Leo Ratzlaff Product and type designer based in Lisbon

SAP Language Platform

Two designers and I started Design GO at SAP, an as-a-service design initiative for internal teams. One of our first clients was the Language Platform. A brand new team with 20+ software engineers was starting a complex product without a single designer on the team.

Specific details of this project are under NDA.

With only a few sessions helping the team to ideate and wireframe an MVP solution, it was clear that they needed an embedded design partner. I was in love with the challenge, and they saw the value design would bring (something not common at SAP—at least not at the time).

Translation editor

The main product of the whole platform was a translation editor—a tool that would later be used by internal translators and third-party agencies to translate SAP software into 40+ languages.

Although I was the only designer, the whole team and stakeholders were incredibly engaged in the design process. We interviewed internal translators and visited third-party translation agencies to understand how they worked and their pain points. We tested and validated with users using wireframes and high-fidelity screens, and released features gradually based on value versus effort.

What started as a simple tool that created a translation based on text input “ended” as a complex editor that suggested translations based on previous translations and other languages, context matches, statistics, performance, and more.

Wireframe from the editor's interface

Low fidelity representation of the editor. Final UI protected under NDA.

This project taught me the impact that only one designer can have in a big team and/or a complex product, especially if you meet teams where they’re at and earn their trust by inviting them to participate in the design process.