UX at the heart of your time management project

 

Understanding the user experience (UX) is an essential prerequisite for any time and activity management project. A collection of best practices with Eric Hansart, Product Manager for Chronotime Workplace, and John Hamard, UX designer and ergonomist.

One objective, three levers

Today, employee well-being is a major issue. As we all know, a motivated team is a sign of a company’s good health. Among the many levers on which to act, three in particular attract attention. Firstly, the quality of the physical workspace, which encompasses issues of accessibility, office layout, performance of facilities and services. Then there’s management style, which has a major impact on the smooth running of projects. Finally, the quality of the media and tools used by employees on a daily basis.

If UX, which represents the quality of the user’s experience in any interaction situation, is at work on these three levers, its contribution is crucial to the performance of supports and tools. This approach plays a key role in the development of software solutions in line with needs, particularly in the field of time and activity management.

Simplicity in life and work

With a resolutely connected lifestyle, today’s employees are looking for intuitive, easy-to-use solutions and tools.

Today’s users are looking for business applications that are as easy to use as the personal applications they use every day to chat with friends and family,” explains Eric Hansart, Product Manager for Chronotime Workplace.

He adds: “Today, when a manager logs on, he or she expects to have a global, simplified view of the information they need to do their job properly. Who should be there, but isn’t, who’s ahead or behind on their work, how much overtime has been worked since the beginning of the month?”

In this context, UX focuses on the real needs of users, a prerequisite for the development of appropriate software solutions.

A user-centered approach

Three criteria must be taken into account when considering usability: effectiveness (being able to achieve one’s objective), efficiency (being able to achieve it at the lowest cost, quickly, for example) and user satisfaction.

In the UX approach, the human being is at the heart of design. “You have to be able to identify what is useful and usable as early as possible, and not wait until the final product is in the hands of the users“, explains John Hamard, UX designer and ergonomist with Inetum’s Public Sector Software Division.

The first phase of the UX approach consists in observing users, understanding their expectations and needs, which then leads to sorting and prioritizing data that will then enable us to enter a mock-up design phase. This is also referred to as a user-centered, iterative approach, since these mock-ups are tested by users so that they can be improved at each iteration.

This research phase also enables us to better understand the user’s profile and the context in which their work is carried out. In the end, it enables us to design tools that require little or no training to operate intuitively. In the case of time and activity management software, for example, easy access to information such as vacation balances or documents to be validated helps to boost adoption rates.

What are the direct benefits for the company?

The UX approach makes it possible to check the relevance of an idea before implementing it, and to reduce production phases, thus saving time and money. “The earlier these studies are launched, the sooner real needs can be identified, thus avoiding the development of functionalities that are of little or no use, and that can represent a considerable cost,” adds John Hamard. In addition, we save on training time, which can be redistributed.

If the UX approach has been well thought out upstream, the developed application then reveals its full potential. In the case of time management, ease of use means greater autonomy for employees, and time savings for managers and HR, who can devote themselves to higher value-added activities.