Redesign the events section of the NYC Parks department website that has an emphasis on the mobile experience
Project Type: Concept
Duration: July 2021 – Present
My role: UX Designer & UI Designer
Tools: Conducted interviews, competitor analysis, research, insights, interviews, prototype, test
Purpose: Learning UX methodologies
The culture within the company wasn't clearly reflected when new employees were onboarded. The employee needed to be at the center of this experience to create a sense of belonging within the company. Creating the seamless onboarding experience would also attract more talent and shape teams that create value.
Research current industry trends for employee retention, best onboarding practices, and better online collaboration. There was also a need to understand the different needs of the new employees that join the company by conducting interviews and a need to implement quickly. The approach was to ideate a prototype, test, and iterate.
A set of guidelines and an onboarding process for the HR team to welcome a new team member with templates, activities for engagement, and presentation that reflects the personality of the company brand.
The new employees felt more welcome, had the chance to experience the culture of the company, and had the ability to feel like they were part of the team. We were able to increase the team from 14 employees to 50 employees with the continuous improvement of the onboarding process.
01 The Challenge
Employees spend most of their lives working in an environment that feels disconnected from their team members especially during a pandemic era. All the team members were distrubuted and were having zoom fatigue. To increase employee retention and have a sense of belonging, the companies had to spend time doing research on the employee experience. If employees don't understand teh culture, they will either quit or be less engaged with their work. travelling
02 The Approach
There was initial desk research that needed to conducted in order to understand the best onboarding practices in the industry during the pandemic era. How were the remaining big companies approaching the problem of disconnecting and ensuring various ways for employees to get engaged. We had to also gain insights into the pain points for team leads, management teams, and the team members collaborating with the new members as quickly as possible. There were various scheduled facilitation workshops to understand the current pain points and iterate on prototypes and test with the new hires in a fast way.
Make the vision and the strategy of the company very clear
Provide content on what makes Wow Labz culture amazing
Identify the team and showcase a fun fact about them
Outline training plan for 30 - 60 - 90 days
Understand the new employee and create a safe environment for them to collaborate
This helped me reframe the problem statement to include a safe remote environment for them to collaborate. How might we make an employee onboarding experience pleasant for the new employees where they feel welcomed and safe in a remote environment?
Ideation, prototype, and test
There were constraints in regards to teams being across the country and budget constraints. I mapped out a user journey to highlight key touchpoints of a newly onboarded employee that will highlight the pain points and identify the opportunities. I created a prototype of a presentation that would be presented to the employee that highlighted all the information they would require with an activity towards the end of the presentation. It was time to test out the prototype with the new employees. There were multiple responses on the need to make it more interactive visually and the lack of story telling for the company and the team leads weren't very clear on their responsibilities.
Back to the drawing board and another ideation session that came with the Prototype 2. This round contained a checklist that would be available for the employee as they went through the onboarding process along with a revamped presentation to tell the story. There would also be an engagement activitiy with the team members and ice breaker activities during the onboarding process.
There was a need to review the style and design aspects of the experience. With the new activities and involvement for the new employee, the onboarding time had increased to 1 hour. However, the highlight was that the team leads and HR were clear in their expectations of their goals for the first week.
Prototype included a presentation that was visually pleasing with 3D effects that reflected the companies futuristic vision along with a timed activitiy that got the employee engaged and included another activitiy that can be done with their team in their own time. This reduced the onboarding time to 30 minutes, new employees and the mentors were very clear in tehir onboarding expereince.
03 The Outcome
An employee onboarding experience that was created through iteration and quick prototyping. The employees had a sense of belonging that created a positive impact on the team. The managers felt releived that they didn't have to start from the beginning in explaining the culture because things were structured to be presented to the new hire. The positive engagement caused the team to be more delighted and the hiring process was smoother. The team grew from 14 people to 50 people and the amount of time it took to onboard the employee went from weeks of process that included a lot of chaotic processes with items missing for the managers to follow up on to 30 minutes of a quick check in that any HR representative can onboard.
04 The Impact
During the time of this project, there was a lack of resources and the timeline was under a crunch that required us to speed up the process. Even if you are short on time, the service design process of ideating, problem framing, prototyping, and iterating was strictly used as a guide. I think the quicker iteration was still fun to test out with the employees because there's immediate feedback that can be implemented and tested with the next hire that was in the pipeline.
If I had budget, I would have done research to be able to ideate on solutions that created delight to the experience. We could have created a mobile app that had interactions and ice breakers that could have been created between team members and have a buddy system where the employees could ask questions to their team members prior to joining.