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Hello everyone. I’m writing this blog as I felt really inspired by the blog by Jamila Schon.  It got me thinking about the clients where I’ve implemented the Fiori launchpad(FLP) in the past and how far the design on the FLP has come over the course of its lifetime.

We now have:

  • Me and notification areas as view ports
  • App finder
  • Ability to search much better
  • App finder
  • Adding your own groups
  • Adding links
  • Better navigation via the title button

Just to name a few.

I’d say based on my experience I’ve seen my fair share of variety on the usage of the FLP. I’ve been on projects where the Personalisation was disabled, projects where everything was added in the very few groups and everything as tiles, projects where they would try to add everything you could possibly do into the launchpad.

Based on Jamila’s blog it sparked my interest and the importance in this area again. Lately I’ve been stuck in the development camp not focusing too much on the FLP  as it wasn’t my responsibility. However my current project I’ve got a more architectural role and hence therefore able to inspire and initiate the proper discussions needed in this area. Because in my opinion the set up of the FLP is not for a technical or security person to do, but more making sure the information architecture and usability has been thought through from a UX perspective, which is often neglected as it’s more about getting the application out there and not really about the importance on how it’s displayed ( or found).

The rest of the blog will be around some general knowledge on the Fiori Launchpad on how it functions. I’ll provide link to other blog articles that I often reference for this stuff.

Fiori Launchpad

The Fiori Launchpad main area consists of tiles, links and graphs of various kinds. Depending on your system level as well, some of these might not be as important to you. For example the graph is handled by the KPI Modeler

To add an entry-point(My common denominator for the tiles and links) to the launchpad you first need to add it to a catalog as a tile and also provide the target mapping of where that tile is navigating to. Secondly as an admin you can provide the user this particular tile as a link or tile on the launchpad by adding it to a group. However I see a lot of people mistakenly thinking that it is the group that controls the visibility of the tile. It’s not, that is the target mapping 

So you can add tiles to a group that comes from multiple catalogs, and it’s whether the user has the particular target mapping for the tile that controls the visibility in the users tile catalog and the group.

Also another common misunderstanding I meet is that the administrator thinks that all tiles should be present on the launchpad. But as Jamila’s also points out, there is numerous ways for the user to access the applications as long as they have it in their catalog. Such as from the navigation menu or using the search.

 

The search is really powerful even without HANA, as you can use it to search your available apps.

Especially if there is keywords attached to the tile (This can be done in the file configuration)

 

Personalization

Many clients that i’ve been to are now disabling personalisation. This is based on the rationale that if a user has personalised their launchpad, they wont get new content. That is partly true. Let’s delve into this a bit deeper.

There are three levels to the launchpad:

  1. Personalisation
  2. Customizing
  3. Configuration

The priority is top to bottom. So if a user has personalised their launchpad, yes they won’t get a new tile in the particular group they have personalised. But they will to everything else.

Also as an admin you can choose which groups are open for personalisation. So arguably you could remove personalisation on all new groups and just let the user create their own. I wouldn’t advise this though.

Also another feature is that the groups where personalisation has been removed will go on top of your users launchpad

Secondly if you are providing a new tile and the user has customised that very group. Then as part of the user training they should know how to use the “Edit Home Page” from the Me area and reset the group, that will reset all their personalisation in that particular group, or they could simply just add the new tile via the app finder.

If you still as an admin want to brute force a change in, you can reset all the users personalisations as mentioned in this blog

My suggestions is that you keep personalisation open and provide proper training on how to fully utilize the Fiori Launchpad.

Tile consideration

Firstly you need to think on the information shown on the tile. What type of app is it?

