Recently, I attended the Sapphire and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. In the past two years, I’ve been facilitating design thinking sessions at the conference.
In the last year, I have been spending increasing amounts of time with designers. It has allowed me to spread my wings more and learn new approaches to solving problems.
We all want good designs for the products we use. I have yet to hear a businessperson say, “Just give me any old ugly design that I can’t figure out how to use – that’s fine. Really, it doesn’t have to be intuitive at all.”
From the time the business need is articulated to when the product is delivered things can go adrift. Sometimes they go horrible astray, like this:
Software product deliveries occur with gaps in the design. And we are forced to live with the ongoing emotional and productivity costs from those gaps. Then we are on to the next project and those design gaps or clunky experiences never get resolved.
This question has been on my mind over the last year, “How do we try to change our work to shift this dynamic?” I know design thinking and creating feedback loops in the design process is part of the answer. Which brings me to a new product I heard about during the conference. I was excited to find out that SAP has a product for rapid prototyping called Build.me.
Rapid prototyping shapes the design process and wrestles with what is needed. Prototypes flush out requirements and help take the process from abstract to tangible. Build.me is SAP’s answer to a rapid prototyping product that puts potential (or real screens) in front of people. This way the customer can try out, so you can gather feedback. It has API’s that allow you to connect back to your SAP data for use in the prototypes. (Note: I haven’t tried this.)
Additionally, it has heat maps, so we can see what people do with your designs and how they click. Rumor has it from the show that it is free for up to 5 projects. Don’t quote me on this – I can’t find pricing that confirms it.
It is encouraging to see design thinking and prototyping take an important role in the SAP world. I look forward to exploring Build.me to see how it can continue to evolve our efficiency in getting the work done. What shall we build next?