to consider myself a textbook “non-technical” user. I am definitely not a developer – and I have used Build many, many times. There are a few aspects that I really value:
The prototype gallery – this is my favourite aspect of Build. I love getting inspired by seeing how others have created similar apps. This gallery is a great collection of apps that can be a starting point to your own app development needs. And of course they meet the Fiori guidelines.
Design Thinking is a concert that SAP has long used when working with customers to “find problems”. There are great tools in Build to learn design-thinking practices one step at a time. The lessons are very practical and easy to apply to your own needs.
One of the fun parts of app design is building a prototype. I taught young girls in grades 6-8 how to prototype apps this year – and the process is inspiring and exciting. With Build you can create clickable mock-ups of your application from simple sketches. You can then turn them into refined prototypes and bring them to life by dragging and dropping real SAP UI5 elements.
Finally, the part of Build that gets the most “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowds at Sapphire and SAP TechEd is our informal feedback tool. It is very simple to create remote usability studies for every iteration of your design. Whether you are starting with sketches or testing advanced Fiori apps that are already well thought out, it is increadibly easy to gather feedback (even with cool heatmaps to show where people are clicking in your app).
I can’t say enough good things about this tool. And I’m not alone. Over 17,000 users have already tested it. So, if you are a “non-technical” user like me – or even if you are a developer, I recommend checking out the video posted at www.build.me, and signing up for a trial if you haven’t already.