Analytical – consider what graph you could add to enhance the usage of the tile space

List report or work list – could the tile be amended with a count to let the user know whether or not they need to action something

Transactional – what information and actions could be handy to explain the use case for the app

General thoughts:

  • Icon – set a meaningful icon and make sure that icon isn’t overly used already
  • Information – is a subheading needed to explain what the application does
  • Actions – should thee be more than one activity possible to the tile (display, change, create)
  • Count – think of any filters would be needed to get the best suitable count for the user
  • Keyword – to enhance Searchability could you add keywords to the tile for it to be easily found via the global search or in the app finder

Target mapping considerations : the target mapping is the link between the tile and an application. This controls the visibility of the tile on the launchpad, if you don’t have the target mapping, you don’t see the tile. Also you can choose what form factors the tile should be available on. Example is it only a desktop app or only for phone.

Before you blindly go and add a tile onto the FLP in a group, give it some thought first.

Other suggestions

You could add a news tile and publish news about your new tiles/apps published on the launchpad for your users to add.  That way your users will always be informed about new apps coming into their catalog.

Enable the user assistance for your users. (thanks to @jocdart for pointing that out.)

 

Please add your comments if there is something that i’ve missed out in this blog. Hope you find it helpful.

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8 Comments

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  1. Mike Doyle

    Nice blog Jakob, thanks for sharing.  I think we should resist the ‘we know best’ anti-personalisation forces as best we can.  One nice approach I’ve seen is to open groups for personalisation but just have one locked group which contains all the new apps.  The user can then review these and try them out if they wish.  If they like them they can add them to one of the groups they manage themselves.

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    1. Jakob Marius Kjær Post author

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the feedback. That’s a good suggestion, only worry I have is that the locked groups are appearing first in the launchpad taking up valuable real estate for the users then. IMO proper training on the App Finder and Navigation Menu would achieve a better outcome.

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    2. Phil Cooley

      Nice one Mike Doyle – I like that idea. Definitely as more apps are built there needs to be a way of delivering these but also allowing users to personalise their own space. In times gone by this would cause support departments headaches as every person could potentially have a different setup but the new tools make this easier to manage and of course puts users in control of what they want to see.

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    1. Jakob Marius Kjær Post author

      Haha great comment Simon Kemp  I think the navigation menu solves a lot of it together with the link option. We don’t have to present everything on the launchpad anymore as we did back when I wrote that blog.

      It’s a paradigm change in regards to menu design. But I think proper training of the users on the possibilities of working with the launchpad needs to be undertaken as I don’t think a lot of users leverage it to its full potential. That also goes for clients and admin 😉

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      1. Simon Kemp

        If it requires “proper training” is it a good intuitive design? Sorry I am just stirring the pot and playing devil’s advocate here!

        I think we have a legacy of user’s “mental models” to break down here 🙂

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        1. Jakob Marius Kjær Post author

          There will always be some training / exploration needed to use something new. But at least give the users the opportunity. I’m not thinking a full day’s training is needed. Maybe you could add an app finder tile a bit like an app store.

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  2. Phil Cooley

    Thanks Jakob – nice blog. I’m all for personalisation – having the users run their own race and determine what they see on their Launchpad view is seriously important in how they run through their daily activities. Key is the UX design and clearly defining what is important for users to see. In a recent project we have enabled some really flexible personalisation features and this started with a very slick UX design. Rayman Li covered it here https://blogs.sap.com/2018/06/19/sap-cloud-platform-portal-freestyle-solution-fully-customized/.

    Now it is a freestyle site but the following features were offered:

    1. Allowing the user to quickly hide or show applications by using an Edit function. This would show the applications and allow a toggle function as well as reordering of the applications by using the Sort icons. You could also hide all of the apps in that group so that the entire suite disappeared.

    2. Allowing the user to only show a portion of the Applications that were within the total number of apps in that group. This of course depended on the real estate (and how many apps were on the screen) but I really liked the idea. The user could simply hit the [Show More] to see more apps that are available.

    3. Allowing the user to hide applications but know that some have been hidden by highlighting it. When the user clicked on the Showing text the screen in point 1 would be revealed.

    I do love these features and the ease with which a user can modify them is impressive. I definitely feel it is more difficult to perform these on an FLP site and definitely multiple clicks to do something that is so simple in the above options. Maybe this needs to be reviewed and some faster methods of personalisation implemented?? Just an idea.

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