Most recently I built a Work From Home app for my current company. The app was designed to synch to the employee’s Outlook calendar. It used a service integration alongside a client side UI built within Sharepoint. It also used a custom branding css file that can be included in all of our projects. The app was designed so that multiple dates could be entered at one time. The dates would then get sent to the employee’s manager and once approved would show on their outlook calendar for the entire company to see. Being a hybrid work from home environment, those dates could change each week, but their could only be two in one week. Requirements were important and so were allowing exclusions.
The design process was done through prototyping an overall layout and then individually working through each tab. Each week the prototype was shown to the executives and the features were thought over and reviewed. It led to important discoveries and new rules/requirements.
The app worked really well with sending dates to outlook and to allow employees and managers to see their schedule as “Working elsewhere”. The app was easy to update and worked off a json REST model in order to deal with requests. If anything could have been done better it would be making sure the employee records were up to date in AD. But the app solved one more issue! Many managers were not correct in AD and the entire process allowed employee’s to discover this.
The next iteration included features such as manager comments, better exclusion handling, better email notifications, and a faster overview calendar within the app. It made me realize how important design really was. Some features were very intuitive and easy to use while others could have been improved and made easier for users. Overall it highlighted the need for a great user experience that was simple and intuitive!