With the evolution of enterprise applications over the last couple of decades, user interface (UI) technology has been modernized with an increasing focus on the end user's experience. It is now widely accepted that customer experience directly influences an organization's productivity and profitability. Even Steve Jobs understood the importance of a good user experience (UX):
“You've got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology. You can't start with the technology and try to figure out where I can sell it.” (Steve Jobs, Worldwide Developers Conference 1997)
UX is all about optimizing system communications and representations of the most important data on demand. And the demand for optimum UX is rising as enterprise processes mature and data increases. Relevant data with simplified system interactions are becoming necessary to support modern enterprises.
Intelligence in UX
Over the last few years, we have experienced rapid innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. These new technologies have opened new avenues for user interaction, especially with automation, prediction, self-learning, human language processing, and decision-making capabilities. And machine intelligence technologies driving automation are also redefining the user experience.
A close observation reveals that User Experience (UX) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) address the same areas of human behavior and can predict the next execution step in ways like a human. This means that UX, when blended with artificial intelligence and machine learning, can make the end-user interaction more human-like.
We have already embraced and adopted intelligent UX since it interacts with us on a human-level and can now do extraordinary things. Modern, intelligent UX can remind us of upcoming tasks that need our attention, and sometimes can even execute those tasks on our behalf - on time and in the right manner. UI-less interfaces like ‘Alexa’ or ‘Google Home’ solutions provide user experience just like a physical assistant would, i.e., through verbal communications. Some examples of intelligent UX that have been widely embraced are:
Intelligence with SAP UX
Moving with shifts in the global technology paradigm, SAP has focused on adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities in their products to offer transformation to intelligent enterprises. In this journey, SAP has infused the power of machine intelligence into their UX, and operations are driven by data.
Figure 2: Intelligent enterprise– How SAP describes it (Source– SAP)
Utilizing the power of artificial intelligence, SAP evolved its UX technologies with smart capabilities. Design thinking being the primary focus of SAP since the last decade, the company has continuously evolved its UX offerings through Fiori and redefined the user experience. It has adopted modern principles of design thinking and offers rich ways of interaction with the enterprise application. With the release of Fiori 3, you get the power of machine intelligence through Generative AI, smart analytics, predictive capabilities, process automation, situation handling, and more.
For example, SAP Collaboration Manager, SAP’s new Digital Assistant that is integrated in Fiori,adds a new dimension to the way we interact with business applications. It simplifies business activities with human-like natural interactions through chat/voice-enabled communication with digital assistance. Moreover, it enables a collaboration platform for Fiori users to collaborate with other business users using texts, images and business information extracted from the Fiori apps. SAP Collaboration Manager also provides a platform to integrate a Generative AI-based chat BOT for fast, providing contextually appropriate responses to the user's queries and a rich, simplified, smooth, and intuitive experience leveraging accurate business data. This is what makes the UX intelligent.
SAP’s Fiori 3 UX strategy offers innovative, intelligent capabilities with situational handling. It automatically flags business-critical issues that need user attention. Additionally, the UX guides the user with intuitive design and, by feeding relevant data, helps make decisions and takes necessary actions for resolving problems. An invisible capability behind the system attracts attention to critical tasks that need immediate action, making the UX intelligent.
Intelligent business process management with smart workflows and smart business rules enables the system to make smart decisions without user intervention, with the exception of some business-critical decisions. These are automatically flagged by the system with appropriate notifications to the business user for their attention. This automatic orchestration of processing makes the UX intelligent.
Smart data representation using interactive graphical plotting of analytics data enables the user to understand business-critical information in a single view. An interactive interface enables users to drill down further details for better understanding and for taking appropriate actions. This adds to the intelligent UX by making appropriate business data available to the user.
In a nutshell, SAP Fiori 3 provides an experience that keeps business users one step ahead by enabling them with a new experience that results in enhanced productivity as well as optimized business decisions that are powered by intelligence.
Figure 3: Intelligent UX offered by SAP
The intelligent user experience assists with improved well-being and productivity at work. Further innovation will continue to improve intelligence capabilities, resulting in faster processing and decision-making with a more efficient and innovative data handling capacity.
To make the UX more collaborative with human-like communication, it needs to be powered with emotional intelligence. The social network UX now provides options to capture emotional expression with emojis. But future UX will be capable enough to react with self-intelligence by understanding the user's emotion through voice, facial expression, or even physical activities. Future UX would communicate with users by analyzing their emotional data.
In fact, Focus UX, the next big UX adaptation from SAP, will interact with business users by analyzing their emotions. The system will be intelligent enough to understand the user's cognitive state and adapt the UX accordingly to make the user feel comfortable. The future vision is to provide relief to the user from the increasing stress of modern life.
Augmented Reality (AR) will add a new dimension to business application UX. Physical interactions will need to take place through a mouse or keyboard for optimum implementation of Augmented Reality.
Figure 4: Future UX scope with different kinds of intelligence and augmented reality
The future of intelligent UX will empower users with emotional connections to the interface and rely on them to execute business-critical processes. With more dependency on AI-based UX, it will create a more delightful and simple user experience, helping deliver critical work and build trusted dependency on intelligent UX for making optimum decisions.