Talking HR Technology UX with Tony Marzulli, VP Product Marketing at ADP

As part of HRMS World’s coverage of HR Tech Europe 2014, we sat down with some of the major players in the HR technology market to discuss market trends and how their products are developing alongside these. In this interview with Tony Marzulli, VP Product Marketing at ADP, we discuss the HR technology user experience, from contextual data to UI design.

HRMS World: So Tony, tell us a little bit about ADP and how your HR software products are evolving.

TM: At ADP, we’ve taken an approach to rethink the entire experience that employees and managers have in their organisations. Rather than thinking about application silos, I want to do X or want to do Y, we think about HR processes from the point of view of the employee and what it is they’re trying to accomplish. We are rethinking the moment when an employee or manager has to make an HR decision and wrapping information around them as needed. This information is not provided in a static way, but in a manner that allows them to easily make a choice or decision.

HRMS World: How does this contextual information translate into practical use cases for employees?

TM: Think about the way in which someone in North America makes a benefit decision. In those countries benefits are paid for by the client, the employer, and a portion of that is paid by the employee. The way that the healthcare system is set up is that there are many different choices of plans that they can enrol in. So you want to help the employee make a good decision for their family.

What if they were told that ‘families like yours chose these plans 75% of the time, here’s why.’ So family like me, people like me, managers like me, organisations like me. That changes the experience someone has with HR technology.

A second example would be the last pay check you received. It was probably a PDF or even paper-based. So not a very elegant experience. We’ve rethought the way that people experience their pay. With our responsive design, I see my paycheck on any mobile device and I can also look at this paycheck on a real time basis. If I want to change my deductions I can do it here. I don’t have to go into 7 other systems. The system has the intelligence to know what I’m intending to do and at all times I can see what my take home pay is.

As a final example, lets say I want a much more contextual way of looking at my schedule and my time. Maybe I work a machine on a shop floor, and I want to change shifts with someone. I want social information here. Which employees are certified to work on my machines? who have I worked with in the past? Maybe we can work out a shift trade. So allow me to do that in a very easy manner, get in and get out.

HRMS World: How do you go about developing and refining these user experiences within ADP products?

TM: Our innovation lab, based out of New York, is a great example of the approach we take to user experience design. It is a unique, open experience for the engineers and designers that work there. Hardly any of them come from human capital management, they come from different disciplines. We have anthropologists, we have economists, we have sociologists and a bunch of graphic designers and user experience people. Without a doubt, we have tonnes of human capital management experience throughout the organisation, so we don’t need to add to that.

We test ideas every day of the week. We bring people in, we go out on the street, we talk to clients, we talk to non-clients, we talk to end-users. How would you like to try and do this and would it work for you?

HRMS World: Do you think improving visual user experience is an underlying trend in HR software development at the moment?

TM: I think it’s a shift, I do. And I think it’s in part driven by the experience we have as consumers. We go to our favourite website to shop, or do anything, or our favourite app on our phone, whether it’s Uber or something else. That’s a different experience, and we expect that out of our business applications. I think that’s helped to fuel some of the thinking and the demand.

HRMS World: So where do you see the development of ADP’s products over the next 2 or 3 years?

TM: I think you’ll see us continue to innovate user experience and to bring forth significant analytics to help HR and line managers measure the effectiveness of their business in an easy way.

Of course, there are plenty of analytic solutions in the marketplace, but we need to make analytics easy to digest and so employees can take informed action. A good example would be I see an alert that my south eastern turns are having turnover of a certain segment of my employees. I’d like to have a predictive analytic that says ‘pay attention to your southeast store employees, there’s a problem here, you’re going to lose people’. That’s important.

So we’re going to start expanding this predictive analytics by industry and by segment, expanding those reports that help people really drive actionable results for their business and get the insights that they need.

author image
Tom Feltham

About the author…

Tom Feltham is the Editor and Content Guru at HRMS World. In between updating our HRMS software guides and managing our expert contributors, Tom keeps tabs on the HR technology market and occasionally puts his thoughts on paper.

author image
Tom Feltham