As part of the innovation team, we were tasked to create a lighter version of the existing software that would be user focused. We set out to go talk to our customers/users to find out who they were, the problems they faced, their goals of using our software, etc.
The first customer we visited was in LA. This was a very small operation. It had about 5 people in total who dealt with hundreds of background check requests daily. Their main concerns were mostly formatting, form fields, etc.
What we noticed was, every time before the owner of the company started reading on screen again, he had to put on his glasses. We also noticed that he had a ball scrolling mouse. These brought up 2 observed concerns about our software.
“The fonts were too small“
“It required lots of scrolling“
The second customer we visited was in Alabama. They had about 200 employees. They had developed all sorts of “hacks” to make their work more efficient.
We discovered that they had to use spreadsheets a lot to help accomplish daily tasks. We also noticed that everyone had a writing pad next to their keyboard. We asked why and figured out some gaps in our software.
“To keep track of workload“
“To write down which records they needed to follow up on later“
Third customer we visited wanted something different. They felt that our software was good at workflows. But they wanted better reporting on employee efficiency (which was resonated later by other customers).
We asked them for examples of reports that they want and they showed us some of these tallied “spreadsheets”.
We knew then there was an opportunity to create a set of reporting features for our customers.
We were back in LA! This time we talked to a customer that had no physical office. We discovered that they had to use the “Notes/Comments” feature a lot to facilitate communication between team members. That was not the original intent of the Notes feature.
So, we decided there was an opportunity for us to create a better communication UI for our customers to talk to each other and share documents more easily.
Based on our user interviews, we created some personas to help the team focus on creating user-centric products. Here are some examples:
Based on our conversations with our customers, the product team started ideating some concepts for our new product line. We decided to draw out an example customer journey to illustrate the following:
- An applicant is on the go and should still be able to apply for a job and get a background check done
- An HR person should be able to manage these records easily and ask for help if needed
- A background check agency should have a system that helps manage workload, track stats and facilitate communication
User Journey Example
Example User Flows
Once everyone’s on the same page, we started drawing out the different paths each user could take. When applicable, we took these journeys to user conferences and validated them with current and future customers.
The whole team, including our product manager, product marketing manager, sales manager and myself, was very excited about validating our new product offerings.
This new admin design helps our customers easily track what’s being worked on and what is to come.
This design showcases the newly added feature that allows our customers to communicate more easily.
This mockup shows how the new applicant product will be able to accommodate on-the-go experiences.
This design illustrates how an employer can easily view a job candidate’s report and communicate with the background check agency to get help or updates.
Here’s an example of the new reporting features we conceptualized.