In today's competitive landscape, businesses are constantly looking for ways to optimize their operations and increase productivity. Recently, one of our clients approached us to develop a custom SAP mobile app for their sales team. The app's primary objective was to provide the sales team with real-time information about customer requirements, sales pipeline, and performance metrics.
Our client wanted a completely custom user interface without the look and feel of legacy SAP UI. After discussing the benefits of adopting SAP Fiori for developing the UX UI of the application, we convinced the client to switch to SAP Fiori. By doing so, we reduced design and development efforts by 60%. SAP Fiori proved to be a game-changer for our project. The interface allowed for a seamless user experience, which increased the sales team's productivity and satisfaction. Providing real-time information and using SAP Fiori's efficient design and features, the app-enabled the sales team to make informed decisions quickly and easily.
SAP, one of the world's most popular ERP software, has been facing several challenges due to its poor user experience. In this article, we take a look at how SAP is introducing approaches to improving the user experience of SAP apps and the role of SAP Fiori.
What is SAP Fiori?
SAP Fiori is SAP’s unique design system, built to provide a new user experience for SAP applications. It has a set of design guidelines that helps designers and developers to create SAP applications that function in a consistent and predictable manner across all devices. The simplicity of the design system helps designers and developers to create a customer-grade user experience for SAP apps with ease. With SAP Fiori, the enterprise app user experience becomes easier, simpler, and more intuitive.
SAP Fiori vs SAP GUI: A comparison of user interfaces
- SAP Fiori was introduced to overcome the challenges of SAP GUI. SAP GUI was designed by engineers mainly for transactional processing and data management. So, it had a more technical and functional look and feel and gave little importance to user-friendly interface interfaces. Users found it unintuitive and cumbersome, making it difficult to navigate and complete their tasks.
- The usability feature of SAP GUI was the challenge that stood tall among others. The UI of SAP GUI was cluttered and confusing, with many screens and buttons, making it difficult for users to find what they are looking for.
- Though the SAP ecosystem evolved with changing business requirements and innovative technologies, the design of SAP GUI was not scalable to meet these advancements. This resulted in technical debt and increased maintenance costs.
- SAP GUI was designed exclusively for desktop applications and had limited mobile accessibility. With the increasing use of smartphones in work processes, end users found it difficult to use the SAP applications while on the go with its limited mobility features.
These limitations made SAP GUI less user-friendly and less efficient. Eventually, businesses started transitioning to SAP Fiori as an efficient solution for their app development needs.
Design principles of SAP Fiori
The five design principles that SAP Fiori upholds are role-based, adaptive, coherent, simple, and delightful.
SAP Fiori is designed for the end-users, their needs, and their workflow.If the task is to coordinate the financial transactions in a trade, SAP Fiori optimizes the apps to centralize workflows. Also, modular apps that are developed for carrying out complex tasks can be combined to simplify the work processes. With Fiori, each app functions as a node of the network of functionality. To list a few, apps designed with SAP Fiori have the following ease-of-use features:
- Easily understandable tasks
- Uses a human tone to connect with the users
- Customizable features that speak the language of the business
- Promptly feed users with information on the tasks that have to be completed
- Unifies the information and function the user needs regardless of where it is stored.
Fiori apps enable users to perform tasks wherever they are, whether they are at work, at home, or traveling. This feature of SAP Fiori was greatly embraced by businesses as the traditional SAP GUI had no cross-device applications putting constraints on mobility. Besides, SAP Fiori apps:
- Delivers the best user experience on any device
- Comes with smart adaptation feature
- Is responsive to the users and their tasks
- Provides relevant information based on the use cases
The simple and intuitive design of Fiori apps gets the job done quickly. The tasks can be prioritized and personalized helping users to focus on relevant activities and essential functions.
As SAP Fiori adheres to a consistent interaction and visual design language, the apps can easily fulfill a sales order, review the latest KPIs, and manage leave requests. Users can enjoy the same intuitive and consistent experience across the enterprise software.
SAP Fiori uses the latest technologies offered by UI 5 to enrich the user experience with advanced visuals, animations, and interactivity.
Business benefits of using SAP Fiori in UX UI redesign for enterprise applications
Ranging from enjoyable user experience to ease of ability, SAP Fiori offers several business benefits for designing the UX and UI of enterprise SAP applications.
Improved user adoption of technology
SAP Fiori provides a modern, intuitive, and visually appealing interface that offers consumer-grade applications. This ease of use encourages more employees to access and use enterprise apps. When there is more adoption, various business operations can be perfectly organized and coordinated.
Enhanced employee productivity
There are more than 1000 SAP Fiori applications, right out of the box. These apps can be configured from the Fiori Launchpad, the single point of access. It means that businesses can save time and resources in system setup allowing employees to work on applications quickly. Also, the SAP Fiori interface ensures that users can switch between applications smoothly and fast.
Apps developed with SAP Fiori provide real-time information and analytics. When there is prompt data as and when required, employees can make decisions faster leading to improved business outcomes.
The consistency of Fiori apps across all types of devices gives users the same experience on their laptops, desktops, or any mobile device. This also means less cost incurred by the technical team to manage multiple platforms. Also, the apps can be updated to implement new changes easier. When such changes are made, they will get pushed out to all devices reducing the chances of errors. With Fiori, remote employees can complete their tasks from mobile apps. This gives businesses more confidence to bring new tools into the SAP ecosystem.
Reduced training costs
Use of traditional SAP GUI requires intensive training to make employees familiar with employees. Because SAP GUI was not intuitive, it created confusion leading to an increased learning curve and more training time. On the other hand, SAP Fiori gives a consistent design across all applications. Users don't have to learn from scratch while using a new SAP product.
Data protection is prioritized by every business. A lot of resources and capital are invested to make sure that there are strict data privacy prerequisites. SAP Fiori has a secure and standardized platform ensuring the protection of confidential data of businesses. So, sensitive information can be accessed only by authorized users.
These business benefits can be leveraged to improve enterprise application processes and meet the evolving needs of the employees. It will result in a more competitive and innovative business.
Challenges of implementing SAP Fiori in businesses
Some of the key obstacles in implementing SAP Fiori in businesses are:
- Lack of availability of SAP UI5 and workflow development experts
- Resistance from trained resources to switch over to SAP Fiori
- High dependency on S4/HANA upgrades to even get started.
- Businesses are capitalizing existing investments making employees confined to using traditional SAP GUI.
- Requirement of substantial manual development to radically implement SAP Fiori in business processes.
- High cost of custom app development
- Lack of organizational priority
Despite these challenges, many businesses have realized that the benefits of SAP Fiori make it worth the effort to implement. By partnering with an experienced UI/UX design agency, companies can overcome these challenges and successfully implement Fiori in the SAP ecosystem.
How can Aufait UX help in redesigning your SAP applications?
At Aufait UX, our first step is to conduct comprehensive research to understand the business requirements of SAP applications. By prioritizing the user's needs, we then design a custom SAP Fiori UX/UI that is both visually appealing and intuitive. Our design team ensures that the new interface makes it easier for employees to access and use SAP applications.
Here are the steps we follow to redesign SAP applications
We also use process mapping and workflow analysis to identify areas of improvement and strive to create more effective and efficient workflows for SAP Fiori applications. Throughout the design process, we work closely with the client to implement the best UI/UX design practices, which helps to increase productivity and streamline work processes. This ensures that the new SAP interface is not only visually appealing but also effective and functional.
Once the design is finalized, we give ongoing design support to help businesses improve and refine their SAP Fiori applications over time. This allows for continuous improvement and optimization of the user experience, ultimately leading to increased user adoption and overall business success.