Human Resource Help
My Roles: Lead UX Researcher and Designer
Skills Applied: Interaction Design, UI Design, Visual Design, Rapid Prototyping, Competitive Analysis, Usability Testing, Cognitive Walkthroughs, Information Architecture
The Get HR Help Project vision was to create a central entry for point for US-based employees and reduce volume to provide relief for the contact center. The project involved a multidisciplinary team of HR and IT professionals working together to implement a streamlined, clear, and consistent customized entry point, while integrating vendor-based conversational AI (artificial intelligence) virtual agent capability.
Central, Connected Get HR Help Experiences
A cross-multidisciplinary team of human resource and information technology professionals worked iteratively in an agile environment to create an updated and central entry point for employees seeking HR related resources and help. Previously several HR help channels had been in place depending on the type of content needed and the geo-location of the employee, leading to disconnected experiences.
Additionally, the team was tasked with implementing an updated conversational, virtual agent AI capability for common HR-related questions as a potential cost-savings to more high-touch resource channels (phone, live chat assistance) and to provide relief for an over-burdened HR contact center. I served on the team as the lead UX researcher and designer.
An Iterative and Incremental Process
The multidisciplinary team worked in an agile fashion, enabling quick design increments based on iterative user feedback. As the research and design lead, I initially met with the product owner and implementation team to better understand the projects’ visions and goals, and capture any as-is user feedback and metrics they had to-date. Afterwards, I conducted a competitive analysis to review similar designs / processes of other help related service offerings. I used the analysis for inspirational ideas as I began to rapidly prototype several different help page designs, taking into consideration the as-is capability with the to-be vision.
Involve the Team in the Design
Prior to setting up cognitive walkthroughs with users, I met with key members of the cross-disciplinary team to vet the designs for feasibility given technology constraints of the vendor-based platform the solution would be built on. While I designed the script and protocol for the user feedback sessions, I coached a few colleagues to actually perform the cognitive walkthroughs so they could gain experience / live mentoring and I could focus more on rapid design iterations based on the feedback we were receiving.
Bring it All Together
All together we had enough time and resources to conduct three feedback/ design iterations with employee users across the globe and in various business units. The team marketing and communications lead additionally consulted with me for input regarding the awareness campaign strategy for the new capability to ensure proper change management BKMS were put into place. My final deliverable to the team was a formal report-out of the finalized research findings, screen design prototype and additional recommendations, which were well received and implemented by the product team.
Opportunities and Improvement Areas
Improved Design, Improved Experiences
The team worked collaboratively together through many challenges throughout the project. Employees had previously been going to a variety of channels to obtain help support (search, phone, chat, e-tickets, as-is virtual assistant) with varied degrees of satisfaction and success. The transition to a centralized entry point would only successful as long as it enabled employees to more clearly and easily seek help more successfully than any one of the alternatively supported help mechanisms. Additionally, the design was limited to one page within a larger enterprise intranet environment that was built on a vendor-based platform with certain technology and design constraints. The single-page integrated a lot of capability within a small space including common questions, partner contact information, and virtual agent functionality. Additionally the design required prominence of the virtual agent capability as its usage was vital to the projects success. The design needed to be streamlined, clear and consistent.
Market New Capabilities
Perhaps the biggest challenge of all was overcoming the reputation of the previously implemented virtual agent functionality, which was known for providing inadequate and incongruent responses. The marketing and awareness campaign strove to highlight the reliability and accuracy of the new conversational artificial intelligence capability, while reassuring employees that they could still contact live support as needed for more high touch response (e.g., confidential or immediate assistance required).
Clear and Easy HR Help Support
The project surpassed it’s goals and call center volume immediately decreased by 15% upon implementation of the new and improved central entry point. The reduce volume provided much needed relief for HR contact center staff while also decreasing virtual agent usage costs by 80%. More important the new design and capability enable employees to more clearly and easily find help for their HR-related needs
Design for Impact
All participants mentioned that the implemented design was much better than the as-is noting that it was “friendly”, “simple”, and “all-on-one-page.” Employees additionally recognized the emphasis of the new virtual agent capability usage via the enhanced page design. The design “certainly promotes automated help versus other means. It make me more willing to try that because it is put front and center.”