Improved User Experience in SAP BPC 11
With the release of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA, you may read several articles on what’s new in recent blog series. One particular topic you might be interested is the new user experience, which is something you can immediately tell by watching a demo, but it’s also good to have a holistic view of the highlights.
Latest Fiori look & feel
We followed SAP Fiori 2.0 design principle for a harmonized look & feel of SAP. You will feel familiar if you have used SAP Fiori applications.
In BPC 11, we introduced a new feature, the personal home page, based on customer feedbacks of previous releases. It’s the landing page where user can decide what to be available immediately after logon.
Currently the home page consists of three parts.
- My Favorites is the place where you can quickly access contents and feature pages that you use often. Almost every content and page can be added to My Favorites.
- You can pin charts from web reports. Very useful if you have important KPI or figures that you want to monitor frequently.
- My Activities Timeline lists your BPF activities in time sequence and categorizes them by urgency. The prerequisite of this feature is that your BPF has deadline maintained. Not like My Favorites and charts, which user has to add content to home page, this is automatically generated by BPC (you can hide it in case you don’t need it).
Navigation by hamburger menu
In BPC 11, you will find a hamburger menu on top-left of the screen. This is where you can browse and navigate to any feature page. It’s better design compared with previous releases because it saves space if you are not using it. The feature pages are organized almost same as they are in BPC 10.1. User won’t have any problem to find a certain page if he/she has worked on previous versions of BPC.
Just like browsing files in a folder structure, if you are in a folder at the bottom of a path, you sometimes need to quickly go to a parent folder along the path. The easiest way is to have each folder along the path clickable. Now in BPC 11, we have such design, called breadcrumb.
For example, imagine you are reviewing a BPF template, you choose an activity and open the performer workspace.
Now if you want to directly go back to template page, simply click the template name on the breadcrumb, done!
Single page application
The web application of BPC 10.0 and BPC 10.1 is not a single page application. User can have multiple pages open at the same time within the application and can switch between with the navigation provided by BPC.
It’s convenient for multi-tasking. However it has two major issues:
- some feature pages are opened as a new page, some opened in current page. It confuses user as the navigation pattern varies in different feature.
- it leads to memory issue because user is very likely to leave pages open but actually they could be closed. When too many pages are open, the browser tab runs out of memory, user either finds the web app slow or experiences browser crash, especially in a tablet device.
Now BPC 11 web application is a single page application. there is no page switch within BPC anymore. If you really need to keep multiple pages open simultaneously, you can copy the page URL and open it in another browser tab.
Quick search as a general design
In BPC 11, as a general design guideline, we provide a consistent search experience in places where search is needed. You will find the search box at the same position no matter which page you are in.
The way we do search is also enhanced. we search in all relevant data fields and all line items (displayed or not) in the context of the page. For example, in user maintenance page, you might have hundreds of users and only the first 40 are displayed. If you type in a key word and press enter, we will match the key word in all users’ ID, last name, first name and email. it’s particular helpful when you know several letters of a users but don’t know whether it’s part of the ID or name, or email.
We took the opportunity of BPC 11 development to redesign and improve user experience as we believe better user experience makes user’s work more productive and life easier. We choose SAP Fiori as our design language for a harmonized SAP wild look and feel. We also made functional enhancements, such as home page and search, for a better experience to all users.