A responsive dashboard redesign for HR professionals to create, manage and analyze events to improve employee engagement and company social impact
Organizations currently invest approximately $720 million annually in improving employee engagement through programs and initiatives, and that’s projected to rise to over $1.5 billion according to a study conducted by Bersin & Associates.Despite these startling figures, millennials, the largest generation in the current workforce, are still switching jobs more often than ever, calling for culture/ value-driven companies. What makes a great corporate culture? How to engage and retain this modern workforce?
I was part of a project to redesign the Epoch HR dashboard to organize events for employees to achieve greater engagement.
Epoch is a centralized platform for employee event management. It partners with community organizations, curates relevant opportunities to employees, and handles logistics end-to-end to put together events for the workplace and build a stronger community presence for companies by connecting employees to volunteer programs.
Currently, the process to plan, track, and obtain feedback for corporate events is very manual and time consuming for HR teams. Even after the event has taken place, it’s difficult to perform meaningful analysis or report on employee feedback. Also, non-profit volunteer programs and community presence play more important roles than ever to show corporate social responsibility.
Quick Peek to the Solution
Our approach was to design a platform that streamlines the entire event planning process, from beginning to end. HR teams will use only one single tool to send communication, track attendance, and perform analysis for all events - including social impact programs.
Consolidation: Centralize all tools and functionalities required for event planning into one integrated platform;
Corporate Pulse: HR can evaluate employee engagement through reports and track performance against corporate goal;
Non-Profit Partners: HR can create a database of nonprofit partners to build relationships and organize volunteer events.
Build the context with iterations
Learning from Industry Professionals
The information we sought was largely qualitative in nature, so we wanted to interview HR professionals in the industry to learn what event planning process looked like at their companies.
Even though we were building a dashboard for HR, it was important that we captured the perspective of all stakeholders - employees and non-profits included.
Our main objectives during the research phase were to understand:
The current process for organizing corporate events
Metrics used to measure engagement and retention
The role and importance of social responsibility
We conducted 7 phone interviews with HR. They were event coordinators or planners, community engagement manager, and talent recruiters.
Understanding the Market
Epoch is an integrated platform that has both event planning and engagement reporting capabilities so we broke down our comparative analysis as such.
In terms of engagement software, Epoch's current features are mostly in line with its competitors. However, it has very basic reporting and event planning capabilities which doesn't provide any competitive advantage. Epoch is fully integrated with Slack, but would provide greater flexibility if clients had the choice of other corporate communication software as well.
In terms of event planning, Epoch's current web-app has very limited functionality for creating events. Thus, we studied some successful players in the market like Eventbrite and Meetup.
Some features that contribute to a seamless user experience include pre-defined automatic reminders, customized messaging to attendees and exportable feedback and reports into Excel. We incorporated these features in our designs.
Meeting the Epoch Users
Equipped with an understanding of current industry trends and the target market's goals via the affinity diagram, our three user personas came to life. While the main users of Epoch are HR professionals, Innovative Ian and Proactive Pam, it was worthwhile to take consideration of the employees' perspectives. We also added the employees' goals represented in our secondary persona, Rational Rachel.
We also created a user journey for Ian that visualized how he'd interact with an HR event planning platform. Ian's user journey map allowed us to get a better understanding of the product from Ian's point of view, fostering a more user-centred approach towards our design.
From these personas and our research, we determined some of the most important features our dashboard would have to meet the needs and wants to Ian and Pam:
Overview of Employee Event Engagement and Volunteer Programs: This would give Ian a big picture of the general performance of employee events, and allow Pam to get high-level information about employee engagement and local non-profit organizations.
An Event Library in Both List View and Calendar View by Current, Upcoming, and Past and by Causes: Ian would really like this feature to as it would make event organizing and tracking way easier.
Thorough Event Details and an Easy but Integrated Create-An-Event Process: Features such as automatic reminders and customized messaging to attendees would help Ian to streamline the entire process, automate and increase the efficiency of his work.
An Organization Database: This would address Pam's need to better understand local nonprofit partners to build relationships and organize volunteer events.
Exportable Reports & Analytics: By providing exportable in-depth info-graphics and spreadsheets, Ian would be able to see the goals set and how they are doing while trying to achieve those. This would also assist Pam in her work of corporate-level social responsibilities.
Low to Mid-fidelity Wireframe
We started with some low fidelity sketches. We went through the current Epoch web-app to understand current functionality and began coming up with ideas on how it could work better for our power users, Ian and Pam. When we solidified the main ideas, we then moved on to create our mid-fidelity wireframes in Figma.
After gaining a solid understanding of the goals and pain points of users, we moved on to the fun part and start designing away.
Conveying an informative, engaging, and welcoming tone, the UI designer in our team created a style guide that showcases the colours, fonts, icons, buttons, and sample navigation and text fields based on her visual direction discussion with our client.
Validating the Design
Before testing our prototype with the target market, we defined our core testing objectives:
Users find the process to create and track events efficiently.
Users are informed and have a high-level overview of employee engagement and the success of events/programs.
Users can collect and analyze feedback from employees.
We tested the prototype with 5 participants. Overall, users found the platform quite intuitive to navigate and meet their basic requirements. However, we did discover two major issues that would hinder the success of our product. We went through three iterations as a result of testing.
Change 1: Performance Metrics on Main Dashboard
Change 2: Create an Event
After incorporating the user testing feedback, the mid-fidelity wireframes were polished into high-fidelity wireframes. Besides the main dashboard, we spent much time working on the process of "Create An Event". Creating an event is designed to be more front-end loaded, so there is less action required from HR during and after an event takes place. To watch the complete web app prototype, click on Epoch Web Link.
HR professionals are mainly content consumers when using a mobile device. They would log in to the Epoch mobile app to refer to key metrics for meetings and discussions.
Users would also track the number of confirmations for upcoming events to book venues, organize transportation, and follow up with employees. The main dashboard becomes a stacked format. The Overview and Upcoming Events allow for horizontal scrolling so users can see more stats and events. The Events section largely looks the same, except the event detail tiles are more condensed. There is also the option to view "Events" in the calendar or list view. To watch the complete mobile responsive app prototype, click on Epoch Mobile Link.
We designed a fully integrated dashboard that provides both an overview and some in-depth analysis of employee engagement and event tracking to tackle the main challenge of this project: to streamline the event management process for HR professionals. Our designs were responsive and adapted to desktop and mobile which is the primary device used by HR professionals. Our client was very satisfied with the final product.
Given it was a 3-week sprint, we focused on designing only the core functionality of the platform. Some future considerations we provided to our client included:
Targeted Invitations: Ability to make events private or public, and be able to invite specific departments or interested groups;
Tailored Emails: Ability to customize email messages to first-time volunteers, employees who attended, and employees who didn't end up attending;
Customized Feedback: Create customized feedback questions for different types of events that directly tie to engagement metrics;
Employee Dashboard: Update the employee dashboard to reflect the new features and functionality of the HR dashboard for an overall cohesiveness.