Multidirectional communication tool between a chain company and all its human team, which allows the transmission of messages and values, facilitates tedious processes and puts in value the worker within the company.
Bringing a company closer to their employees
January - March 2020
User Research, Information Architecture, Interaction & Prototyping, UI design, Testing
We identified the need to create an effective corporate communication channel in large B2C companies, where the majority of employees perform their work in front of the public and do not own a company email, such as retail and restaurant chains.
Companies need an easy and impactful way of communicating news about their business to all their employees.
These could be new policies, changes in protocols, financial summaries, new employees or managers, solidarity initiatives, the introduction of new products or services, e-learning courses and evaluations, … and many more. They also need to filter which employees can see each information depending on their role and geographical location.
RESEARCHING FOR VALUE
But what does the staff want?
I conducted research with several employees in different chain companies which helped me identify what brings value to their experience as an employee of an enterprise spread across many locations. The size of these businesses varies from regional chains with few shops, centres or restaurants to large multinationals such as Zara, H&M or Ikea.
Although they want to receive information from the company and there is a general willingness to download a corporate app to their personal phone, they do not want to receive any content, but only valuable information.
This includes economic data on the performance of the company and of each location in particular, such as the daily sales or new openings, and key information that allows the team to do a better job, such as new products, best sellers or how to recommend specific products to customers.
In general, employees want to feel that they are trusted with important information, since they are part of the organization and their work generates an impact on the company.
Employees report the need to be able to access information in writing, since currently, in most cases, it is received by voice in the corridors or in written notes on cork boards, if at all.
In some cases, if they work an afternoon or night shift, the information may never arrive.
It is in the best interest of companies to provide valuable information to their employees, as user research has shown a clear proportional relationship between the interest in being informed and the employee's motivation in the company.
Taking this statistic into account, and ensuring the most positive experience for both the employees and the company, a user feedback system was established, in which the user can express his or her appreciation or disinterest in the information received.
Cross-referencing the interest/disinterest data with the user's role and location will allow the company to offer more effective and valuable content for each employee's segment.
BEYOND THE NEWS
For our users, downloading a work-related app to a personal device must be accompanied by other content of interest beyond the news. 100% of the users are interested in being able to consult personal documents such as payroll from their phone and, if applicable, the monthly summary of hours worked, shifts and even the possibility of changing shifts between them. Also, at a secondary level, it would be valuable for them to be able to ask for holidays and find out about new vacancies in the company.
The final application becomes this work-related information centre where both the company and the employees can receive and provide information that is relevant to their day-to-day work.
From a series of prototypes, we landed on a tab-based app architecture, each dedicated to a specific part of the company-employee relationship: news, e-learning -that includes new open positions in the company, when available- and my profile -that resolves the employee's daily and personal issues.
A card-based UI allows to easily scale the main dashboards as additional features are developed.
The 'My profile' tab offers a new world of possibilities to the current dynamics in the interviewed companies, starting with being able to consult and, especially, request shift swaps from colleagues.
Being able to swap shifts autonomously contributes to the emancipation of workers, offering them greater decision-making and organizational power over their personal lives and contributing to this sense of value and respect that employees expect from their employers.
SUBMITTING A REQUEST
ANSWERING THE REQUEST
Cutting through red tape
Continuing with this dynamic, the app digitalizes other similar processes such as the request for vacation days and facilitates access to information of interest such as payroll, new protocols or personal information that the company has.
Small details are added in key sites, which solve possible needs in those specific screens.
In Personal Data, for example, we find a button that allows users to notify of a mismatching or changed data, so if the user detects an anomaly, he/she/they can report it directly and will not have to look for where and how to report it.
There is an in-app notification screen that acts as a warning and shortcut to the most recent and important processes or informations, such as payroll, shift change requests or new important documents.
It is extremely important for employees to be able to control how their work impacts on their free time.
For this reason, they would accept to receive push notifications from the corporate app, as long as they can control in which cases they will receive them. The app gives them the ability to configure their preferences in detail.
LISTENING TO OUR USERS ON A CONTINUOUS BASIS
User tests were carried out during the construction of the product, with the intention of optimizing processes and making them as clear and efficient as possible.
The tests served to confirm certain locations for some functionalities, such as the job offers list. On the other hand, they helped me identify screens and processes that could improve their level of scannability and usability.
This screen during the swapping shift request, where users can choose which shift they would like to work, was one of the most problematic with a 58% of misclick and only 83% of success in completing the task.
The screen was rethought and I added more information, such as the number of each day during the week. The starting and ending hours were joined together so it was easier to scan the morning and afternoon shift. The rectangles, buttons and touch points were widened.
In addition, I designed two different options that were put to test with new users:
The first one was very similar to the original but included an informative pop-up that appeared when entering the problematic screen, like a little onboarding on how the screen works.
- 3,5% misclick
- 33,2% average time
The second changes in shape to a lighter interface with a color code that plays with the blank as selectable items. It also adds the check and cross icons for better understanding.
+ 10,3% misclick
- 22,8% average time
The first version was clearer to users, who considered the boxes more clickable than the simpler calendar.
With the added help of instructions, everyone was able to complete the task.
But at the same time I had also transferred these changes to the screen that the person receiving the request interacts with. The test included questions about the user's perception of the difficulty in understanding the content and also verification questions to check that they were indeed understanding it correctly.
3,8 / 5
User's perception of screen understanding
(according to the verification questions)
4,2 / 5
Contrary to the above case, the presence of the check and cross icons provides a total level of understanding, while their absence generates a great amount of confusion.
In the end, each part of the user test allowed me to get a complete picture from the specific parts that work and those that do not. I was able to find the strengths and pain points in each proposal to end up with a strong final design that users understand and use intuitively. In this specific case, this balance involved maintaining the box structure and adding the check/cross icons throughout the process.
1. Only share relevant content to your audience
All of our users were very firm and vocal in expressing what kind of information they are interested in and what they are not interested in. Receiving news that are perceived as corporate advertising or propaganda would only cause the opposite effect to what companies seek with this tool.
In this project our users are in the specific context of work, but the learning can be extended to any type of project: people want to receive sincere and truthful information.
2. Give power to the users
A company's team will agree to download a corporate app to a personal device only if they get value in return. When we talked to them, they made it clear: the value is not in receiving constant information from the company, but in deciding what information to receive and also in being able to initiate some processes of the user's interest.
3. Be as close and specific as possible
Through the testing we have been able to observe the importance of well-provided information. It has been shown that the more information and guidance our users receive, the better the outcome. Particularly if these instructions and references are in a friendly and helpful manner.