web APP DESIGN
Trainee is a Saas application that focuses on increasing engagement in new employees during the onboarding process through an unlimited access to a personalized training platform. Giving them the freedom to improve their skills from anywhere they want, at any time they feel like.
As a solo UX/UI designer, I was tasked to create a software as a service (SaaS) desktop web app for companies to use internally for their onboarding process.
My job was to conduct a research and to develop an MVP based upon my findings.
A need to step up from the conventional classroom-based training and embrace online onboarding.
According to the Society for Human Resources Development (SHRM), employee onboarding (also known as organizational socialization) is the “process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization".
While numerous companies are implementing an onboarding process, many are failing in satisfying the employees’ needs and desires.
According to the SHRM, as much as 25 percent of employee turnover occurs in the first 180 days of employment, other studies have shown 20 percent turnover in the first 90 days, which can be a lot of time and money spent on the newest hires (and potentially their replacements). It also leaves a lot of unanswered questions but namely one: They just accepted the job, probably with some degree of excitement and gratitude. So why does a new hire quit?
Let's try to find out.
In order to understand the needs and narrow down an opportunity for improvement, initial interviews were conducted with new hires and HRs on charge of the onboarding process.
INITIAL INTERVIEWS · Opened Questions
Tell me about the onboarding process?
Collected general information
Identified patterns: Lack of training.
Gathered specific information
Identified opportunities to improve
FINAL INTERVIEWS · Training Practices
Companies rush the new hires' onboarding process to put them to work as soon as possible. Most of the times, spending an average of only one week for the adaptation.
Most of the interviewed got trained by a colleague. Not all those colleagues were willing or interested on teaching the new hires.
90% of interviewees had either non-existent or ineffective training during the onboarding process. The other 10% had a 6 months ongoing training process resulting in a successful experience.
During the user research process, I built empathy with our target users and identified exactly what they need from the product I'm designing. For a better understanding I created a user persona for the new hire and the manager.
Junior Web Developer.
Career switch. She was accountant manager but she decided to go tech.
She is super correct and organized. On Saturday afternoons she likes to go out with her girlfriends to catch up. She always has a sparkling water.
GOALS: She wants to get experience in the sector and hopefully in a near future work remotely to get out of this routine she has been in for the last 15years.
FRUSTRATIONS: Because of the recent career switch she still feels a bit insecure and overwhelmed with all the new content and tools she is currently dealing with.
JESSICA KLEIN - NYC - 36 years old
Working for a Tech company in Barcelona. She has been in the tech industry for more than 8 years.
She is temperamental, she takes no bullshit and has no patience.
GOAL: She would like to be able to delegate more, distribute the responsibilities better so she could focus on leading the team.
FRUSTRATIONS: She gets bothered by employees' repetitive questions about what/how/when.
SUSAN ADAMS - LONDON - 39 years old
New employees need effective standardized training so that they are well prepared and self-sufficient faster.
IDEATING SOLUTIONS USING CORE INSIGHTS
On the interviews, employees talked about their experiences and mentioned the difficulties they had to face during the training process of their new role in a new company. According to them, the following 4 points are the main ones.
Too short in time
Be flexible, but have limits
It’s important to provide flexibility in the approach to training and development. However, the company need time limits within which a given training target has to be met, and these completion times should be agreed with employees.
Technical Skills Development
No matter what technical level new employees are at, there's always some room for improvement. Technical skills training is an essential process every business needs to put their employees through, simply, because employees will know how to do their job right.
The training can either be included in employees' onboarding training or anytime an existing employee would like to expand their skillset.
One-size-fits-all doesn’t suit everybody!
One of the biggest mistakes in training and development plans is the tendency to impose the exact same program on everybody. It’s demotivating and can lead to employee disengagement.
Identify employee needs
It’s absolutely vital that to target the exact area each employee needs training on. Clearly, someone who works in the sales department will require different tools in their skill set compared to someone else in engineering. After all, when else can staff training and development be more effective if not when it’s targeted?
Choosing the right features to build means prioritizing from the list of good ideas for what’s most important, realistic, and urgent now. To be successful, the right features for our company’s strategy and goals should be the following:
1. Onboarding Training recall. To offer an unlimited access to all the information received during the onboarding process, such as company rules, processes, procedures and expectations.
2. Related courses. Technical skills mainly include on-the-job tasks like data analysis, coding, writing, programming, etc. New employees will have a maximum of 70 days to complete them.
3. Course Catalog. There's always some room for developing new skills. This section will offer courses from different departments to give the employees a chance for improvement or personal challenges. It will be locked until the mandatory courses are all completed.
4. Progress Tracking. Training tracking reports are a key feature of the employee development program. It's a way of keeping the employee motivated and the company informed about the progress.
Products that start with a conceptual model have bigger chances of remaining consistent as they evolve and as new features are added. Creative concepts act as a north star to align everyone in the team in regards to how the product should evolve.
The new product focuses in making the user feel: Optimism, Growth and Cheerful while using the e-learning SaaS application.
IDEATING AND ITERATING
After 12 user testings, we moved on through different variations and iterations, shaping a final design to High Fidelity prototype. The main iterations were:
BRING THE USERS CLOSER TO WHAT THEY CAME FOR
1. Features moved to the next product release to focus and work on a consistent MVP first.
2. Wording issues. Users didn't know what to expect when tapping on 'recall'.
3. Informational dashboard turned into a more functional one to bring users closer to what they came to accomplish.
INFORM AND FACILITATE NAVIGATION
1. Trainee's logo to facilitate the user to go back to the dashboard.
2. Link to bring back to the users to the mandatory courses.
3. Informational dropdown to inform users where are they in the course.
You don’t want to find out your foundation isn't strong after investing a ton of time and resources. For this reason, a first MVP would be launched to have the chance to make the product strong and consistent based on the users' feedback. Over time, new features will be added to enhance the product's value.