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author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva

SAP Community UI offends me as a developer

Only 2 weeks since my "SCN vacation" and I'm already losing it. :( Borrowing from Seinfeld ("Does this offend you as a Jewish person? - No, it offends me as a comedian!") - SCN UI really offends me as a developer.

It might be challenging to provide better activity stream and notifications or resolve the comment-answer dilemma but how difficult is it to create a decent, consistent UI just in the answers?

1) Why "Comment on this answer" looks different? If there are no comments then it looks like a link. If that's what you're going with - fine. Now I want to comment on an answer that already has a comment. Hm, where is that link? Nothing underneath the answer... Oh wait, now it's suddenly a button and it's all the way at the bottom, padded with extra white space. By the time I scroll there, I'm not sure anymore what is "this" answer that I'm commenting on.

2) We can't post a comment shorter than 10 characters but when it comes to the questions - just enter a title, insert a file and call it a day.

And is this not possible this day and age to see that the file is an image and to show it as such?

3) "Insert image" shows a file upload dialog with *.* option, not limited to the acceptable image extensions (such as .png or .jpg). Sure, let's surprise the user with an error message later.

4) When posting a comment, Submit and Cancel buttons are very close together. If you accidentally click on Cancel, the whole text just disappears without any warning. Well, good thing most of us are already trained to do Ctrl-A/Ctrl-C before clicking anything.

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  • Dec 11, 2017 at 07:17 PM

    The inconsistency is sadly everywhere. Today's example being the login or register link. Under a comment if you are not logged in it shows the following message with a link taking you to the login page.

    But if you're stubborn and click on the like anyways you get a popup with a link taking you to the registration page.

    And yes I know it's minor. I'm just pointing out that inconsistency is persistent and has been for a while across the site.

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    • Dec 11, 2017 at 08:09 PM

      Of course! Also "Like" for the comments is still shown even if you're logged off:

      It is somehow possible to hide Comment or Answer but "Like" is "click to fail".

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  • Dec 11, 2017 at 08:14 PM

    It's not an issue with UI development, it's an issue with the management...

    • Dec 13, 2017 at 06:37 PM

      These frequently come hand in hand, unfortunately. But the developers are not soldiers and there should not be "I just [blindly] followed orders" situations. Rather doubt that a manager is wringing someone's hand by insisting "no, you place this over here and make it a button, not like the same thing over there". If this truly happens though that manager is one sick puppy.

      • Dec 13, 2017 at 07:05 PM

        The manager has to be both:

        1. Active forum user - to understand the issues of the current UI

        2. Experienced developer to properly set up the development goals

        If not - we have what we have!

  • Dec 11, 2017 at 09:25 PM

    In an article (which has nothing to do with SAP) I encountered the phrase "consistently inconsistent"... :)

  • Dec 13, 2017 at 05:55 PM

    I'm already offended by the sheer amount of wasted empty space on the screen before I even see the contents of a single question. On my laptops small screen, I should be able to see the title of the first ~20 questions, but all I get is 1.

    • Dec 13, 2017 at 06:45 PM

      Yep. I see 2 questions with 90% zoom. The white space issue has been brought up very many times. But still not much has been done to improve SCN experience for the laptop users, even though that's what majority of active contributors use.

  • Dec 13, 2017 at 06:43 PM

    maybe it looks great and consistent on mobile devises ?


    I have no idea, I never seen anyone who uses Communities from their phone...

    • Dec 13, 2017 at 07:09 PM

      Sometimes I am using the Community from my phone :) Not perfect, but acceptable.

      • Dec 13, 2017 at 07:12 PM

        see, it was made for you :)

        • Dec 13, 2017 at 07:14 PM

          But in 90% of cases I am using my desktop or iPad (same UI as for desktop)

          • Jan 09, 2018 at 12:29 PM

            I'm not sure I have ever used a mobile device to access the community. I have used mobile devices occasionally to access Jam Groups, but responses there tend to be more of an optional and less time sensitive than my responses on the SAP Community. Even there, I review on Mobile and response on laptop. Seems to be a pretty consistent refrain with SME folks (Subject Matter Experts including Moderators, Mentors).

    • Dec 15, 2017 at 04:13 PM

      I've only opened SCN on a cell phone few times without logging in to check something quickly. When you open it for a few minutes in display mode it's not the same feeling as trying to answer/comment.

      • Dec 15, 2017 at 08:53 PM

        From my experience: It's OK to use Community on mobile phone to provide one sentence answer/comment!

  • Dec 14, 2017 at 06:35 AM

    Thank you all for sharing your feedback.

    I will bring this to the attention of our UX personal.

  • Dec 15, 2017 at 04:18 PM

    One more: if I can't "like" my own post then why are you showing me the Like button as if I can? If clicking on something will just show the user an error message and you know it - disable / hide that element. This is achievable even in SAP GUI for cripes sake.

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    • Dec 15, 2017 at 07:17 PM

      Interesting, I've run into this before but makes me wonder in the world of social media inspired design (endless scrolling/show more), is this just an industry best practice? Perhaps not necessarily the error dialog, but it would appear that Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all allow for this form of behavior and I can 'Like' my own stuff.

      • Dec 15, 2017 at 09:25 PM

        yeah, but in those other social media apps another pop-up is just another opportunity to display an ad in the pop-up window. Or at the very least re-trigger a new round of new ads when you return to the previous window. Anymore it's about click counting and ad views. Nothing to do with providing good, valuable content. So maybe that's how these developers were trained too. Even though there aren't ads here.

      • Dec 18, 2017 at 05:32 PM

        Well, on this very same website in my blog the "like" button is disabled, so I'm not sure what to think:

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        • Dec 19, 2017 at 01:34 PM

          Well, that's because blogs and answers are two completely different platforms glued (duct taped?) together by a consistently inconsistent (thanks for that phrase Veselina Peykova) UI layer over the top.

          • Dec 19, 2017 at 02:03 PM

            > duct taped?

            That should read "world-class-duct taped", right?

            Or, am I wrong, and both parts alone are "world class", but the combination is not?

            I'm still confused after all these months...

          • Dec 19, 2017 at 05:42 PM

            More like "human centipeded". :)

      • Jan 09, 2018 at 12:34 PM

        Jeremy Good

        Definitely not a best practice even if FB does it.

        • Jan 09, 2018 at 02:53 PM

          I would not consider it a best practice either, just an observation ;)

      • Jan 09, 2018 at 05:12 PM

        Interesting fact: in Twitter app, I can like my own tweets. It's a bit odd but at least better than "oh no, you can't click here" messages.

        • Jan 11, 2018 at 03:31 PM

          Yes ^^ the same in other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook too.

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