Enterprise Software Suite • 2014 to Present
For the past several years, I've worked for the enterprise software company SAP on their Cloud HR suite SuccessFactors. I wear two hats there: one as a Product Designer, and another as a User Researcher.
I have been Lead Product Designer on several apps built for HR business partners, system admins, IT personnel, and employees to use. Some of these tools have been very big and complex, others are very small and simple. On most of these projects, I've been responsible for the entire end-to-end UX process: learning as much as I can about the problems we're trying to solve, learning about our users, sketching, wireframing, prototyping, testing, and more -- all leading up to overseeing the product's actual development. There's nothing more rewarding than speaking with customers about how a tool I designed has improved their workflow or made their job somehow easier or more efficient. Oh! One other cool thing is that two admin systems I designed have been patented by SAP -- this one and this one.
On the other side, as a User Researcher, I plan and conduct several research projects a month spanning the entirety of SuccessFactors' product line alongside several other researchers. These could be usability tests, user interviews, concept validation studies, customer-facing workshops, or something else entirely. It all depends on the questions the product teams are trying to answer. I am responsible for then presenting the findings of the research I conduct to the product teams and any other stakeholders.
Although I knew next-to-nothing about HR or HR Software when I started at SuccessFactors in 2014, I've learned a ton about it over time. Although this role has been challenging, and the problems we're solving are often quite complicated, I've found it to be an amazing and rewarding place to hone my UX and User Research skills. It also gives me virtually limitless opportunities to speak to our actual users regularly about their preferences and pain points, something any good UX-er will tell you makes a world of difference.
Below are snapshots* of just a few projects I've worked on at SAP SuccessFactors:
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.