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Employee Experience and HCM Solution Home Page Design

By Mani Pande

The first thing employees see when they log in to any HCM technology system is the “home page”.  This serves as the starting point for all the other actions in the solution. But what makes a home page effective?

The home page is a key navigation tool enabling employees with access to a multitude of organizational resources. For example, employees can access important personal information like salary, benefits, etc.   Additional home page access points for managers support and facilitate team leadership.  In 2015 the SAP SuccessFactors User Experience (UX) team set out to redesign SAP SuccessFactors’ home page. We had to answer the question - how can you take an existing, successful home page and make it even better?

To make an informed and data-based decision, we decided to conduct a study to benchmark the old home page with a new design based on Fiori, SAP’s design language (screenshots below). We didn’t want to make a decision based on intuition and gut. We wanted to make our decision based on feedback from users and quantitative evidence. To do this we compared common Employee Self Service (ESS) and Manager Self Service (MSS) tasks on the old home page with the new Fiori design. We asked managers and individual contributors to do the same task on both the designs so we could compare the two user experiences.

Employees were asked to complete the following ESS tasks:

  • Complete a “to-do”
  • View the organizational chart
  • Look at your benefit summary

Managers were asked to complete the following MSS tasks:

  • Find compensation information of direct report
  • Approve time off
  • Award a badge to direct report
  • Conduct performance review

We studied quantitative metrics for both the designs including success and failure, time to task and the software usability score (SUS). We also got verbal feedback from all the users to see what they liked and disliked about each design and where there was room for improvement, especially for the new design.

The results for the new page were highly positive.

  • Easier Task Completion – users were able to successfully complete more tasks with the new design as compared to the 2015 design.
  • The success rate for ESS tasks increased from 92% for the old design to 100% for new Fiori design.
  • The success rate for MSS tasks increased from 86% to 91%.
  • Efficiency – the new design was more efficient as users discovered and completed tasks more quickly. It took employees 70% less time and managers 30% less time to complete a task.
  • Usability – the software usability scale (SUS) which provides a quick and dirty, but reliable tool for measuring the usability of software jumped to an A+ putting it among top 1% of websites.

Users really liked the Fiori based tile design of home page. As one user put it: “Tiles are more intuitive.” The big winning idea of the new design for managers was that it separated information about the team versus personal & employment information about the manager. “My team is all in one place, and my stuff is all in one place.”

Based on the evidence we got from the research, we decided to move ahead with the new design of the home page, and it has been well received.  What users like about the new Fiori based home page is that it surfaces to-dos to drive action, it provides an easy place to access different Successfactors’ products through a tile-based interface, and it is role based. For example, individual contributors have only a “My Info” section, managers in addition to their “My Info” section have a “My Team” section that allows them to easily differentiate their personal information with that of their direct reports. The easy layout of the “My Team” section drives actions as managers can easily take actions on their direct reports.

    About the author

    Mani Pande, Ph.D

    Director, User Research & Design

    Dr. Pande leads the user research team at SAP SuccessFactors. Her team supports product development through the entire life-cycle from doing exploratory research in the early stages of product development to usability testing in the later stage.