Project Roles: Project manager • UX research lead • UX/UI design
Prototyping Tools: Figma




Our client for the project - StaffAny - provides managers and shift workers with an app for scheduling, timesheets and payslips.

The business objective for this study was to increase relevance and usefulness of the app among shift workers.

The app was initally designed with both managers and shift workers in mind. The company had focused on managers and key decision makers thus far, and wanted to deepen their understanding of shift workers, who make up the majority of their user base. 

They key project objectives were to start from the ground up through establishing a thorough understanding of shift workers:

  • Discern the motivations & needs of shift workers
  • Understand their current workflows and issues faced
  • Identify issues and gaps in their workflows
  • Spot potential motivators to download and use
  • And from the above, address it with relevant features

Quick Overview
of the Process

1. We first evaluated the current app:

  • Content audit and heuristic evaluation
  • Site map of the current app
  • Competitive analysis

2. We then did three rounds of user interviews & analysis, prototyping and iteration to:

  • Have an in-depth understanding of shift workers' needs and pain points
  • Evaluate the prototype
  • Iterate and test the final prototype 

Who we spoke to in each round of interviews were mostly shift workers and a few managers, via a mix of guerilla interviews and pre-recruited interviews:

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Fleshing Out
User Personas

In Phase I's round of exploratory interviews, we defined two key personas: the part-timer and full-timer, using the interview details to flesh out each one.

The parameters were selected as they would impact how they would use the StaffAny app, and would influence the features that we would build

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What Do Their 
Workflows Look like?

There were three key processes that we mapped out, aligned with the current app - scheduling, clocking in and out, as well as tallying of earnings. We also took note of the issues faced to identify potential opportunities.

As it turns out, most of the processes were typically carried out in a manual manner, allowing for errors on both manager and staff's side.

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What Motivates Them to Work?

Through affinity mapping, we uncovered their key motivations for shift work, mapping them out against Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

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Building Features Based on Their Motivations

Looking at each tier of motivation, as well as issues and potential opportunities with the workflows, we then looked at the current features offered by the StaffAny app to see which features would be of interest, and to also have new ideas where possible.

The new ideas included:

  • Tracking of hours and wages
  • Showing of total earnings on a weekly/monthly basis

The others were existing features of the StaffAny app.

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Design Goals

We strove to build features which would make life easier for users, based on the following goals:

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Rapid Paper Prototyping: the Tested Features

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Users' Feature Prioritization

We tested the paper prototype of our features (as shown above) to gauge interest and relevance, as well as potential points of improvement.

Findings from the feature prioritization were interesting:

  1. Providing availability and the Schedule assignment: Seen as the main pain points as these are given on a regular basis, and prone to errors and potential conflicts with colleagues.
  2. Clock-in-clock-out and Tracking hours & wages: these two features did not end up being of great interest. The process currently might have a few hiccups but there are no major hurdles to be overcome. 
  3. Showing earnings on a weekly/monthly basis: Not seen as a high priority right now, as compared to providing availability and schedule assignment
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Key Iterations

Respondents did not have an issue with the general flow or features of the app. Instead, changes made were relatively small and were to enhance clarity of understanding.

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Main Challenges

In an ideal world, all features could be built right now. In the real world, we learned that there were other engineering and business constraints to factor in.

The key considerations include:

  1. How the system works backend, and its impact on how we design the features in terms of capability, flow and UI
  2. The engineering resource cost of items we had not considered before. For example, complex interactions. This forced us to consider if such interactions were really necessary at this point of time, and reprioritize

Final Prototype

The final prototype, after qualitative validation in Phase III, fulfilled our design goals. Users also liked the simple look and feel of the user interface.

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Impact of the Prototype on Our Personas

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Project Success

Since the features built were new, qualitative feedback on intuitiveness, ease of use of the app and improvement over their current work processes today was a key element in measuring success.

Ease of implementation by the engineering team was another factor, as some initial ideas would have been ideal but not implementable. Discussions with the engineering team ensured that the final product was feasible in terms of execution.

Next Steps

As the project was focused on shift workers, we spent most of our recruitment resources on this segment. However, it is important to also understand managers' perception of the features as they are the other half of the equation.

While our research has shown that Availability and knowing Assigned schedules was important to the workers, more research needs to be done to better understand the correlating work patterns between the type of company, part-timer and full-timer.

Our recommendation would be that StaffAny continues testing and validation of the features among key decision-makers on the managerial side.