Frontline Worker Persona

Frontline Worker Persona

Understanding collaboration needs of frontline workers

Understanding collaboration needs of frontline workers

Overview

Webex builds collaboration and communication software. To help the product team make better design decisions, each user type is represented with an individual persona. With the frontline persona, we wanted to identify the needs and practices of people employed in customer-facing/desk-less environments and understand how can technology help them better collaborate at work. 

Overview

Webex builds collaboration and communication software. To help the product team make better design decisions, each user type is represented with an individual persona. With the frontline persona, the team wanted to identify the needs and practices of people employed in customer-facing/desk-less environments and understand how can technology help them better collaborate at work.

Client
Cisco Webex

Role
UX Researcher

Team Size: 3

Duration: 5 weeks

Client
Cisco Webex

Role
UX Researcher

Team Size: 3

Duration: 5 weeks

?

?

?

?

?

What did I work on?

  • Created a screener and recruited multiple frontline workers for semi-structured interviews.

  • Conducted interviews with 8 frontline workers based in the US.

  • Organized an affinity diagramming workshop with the product team to analyze the data collected and discover major insights.

  • Created a user persona, day-in-the-life model, communication map, and a list of potential business opportunities for the design team to explore.

What did I work on?

  • Served as the user research lead during the initial phase of the project. Drafted the user research plan and conducted 3 (out of 8) contextual inquiries with legislative analysts and political journalists.
  • Collaborated with the team to analyze the collected data, create experience models, and brainstorm final design ideas.
  • Primarily worked on 3 design features - bill cosponsors page, user preferences, and saved searches (see below) - starting with defining product structure, to creating wireframes, low-fidelity, and hi-fidelity prototypes.
  • Conducted 2 (out of 5) usability tests to evaluate the interaction and functionality of the low-fi prototypes.

What did I work on?

  • Drafted the user research plan and conducted 3 (out of 8) contextual inquiries with legislative analysts and political journalists.
  • Collaborated with the team to analyze the collected data, create experience models, and brainstorm design ideas.
  • Primarily worked on designing 3 major features - bill cosponsors page, user preferences, and saved searches (see below) - starting out by defining the product structure, to creating wireframes, low-fidelities, visual design elements, and hi-fidelity prototypes.
  • Conducted 2 (out of 5) usability tests to evaluate the interaction and functionality of the low-fi prototypes.

Why Frontline Workers?

Frontline workers include people working on the field, in desk-less environments, employed in diverse sectors such as retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and construction (to name a few).

Why Frontline Workers?

Frontline workers include people working on the field, in desk-less environments, employed in diverse sectors such as retail, manufacturing, hospitality, and construction (to name a few).

FG

We believed this would be a good user base to explore because frontline workers make up a huge chunk of the workforce but current collaboration and communication tools are usually geared towards and used by people working in static, desk-based environments.

 As frontline workers are always on the move and are less reliant on desktops, it is important to understand their unique collaboration needs and come up with user-centric solutions to improve how they communicate at work.

We believed this would be a good user base to explore because frontline workers make up a huge chunk of the workforce but current collaboration and communication tools are usually geared towards and used by people working in static, desk-based environments.

 As frontline workers are always on the move and are less reliant on desktops, it is important to understand their unique collaboration needs and come up with user-centric solutions to improve how they communicate at work.

The Process

The Process

Group

Interviews

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with people working in customer-facing or 'desk-less' environments such as restaurants, retail stores, manufacturing plants, and construction sites. Seven of these were conducted in the US as a mix of in-person and remote interviews. The rest were conducted remotely with international participants from the UK, Spain, Australia, and Mexico.

Interviews

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with people working in customer-facing or 'desk-less' environments such as restaurants, retail stores, manufacturing plants, and construction sites. Seven of these were conducted in the US as a mix of in-person and remote interviews. The rest were conducted remotely with international participants from the UK, Spain, Australia, and Mexico.

job-seeker

Recruitment Woes

I was concerned if we would be able to complete the project on time when the recruiter failed to provide us with the right interview participants after struggling for 2 weeks. Should I ask the recruiter to keep on trying or take matters into my own hands?  After discussions with the team, I decided that the quickest way to solve this problem would be to recruit participants on our own using Craigslist. I put up an ad and within a couple of days, we received a number of emails from people who wanted to be a part of this study.

Recruitment Woes

I was concerned if we would be able to complete the project on time when the recruiter failed to provide us with the right interview participants after struggling for 2 weeks. Should I ask the recruiter to keep on trying or take matters into my own hands?  After discussions with the team, I decided that the quickest way to solve this problem would be to recruit participants on our own using Craigslist. I put up an ad and within a couple of days, we received a number of emails from people who wanted to be a part of this study.

The interviews focused on understanding the participants' roles and responsibilities, their work and collaboration style, the communication tools they use, and the challenges they face while using them.
 

The interviews focused on understanding the participants' roles and responsibilities, their work and collaboration style, the communication tools they use, and the challenges they face while using them.
 

