Build with

28 March 2018

Pratik Shah

Pratik Shah

Principal Consultant

Ever heard of the tool behind Design Led Development (DLD)?  I hadn’t until recently, but let me enlighten you: it’s called ‘Build’ and it’s awesome.  If you want to approach projects with a design-led focus, putting your end users centre stage (the basis of SAP Leonardo), then get busy with Build. 

Where did Build come from?

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the talented SAP design team in Palo Alto recently, which is where  I discovered ‘Build’. As we all know invention is a mother of necessity; Build was developed by SAP’s design teams for crafting new interactive user interfaces as the ABAP dynpros were getting antiquated and limiting the creative juices of the design teams. Customers who saw this loved it and requested that it be packaged as an accelerator used in the DLD process. 

Fig 1. The components of 'design-led development'


What does do? is a free cloud based service that brings user experience best practices, tools, and e-learning to organizations looking to implement a design-led and user-centered approach to innovation. Build is designed for:
  • Learning: empowers you to learn design concepts and best practices method cards.
  • Doing: provides prototyping tools like UI Editor and Data Editor to create interactive prototypes without writing a single line of code. The Research tool lets you easily gather user feedback on prototypes to ensure you build the applications users want.
  • Inspiring: Offers a gallery that includes sample apps you can use to create your own customized apps. You can also publish your own apps to the Gallery and share with others to gain feedback.

Fig 2. journey

Why build with Build?

These days everything is built with user experience (UX) in mind, or at least it should be. When it comes to innovation and research, companies spend millions of dollars enhancing their UX; that one click, the shape and look of a single call to action button, the ease of navigation…you get my drift. 

As consumers we all want a well-designed product that’s easy-to-use, and enterprise software users are no exception. However, it’s rarely easy to fully grasp the needs of your users and you may not always have the right tools or expertise to verify exactly what they want.  It’s this disconnect which can lead to Frankenstein-like applications resulting in unhappy users who demand numerous revisions; pushing up costs higher and higher. With this level of negativity from end-users it then becomes an uphill struggle to adopt the solution, potentially leaving you with little return on investment.

Build makes it simple to identify and understand the audience you are building for, make prototypes, gather feedback, and iterate until your users are happy and ready to take it to the next level.

Getting started...

Sign-up for a free account at using Google Chrome.
Build’s learning cards teach you design methods like identifying and interviewing users to find their needs, or sketching out ideas like these:
 Fig 3. prototype using lo-fi sketches

Create clickable mock-ups of your application from your lo-fi and/or hi-fi sketches, dragging, and dropping user interface elements, importing data, creating dynamic charts, and more. Easily share and gather feedback on your prototype and make updates and adjustments to get it just right. also provides you with access to a gallery of pre-built SAP Fiori applications that can be used as template to start with, on which to add further customization…. and here is the best part: instead of giving developers a large and complex business requirement document, you can provide them with a working prototype with exportable code that has been confirmed and verified by the end users. This really is SAP turning "thinking into doing".


  1. Design Your First App with Build 
  2. Build help center‚Äč
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About the author

Pratik Shah

Principal Consultant
Pratik has been deeply ensconced in the SAP business intelligence (BI) ecosphere for over 14 years, working with technologies such as BW, HANA, BusinessObjects, Lumira and SAP Analytics Cloud. Having deployed solutions across multiple industries, including many Fortune 500 clients, his breadth of both technical knowledge and experience are wide and far-reaching.

As a certified Analytics Strategy Assessment professional, he puts his design thinking training and experience to use while working closely with the customers to understand their business opportunities and aligns these to the ever-changing technology landscape, facilitating them to achieve their goal of getting the right information to the right people at the right time.

Pratik is an integral part of Bluefin's BI and HANA Centre of Excellence. He is driven by the challenge of bringing together two worlds: the technical build of back-end data models and the understanding of the business challenges that organization are facing.
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