WorkMarket is a labor automation platform that enables enterprise companies to build, scale, manage, and pay their on-demand workforce. The platform consists of applications for both talent and employers, and we've started to explore use cases with robotics and IoT devices.
I began my tenure as a Design team of one, and built a team of 4 Product Designers, a UX Researcher, a Brand/Communications Designer, and a bench of freelancers.
Along with new feature development, our primary focus has been to transform a monolithic product designed for a niche market to a modular, configurable platform that is industry-agnostic and can be deployed to companies with upward of 30k employees and freelancers.
In January of 2018 we were acquired by ADP.
My first endeavor after joining WorkMarket was to establish a 'state-of-the-union' regarding all things UX and Design. This included a heuristic usability audits of the software itself, consolidation of the brand and it's assets, and a ton of research.
The first few months were spend spent teaming with Product Managers and Directors to conduct 100+ hours of research with current users, prospects, and colleagues from our Customer Support team. This uncovered dozens of use cases and user profiles with varying levels of complexity.
This helped set the stage for the years to come, heavily influencing our product roadmap and providing a framework for Research and UX Design. It also sparked one of our largest strategic initiatives, which was the creation of a comprehensive design system.
As our team began to grow and work more efficiently, the need quickly arose to formalize our UX research practice. The goal was to ensure that best practices were leveraged across teams, and that insights were standardized and made accessible to all stakeholders.
On the qualitative side, this included establishing processes for conducting exploratory research, concept validation, and usabiltiy testing, along with the creation and management of user advisory groups.
In a more focused effort to align teams to OKRs we also put several mechanisms in place for quantative research, including event-based analytics, A/B tests, surveys, and passive in-app feedback collection. This allowed us to develop a strong focus on adoption, engagement, satisfaction, retention.
A major realization that emerged from our research was that every company we spoke to worked in very different ways. Different roles, different tools, and different processes. It became very clear that we needed to develop a way to allow our enterprise users to customize their experience to work the way that best suits the needs of the company and their use cases.
For starters, we looked for a baseline library of components that we could use to jump-start the process. We landed on Google's Material Design for a number of reasons, but mostly because it was a familiar to a broad set of business users and had been validated through billions of pageviews.
We then spent several sprints designing and experimenting with various UI types and content patterns to figure out how to best gather information from the user and effectively represent it throughout the product. We landed on 4 UI types to house these experiences, each designed to handle a very specific use case. Consistency in the usage of these UI types was very important to us as it helps users learn the platform quicker by offering familiar experiences for similar activities.
The UI types that shook out of our experimentation are as follows:
Once we validated that these UI types and content patterns were sound, we created configurable library of React components and patterns that enabled UX designers and front-end engineers to rapidly prototype and build new features while freeing up time to help focus on other facets of the experience design process.
The first addition to the design team came with the formation of our native iOS and Android teams in an effort to enhance the talent-side experience.
We quickly established a group of users with varying industry experience and skillsets to help understand what would make for a great mobile experience. The group included Tech Service workers, Journalists, Brand Advocates, Designers, and Engineers, just to name a few. This group was dubbed the 'Talent Council' and the group has become frequent visitors to our offices to help us continuely improve our apps.
We also used this as an opportunity to build our our usability testing practice and user feedback framework to collect as much information from our users as possible, both qualitative and quantative.
From day one, our ongoing research efforts continued to uncover several opportunities to optimize existing products to help our users work more efficiently. This included improvements to workflow, search/filtering, automation enablement, and more intelligent algorithms.
We also spent a significant amount of creating new products from the ground up. This included more intuitive employer onboarding and configuation, more robust talent profiles, support for large projects, and a stand-alone payment product with an add-on for handling expenses.
Many of the new features we built specifically for our growing list of enterprise clients. This included organizational structures, configurable approval processes, custom roles/permissions, and more.
Clients that we tapped for research along the way included The New York Times, Accenture, KPMG, Noika, and many others.
Outside of our day-to-day, the Design team used and evangelized the principles of design thinking to positively influence the culture of the company. We helped create internal councils for Culture, Knowledge Sharing, and Diversity & Inclusion.
We used our harder creative skills to design company SWAG, help colleagues design their presentations, maintain our ever-growing library of team member slackmojis, and document the company journey with a mix of photography and videography.
As scrappy startup Designers, we have our hands in a lot of things as a result of both desire and necessity. This reulted in designing assets for our Developer Community, Customer Support team, Sales, and Marketing.