Enterprise HR Software Suite • Aug. 2014 - Present
• I am the only person on my team working as both a full-time UX Designer and Researcher.
• As a Designer: I have largely worked as Lead Designer on multiple suite-wide "platform" applications for HR Business Partners, Administrators, and IT Personnel to use. Some very big, some quite small.
Other design projects include work on Employee Profile and "Action Search" tools. I am listed as an inventor on 2 patents held by SAP for tools I designed.
• As a Researcher: I plan and conduct several projects a month spanning the entirety of SuccessFactors' product line alongside three other researchers. Oftentimes these are usability tests, but they are certainly not limited to that format. We also regularly conduct interviews, assumption validation testing (which I have personally been instrumental in developing our process around), exploratory research, and many other types of testing. Tests are compiled into presentations at the end of each project. Timelines are typically 2-4 weeks. I have also developed a notetaking process that has become standardized, and manage an organization-wide email newsletter sharing pivotal research findings every month.
• Strive to achieve the perfect cross-section of usable and useful. Our software is used by hundreds of thousands of users every day to complete their jobs -- so it's important for it to do what they need it to do, and also for it to not be a total pain to use.
• Work towards continuous improvement -- both in terms of the solutions we design and in terms of best practices and processes for getting stuff done.
• Educate and spread the message and best practices of great UX around the entire (giant) SuccessFactors organization by whatever means necessary.
• As a Designer: Uphold a consistent design process, adhere to requirements and standards while always questioning/testing assumptions, always advocate for our users (whoever they may be depending on the tool), work from the bottom up, deliver work that's high quality and on time, stay busy.
• As a Researcher: Find the quickest, most efficient way to accurately test whatever questions our fellow designers, product managers, and other stakeholders may have about our products, and deliver those findings in a digestible and actionable way.
• Understanding the 15+ module product suite and how it all works together. Innovating while also maintaining SAP Design standards.
• Balancing the needs of our users, with the needs of the multi-billion dollar business, with ever-changing timelines and requirements, and plenty of other variables. I find it's all about excercising the muscle of adaptation; if you accept practically nothing as a constant and plan for change, you become much more skilled at finding this balance.
• SuccessFactors makes a range of products -- the majority of the ones I've worked on are highly complex technical tools made for specialized users. I have to very quickly ramp up in knowledge about these use cases in order to effectively design solutions for them. It's (genuinely) one of the most fun parts of the job!
• Balancing the two "hats" that I wear: one as a full-time Designer, the other as a full-time Researcher. Managing projects on both sides keeps me on my toes at all times
• Educating the organization about the power of both User Experience AND User Research -- especially advocating for "Lean Startup" and "Lean UX" practices within a large organization.
A FEW KEY PROJECTS
This photo, taken from a SuccessFactors promo video a couple years back, is meant to represent the dozens upon dozens upon dozens of user research studies, exercises, explorations, and workshops I've designed and conducted since starting my job here.
(Lead UX) A realtime, rules-based logic engine I helped design that allows Admins to script sequences of activities to occur after an event happens in the system.
The Intelligent Services Engine was a high profile project! It was one of the top initiatives shared at our annual 'SuccessConnect' customer conference that year.
(Lead UX) A builder tool for Admins to create their own extensions to the vanilla SuccessFactors platform. A lot of fun and an equal amount of challenge. This information architecture schema / UX design even got patented!!!
(Lead UX) A one-stop shop for Admin teams to review and implement upcoming updates, changes, and sunsets within the SuccessFactors software.
(Lead UX) A redesign of an existing permissions system that lets Admins decide exactly Who gets to do What under What Circumstances across the entire software suite, within their entire organization. Tough & important stuff -- my job was to make it easy.
(Lead UX) A wizard-like tool for Admins to build integrations from the SuccessFactors suite to virtually any other system. It's been so cool to speak with so many of our Admins about how much time and energy this particular tool saved them. Also, one of the data model exploration UIs I designed for this was patented by SAP!
(Lead Researcher) This is Bobby, a persona with deuteranopia, a color vision impairment. One of the coolest Research projects I got to lead was the creation of three personas of users with increasingly severe visual impairments. I organized and conducted this through extensive on-site interviews with employees of the Chicago Lighthouse, an organization for visually impaired people in Chicago.
(Lead Researcher) Laura, a persona with ocular albinism, causing severe low vision. One of the coolest Research projects I got to lead was the creation of three personas of users with increasingly severe visual impairments. I organized and conducted this through extensive on-site interviews with employees of the Chicago Lighthouse, an organization for visually impaired people in Chicago.
(Lead Researcher) Paul, a persona with congenital glaucoma, causing full blindness. One of the coolest Research projects I got to lead was the creation of three personas of users with increasingly severe visual impairments. I organized and conducted this through extensive on-site interviews with employees of the Chicago Lighthouse, an organization for visually impaired people in Chicago.
(Lead UX) An exploration of a data retention engine to help Admins monitor the data being stored within SuccessFactors and create rules that will automatically purge unwanted data and free up space. Had to learn a lot about our software's customer-facing storage paradigms for this one -- something that not only touches the very technical side of things but also sales & marketing.
(Lead UX) A tool that allowed Admins to migrate their system permissions settings over from one type of system to another, newer one. Our system being able to do this is a complex technical achievement, but that doesn't mean it should feel like one to the user.
(UX Partner) A tool allowing an Admin to govern what information, out of the zillions of data stored in our system, a standard Employee Profile should contain.
(UX Partner) An interactive org chart that is stored on an employee's profile, showing where that person sits in the org chart, who manages them, who they manage, etc.
(UX Partner) A tool for 'tagging' employees within their employee profile and viewing an employee's tags. A low-friction method of categorization that can be searched for, filtered by, etc.