Our new employee mobile app is out and we couldn’t be more excited - we hope you are too! Our team put a lot of hard work into the snazzy new app and we wanted to share it with you. I sat down and interviewed 7shifts' Mobile Product Manager, Brent Beatty, to find out how the mobile redesign came to be and what’s next for the mobile team.
SL: How did you start researching the mobile app redesign?
BB: We put a lot of time into researching both our users and UX/UI standards while developing the new app. We did multiple rounds of user interviews, user tests, and even had a period where a small group of restaurants tried the new app before we launched it. We worked internally as a team to help bring our ideas to life.
SL: Who was taken into consideration for the research?
BB: For this redesign we tried to dive deep into the minds of restaurant employees to understand what's most important to them and what their needs are. Then we thought about the best way to serve them the informantion they need quickly in a beautiful new UI.
SL: How did you approach interviewing employees?
BB: We identified a set of distinct use cases and interviewed accordingly to gather perspectives. We chatted with people who worked in Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR), Fast Casual, Full Service, and even Food Trucks to understand the unique needs of all types of 7shifts users.
SL: What were some clear issues that came out of the research?
BB: Employees want more data from us about their time at work. They asked questions like, “How long did I work?”, “What did I earn?”, and “When do I work next?”. We weren’t showing any of this information in the past, so we knew we could help make tracking hours and earnings easier.
SL: What were some initial thoughts brought to the table?
BB: We contemplated so many different ideas for the redesign. We have many new and exciting features that didn’t make the cut, but our hope is to start chipping away at the list of plans and make the app even better over time..
SL: What problems were you trying to solve with the new design?
BB: Here’s a breakdown of what we fixed:
- Clarity: We wanted to direct users to the areas of the app that need their attention - we did this by badging our messaging and notifications area. Now employees can be sure they won’t miss anything that happens at work.
- Messaging: We wanted to make our Messaging feature easier to use - better-looking, faster, and more reliable.
- Navigation: We wanted to make navigating the app easier so we added five tabs to organize features, streamlining navigation between schedules, messaging, notifications, and more.
- Tracking: We wanted to help users track and estimate their hours and earnings so we added a weekly report section to the old app as part of the research for employee redesign. It was a hit, and we hope to make this feature more robust in the future.
SL: Did you get any surprising feedback while researching?
BB: I was surprised by how much love our users had for the existing app. We got many positive comments about our current UI, which only made us more excited to make further improvements.
SL: Who was involved in the planning phase?
BB: Planning took place over a six month period. So much went into planning the new app including design, user research, prototyping, testing, beta, and launch. This involved our web teams, mobile teams, designers, product managers, marketing, and our support team. Everyone put something into the new redesign and we couldn’t be more proud of it!
SL: Anything unexpected come up during testing?
BB: Lots! We tried to make everything simple and make it clear what actions employees could take in the new app. Once we started testing we found out that although we thought things were simple, not all of our users did. We had to go back and re-do a few things and took some time to change our Dashboard and Schedule Page completely!
SL: Who was involved in testing? How many beta testers were there?
BB: We had 20 different restaurants involved in our beta with 250+ users overall. We had a ton of feedback and continue to review feedback and make updates based on our users' needs.
SL: What was the most valuable thing you learned during the testing phase?
BB: You can never make things too obvious! If something is clickable, make it clear through simple elements to help your users. Don’t change things for the sake of changing things. Make small improvements to make them better instead of completely starting fresh.
SL: What are some of the new features you’d like to highlight?
BB: The Dashboard! Right now this is where employees can see their shifts, estimated earnings and check out shifts that are up for grabs. We are also launching a new notifications area where employees can see a log of what’s going on in their workplace.
SL: What’s you and your team’s favorite new feature?
BB: The notifications tab where users can see a list of all the activity related to their 7shifts account. The mobile redesign set the foundation for this new feature and we are really excited for staff to use it.
SL: What feature took the most effort?
BB: Definitely our revamp of the messaging pages, we put a lot of work into this area. Having a reliable and fast messaging tool is no small feat.
SL: What are you most excited for in the mobile redesign launch?
BB: Everything! The new brand, the new tab navigation, and all the new features that are possible now that we’ve updated the back end of our app.
SL: What feedback are you hoping for from users?
BB: Any feedback is good feedback. Whether you like something, hate something or have recommendations for the future - we want to hear it all.
SL: What’s next?
BB: We are moving on to app badging soon! We are excited to be able to alert users about things that require their attention right from their home screen. We have this and so much more planned.
Have feedback on the new employee mobile app? We want to hear it! Send it into firstname.lastname@example.org.
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