Adobe XD Prototype
Structural promises to help organizations leverage their people data to surface knowledge and increase productivity. They asked us to create actionable data visualizations, using data that currently exists within the app. Our research surfaced two main types of features that could help Structural grow.
Features that increase employee engagement and development.
Features that surface institutional knowledge and help employees find resources they need.
While features of the first type are a great way for Structural to differentiate themselves in the space, they require users to answer introspective questions about personal and career goals which when surveyed, many were unsure how to answer. In contrast, Structural already has a database of professional history, chain of command information, but it is not easily scannable. Because of this, we focused on institutional knowledge and how we could help Structural assist their clients in this area. The primary users in view for our project are team managers who want to improve their teams, and team members who want to find knowledge within their organization. For these users, we wanted to increase clarity and decrease confusion by surfacing forgotten knowledge, eliminating missed opportunities, and improving communication. We then decided to build role history tracker, project tracker and an interactive organization chart to demonstrate how clarity of institutional knowledge can improve productivity for their users. We also delivered our research data and findings to them so that they could use it as they continue growing their platform.
Structural is an enterprise productivity tool built upon richly linked and searchable data that empowers users to create teams, finish projects, and grow professionally. The company was founded by Scott Burns of govDelivery, acquired by Granicus, and Chip House of Salesforce. They’ve raised $5 million dollars and started gaining traction with local customers like Sunrise Bank and Ecolab. The Structural App itself like LinkedIn but internal to a company. Compared to LinkedIn, it contains much richer information derived from the company’s HR information and as well as fields entered by users. Scott Burns said, “I have seen that people success translates into organizational success.” This is exactly what Structural seeks to accomplish by providing a tool through which businesses can leverage their employee’s data for employee development, to build better teams, and find the person for each task or project. The need for this tool is felt where the size and diversity of information is too vast to be easily remembered. Because of this Structural identified distributed organizations with 500+ contributors as ideal use cases.
To complete this, we researched enterprise productivity and the challenges that large and distributed organizations face. Our exploration started with understanding what insights are the most valuable in building organizational productivity. Through secondary research, interviews and surveys, we found a parity between institutional knowledge and employee engagement both having a strong effect on productivity. Whereas, employee engagement is linked to professional development opportunities as well as recognition of efforts; institutional knowledge is linked to the tactical challenge of employees looking for increased clarity in organizations about who can help, when they are available. We also interviewed existing customers and surveyed people who work in organizations of their target demographic and had them evaluate new feature concepts for desirability.
We started our research by interviewing professionals at large organizations, and learned that one key obstacle to their productivity is finding the right person to talk to.
Research began with a deep dive into other productivity tools, attrition events, strategies to promote productivity and employee engagement. One key takeaway from this research was the high cost of replacing a lost employee. According to Jason Evanish, the cost to replace a single employee is $65,510. Considering that employee departure often cascades across teams, the value of keeping employee engagement high is clear. This allowed us to shift our focus to building positive engagement.
We surveyed over 45 users to generate values through a digital card sort activity and evaluation of feature concept sketches.
For this portion of our project, I focused on research and wrote the initial survey. The initial part of the survey focused on demographic information that will help direct future initiatives for Structural. The second portion of the survey focused on surfacing user values and evaluating what types on information users need to know and how often.
We analyzed the information from the survey with the kano method.
Sketches and brief descriptions of potential features were then added to the survey with questions asking users to rate their feelings about the app if the feature were present and also if it were absent.
This juxtaposition helps determine if a feature is not only desirable but also necessary. The beauty is that the results quantify qualitative data very clearly and make prioritization based on the user’s feelings very clear.
We created three high-fidelity prototypes for Structural. They were an interactive org chart, role history and project trackers. Below is the screen recording of the project tracker prototype I created.
Additionally, I would like to create a high-fidelity prototype of how the project tracker works for projects which are in-progress.
To conclude, the three features we have implemented into the Structural app aim to increase clarity, surface forgotten knowledge, and improve communication. Moving forward I would like to further develop the features that showed a strong response in user research but were beyond the scope of the three weeks we had for this project. They are features for professional development suggestions, a way to recognize a colleague’s contributions publicly, and in depth productivity metrics such as under-leveraged aptitudes, percent of time available, and operating efficiency. This suite of features would help Structural’s customers retain and engage talent by building cultures of development and belonging.