At SAP Labs, developers, solution managers and designers are continually seeking ways to improve the usability of the company’s business software applications. Researchers from the SAP User Experience group test global business applications during various phases of the software development process by conducting hands−on studies with actual users in SAP’s usability labs in Palo Alto, CA. And Kramer products are there every step of the way.
In each of three observation rooms at the SAP usability lab, Kramer digital scalers, switchers, distribution amplifiers and video picture−in−picture inserters keep the testing running smoothly. The Kramer VP−413 digital scalers and VP−6xlN 1x6 computer graphics video distribution amplifiers, which are housed in racks in the observation rooms, connect identical 21−inch flat screen computer monitors between the rooms. Software developers, solution managers and designers in the observation rooms can see what the user in the participant room is viewing and how the person is navigating through the software.
In each lab, cameras positioned around the room record the user’s facial expressions as they work with the software. A ceiling camera records any hard−copy documentation on the table. A Kramer VS−88V 8x8 matrix switcher lets observers see pictures from any camera source on their screen. Using a simple software interface, video inputs can be switched to view the reactions of the participants, as well as the software screens. With the addition of the Kramer PIP−200xl picture−in−picture inserter, observers can view any two camera shots simultaneously on their own flat screen monitors. The images can also be individually sized and positioned on the screen.
“The Kramer products have been reliable through every usage level,” said Calzada. “During our heaviest times when all the labs are running continuously, we can count on the Kramer product. That’s important when we run usability studies back−to−back daily,” he said.