Improve the Usability of Your SAP System User Interface

  • by Deepankar Maitra, Senior Manager, Accenture
  • February 28, 2012
Learn how to measure the effectiveness of an SAP screen using the example of SAP’s time writing application user interface on the portal. Also learn about the improvements recently provided by SAP with the latest version of Cross-Application Time Sheet.
Key Concept

An application is deemed usable if it is user friendly — in other words, if it helps the user do his or her job. The usability of a software product is a critical success factor for its deployment. This factor increases in importance as the product is deployed to larger and more diverse groups of people. While an application program is precise and orderly, its usability is not always easy to define. Most people think this is a subjective attribute — something that developers and users have bickered about for ages.

What makes some software more usable than others? What can you do to make SAP system screens more usable so that users spend more time doing work than recording what they have done? After defining the concept of usability, the next step is figuring out how to measure it. I discuss this point in relation to the usability of SAP ERP HCM software, as well as how to improve it. By applying this concept to any SAP screen you are able to easily create a list of items that can fill any gaps that you have identified. Some of these improvements are easy to do through configuration, while others are more complex and require custom development. The key here is to know which one is which. Once that’s been determined, you can figure out how to get the most bang for your buck.

About SAP System Screens in General

The usability of an application varies depending on the application, its functionality, the user, and the device being used to drive the screen, as well as on the amount of time the project has to implement the SAP system. Here’s a simple example of this point. Entering time on a 800 x 600 resolution screen seems to be a very friendly application, but it does not seem very usable at all when you try to use it on your iPhone. For this reason, it is not only important to build usable applications, it is also equally important to prove that they are usable for the purposes for which they were designed.

Deepankar Maitra

Deepankar Maitra has more than 25 years of consulting experience specializing in SAP-based solutions for human resources, supply chain, and reporting in multi-national companies around the world. He has successfully directed large implementation projects as solution architect, delivery manager, global lead, and country lead. His expertise lies in pragmatic harmonization of data and synthesis of processes using tools that improve process execution through quantum leaps in productivity.

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