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Author's profile photo Thomas Reiss

Improvements Coming to the Horizon Visual Theme for SAP Fiori

We have been listening to users about how they are getting on with the Horizon visual theme for their work – what they like, and whether there are areas for improvement. Overall, the theme is well received, looking fresh, friendly and modern – however there were some details which could be improved. As a result, we are planning to bring some improvements to Horizon soon – via UI technology patches as well as via new versions / releases. Read on to see what they look like.

Since this blog post talks about our plans for the near future, I need to start with the usual legal disclaimer that our plans are subject to change, so all forward-looking statements in this post are also subject to change – although of course we hope that no changes will be needed.

We are planning to give our users some improvements quickly, via UI technology patches later in September or early October 2023, with the rest coming via new versions of SAP’s UI technologies in Q4/2023.

Planned Improvements

We received most feedback on input fields and buttons, so let’s start with these, and then look at the other planned improvements.

Input Fields now White, not Gray

When we introduced the Horizon visual theme, we made input fields a light gray color, whereas read-only fields were white, with a dashed underscore. Our users have told us that they find this confusing, they would not expect to be able to enter data into gray fields. The feedback here was very clear, so we now plan to swap the behavior, so that input fields become white and read-only fields gray, as shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Planned changes to input fields and read-only fields.

This change is also planned for editable tables, so that editable fields are planned to be white and read-only fields gray.

Buttons: More Easily Recognizable

We also received feedback that the secondary buttons, which are gray in Horizon, were thought to be texts on the screen and not interactive buttons to be clicked on. Also, these buttons did not stand out well when placed on a gray background. We plan to change this by making the secondary button white with a gray border. We are making some smaller improvements to the other buttons too, look at Figure 2.


Figure 2: Planned update to buttons, with no gray button any more.

Improved Contrast on the SAP Fiori Launchpad

We are planning to increase the contrast on the pages in the SAP Fiori launchpad, including the new My Home for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. This is planned to be achieved by making the background a slightly darker gray, providing a darker shadow around tiles and cards as well as around the search field at the top of the screen – as you can see in Figure 3.


Figure 3: Planned increase in contrast for pages in the SAP Fiori launchpad, shown on an example of the My Home page for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.

Reduced Size of Heading Text

On medium and large screens, we received feedback that the text for the headings was too large: less would be more in this case. Hence our plan to reduce the size, as you can see in Figure 4.


Figure 4: Planned reduced text size for headings.

Flexible Column Layout – Showing All Planned Updates

We are planning two updates to the Flexible Column Layout floorplan used in numerous SAP Fiori apps for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, provided by SAP Fiori elements. Both of these are planned to make it easier to distinguish the various parts of the screen from one another:

  • a horizontal separator line below the shell header, and
  • higher contrast for the vertical splitter.

Figure 5 shows examples of all of the above planned updates.


Figure 5: All the planned updates shown on an example application using the Flexible Column Layout.

Planned Availability

As already mentioned, we received the strongest feedback on the input fields and buttons, so this is where we are planning to provide the quickest improvement via a patch for SAPUI5, SAP GUI for HTML and Web Dynpro ABAP. This we plan to release in September or early October 2023.

All the other improvements are planned to become available in the long-term maintenance version of SAPUI5, 1.120, in Q4/2023.

Final words

If you haven’t already seen these posts giving updates and examples of how we are bringing SAP user experience forward, I highly recommend them:

I am looking forward to hearing from you on the community about your experiences with SAP Fiori. Please continue using the community to share your learnings and best practices, either by posting articles yourselves or via comments on this post. You can also follow me in the community if you want to be notified about further similar updates from me.

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      Author's profile photo Ruthiel Trevisan
      Ruthiel Trevisan

      Hello Thomas!

      Thanks for this update!

      Author's profile photo Barry Snow
      Barry Snow

      Excellent News!  User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are so important. . .even for people who are only used to seing the SAPGUI 😉

      But I like to think of "UI" as also meaning User Intuitivity.  Is the User Interface "intuitive" enough to suggest to the user what to do next.  These improvement certainly lean that way.

      --Barry Snow ⛄🏖

      Author's profile photo Holger Schäfer
      Holger Schäfer

      Hello Thomas,

      thanks for the overview of the planned innovations.


      Personally, i hoped, that the input underline border will also be removed,

      because it always reminds me of the old paper based forms (which is probably intended).


      Also great, that this will be part of the next LTS.





      Author's profile photo Fares Abbes
      Fares Abbes

      Thank you for the update Thomas Reiss

      Looking forward SAPUI5, 1.120. release

      Do we have anywhere in community we can check the updated release dates for SAPUI5?

      Thank you,

      Author's profile photo Oliver Graeff
      Oliver Graeff

      Hi Fares,

      Looking at this, you'll see the delivered versions (top table) and their patches (bottom table). That page also links the SAPUI5 maintenance strategy (PDF), explaining the monthly release schedule for future versions. This is the communication we currently have on that.

      Note that this is on the generic SAPUI5 versions available via cloud / for cloud products. The schedule for the actual adoption of a specific version, especially for on-prem products might be very different.


      Author's profile photo Matt Harding
      Matt Harding

      Hi Oliver/Thomas,

      Firstly - I hope the designers involved don't feel bad about those pesky users not seeing the brilliant design that went into this change and wanting to keep things more the same...

      Secondly - Just to clarify - I'm about to upgrade to S/4HANA 2022 FPS02, but from my take, I assume the grey buttons and input fields will not be patched separately and we would need to apply SAP_UI 757: SP0005 (planned for November 1st)? e.g. Above it states "This we plan to release in September or early October 2023." but I assume this is purely for the SAPUI5 version and not applicable to S/4HANA UI Add-on.

      If so, because of upgrade timeframes, this probably means we have to live with the version users are getting confused with.

      Anyway, it would be great if you could consider a smaller backport version for those on lower S/4HANA Horizon versions (FPS01 and FPS02). And would also be great if we could follow an SAP Note to see when this becomes available considering the fundamental (albeit very specific) change here.



      ps. Hopefully the branch for this is very specific and easy to extract for a patch...