Interaction Design . Information Architecture
After our briefing with our client, we discussed as a group what we had taken from the meeting. We unanimously agreed that in order for us to come up with a design that meets the user's needs, we would have to start from scratch. The original design would still be ineffective from a functional standpoint, if we tried to preserve the basic layout. As we continued to talk about how to best approach this project, we knew that we did not have enough time to try and tackle every page laid out in the navigation bar so we decided to narrow our focus on 3 things: the dashboard, time clock, and projects/task page. If we had time we might include creating a schedule calendar for employees.
Our Process Overview
- Competitive analysis
- Usability testing
- Design studio & Mood board
- Wireframes & Iterations
- Site maps
- Visual Design
- Our design contained unique features differing from other similar products
- Scheduling design layout is comparable to Kronos Workforce, Snap Scheduling, and Shiftboard.
- Task management features comparable to Kronos, Workforce Task Management, Asana, and Trello
- Newer features such as communication portals, deadline warnings, progress tracker, prioritizing and task recurrences were added.
Since the old software was already being tested with current users at Life Float, we decided to follow up with them to see what additional information we could gather based off their current experiences with it. We also found new users to test who had no prior experience using the software.
We found that there was a significant difference between first-time users and those who were already using it. As expected, experienced users had less complaints, most likely because they already had time to adjust to the learning curve. There were many pain points participants had from using the original software. The interaction design most prominently focused on rectifying the most significant pain points based off of the user research.
1st & 2nd Persona Influenced Architecture
Since the manager is in-charge of task creation, tracking progress of employees, and making sure deadlines are met, they will require some features within the navigation menu that are different from the employees.
The employees main responsibilities are to clock in and out on time, making sure to mark off tasks as they go, and engage in any necessary communication between coworkers. They have less setting options and less options in the navigation menu.
Left Photo: Since managers are responsibility for assigning tasks and managing progress, they have a special "manage" settings that employees don't.
Right Photo: Employees can tap the check icon as they complete each task and make comments within the team is feed on the right column.
Left Photo: When no tasks have been created, managers can click the plus sign next to the word "Create New" to begin making a new project column.
Right Photo: A new task can be created by clicking the plus sign at the bottom of the project column. The plus sign to the right starts a new project.
Left Photo: Managers can assign duties on certain days of the week, month, or year, and set them to recur. Comments can also be made about the task.
Right Photo: When an employee clicks on a task, he can gather more information about it as well as return feedback.
A total of 15 users were recruited for prototype usability testing. The selection for the criteria included those who has current, prior employee or employee or task management experience. The participants were tested on the amount of time spent on tasks, task completion rates, ease of use, system usability scale, and heuristic adherence.
Changes in the design continued as the production of the mockups began to take place. One of the most significant changes in this stage was relocating the team news feed and placing it along side the task column. This change added to the aesthetics and saved additional real estate on the screen. Another change we made was removing the settings icon from the left navigation and moving it to the top right corner of the screen. We decided to make this change because it has become the customary location in most designs causing users to reflexively look in that direction when searching for settings.
- Create mobile version of the app to provide convenience of use as well as keep of with industry standards
- Continue to develop the calendar shift page which was one of the big concerns our stakeholder had
- Begin working on the settings, resources, and inbox feature
What I learned
- Balancing what the stakeholder's wants vs what is in the best interest of the user can be tricky balance and requires careful planning between the UX team and the stakeholder.
- New entrepreneurs may try to switch plans multiple times after the briefing. It's important for both parties to stick to the plan and know what can be done within a limited time frame.
- Assisting other teammates when deadline is nearing can be very beneficial and help speed the process.