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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