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The SAP User Research Community. A prototyping case study. Background. The DST was asked to develop a proposal for a solution to collect, share and re-use user insights to effectively inform and scale design decisions for SAP

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the sap user research community

The SAP User Research Community

A prototyping case study

  • The DST was asked to develop a proposal for a solution to collect, share and re-use user insights to effectively inform and scale design decisions for SAP
  • Our prototype helped us convey, validate, test and pilot an SAP User Research Community that enables:
      • Sharing user research
      • Exploring existing research
      • Learning user research best practices
      • Connecting to others interested in similar research
      • Getting inspiration for solution design
insights from 360 view

Market Research

Current SAP Resources

SAP Interviews

Insights from 360 View:
  • Methods and templates on user research are desired but hard to find (“ABC of User Research”)
  • End user contact is mandatory but difficult to initiate and organize (“How do I gain access to a wide variety of end users?”)
  • Search for existing information is cumbersome and time consuming (“Information is mostly stored on personal/shared drives”)
  • Finding experts and information mostly based on personal networks
  • Information needs broader than just user research
  • Community approach instead of just repository
  • Project findings are shared & leveraged throughout the company
  • Methodologies & best practices are accessible to everyone
  • Making contributions to community is part of MBOs
  • Provide content at launch and grow the community organically
  • Community moderators and librarians key to adoption
  • Access may require separate registration (SDN)
  • Information access is restricted (CMI)
  • Different look and feel of the across systems
  • Solutions are not used throughout the company (Pace profiles)
  • Search often yields in unexpected results
  • Related information often scattered throughout various repositories
  • Community moderators/ librarians exist for some communities (SDN)
from insights to design principles
From Insights to Design Principles



  • Find cookbooks how to organize, conduct and interpret user research
  • Access templates and best-practice examples supporting the user centered design process


  • Access end users
  • Access existing end user research at summary and detail level
  • Find associated information i.e. competitive information


  • Find how a particular design aspect was realized in the SAP solution landscape
  • Access to existing usability studies and prototype validations


  • Publish project summary information
  • Share all information related to end user research with little effort
  • Capture end-user contact information
  • Provide domain expertise


  • Find internal contacts to obtain more details
  • Leverage a moderated community to share collective end user memory and best practices


user roles and high level use case
User Roles and High-level Use Case

User Role:

Sarah is a solution manager in the midst of conducting research for a

mid market CRM solution. She is focused on the Pipeline Management

process. She is based in Walldorf and has been with SAP for 3 years.

Before SAP she worked for a competitor.

Use Case

  • Sarah wants to prepare herself for in person site visits. She is trying to get a feel for the Pipeline process, such as roles typically involved in the Pipeline process.
  • She is trying to find potential end users to reach out to.
  • She is trying to find others within SAP who may have useful knowledge about Pipeline management.
  • Sarah writes up a quick summary of her findings and checks in her artifacts
  • Sarah wants to keep an eye on any new information around the Pipeline process.
  • Sarah has a very specific question around how pricing is handled in Pipeline management, and starts a discussion with the community. She encounters Robert who seems to have experience with the Pipeline process and decides to call him up.
paper prototype 1


Usability Testing

Paper Prototype (1)

Use the User Research Community to search for help and tools around User Research methods

Reach out to a User Research Expert

paper prototype 2


Paper Prototype (2)

Use the User Research Community

to Browse or Search for information

across categories

paper prototype 3


Paper Prototype (3)

Add Summary and Detail information

from end user research and tag it

to information


paper prototype 4


Paper Prototype (4)

Find domain experts,

start discussions,

subscribe to hot topics