“The Inmates Are Running the Asylum” says Alan Cooper, in his seminal work on the topic of user-oriented design concepts, first published in 1999. Cooper, the father of Visual Basic, pioneered the use of “personas” as a design method. Personas are imagined user profiles based on use cases for the system in question. Cooper observed, correctly, that the worst person to design the typical user experience (UX) was a programmer. Back in 1999, coders were serving in that capacity and the result was: hard to use, clumsy, uninspiring interfaces. To be fair, some of the limitations to UX were due to hardware, technology and cost limits, but today, those limitations are no longer extant. The SAP GUI represents the old-school method of interfacing with complex systems—complex interfaces.
SAP has adapted the concept of personas and improved user-oriented design with Fiori and Screen Personas (a stepping stone to Fiori). Both are part of an effort to improve UX for SAP systems for reasons that should be obvious:
This is not just about pretty interfaces, although interfaces that are pleasing have greater utility also. The main reason for the push for improved UX from the C-suite is the savings through efficiency. Clicks cost money. So do errors and training. All of which are reduced by better interfaces. Check out this comparison between the GUI and the improved-UX of Fiori.
Neptune Software: also an FBC partner, can further expand UX improvement options with a complimentary solution to Fiori. Neptune allows you to leverage your ABAP assets and get Fiori apps without the jump to HANA. Their solution boast the following advantages (working offline among them):
At an ASUG conference an SAP official defended the new improvements of Fiori and HANA when confronted with developers who wanted to hang on to their, now obsoleted, code by saying, “We are building a car, not a faster horse.” Well said.