A Focus on “UX for Life”: SAP UX Summit 2020

UX for Life: SAP UX Summit 2020

SAP recently held the very first SAP User Experience (UX) Summit, which was attended by over 1,900 SAP design experts and employees from 38 countries. The focus of the virtual summit was on SAP User Experience’s maxim: “UX for Life.” Speakers included UX designers and leaders from Wacker Chemie AG, Boston University, and Freeletics.

The virtual event ran for three days—from 1-3 July 2020—and consisted of 48 sessions, 28 workshops, and a total of 79 hours of content. It was sponsored by Alex Lingg, Head of SAP User Experience and UX lead for SAP S/4HANA. During the kick-off session, Lingg explained the purpose of the SAP UX Summit 2020:

“To support customers in their digital transformation, we need to deeply understand them and their working environment. We are already in the middle of this journey, driven by design-led development and SAP Fiori. The UX Summit is a great opportunity for designers, user researchers, developers, product managers, product owners, and customers to exchange our experiences and to create UX for life together.”

In his keynote session, Lingg highlighted what “UX for Life” means and the role UX plays in improving customer engagement to drive business goals. He emphasized that UX is meant to be a seamless end-to-end product experience with the user in the center. He notes that the responsibility of UX is to hide software complexity so that business customers can concentrate on running their enterprises efficiently. He said UX designers can do this by providing customers with mobile apps and by implementing a user-centric approach with a strong focus on usability and accessibility in their UX design process.

Creating Great UX for Life

Keynote speakers from Wacker Chemie AG, Boston University, and Freeletics, shared how they create UX for life.

Wacker Chemie AG

SAP Project Manager Marius Thammer and software engineer Lisa Nemeth of international chemical company Wacker Chemie AG described the company’s UX journey with S/4HANA and SAP Fiori. The German multinational company started its SAP digital transformation in 2017 and went live with one central SAP Core System across its global plants and technical centers and an on-premise SAP S/4HANA system in its central data center in Munich in May 2020. 

Wacker’s UX design process focused on mobility as well as analytical and supplementary SAP Fiori apps. Nemeth shared,

“A new user experience does not stop at the user interface—it’s the full package of documentation, usability, performance, configuration options, and design consistency.”

Boston University

SAP Innovation Awards 2019 ‘Honorable Mention Award’ winner Boston University explained how it created a simplified and consolidated benefit enrollment app through the application of SAP’s design thinking methodology. By collaborating with SAP AppHaus and utilizing Qualtrics XM technology, the university was able to re-imagine its legacy retirement application and its standard ESS Benefits Business package into a consistent user experience: the BU Benefits Center.

By creating a design thinking culture within its IT team, Boston University was able to improve employee satisfaction. The new design resulted in a 106% increase in a “Very Satisfied” rating of overall user satisfaction and a 130% improvement in an “Extremely Easy” ranking of overall ease of use. 

David Boloz, Assistant Director of Technology from Boston University also emphasized how implementing a design thinking culture and investing in UX helped the institution in simplifying business processes and eliminated costly mistakes and errors that impact employees productivity.


Freeletics is a fitness and health app based in Munich, Germany. In her keynote session, Freeletics Product Design Manager Kathryn Thomas Hastings, explained how she used her personal experience to “break the rules” in her UX design process. 

To better serve customers, Hastings used her experience in her own fitness and health journey and placed the focus on understanding users intent to design a user-centric app that adapts to the customers’ schedule, goals, and fitness level and to create experiences that reach multiple types of customers. Through Freeletics’ digital coach that uses human-augmented AI technology, its more than 46 million customers enjoy full flexibility with personalised workouts the can be done at home, outside or in the gym.

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