No matter how innovative a software application is, it is the successful adoption of it by end users that ultimately decides its success or failure, and nothing correlates to that successful adoption more than the user experience (UX) the application provides.
Why is UX so important? Today, unlike in the past, end users expect enterprise applications to have the same visual look and feel as the applications that they use on phones, tablets, and Web sites everyday.
As discussed in the lesson, Introducing the Clean Core Approach, the needs of end users, while important, must be balanced against the needs of the business and the IT department. Fortunately however, in this case, this balancing results in a "win-win" for everyone. Beyond happy end users, a well-designed UX decreases training costs, as end users require less time to learn the application. Well-designed apps also have fewer errors, which leads to the IT department spending less time processing support tickets, not to mention higher productivity on the part of end users. Finally, fewer errors lead to fewer customer complaints, which lead to a higher Net Provider Score – something all companies value.
What Is UX?
Now that we understand why UX is so important, let's turn to examine what exactly UX is. There are some variations of the definition, which is understandable and not necessarily problematic. One good starting point for a definition is the International Standards Organization (ISO). ISO 9241 defines user experience as a "user’s perceptions and responses that result from the use and/or anticipated use of a system, product, or service". The perceptions referenced in the ISO definition are influenced by the application being used along with the use in question and the context in which the application is being used.
This definition is a good starting point for SAP’s Consumer-Grade UX – one of the pillars of SAP S/4HANA Cloud’s product strategy. For SAP, consumer-grade UX means enterprise apps that have the "consumer" look and feel that end users want. Consumer-grade UX is personified most clearly in SAP Fiori. SAP Fiori is a design system encompassing all aspects needed for effective UX development. Those aspects include visual elements making up an application, navigation concepts, application provisioning options, and more.
As well as product strategy, SAP Fiori is also an important part of the clean core approach. Recall that in the lesson, Introducing the Clean Core Approach, we mentioned that one of the parts of the clean core approach is the usage of well defined, upgrade-stable interfaces. SAP S/4HANA Cloud data is supplied to an SAP Fiori app through interfaces, specifically remote APIs – the exploration of which we will see in an upcoming lesson.