Designing Employee
Self Service

Responsible for combining all the employee-related portals to create a universal portal which serves all the employee needs in the organization.

client: reliance industries

The challenge

• Create a universal portal which serves all the employee needs and employer and employee communications.

• Translating the Web interface to the mobile interface with intuitive user-centred design.

• Create an inhouse solution for project management software to manage tasks, projects, and scrum teams.

The Result

• Quick employee-employer( Manager, HR, IT etc.) communication by removing unnecessary steps.

• Freeing employee support channels from over tanking by assigning issues to the right department.

• An inhouse project management tool for scrum teams to share and collaborate with all the stakeholders.

The monsoons came which brought Traffic jams, mini floods, potholes, jam-packed S-Bans and all the chaos imaginable.

- My colleagues

"God, I have to fill my timesheets".
"I applied for leave and my manager is not replying to my emails".
"The HR portal is always down, I have to claim my travel expenses".

This is usually how we start our conversations. It's pretty common that we hear complaints like these from people, casually chatting in break rooms or Lunch halls. The communication between the departments is a mess. We do have a lot of stress on our communications channels, as in:

- The Corporate

"Employee support is tanking with support calls every day."
"We built great tools for our employees to make things easy for them but nobody is using them. We don't know why! "
"We are aware that a lot of resources are wasted because of slow management, approvals, HR communications and inter-department communications. We want to solve that. "

We invested a lot on our Employee Self Service portals but nobody uses them. We have a streamlined process for everything in this office. We created many channels of communication so that no request is mismanaged. But some channels are getting more heat than the others. We seriously need to fix that.

I began to see the correlation here. I gathered my team and went around our campus and began to ask questions. Pain points! The aim was to cover all the departments. Every department was responsible for its own communications and they all created their independent channels, a smart idea at the beginning of ’90s and 2000s because not every department is on the same level but now it is a communication nightmare.

We wanted personas whom we can relate with. It wasn't easy to bring all the business leaders to agree with the set personas. Everyone had their own interpretations and it was getting complicated to nail the perfect ones!

So, I decided to take a scientific approach. It's a good thing that we collected a lot of data while interviewing for pain points. We upped it a notch and gather analytics on complete employee profiles. It wasn't difficult because the businesses already take a census of their employees all the time, if not they should do that!

We quickly combined the data into clusters based on age, level and location and came up with a couple of dozen personas and further refined them into 3-5 good personas. This helped me to convince the business leaders to trust my decisions and authenticity.

Looking at the wall made everyone uncomfortable and exciting at the same time! Nobody realized the fact that there are so many difficulties an average user has to go through while using the portals.

- Managers

“We are proud of the chatbot feature. It's modern and everyone in the industry is using it. It's so elegant!" - Business Leader X

- Response

"I hate the chatbot, It's useless".
"It's easy to call ESS instead of typing and hoping the bot takes me where I want, which never happened by the way".

The highly organized filing and logging system have made it difficult for users to navigate between multiple pages.

- Employee

" I have to go into another folder after a folder to find a document and sometimes even 4 folders to find that ONE document I need. And it's a nightmare if I have to collect different departmental documents at once."

Business Facing the problems that they never know existed!

- Employee

"I am a project coordinator. The clients sit in Mumbai. They have their design and development team in Navi Mumbai and they are easily approachable and keep tabs on projects. We have a portal for that and everyone wants things to be done fast. But the clients hire some advertisement agency from New York and they have their own project coordinator and their own communication channels. When a designer needs some resources of the agency or when the agency needs some changes in the branding of the website, the amount of stress that I have to go through to communicate a simple request because of the time difference and multiple communication channels is unimaginable!"

The wall gave the business a sense of direction. At this point in time, so many ideas are coming up from everywhere.

Time to IDEATE!
I gathered a group of 8 people from different backgrounds and planned the very first IDEAtion workshop. I booked a conference hall which has a refreshing environment, Stickers, Markers, Templates and all the fancy stuff. After a small ice-breaking exercise for Pictionary, I began my prompts...

- Scrum Tream

"How might we make a platform fun for our employees, i.e. Better than Facebook?"
"How might we make filling Time Sheets, the most exciting part of leaving the office before the weekend?"
"How might we entirely remove the waiting time for approvals?"
"How might we make leverage people using communication channels collaborate more?"

55 mins - for Ideas
35 min - low res prototypes and discussion
30 min - Discuss and plan next steps.
The main goal is to generate as many ideas as we can and pen them down. Engagement with each other and building on each other’s ideas, I wanted to encourage collective thinking which generates great ideas!

In the end, everyone had 3 votes to choose the best Idea/Prototype which has potential and we narrowed our focus MVPs.
We decided that the project should be divided into two teams:
• Team Stone Egeal - Web version
• Team Velvet Thunder - Mobile version.
------ I am team Velvet Thunder! ( Caption Holt)

Scrum with UX is an effective strategy to create meaningful User-Centered Designs. We broke our projects to manageable chunks which consisted of 2-week design sprints. At each sprint, we build on existing MVP followed by having Users Feedback.

There are multiple aspects while testing your MVPs with the users, such as the prototype, Context and Setting, being a good facilitator during the user testing and finally how we document the feedback.

I often prefer the users to explore and experience the MVPs by minimum context, just enough so they understand what to do. I always encourage them to communicate their thoughts speaking loud while they interact and note them as Quotes. Active observation gives me a glimpse of their behaviour i.e. The features which they are using differently than I intended them to use. Finally, I ask for qualitative feedback with questions like “Can you tell me more about how this made you feel?”.

Wanna Talk?

Lutalica Studios
+49 1521 3047957