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author's profile photo Rob Dielemans

Philosophy behind ever changing icons?

So today I installed SAP gui 7.50 and was greeted with oodles of new looking icons.

And it got me thinking which led to starting this discussion.

So! Is it somehow obligatory at SAP that every new GUI should look new, or is the changing of icons based on feedback by users who do not initially understand what an icon is supposed to do.

Personally for me it is always a bit of a struggle to get acquainted with what icon does what. The transition does take some time, if the icons were the same or very similar then the familiarity would speed up this process.

What are your thoughts about this, do you hate or miss some icons of days of yore or do you always eagerly embrace them?

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  • Mar 16, 2018 at 01:23 PM

    Hmm, not sure I miss some of these.

    Anyone can tell the version behind each set of icons (transaction SE11) ?

    capture.png (45.5 kB)
  • Mar 19, 2018 at 07:16 AM

    I wouldn't mind the new icons all that much but I admit that I fairly quickly switch back to the "Enjoy theme" as this - as far as I know - is still the only one which allows different colors by system. So, when I recently got SAP GUI 7.50 I did just that so that I know I'm in a productive system when I see "red" (or "rose"), a test system is "peach" and dev-systems are blueish/greyish.

    And no, I haven't tried any of the other themes yet to see if they also offer this option.



    • Mar 19, 2018 at 12:39 PM

      I'm with you, Barbel! Except my QA systems are green. But Prod is always peach or rose.

      Color by system is a very easy way for a developer (or someone who logs on to multiple systems) to tell where they are - and what they shouldn't do - like delete Master data! ;-)

      • Mar 27, 2018 at 06:45 PM

        Yeah, peach in PRD is the way to go! I sometimes have to camp there for quite a while and find that pink is too bright to look at for the extended amount of time. And I wish we could use yet another color when in Firefighter mode in PRD.

    • Mar 20, 2018 at 08:27 AM

      Same for me, Enjoy all the way!

      But my test system is red (=raw), the integration system blue (= on the way to being done) and the prod system green (= done, ready). ^^

      But I definitly use the color schemes to differentiate between systems. I've not yet found another theme doing this. And I guess this is on purpose. I'm just glad, Enjoy is still around.

      • Mar 20, 2018 at 10:23 AM

        I'm a little bit disappointed to hear about such clear colour distinction... – So nobody here has learnt from this great forum how to use subtle tones of gray to differentiate between different types of content? Do you really need to be so bold?


        • Mar 20, 2018 at 12:13 PM

          Have you not seen my avatar? ^^

          • Mar 20, 2018 at 12:22 PM

            Ah, I see, so you constantly circling around test/integration/production... now I'm feeling blue, apparently:)

        • Mar 20, 2018 at 05:35 PM

          I don't know what it is with making everything very subtle differences in color shades, with practically no contrast, these days. SAP is doing it with the latest GUI themes, Microsoft is doing it with the latest versions of Office... My conspiracy theory on this is that it's a subtle hint to folks with older eyes that they should hurry up and retire and make room for the young guns rising up through the ranks: "If these two screens look the same to you, you're too old for this job!"

          • Mar 20, 2018 at 08:28 PM

            Ironically just the other day I switched Outlook to the 'Colorful' office theme, but reverted back to 'White' soon thereafter...the other options didn't fare any better. Who remembers Hot Dog Stand in the older versions of Windows...LOL

          • Mar 21, 2018 at 09:03 AM

            Thanks, Matt, now I start to see clearer (well, just a moment, have to move back from the display...)

          • Mar 27, 2018 at 09:12 PM

            I have the same conspiracy theory, so this must be true. "50 shades of pastel" taking over the world!

      • Mar 27, 2018 at 10:07 PM

        LOL - BASIS guy here. I use exactly the reverse color scheme (red ==> DANGER !!)

    • Mar 20, 2018 at 05:30 PM

      I remembered a discussion about this a few years back on a blog someone wrote about how to set this up and just now went looking for it: Paint away your SAP Systems!

      From almost 5 year ago!

      @Sue: Circle of life? :D

    • Mar 22, 2018 at 08:02 AM

      I need those colors. I would hate to create a sales order, delivery, GI on PRD. That would be bad. If it gets to the invoice stage, and we sent one to a customer - I think I would be hiding under a desk.

      • Mar 22, 2018 at 09:58 AM
        I need those colors. [...] I think I would be hiding under a desk.

        Well, I guess in that situation having no colour (aka being transaprent) would have its own merits – but I would expect a rather deep dark red...)

        • Mar 22, 2018 at 11:14 AM

          :) Someone I won't name names - but she is typing this comment. Did in fact create an order on PRD before using colors. Luckily I noticed (I mean she noticed) and deleted the order. Also let her sales department know.

          I'm real careful with which system I'm on now.

          And yes it was a deep dark red.

          • Mar 22, 2018 at 12:47 PM

            you are lucky with your external auditors, ours hand over the wrong envelopes at the Oscar but demand that we do not have any maintenance authorization in production.

            • Mar 22, 2018 at 12:51 PM

              I'm very happy to be at Mcness right now. At the pharma companies I worked at - I could go onto PRD but only with "Firefighter". I had to be very specific in the transactions I went, why I was going there. Then it generated an audit trail for my manager or the auditors.

      • Mar 22, 2018 at 04:59 PM

        Wait, you have access to create stuff in PRD? I'm glad I don't! I can do all sort of unfortunate things at the Basis level, but I can't create a PO. At least, not the traditional way (shhh.....)

        • Mar 22, 2018 at 05:05 PM

          Basis security means you don't need access to anything - you already have it! Actually sometimes it is a bad thing to have that kind of power. I used to tell people, no I can't do xyz for you. You have to do it and I'll tell you how. Now they know I can do it, so they expect it. However, I'm pushing back so they are actually the ones doing it with me walking them thru it.

          I often wonder about places that don't know Basis rules. Everything is one the DB level. EVERYTHING. Plus you guys are sneaky. You can create things and leave a trail that says Volker did it!

          • Mar 22, 2018 at 05:13 PM

            Leaving a false trial? I'd never do that. I've never looked into the possibility of forging change documents. Never ;-) That was just an experiment. Honest.

          • Mar 23, 2018 at 08:26 AM
            leave a trail that says Volker did it

            Na, it wasn't me, it was Wolfgang.

        • Mar 27, 2018 at 10:15 PM

          When I was a young un (sometime last century) and worked as an MVS sysprog, everyone in the Systems programming team had two IDs; one for exploration and day to day use and one for making changes. We were very strongly encouraged to use the former. One of the team wrote some code that read the usage data to report weekly on which 'making changes' user id was logged on the most, and that person got to look after the little bunny for a week.

          It was subtle reinforcement, warning of dangerous practices, rather than pointing the finger at someone who broke something (we had other methods for that !!)

    • Mar 27, 2018 at 06:50 PM
      It isn't necessary to go all the way back to 'Enjoy' to get the colors-by-system feature. 'Signature' theme offers this, too. To this day, I still find 'Signature' to be the most usable and visually functional of the themes. 'Corbu' and 'Blue Crystal' are hopelessly contrast-challenged, especially the latter.
  • Mar 27, 2018 at 09:31 AM


    "Is the changing of icons based on feedback by users"

    When changing design I don't think that SAP do care about anyone's feedback !

    Consider their great success on redesigning the Community site...

    At last on the new GUI all the icons do work !

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