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Designing a Mobile Attendance System for Better HR Management

Designing a Mobile Attendance System for Better HR Management

While most industries have similar needs and pain points relating to HR management, there are a few that have unique challenges that are underserved within the HRMS space. Let's take a look at how we discovered and addressed the challenge of managing unforeseen schedule changes and manpower allocation by designing a mobile attendance system. 

While most industries have similar needs and pain points relating to HR management, there are a few that have unique challenges that are underserved within the HRMS space. Let's take a look at how we discovered and addressed the challenge of managing unforeseen schedule changes and manpower allocation by designing a mobile attendance system. 

by Risiandi Jiang – UX / UI / Product Designer / User Researcher
by Risiandi Jiang – UX / UI / Product Designer / User Researcher

The Background

The Background

ZipHR is a 0-1 tech startup focused on addressing the gaps within the human resource industry by developing a suite of digital HRMS-as-a-service that works seamlessly across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.

The startup's first target market was Indonesia, a Southeast Asian country with the largest economy in the region. We discovered some underserved use cases during our exploratory research relating to attendance and resource allocation. Particularly among retail and security companies where their employees work in shifts and need to be assigned to different locations on the same day.

ZipHR is a 0-1 tech startup focused on addressing the gaps within the human resource industry by developing a suite of digital HRMS-as-a-service that works seamlessly across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.

The startup's first target market was Indonesia, a Southeast Asian country with the largest economy in the region. We discovered some underserved use cases during our exploratory research relating to attendance and resource allocation. Particularly among retail and security companies where their employees work in shifts and need to be assigned to different locations on the same day.

ZipHRSurveyResults

So What's the Problem, Specifically?

So What's the Problem, Specifically?

During our exploratory research with 10 participants who are either HR executives or team managers in the retail, logistics, and security industry, we learned that some of their biggest challenges happen when there are unforeseen changes to the staff schedules. This typically occurs due to a shortage of manpower for various reasons, from a staff reporting sick to being trapped in a traffic jam, or even natural disasters like flooding, which happens quite frequently, especially in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city.

While adjusting the work rosters can happen easily for those who are stationed in an office with access to a PC, informing their staff and getting a replacement is time-consuming. This is especially true when the staff is unavailable and the manager has to get on a call with the next person down the list.

To exacerbate the matter, we also learned that attendance is poorly recorded, due to various factors such as the attendance system being out of service, employees forgetting their ID cards, and more.

During our exploratory research with 10 participants who are either HR executives or team managers in the retail, logistics, and security industry, we learned that some of their biggest challenges happen when there are unforeseen changes to the staff schedules. This typically occurs due to a shortage of manpower for various reasons, from a staff reporting sick to being trapped in a traffic jam, or even natural disasters like flooding, which happens quite frequently, especially in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city.

While adjusting the work rosters can happen easily for those who are stationed in an office with access to a PC, informing their staff and getting a replacement is time-consuming. This is especially true when the staff is unavailable and the manager has to get on a call with the next person down the list.

To exacerbate the matter, we also learned that attendance is poorly recorded, due to various factors such as the attendance system being out of service, employees forgetting their ID cards, and more.

The Challenge

The Challenge

How might we...

How might we...

help companies manage their employees' work schedules and track their attendance?

help companies manage their employees' work schedules and track their attendance?

Ideation Through Co-creation

Ideation Through Co-creation

While thinking through the challenge, we arrived at the idea of building an attendance module into our mobile app as an extension of the Calendar module which is used by HR executives and team managers to plan and schedule their staff rosters.

While thinking through the challenge, we arrived at the idea of building an attendance module into our mobile app as an extension of the Calendar module which is used by HR executives and team managers to plan and schedule their staff rosters.

To further explore this idea, we conducted two whiteboarding co-creation workshops with 5 participants in each session. These HR practitioners who participated in the workshops shared their insights and challenges they experienced while scheduling rosters. During the session, we asked the participants to imagine how their task could be simplified by a mobile app and to illustrate the process on the whiteboard. Surprisingly, the two workshop participants arrived at a similar process.

