Two employees discussing something while looking at a tablet device.

The importance of user experience for scheduling

Monday, November 03, 2014

Elevating product design for enhanced scheduling experiences

User interface design focuses on the user flows of a particular product, software, website, and more. Specific to employers and scheduling software, user experience (UX) refers to the way in which employees interact with the program to accomplish their goal of accessing schedules, selecting shifts, or requesting time off.

Many scheduling software programs go through extensive UX research, usability testing, and consultations before launch. This way, employers can launch their business-specific scheduling system for optimal use. This article will discuss considerations for UX design with scheduling software that your business can develop or select for ongoing use.

What is user experience?

User experience begins the moment an employee reaches the landing page of the scheduling app. Here, employees will see the existing schedule for their organization (across time zones) with specific functions to engage with the actual schedule.

UI designers should consider what is most beneficial for the employee whenever they are engaging with the software to ensure the program is designed with the user in mind. UXis defined by how a user interacts with these types of systems, particularly the ease of use, utility, and efficiency of the system. UX is important because it impacts the amount of user engagement with a product.

The primary components of UX include:

  • Information architecture. Information architecture focuses on how the content of a particular site is provided to users. This includes how it is organized, structured, and labeled. Within a scheduling system, this has to do with the layout of the schedule and what information the user has access to.
  • Interaction design. Interaction design is the design process by which developers look at the entirety of the user process and user flow. By understanding how the product can fit into the larger movements of a user, they can better fit pieces together to make the product align with the user’s experience. With scheduling software, this may include the processes in how to request time off, how a schedule is recorded, and what the user will do with the information about their work schedule.
  • Usability. Usability involves how functional the platform is for a user to engage with. For scheduling software, developers may utilize templates that show specific time slots the user is interested in. Usability can often be assessed over periods of time, especially with prototyping and extensive research and development to identify the right product.
  • Visual design. Visual design involves the format of the product. For a scheduling software, this includes the layout of the app, the buttons users might see, as well as the overall look and use of the homepage.

How does good UX design translate into scheduling software?

When your organization utilizes scheduling software, changes and updates can be made easily, allowing stressful areas of business operations to become more streamlined. Moreover, when UX design is integrated,user-friendly views of the app as well as accessibility options are available so that all can use the service. For high pressure industries, this helps your employees access the information they need for scheduling in a more efficient way.

One of the biggest benefits of UX design with scheduling software is allowing employees to take more of an active role in the scheduling process. When the app is designed well, employees can provide the available time they have for shifts, find part-time options that fit well in their schedule, and trade shifts with other employees when necessary.

By allowing employees more control over scheduling, you ensure opportunities for increased motivation and lessen the likelihood of burnout. Instead of having to come to work when they aren’t available, employees can work around other responsibilities and maintain work-life balance. This also saves the employer time in coordination and administrative oversight.

How can I improve my current UX?

Quality UX considerations for your employees are the following:

  • Be open to feedback from your users. Ask your employees what they think of the software, what works well (or doesn’t), and any improvements they think could be made. This will help you gain live feedback and make changes to your scheduling system when appropriate.
  • Use a strong visual design. Use a visual design that catches the eye while also being clear to read to ensure employees are able to find what they need.
  • Provide important functions. Users need to be able to complete a plethora of tasks within a scheduling software. If you can generate buttons to link these tasks, your employees will be able to move through the program more efficiently. You may also consider implementing integrations so that employees can access other data points (such as Google Calendar or another source).
  • Make the program responsive. Whether buying a program or designing one, you will need to make sure it is responsive across all devices. Since employees will be using a phone browser, computer, or app to access the schedule, it will need to operate well on any system.

Bringing UX to your company

Elevating the scheduling process for your employees will help you run your business more smoothly. As you consider the right scheduling option for your business, be sure to keep in mind the importance of UX. Many scheduling solutions are designed from user research, so make sure the product is a good fit for what your team needs to accomplish the job.


Next steps

Are you ready to bring your scheduling software to the next level? Are you ready to leverage design thinking with your scheduling needs?

Heartland is ready to help.

Heartland helps nearly 1,000,000 entrepreneurs make and move money, manage employees and engage customers with human-centered technology solutions that allow them to rise above the daily grind and lead their businesses into a brighter future. Learn more at heartland.us