Pocket Shifts: Employee Portal

UX Design | UX Research | Visual Design

Mockup screens of Pocket Shifts mobile app.

Project Overview

Pocket Shifts: Employee Portal

A staff timesheet and scheduling app for the University of Hawaii at Manoa bookstore student employees.

Figma Link: Pocket Shifts: Employee Portal

Role

UX Researcher, UX Designer

Duration

January 2023 - March 2023

The Problem

UH Manoa Bookstore employees use several different applications to manage their timesheets, availability, and work schedule. The process is unorganized, inefficient, and confusing for their workers.

As a result, employee timesheets are often turned in late or incorrectly. This leads to budgeting issues and a lot of time wasted on fixing discrepancies.

The Goal

One, centralized place for employees to clock in and out, view their work schedule, submit their timesheets, and communicate their availability, so that they are always organized, informed, and on time.

User Research

I conducted interviews and passed out surveys to the UH Manoa Bookstore supervisors and staff to understand their motivations, needs, and pain points when it comes to managing their timesheets, work shifts, and availability.

Their Current Process

Employees use three different apps to view their work schedule, clock in and out, and submit timesheets. In order to submit timesheets, employees must manually copy and paste the hours recorded on App 2 to their timesheets on App 3. They also have to make sure that their hours on App 2 match what they were scheduled to work for on App 1. Any corrections to clock in/out times or timesheets is communicated via email.

App 1 is used to view work schedule. App 2 is used to clock in and out. App 3 is used to submit timesheets. Email is used to communicate to supervisor.

Pain Points

01.

Using multiple different apps to manage timesheets and availability is time-consuming and more likely to cause errors.

02.

It’s easy to forget to clock in or clock out for work shifts and to submit timesheets at the end of each pay period.

03.

Supervisors often receive incorrect timesheets, which are tedious to fix and can result in budgeting issues for the company.

04.

It is difficult for employees to drop and trade shifts because they don’t know their coworkers’ availability.

Survey Results

46% of employees forget to clock in or clock out for their work shift at least once a week

84% of employees find that using multiple apps for work is inconvenient 

100% of supervisors have to re-open at least one timesheet due to errors every time period

Ideate

After I got a good idea of what my target audience was looking for, I started brainstorming the overall structure of the app and what features to include.

Low-Fidelity Prototype

Figma link: Pocket Shifts Low-Fidelity Prototype

Low-fidelity prototype flows of Home, Schedule, Timesheets, Availability, and Messages functionalities.

Usability Study

I met with 6 participants over video call to test my low-fidelity prototype and find areas of improvement.

Findings & Iterations

Before usability study. Users felt that the “Late” list was negative and relied too much on shame. Users thought the “On Time Streak” would motivate them to be more on time.

After usability study. The “Late” board was removed, but the “On Time Streak” board stayed to motivate workers to clock in on time in a positive way.
Before usability study. Users weren’t sure when to click on “OOO” vs. “Add Unavailability.” Users did not know how to edit availability. Users weren’t sure when to click on “Schedule” vs. “Availability.”

After usability study. Labels for tabs were changed to “Weekly Availability” and “Time Off” to provide clarity. An Edit button was added. “Schedule” was changed to “Work Shifts.”Before usability study. Users liked the option to correct their hours. Users weren’t sure if clicking this button would submit their timesheet or only submit their revision.

After usability study. The “SUBMIT FOR APPROVAL” button was changed to “Save” so that users understand the timesheet has not been submitted yet. A success message was added to further clarify that changes are only being saved and not submitted.Before usability study. Users were concerned they were picking up shifts and possibly going overtime without permission.

After usability study. A warning modal was added so that users are aware if they are going overtime. A message to supervisor screen was added so that users can be assured there is clear communication and nothing is being done without permission.

High-Fidelity Prototype

Click through the prototype or see link here: Pocket Shifts High-Fidelity Prototype

Example tasks
  • Clock in to your work shift and then clock out
  • Fix your timesheet error and then submit to supervisor
  • Drop or swap your November 24 work shift
  • Pick up an open shift
  • Change work availability to be free on Wednesday mornings
  • Request time off for December 26-30
  • View messages

Addressing Pain Points

These are all the features that directly address the four main pain points from my user research.

Feedback

After implementing the changes and testing my prototype again with more participants, I got all positive feedback.

Quote 1: I felt like the app really knew what I wanted and helped make things quicker and easier for me. It was so easy to use and also pleasing to the eye!
Quote 2: This would definitely help me submit my timesheets on time and make it way easier to correct my mistakes.
Quote 3: I absolutely love how everything is all in one place so I don’t have to worry about switching back and forth between a bunch of different apps.

Going Forward

After three months of researching, interviewing users, brainstorming ideas, and iterating designs, I finally reached a final product that successfully accomplished my original project goal. However, like with all projects, there is always still more room to improve and expand!

What I Learned

The biggest challenge while designing the app was having to consider both the employee's and the supervisor's perspectives to make sure both their needs were being met. While the employees are ultimately the end users of the app, the supervisor's needs and opinions are equally as valuable because they are the ones managing the employees. When I got conflicting feedback from the employees and supervisors, I learned to come up with more ideas or present a compromise that could solve the issue on both sides.