To further explore this idea, we conducted two whiteboarding co-creation workshops with 5 participants in each session. These HR practitioners who participated in the workshops shared their insights and challenges they experienced while scheduling rosters. During the session, we asked the participants to imagine how their task could be simplified by a mobile app and to illustrate the process on the whiteboard. Surprisingly, the two workshop participants arrived at a similar process.

ZipHRHowItWorks

Having the attendance module in our mobile app would effectively address the time-consuming communication gap between HR practitioners and their staff when adjusting rosters removing the need to manually contact the staff one at a time.

Having the attendance module in our mobile app would effectively address the time-consuming communication gap between HR practitioners and their staff when adjusting rosters removing the need to manually contact the staff one at a time.

Designing The User Flows

Designing The User Flows

ZipHRUserTaskFlows

Wireframing the Content Structure

Wireframing the Content Structure

ZipHrLoFiWireframes

Creating a Consistent Design Language

Creating a Consistent Design Language

ZipHRUnifiedDesignLanguage1

The UI design stage was a smooth process because we invested time at the beginning of the project to develop a design system for the web app which was then, extended into one for the mobile app. This workflow enables us to make rapid iterations with visual consistency across the web and mobile app whenever required. Feel free to play around with the Hi-Fi mobile prototype, do note that the prototype is built for the attendance module and therefore, some of the other products and features will not be functional.

The UI design stage was a smooth process because we invested time at the beginning of the project to develop a design system for the web app which was then, extended into one for the mobile app. This workflow enables us to make rapid iterations with visual consistency across the web and mobile app whenever required. Feel free to play around with the Hi-Fi mobile prototype, do note that the prototype is built for the attendance module and therefore, some of the other products and features will not be functional.

Measuring Design Effectiveness With UX Metrics

Measuring Design Effectiveness With UX Metrics

As soon as the mobile prototype was done, we began testing it with 10 participants to evaluate the design solution and capture insights that might help us improve it. As with any other research exercise, we screen the participants based on the industry and the relevancy of their daily tasks. We separated the participants into two segments. The first group is made up of 5 HR practitioners, and the second group is made up of a mix of retail staff, logistics drivers, and security guards.

As soon as the mobile prototype was done, we began testing it with 10 participants to evaluate the design solution and capture insights that might help us improve it. As with any other research exercise, we screen the participants based on the industry and the relevancy of their daily tasks. We separated the participants into two segments. The first group is made up of 5 HR practitioners, and the second group is made up of a mix of retail staff, logistics drivers, and security guards.

ZipHRUXMetrics

My Personal Learnings

My Personal Learnings

1. As this was the first time I facilitated a co-creation workshop, I learned that it's important to be observant of body language and ensure everyone is engaged in the discussion.

2. When designing flows based on either user stories or JTBDs, always be prepared for the unhappy flow, not just the happy flow. Always ensure that the users have a way out back to safety.

3. When designing tasks for User Testing, create separate tasks with relevant prototypes when necessary especially when the tasks produce different outcomes.

4. Rapid prototyping and rapid testing with actual users are always better than spending hours debating which ideas work or don't work.

5. Working closely with frontend engineers very early during the ideation stage, helps me understand the feasibility of certain design ideas and allows me to quickly make changes to the design thus ensuring a smoother handover stage. 

6. To be a better designer and problem solver, it is also important to have some ideas of how the backend works, especially in a complex system like HRMS where data from different APIs are called. Whenever in doubt, always ask, no shame, only learnings.

1. As this was the first time I facilitated a co-creation workshop, I learned that it's important to be observant of body language and ensure everyone is engaged in the discussion.

2. When designing flows based on either user stories or JTBDs, always be prepared for the unhappy flow, not just the happy flow. Always ensure that the users have a way out back to safety.

3. When designing tasks for User Testing, create separate tasks with relevant prototypes when necessary especially when the tasks produce different outcomes.

4. Rapid prototyping and rapid testing with actual users are always better than spending hours debating which ideas work or don't work.

5. Working closely with frontend engineers very early during the ideation stage, helps me understand the feasibility of certain design ideas and allows me to quickly make changes to the design thus ensuring a smoother handover stage. 

6. To be a better designer and problem solver, it is also important to have some ideas of how the backend works, especially in a complex system like HRMS where data from different APIs are called. Whenever in doubt, always ask, no shame, only learnings.