7 Geese

The purpose of 7Geese is to utilize technology to help people achieve their goals.

7Geese believes that people are intrinsically motivated to perform their best when organizations have a compelling vision, clear objectives, and a rich culture of recognition and support.

THE CHALLENGE

Our challenge was to investigate whether or not 7Geese’s 1-on-1 feature was a compelling process that accounts for people’s real life experiences.

The objective of the 7Geese platform is to help companies move away from traditional performance reviews and accelerate employee growth and learning. The most recent 7Geese feature facilitates 1-on-1 meetings between managers and employees.

While the timing of the product implicated great potential, 7Geese expressed concern over the 1-on-1 section feeling disconnected from the rest of the platform’s services. In addition, there was no conclusive feedback from users confirming that the 1-on-1’s comply with their needs and current processes.

The Analysis

Prior to selecting a design method, we performed a standard SWOT analysis comparing 7Geese to its competitors. What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that affect their platform?

It became clear that the approach of translating the 1-on-1 process into an interface could feel technical and rigid. In order to offer a reliable, human-centered 1-on-1 process, we decided to explore and compare the ways that 1-on-1’s are being conducted within real environments.

We determined that our target audience was managers who are usually involved in 1-on-1’s as facilitators, collaborators from human resources/people development areas, and employees who are the interviewees in a 1-on-1. We wanted to focus on their attitudes, needs, wants, and emotional states toward 1-on-1’s.

Due to the broad nature of the information we wanted to gather, we decided to explore a wide range of different ideas through collaborative ideation methods.

The Method

The first research activity was Experience Prototyping, then we combined it with our own observations, to outlined the User Journey to describe the path and touch points users follow.

Phase 1: Experience Prototyping

The first research activity was Experience Prototyping, a simulation of a product or service within a series of group exercises that involves creating and testing low-fidelity prototypes in semi-realistic scenarios.

Experience Prototyping is particularly helpful for discovering what people know and how people feel, ultimately allowing the design team to empathize with participants and to obtain inspiration for future design.

The workshop itself was broken into several stages. First, participants were actively involved in a discussion about their experiences and perceptions of 1-on-1’s. This was followed by the individual creation of their ideal 1-on-1 meeting process.

After which, participants shared their insights. Finally, the participants split into two teams. Using a variety of creative, hands on tools, the teams created their ideal 1-on-1 landscapes. The landscapes were focused on three stages: before, during and after a 1-on-1.

Through Experience Prototyping we were able to explore:
  • Who is involved in a 1-on-1 and how
  • What tasks each stakeholder is to accomplish
  • What communication tools are used at specific touch points
  • What kinds of outcomes are obtained and generated at each touch point
  • What kind of information is disclosed and how it should be displayed

 

Phase 2: User Journey Map

Next, based on the prototypes produced during the workshop combined with our own observations, we outlined the User Journey to describe the path and touch points users would follow before, during and after a 1-on-1.  

 

Phase 3: Insight Combination

Finally, we used Insight Combination, a design method of contrasting and correlating insights amongst current design trends in order to seed a wide variety of design ideas.

During the Insight Combination activity we came up with multiple design ideas that would address both team members’ needs and managerial goals. As a team, we refined the ideas into finished design concepts by singling out the most promising ones.

Ultimately, we chose to work with three ideas that would cover the full 1-on-1 task flow.

The UX Findings

Prior to our investigation, the 7Geese platform presented users with five 1-on-1 principles:

  1. Fluid conversation
  2. Pen and paper for note-taking
  3. Relaxed environment
  4. In person (or at least face-to-face on a video call)
  5. Build trust and empathy

 

Through Experience Prototyping we confirmed and identified that an ideal 1-on-1 should:
  1. Use a customized but loose structure
  2. Facilitate a casual, friendly conversation
  3. Have set action items
  4. Allow all parties involved to add follow-up notes

 

In addition, we were able to map out the most important touch points in the 1-on-1 process:
Before the 1-on-1
  1. Facilitators review the priority list prior to scheduling a 1-on-1, alternatively,
  2. Participants request a 1-on-1.
  3. Both parties choose a date and time, programmed into the calendar of their choice.
  4. Facilitators choose a guideline template.
  5. Participants are given the option to set a list of topics to discuss.
During the 1-on-1
  1. As a way to facilitate trust, computers or any other electronic device should not be used.
  2. To increase transparency, note taking should be done on paper and in plain sight.
  3. The meeting should be short, simple and fluid.
After the 1-on-1
  1. Both parties should agree on action items.
  2. Both parties should participate in the following-up of the session.

The UI solutions

During our research phase we were able to confirm that 7Geese’s five principles are in fact key for 1-on-1 success.

However, these principles were hidden in another section of the platform. Our first solution was to give the principles the real estate and attention they deserve by making them visible throughout the entire 1-on-1 process with visually pleasing icons placed at the bottom of the screen.

To increase the conversational nature of the 1-on-1, we proposed that the 1-on-1 process function more as a guideline rather than a fixed questionnaire that is to be filled out step by step.

To encourage this, both facilitators and participants are given the opportunity to enlist and submit the themes they would like to discuss beforehand, allowing both parties to come to the meeting with a clear idea of what the conversation will be about.

In the redesigned note taking section, the facilitator transcribes the paper notes into the platform.

Again, rather than answering a questionnaire, the format was simplified down to three categories: 1) What was the meeting about? 2) Additional Notes and 3) Action Items. This allows the facilitator to be as simple or elaborate as necessary.

Once the section is completed the participant is automatically notified and is then free to review and comment.

Finally, we added a 1-on-1 history section that gives both parties the ability to track progress at a glance from one meeting to the next. The history includes the mood indicator that was set by the participant before the meeting. Not only does this function as a way to track a participant’s needs, it is also a useful preparation and follow-up tool for the facilitator.

The Take Aways

In this technological age, management processes can certainly be digitized. In doing so, we must not forget about the potential negative impact of all things being “on the computer.”

There will always exist the need to incorporate the human element into any technology. The best way to do so is by getting input from people.

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