Monthly Archives: October 2019

Purpose-Driven Design for the SAP Jam Digital Learning User Experience

Written by Elle Savage on the SAP Community.

When deploying SAP Jam and related SAP HR/Learning solutions, there is a great need for design solutions that are positioned to support business processes and add value to the user’s experience.

The challenge is to create high-quality graphic designs that turn ideas and missions into visuals that engage and excite employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders, while also optimizing the business objective.

According to a recent McKinsey Quarterly study, “The Business Value of Design,” companies that address all four of the following design priorities are rare, but those that have, reported increased revenues and total stakeholders returns compared to their counterparts. These four key elements include:

  • Analytics – Bringing data to life
  • Cross-Functional Teams & Talent – Enabling visuals to go beyond the silos of a respective group or organization
  • Continuous Iteration – Continued review, improvement, maintenance, and testing to optimize the user experience
  • User Experience – Design a seamless user experience that adds value to their business requirements

In order to achieve the best user experience, designers must be closely aligned with a project’s business leaders and subject matter experts to ensure they understand the mission and design with purpose.

Assessment of the Design-Driven Maturity Curve

Purpose-driven design should be an integral part of a project’s strategy from day one. In today’s increasingly digital world, users have come to expect an interface that is both attractive and easy to use.

There are many corporate tools at our fingertips to satisfy this expectation such as company libraries of images, icons, videos, font guidelines, etc., which should be leveraged to develop standards, repeatable processes, and efficiencies. Still, it is highly recommended that a project’s core team includes a design professional who understands how to maximize the benefits of available design elements.

Setting high-quality standards, per the “Design-Driven Maturity Curve,” sends a message to your audience that a SAP Jam custom home page or group landing page is valuable, credible, properly maintained, and well thought out.

What is the SAP Jam Design Value?

Throughout a project’s development, it is important to recognize design as a priority versus as an afterthought. The most forward-thinking organizations will strive to make it a substantive part of their activities because they see the value of design at both a strategic and tactical level.

Designing an intuitive user experience will increase efficiencies and generate higher value by enabling site visitors to quickly navigate the interface and find essential information, therefore optimizing businesses processes.At the same time, the interface must maintain the organization’s brand and messaging throughout the experience.

While a high-quality UI (User Interface) fulfills a user’s wants by delivering an attractive digital environment, an excellent UX (User Experience) fulfills their needs by allowing them to efficiently complete the task they set out to do quickly and with ease.

The Delivery Methodology for Optimizing Design Elements

When building a new digital learning community, group, or site, it is vital that the delivery methodology has user testing baked in to the team’s approach from the start (“Initiate” and “Assess”) to finish (“Deploy,” “Post-go-live,” and “Adoption”). Taking an agile approach allows project leaders to incorporate users’ feedback throughout development in order to create the best user experience possible.

Incorporating a Purpose-Driven Design Approach

Business process mapping enables teams to understand the project requirements and objectives before developing the interface design.

When key participants come and go from the project, there should be guidelines in place, by way of standardization, procedures, and protocols, that can be leveraged while still maintaining the team’s ability to be creative.

Organizations and teams that prioritize design addressing the four key elements discussed (Analytics, Cross-Functional Teams & Talent, Continuous Iteration, and User Experience) as a core part of their strategy outperform groups that take a more ad-hoc or even intermediate design level approach.

A purpose-driven design combined with the proper delivery methodology streamlines organization operations, which allow business leaders, subject matter experts, and contributors to focus on creating high-quality content, boosting productivity, and providing a consistent, impactful user experience.


Sources:

  • “4 key stats on the importance of design for business.” Adobe Blogs. Harmer, Tony. October 2015.
  • “The Business Value of Design.” McKinsey & Company. Sheppard, Benedict; Sarrazin, Hugo; Kouyoumjian, Garen; Dore, Fabricio. October 2018.
  • “The Value of Design.” Design Management Institute.

Jerry McGuire had it right, “Show me the money!”


So often well intended investments in webinars, seminars, conferences, demand generation and other marketing and partner programs adds value, but unless it can be measured by way of revenues it can be under appreciated.

The WorkSpan approach of providing a platform for “Joint Marketing” and “Joint Sales” is an ideal way for 2 or more organizations to work together on deal qualification and sales cycles.

Consider 2 companies co-sponsor a marketing or partner program. It would be ideal for the account teams in both organizations to have access to the leads as well as the qualified sales opportunities.

CRM systems alone are not the answer in that proprietary information cannot be shared outside the organization. Only with a Joint Marketing & Joint Sales system can this approach be optimized.

What’s the alternative? emails? Phone calls? Texts? Spreadsheets? Social Media tools with disparate, disorganized threads of discussions?

Keep in mind the importance of privacy, security, and that the lead Account Executive wants and must control who participates and who doesn’t. Trust must be built. Often change management is key to addressing new ways to win deals.

A few questions / comments to consider:

  • How often does a sales pursuit include 2 companies and often a third (or more)
  • How can you optimize 2 (or more) talented organizations going after 1 important deal?
  • There can be 1 company with 10 deals and 10 different partners for each… how best to manage the various partners pursuing these deals?
  • And for every deal an account team pursues, the participants inside and outside the organization can change throughout the sales cycle.

As WorkSpan states, “Where you & your partners can nominate joint accounts to pursue, track deals, & report on partner contribution to revenue.” This platform and the methodology that goes with it is an excellent way to bolster measurable outcomes.

When marketing and strategic alliances professionals (“aces”) have measurable success they will make their manager and organization happy, gain more trust, increase investments in future programs, and have better control of important outcomes.

When you and your team achieve “Show Me the Money” status with revenues aligned to marketing and partner programs, more investments can be considered, more customer success can be developed and showcased, and the most important value of them all can be optimized: TIME.

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