Data Analysis

We conducted an Affinity diagramming workshop with UX researchers, PMs and UX designers working at Webex. Each attendee was assigned 1-2 interview transcripts who helped us extract and group key points, quotes, and insights in the form of affinity notes. 

Data Analysis

We conducted an Affinity diagramming workshop with UX researchers, PMs and UX designers working at Webex. Each attendee was assigned 1-2 interview transcripts who helped us extract and group key points, quotes, and insights in the form of affinity notes. 

pasted-image-2

Miro was used for affinity analysis

vpc

Value Proposition Canvas 

We also created a Value Proposition canvas using the completed affinity map to dive deeper into users’ pains and gains and to ensure that the possible business opportunities solve and reflect these pains and gains respectively.

We also created a Value Proposition canvas using the completed affinity map to dive deeper into users’ pains and gains and to ensure that the possible business opportunities solve and reflect these pains and gains respectively.

Major Insights

Major Insights

schedule

Managing schedules are complex for shift workers due to inconsistent shifts,  reliance on messaging apps for schedule distribution, and the constant need to find back-ups

Managing schedules are more complex for shift workers due to inconsistent shift times,  reliance on messaging apps for schedule distribution and the constant need to find back-ups

picture

In-field issues are conveyed/troubleshot by sending photos and videos of the problem through texting apps

In-field issues are conveyed/troubleshooted by sending photos and videos of the problem through texting apps

call

 Make use of similar mobile tools for both work and life. They are expected to be reachable at all times

 Make use of similar mobile tools for both work and life. They are expected to be reachable at all times

exchange (1)

High turnover implies lower trust among employees

High turnover implies lower trust among employees

walkie-talkie

Shop-floor employees use instant communication tools (walkie-talkies for example) to address customer service issues immediately

Shop-floor employees use instant communication tools (walkie-talkies for example) to address customer service issues immediately

no-phone

Many customer-facing employees aren’t allowed to use phones when working on shop-floor as it is perceived as unprofessional

Many customer-facing employees aren’t allowed to use phones when working on shop-floor as it is perceived as unprofessional

Meet Ellie

wa.001

Based on our insights, we created a Frontline Worker persona, Ellie, a retail store supervisor overseeing the customer team at a large retail store.

Based on our insights, we created a Frontline Worker persona, Ellie, a retail store supervisor overseeing the customer team at a large retail store.

The final persona included Ellie's background, goals, collaboration techniques, and the challenges she faces in her day-to-day life. A part of it can be viewed below. 

The final persona included Ellie's background, goals, collaboration techniques, and the challenges she faces in her day-to-day life. A part of it can be viewed below. 

Desktop_HD

Ellie's communication map was also created to provide an overview of her communication and collaboration techniques. In addition, a day-in-the-life model was developed to understand her routine and the activities that make up her day.

Ellie's communication map was also created to provide an overview of her communication and collaboration techniques. In addition, a day-in-the-life model was developed to understand her routine and the activities that make up her day.

Conclusion

Conclusion

Ellie, the frontline worker, was included in the formal list of Webex personas used by product teams to make better design decisions. This persona was introduced and presented during Webex's design thinking workshop held in Seattle.   

Working on this project helped me gain a deeper understanding of how to collaborate with various stakeholders within an organization, how to conduct effective & unbiased interviews, and how to transform interview insights into viable business opportunities.

Ellie, the frontline worker, was included in the formal list of Webex personas used by product teams to make better design decisions. This persona was introduced and presented during Webex's design thinking workshop held in Seattle.   

Working on this project helped me gain a deeper understanding of how to collaborate with various stakeholders within an organization, how to conduct effective & unbiased interviews, and how to transform interview insights into viable business opportunities.

What will I do differently?

What will I do differently?

Due to time and budget constraints we had to settle for semi-structured interviews for our research process. If I had unlimited resources, I would conduct in-field observations, shadowing frontline workers during work hours and understand their collaboration practices in a live, in-situ fashion.

We were able to identify 2 kinds of frontline workers during the research process: People employed in customer-facing roles (such as retail workers) and people working in in-field, hands-on roles (such as plumbers and electricians).  If I had more time, I would conduct more interviews with an equal mix of both types of frontline workers and represent them and their needs in two different personas.

Due to time and budget constraints we had to settle for semi-structured interviews for our research process. If I had unlimited resources, I would conduct in-field observations, shadowing frontline workers during work hours, and understand their collaboration practices in a live, in-situ fashion.

We were able to identify 2 kinds of frontline workers during the research process: People employed in customer-facing roles (such as retail workers) and people working in in-field, hands-on roles (such as plumbers and electricians).  If I had more time, I would conduct more interviews with an equal mix of both types of frontline workers and represent them and their needs in two different personas.

Thanks for checking out my project! Cheers!

Thanks for checking out our project! Cheers!

} // call custom javascript smp_custom_js(); // call it again for every page change window.addEventListener("sempliceAppendContent", function (e) { smp_custom_js(); }, false);