What is the product?

SAP BusinessObjects Cloud

Combines all analytics capabilities into one application. BusinessObjects Cloud offers business intelligence (BI), planning, predictive analytics, data visualization, and a digital boardroom tool for front-line workers and executives alike.

What is the feature?

Quick-launch Workflow Tiles

Serving as a blank state, workflow tiles enable first-time users the ability to quickly launch key workflows for data acquisition, planning, analytics, samples and tutorials.

Case Study Overview

A breakdown of what you will see on this page

Quick-launch Tiles

How might we help a BusinessObjects Cloud first-time user begin our core workflows?


Overview

Most of SAP's software is sold through long-existing sales channels with enterprise businesses. Now that SAP has a cloud-based software solution, my objective was to make it easier for a new user to see value in as few steps as possible.

Project Duties

Product Strategy, Concept Design, Wireframes, High-resolution Mockups & Prototypes

Approach

The workflow tiles served as Phase one of a three phase plan to improve overall user experience with a goal to provide clear launch points for common workflows.

Persona

Alex works at a medium-sized company and doesn't mind working in the cloud. He's looking for structure to help organize the financial planning of his business. He's new to SAP.

Technical Requirements

To get started, the license structure needed to be broken down. Once these paths were known, each user license could have a personal experience.

Limitations

As an exploratory project, this work was not under the usual constraints and offered freedom to test new designs.

What was the project timeline?

Design Process

Iterative Designs

Having a knack for exploration coupled with keen project management skills made me the perfect candidate to tackle first-time experience. Constant communication was needed over the design stages.

What Did I Learn?

• A user will feel like they messed up if you show them a blank screen.
• Terminology should always be used in a consistent way.
• Teamwork is the best route to success.

Who was our team?

Throughout this project I worked regularly with a development manager, development team, data scientist, upper management & customers.

Project Design Stages

First, I needed to understand how the license structure was organized. Second, I needed to create a matrix from this license structure to surface relevant workflow tiles by license. The design for the tiles went through several visual design iterations. A prototype helped explain the tile hover animation.

What I Started With
Information Architecture
High Fidelity Specs
Prototypes
Iterative Process
Wireframes
Visual Design

Process Example

How can we help our new users kick off key workflows for learning, planning and analytics?

Tile Design: Steps 1-10

Step one shows my original sketch for the tile. Step 5 shows an alternative layout while testing some colours. Step 8 confirms the layout grid in wireframe format. Step 10 finalizes the design with the visual design and format.

Why was this change necessary?

• New users were not clear about where to get started. Offering a blank state for the key workflows clearly defines available routes.
• Offering sample projects from the blank state quickly informs the user about what's possible in the app.
• Offering a "Learn More" button gave the user the opportunity to learn through the Youtube channel.

How does this help the customer?

Landing on a blank screen makes users feel like they messed up. Providing quick-action tiles helps the user feel comfortable and also helps inform the user about what's possible.

User Testing

14 SAP customers were tested in a 4 hour session that covered multiple areas of the application. Through user testing the design was validated and we were able to make improvements to the terminology and visual design.

"The titles should be unified as action statements." Research Participant

"Every time I see a blank screen, I feel stupid." Research Participant

Here is a sample from user testing.

Takeaways

The Customer Actually Is Right

Performing user testing is one of the single most important tasks to me upon completion of a project...or even earlier with a prototype. It's difficult to take into account all the possible scenarios that a customer has encountered.

Blank Screens Leave The Heart Empty

It's vital to use blank states. A customer feels like they have made an error somewhere along the way if they land on an empty screen.

Terminology Should Always Be Used Consistently

If the choice is to use action verbs for a button, then you must always use action verb for every button. Doing otherwise leaves uncertainty.

A Prototype Is Worth A Thousand Words

Summing up your thoughts with in a prototype not only helps development understand exactly how you see the product, but it also helps me consider aspects that I haven't otherwise thought of.

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Bob Werner

My work style is a combination of interrogation and empathy.

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