Feb 20

Simplifying SAP UX Design, OMS+

What is UX?

User Experience, UX, is the feeling that a user has when interacting with a user interface, UI. UX design is the intentional plan and execution of providing a good user experience. Simply put, UX humanizes technology. Designers often have specific goals in mind about which user actions are necessary in order to make the execution and experience as effortless and intuitive as possible.

 

UX in SAP

While the UX in SAP functionally provides feedback mechanisms to inform users of which actions to take, such as error indicators and messages, it is often not as intuitive as it should be. This can result in copious amounts of money and time being spent teaching users to understand complex workflows.

 

UX in OMS+

OMS+ was built to combine good UX design with the power of SAP, utilizing the ever-expanding capability of web technologies, to enhance user experiences, simplify workflows, and make available highly customizable user interfaces.

These advantages allow for continuous improvement within the core product and makes developing custom features a relatively quick and iterative process. The possibilities, using these technologies, are limited only by imagination.

SAP UX in OMS+ an Order Management Tool for SAP

Tools of the Trade

The trifecta of web technologies, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript combined with SAP Netweaver Gateway are what make something as powerful as OMS+ possible.

-HTML Hypertext Markup Language is the structural backbone of web views. Using the language, all elements of the page are coded into existence.

-CSS Cascading Style Sheets are responsible for styling all of those HTML elements and give them virtually limitless variety.

-JavaScript is the programming language that can run in web browsers (among other places) and gives interactive life to web sites and web applications.

Netweaver Gateway is a web API or Application Programming Interface that acts as a gateway (good name) between SAP and the Front-End/Client facing web application. Both the Front End and the Back-End transfer data to and from the Gateway using JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). Likewise, both the Front and Back end also can perform custom logic to achieve any desired outcome.

 

Front End Web Application

Standards of web technologies are constantly evolving to meet the needs of an entire world of users. A few of these standards are increasingly valuable for our products and our customers.

  • Responsiveness – Using CSS and Javascript, we are able to write our software for any screen size or view. This means OMS+ can work on any device that can run a web browser such as an iPad or smartphone.

 

  • Offline Capability– Using service workers, many of OMS+ capabilities can be used offline.

 

  • Mobility – Because browsers can connect from anywhere, users are able to use their application wherever their jobs may take them.

 

The Importance of Good UX

Alongside the practicality of being able to use a web-based application, applications such as OMS+ also enlist the advantages of using tested and proven user experiences from all over the web. Our framework is built using Twitter’s Bootstrap as a foundation for customizing the interface. This foundation is also coupled with continuous research to find better solutions for our clients.

 

Planning

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” -Albert Einstein

 

UX design allows for thought and testing before users interact with the application. This means there are thousands of potential problems that can be avoided. Better solutions can be developed to solve more problems than just creating new functionality.

 

Familiarity

“A consistent experience is a good experience” -Mark Eberman

One aspect of good UX is that the user knows what to do when presented with the decided upon view. “Don’t make me think” says author and UX design consultant Steve Krug. While SAP tasks are often more complex than most user interactions across the web, users know, for example, that when a button changes from grey to green after filling out required fields that they are ready to click. If more than one button is present and one is bright red, they are inclined to know that there is a “negative” action associated with removal or declining.

These types of familiar experiences learned from using smartphones and web applications make them more intuitive; but they also have the added benefit of being more uniquely memorable and easier to train.

 

Emotion

Whether or not they realize it, people always interact with software emotionally. This means that UX is never more evident than when faced with poor and bad UX design. For example, when something looks “clickable” and it can’t be clicked or when an error appears and there is no clear path to resolve the error, when things feel buggy and slow. All of these things leave the user with predominantly negative emotions.  Probably the best indicator of a good UX is that you don’t notice it or that you simply feel good after using it.

 

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