MFC would like to redesign their Human Resource Management System in order to improve the experience for its 2,000 employees.
MFC's HRMS tool is used by all 2,000 employees to raise leave requests, book business trips, request training, make medical reimbursements, and download employment letters (confirmation of employment and salary). There are various reporting functionalities and procurement modules which add to the complexity of the system, but this is out of scope for the redesign project.
IT and HR teams are working together to HR Administrators and Oracle developers to identify opportunities to:
Improve the employee experience
Increase employee engagement
Optimize HR processes
The existing Oracle-based system was developed to meet the needs of HR administrators and did not factor in the needs of end-user employees.
HR Administrators and Oracle developers only considered HR requirements when designing the application - the recipients of HR requests. Not the employees who actually raise requests.
The landing page is outdated using old Oracle technology
The menu navigation and labels are written by non-native English speakers and not properly translated.
Raising requests can be confusing without prior training and knowledge of HR policies.
Although IT initiated the project, I worked with HR stakeholders who were originally resistant to change so they could see the value of a UX approach to the redesign.
A redesign has never been considered until now because HR believed people were already familiar to the design so why change it.
I am responsible for all aspects of the UX process, collaborating with developers and HR System Admins to align requirements.
I am working with our Oracle developer to translate user requirements from both a functional and design perspective and we will work together to validate and prioritize feature requirements and design a POC.
I am currently in the Design phase of this project, developing wireframes, scoping out the project with key stakeholders, and obtaining feedback.
BREAKING DOWN THE PROCESS
MONTH 1 | UNDERSTAND THE USER
The system is a firm-wide tool used by all employees who make requests and HR teams who are functional admins and recipients of those requests.
I identified three user types which were the basis of our personas and driving force behind my research planning and personas for the redesign.
Key stakeholders also included the Oracle team in IT, HR System Admins, and HR management - the data owners.
I interviewed 20 people throughout the organization. The most vocal users were department admin and employees and given the amount of time they spend on the tool, this was expected. The resounding message from all interviews was “bring the information forward”. This implied an understanding that the system itself had a lot of useful data which could generate pertinent insight for HR decision making but was currently hidden underneath complex navigation, limited functionality, and unclear HR policies.
Limited leave and attendance reporting functionality
Department Admin are often asked from leadership to provide reports on planned leave, daily attendance, on an individual and team basis. Advanced reporting capabilities are needed to be able to manipulate the data.
Confusing multi-level navigation
Requests and report selections are not found in the menus where users expect to find them. The use of English is poor. The menus are sometimes three to four levels deep which takes time to search through.
Long and complicated request forms
Request forms are long and limited instructions are provided. Form fields are not labeled properly and when there is an error in your submission, it’s not always clear where in the form there is a mistake.
BRING THE INFORMATION FORWARD
MONTH 1 | UNDERSTAND THE INDUSTRY
Research the market trends and themes across HR technology helped me see how HR technology is merging with business technology.
I looked at tools such as SAP and Applaud and read articles about trends in HR technology to understand the industry landscape and employee engagement within HR systems.
MFC's current HR system system focuses the automation of HR processes and simply making it easy for HR to process requests. The following themes were identified by Deloitte as key factors in developing an employee experience that encompasses the direction in which HR technology is evolving. For MFC, this means it is time to refocus on how HR can deliver value to the business and improve the environment in which employees engage with each other, their management, and the business.
Themes: Improving the Employee Experience
Selection to fit
Time for slack
Clear goal setting
Coaching and feedback
Modern performance management
Flexible work environment
Recognition rich culture
Open flexible work spaces
Inclusive, diverse culture
Source: Adapted from 2019 HR Technology Market by Josh Bersin
Throughout my research, I have continuously provided feedback to HR to help them understand the value of user research, update them on my findings, and manage expectations for the scope of the redesign.
Several months before IT initiated the project, I had a discussion with an HR system admin about a simple navigation redesign but was met with resistance. I was told, “people are use it, we shouldn’t change it”. I know the key to the success of this project was keeping HR engaged in the process and convincing them that they are not the user and getting business input would ultimately result in a more engaged and productive workforce.
MONTH 3-4 | PRODUCT DESIGN
Based on research findings, a dashboard concept to push the information forward will be proposed, enabling users to quickly view the information they need without having to search through complex navigation.
Where I am today
In order to get more of my team involved in the UX process, I held a workshop to recap my research findings and complete a paper prototyping exercise. A dashboard design will simplify navigation and bring the most frequently requested items to the forefront.
The dashboard is is expected to provide the business with improved UI and navigation. It will provide a quick view to information that is most important to them and easy access to the most frequently requested items. We will also look at the form design standards and develop a style guide to ensure consistency across the platform.
Lessons So Far
Because initial feedback showed that line managers have the least experience using the tool, it was apparent that often users don’t know what they want until you show them the possibilities.
During my research, I learned that users across all levels, especially more senior levels, can become very accepting of system limitations and often are too preoccupied to think deeper about their needs. My approach continues to be to offer more functionality, show the possibilities, and then scale back as necessary.