10th Anniversary Edition (Nearly) Complete

By Gerd Waloszek, SAP User Experience, SAP AG – March 30, 2011

Gerd Waloszek At the end of March 2011, the 10th anniversary year of the SAP Design Guild Website will be over, and the Website will celebrate its 11th anniversary. We will also complete the 10th Anniversary Edition in time – or rather, nearly in time, because two articles are still in progress and may not make it into the edition by then. However, we regard this delay only as a minor issue. It reflects that in the real world, not all plans are put into practice as intended. Readers who still remember our initial plans for the 10th Anniversary Edition will also realize that the edition has turned into something completely different than we had initially intended. At the outset, we planned to focus on articles about future trends and hotly debated topics from manifold directions within the HCI and UI design field. We indicated our plans in the editorial Announcing the 10th Anniversary Edition and presented them more explicitly in the original prospective table of contents of the edition itself. However, as it stands now, the 10th Anniversary Edition has clearly obtained a narrower scope, covering topics that are connected to SAP in one way or another or that have already been discussed on the SAP Design Guild – except for one domain: Designing for the elderly is a completely new topic to the SAP Design Guild, although it has become a prominent one at HCI and design conferences in recent years.

In the remainder of my editorial, I will provide a brief retrospective of the 10th Anniversary Edition. In March 2010, we started the edition by actually looking back rather than debating future trends. In our leading article, we even went on a short history tour of previous editions and highlight topics. Two further articles re-addressed themes from our two highlight topics, Universal Usability and Human Performance at the Computer. After that, and as already discussed in our editorial Final Spurt for 2010 on the SAP Design Guild, we had an extended "summer slump." In fall 2010, we resumed our writing activities, but it took a while before new articles were ready for publication. It wasn't until November 2010 that we started our second publication wave with an article by Urte Thoelke about her "vision for the future" in which "everyone should be able to buy a product and use it anywhere in the world without having to rely on adapters, regional product specifications, or different types of assistive technologies." In December 2010, we completed the wave by publishing two articles that were inspired by past and ongoing activities at SAP and were devoted to the topics of "sustainability" and "enhancing clarity through design." The fourth and final article in this wave marked our first attempt at getting a foothold on the afore-mentioned new topic for the SAP Design Guild, designing for the elderly.

Some of the topics discussed in the 10th Anniversary Edition

Figure 1: Hints at some of the topics discussed in the 10th Anniversary Edition

We are now nearing the end of the third and last publication wave for the 10th Anniversary Edition and also the publishing period for the edition itself. We started this last wave with two articles in mid March 2011; one covering challenges and conflicts when designing for the elderly and another one from the realm of sustainability* investigating how design can contribute to making a workforce behave more sustainably. It was the first in a short series of two articles. A third article, giving a personal account of aging and technology use, was published a week later. The 10th Anniversary Edition will be completed with two more articles: There will be a follow-up article* to our short series about how design can support sustainable workforce behavior and an article from new SAP UX colleague Nina Hollender about how design can support people with dementia. The first article will focus on the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) for cooperation and coordination between distributed teams, including teleworkers, and on the use of persuasive design approaches for pushing people's behavior in a certain, desired direction. The second article will point out how important it is to have a holistic view of this group of end users, that is, not only of their cognitive impairment, but also of the social and physical environment they live in, and their history. As already indicated at the beginning, neither article will meet the edition's deadline: Both will appear in April 2011.

In retrospect, we can observe that we have arrived at two larger topic areas for the 10th Anniversary Edition: Firstly, a number of articles cover the field of universal usability, including accessibility and designing for the elderly. Secondly, we published several articles about designing for sustainability (we also included a review of Nathan Shedroff's book on sustainability, Design is the Problem, for easier access, because it is often referred to from other articles). Furthermore, the topics of clarity and sustainability brought readers into contact with themes that were, and still are, promoted on SAP's company Website. In particular, the role of design in the quest for achieving sustainability will be featured in future articles on the SAP Design Guild. We are considering preparing a new highlight topic about this topic (it would also include the respective articles from this edition). This would be our third highlight topic so far.

At the end of my editorial, I would like to thank our readers once again for staying with us for so long – the SAP Design Guild has now been on the Web for eleven years. Of course, we are also pleased when new readers find their way to our Website, hopefully when they are searching for interesting topics from the HCI and UI design field. And please note: New exciting topics are emerging on the horizon for the SAP Design Guild Website – so stay tuned!

*) Note: The sustainability articles were no longer included in the edition because the sustainability series series was extended to six articles.


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