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How do I avoid having too many Fiori tiles?

The design rule of thumb is to keep the Launchpad tile count under 20. But what about power users who need to launch more applications? Here are several good options to try.

Tiles are the primary way of launching applications in the SAP Fiori Launchpad. But because many users engage with many applications at different times, the amount of Fiori tiles that appear on the Launchpad can quickly get out of control, especially for power users.

This is a problem I run into with most customers, where users end up with 30, 40 or even hundreds of tiles on their SAP Fiori Launchpad. Scrolling through all of those Fiori tiles can be a challenge that frustrates users.

Fortunately, SAP quickly recognized the issue and introduced the concept of groups to add a level of hierarchical navigation to the Fiori Launchpad. However, the group concept is only a Band-Aid.

The best solution to this problem is to design tailored roles that contain 10-20 key tiles. If a role starts to include more than 20 tiles, it is likely too broad a role and should be split up, or it could include too many tiles that are only used occasionally.

But if the default rule of thumb is to keep the number of tiles under 20, then what about users who really do need access to more applications, even if they don't use them all that often? SAP Fiori Launchpad offers the following options:

  • App Finder and Search. Not all apps that are accessible to the user need to appear as Fiori tiles on the homepage by default. The App Finder is accessible from the user menu or Me Area in the Launchpad and can be used to access all the tiles the user has authorization for, whether or not they appear on the default Launchpad. You can use the App Finder to launch apps directly or to add a tile to the Launchpad. Users can also find apps via Search if they know the name of the app. The center-top menu in the SAP Fiori Launchpad homepage can help by launching a mini version of the App Finder.
  • Me Area. The Me Area shows recently and frequently used applications. It is great for quick access to applications used in repetitive or frequent scenarios, even if the tile doesn't appear on the Launchpad.
SAP Fiori Me Area screenshot
The Fiori Me Area is another way to access applications if your Launchpad tiles are getting hard to manage.
  • Semantic navigation and notifications. The best current solution is to begin moving away from Fiori tiles as a primary navigation method altogether. Fiori developers should work to make applications accessible in-process with well-designed semantic navigation and without forcing the user back to the Launchpad to get where they want to go. In a similar vein, designing notifications with relevant actions and navigation right in them can make tiles unnecessary.
  • Overview pages. Power users or users who are starting from outside of a process can launch Overview pages from a single tile. These pages provide a wealth of information about a particular area while also providing another level of hierarchical navigation. If you look at the Fiori 3.0 concepts that SAP has shared, you will see that Fiori is moving toward this card-based approach as its primary visual navigation concept.
  • CoPilot. SAP's long-term answer to the problem of tile-based navigation is the same as that of the tech industry as a whole: machine learning and natural language computing. If SAP's CoPilot digital assistant is successful, it may make Fiori tiles unnecessary

As the Launchpad continues to evolve and we move toward Fiori 3.0, SAP continues to add tools to combat the problem of Launchpad having too many tiles. It is up to customers and partners to use them.

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