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The SAP Coffee Corner Radio Podcast is a community-driven podcast series that delves into all sorts of aspects around SAP. As it is community-driven, I took the opportunity to record a 25-minute podcast to interview David Shields, who is my boss at Hydro Tasmania, to get his insights on UX and Fiori. I also spend quite a bit of time delving into the conversion process in relation to the Fiori design and build that we’ve come up with. While podcasts are great for listening to on the go, this post helps with some visualizations and provides a place for follow-up commentary to take place if you have any questions, ideas or feedback.

The Podcast

We’ve all seen the S/4HANA demo’s before that never really focused on the final UX from a Fiori Launchpad perspective and just ended up looking like a bathroom. e.g. Tiles everywhere (the analogy is stolen from a great image that Sascha Wenninger presented at Teched). Even the first thing you do in your sandpit system for S/4HANA is activating all the out of the box business roles and assign them to yourselves which results in the same thing.

But the point of these demos is not understanding the Fiori experience completely, but seeing the Fiori experience for specific “apps” and integrated search and overview pages.

This leaves customers like myself wondering what a user should see the first time they log into their S/4HANA system after go-live; and what the journey looks like to get there?

So where I work, we wondered (a bit more than that but you get the idea), and came up with a design. I then worked on how to deliver this design; thinking “how do I go from a Business Client menu structure with a sprinkling of Fiori 2.0 on the side; all managed with position/user-based security – to a Fiori 3 like experience for our users?”.

And that brings me to the podcast – We have a prototype built based upon a real user that we are testing – I have a proposed process that involves the whole functional team getting me input – but how do I ratify this approach and design, beyond basic user testing and hopefully improve the design or process with other people’s learnings – I know – Let’s do a podcast that ironically has no images in it!

At this point, I realized I was in danger of doing a 20-minute monologue and that didn’t sound like a good idea either so I then decided to break the monologue up with an interview with my boss, David Shields, who was instrumental in getting this journey happening plus is my customer counterpart from a UX design perspective.

Anyway, I’ve linked the podcast to this post, but below are some pictures and notes that may be helpful to look at before you listen to it.

The Proposed Design

So this might all change, but as of today, the general first-page people will see is this (this is for someone who works in Asset Management):

A few notes:

  • We are using Tabbed display – though, for this specific user example, they could get away with using the full display if their screen resolution is high enough.

  • My Home will only appear if the user personalizes content

  • My Home should appear before Overview (and hopefully it does on FES 6.0 – but otherwise it’s a simple tweak to the Gateway service)

  • Employee Services, and if you are a manager- Manager Services appear always at the beginning

  • Functional Areas are then in alphabetical order to the right but you should only have these if you will definitely use the content contained within it.

  • Functional Area content is limited to only tiles you will most definitely use.

  • All groups should have less than 8 tiles by default

  • Personalization is disabled on these groups (for now) – especially important as conversions typically don’t adopt new Fiori apps till after go-live and personalization can hurt all the work spent on making these groups useful since changes are no longer reflected once personalized.

  • “New to Fiori Launchpad” is one of the key tiles on the home page

  • All Overview Pages available to an end-user will appear on the Overview page (though wish the page had a better name than “overview” but I borrowed that from Fiori 3 screenshots, and “My Home” was taken up by the default personalization landing group.

  • Tiles will be repeated between Overview and sub-groups if required

  • I’ve included this image using SAP Business Client, as many people don’t realize what embedded FLP in Business Client actually looks like. Note – The dedicated Business Client Search is turned off on the client so as not to confuse users.

  • The menu options (under Home) will include the app catalog and the home groups for selection

The Fiori 3 Product Switcher is included above as a custom FLP extension I did to align it with the direction of Fiori 3 (provides an ability from any screen to launch another launchpad effectively), but hopefully we can leverage the product switcher in the first service pack of FES 6.0 rather than this (albeit very simple) version. Here’s an image for SAP to note that most customers probably won’t have many “product” launchpads, so feel free to use larger tiles and colored icons than they currently are ?


On to the Apps Catalog…

A few notes:

  • 2 levels shown in catalog – e.g. <Functional Domain> – <Functional Area>

  • Services is a catch-all for self-service or framework style functionality

  • Sub-titles are used to relate it to the catalog (doesn’t have to exactly match and can be completely different if it makes sense)- e.g. If you have 2 “Create notifications” – one might be for Plant Maintenance, while the other may be for EH&S and this will help for orphaned tiles on the home page.

The Proposed Process

I won’t go into detail, except to include this one slide I put together and add a few notes:

  • Note the significant effort required by the functional analysts upfront.

  • Used Apps analytics will only be kind of helpful – e.g. If a user runs 1 transaction only once, you may still need to convert it (but maybe that was an admin playing around in production???).

  • SAP Technical Catalogs do not provide everything to do a conversion, so you need to invest in your own customer-specific technical catalogs

  • In the above example, we have composite roles all managed by a customer Identity Management solution; and rather than rearchitecting roles like we would on a greenfield project, the plan is for all Business Client menu roles to have a Z4 counterpart role created which contains all groups/catalogs and assigned to the associated composite role so that security-wise, it should all just render correctly for end users.

  • The User Menu option in FLP is legacy, and as there is almost 0% chance that you get everything converted to a Tile at go-live; it will still be there at go-live; but the hope is to ensure users raise requests for the missing tiles so that within 6 months, the user menu can be turned off and the old Business Client menu roles are deleted.

  • The mass maintenance tool and the relatively new Fiori Content Manager are critical to being able to achieve this outcome.

Most Important Part of this Post

If you are on the same journey – please comment, create a blog, present at conferences/user groups, or even do a podcast! Whether it’s design or build – I think the more we talk about this, and provide feedback to SAP on the pain points and lessons learned; the better all our, and more importantly, our end-users’ experiences will be.

Thanks for reading/listening!

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