Six UX features to look for in a mobile HRMS

The 2015-16 Cedar Sierra HR systems survey noted a 70% increase in organizations investing in mobile-enabled HR initiatives over the last three years. With that kind of uptake in mobile HR technology, the odds are if you’re not mobile-enabled already, you’ll be looking to upgrade sooner rather than later.

Alongside functionality and data security, the issue of user experience (UX) is key to choosing the right mobile HRMS and there are a few essential criteria to consider to ensure your people have an app that they want to use.

1. Familiar appearance

The simpler it is, the easier it is to use (and naturally, the easier it is to use, the more people will use it). Your new mobile HRMS app should guide individuals through processes clearly and in stages. The goal is to have such an intuitive design – i.e. familiar-looking, standard/obvious icons and buttons, and with a commonality of design with other systems – that users can figure it out without instructions. At the very least, you don’t have users getting lost or frustrated with the system.

2. Practical and easy to use

As well as the familiarity factor (which will help drive up user adoption rates) look for features like “anytime save & return” which allows users to pause part way through a process and pick it up again later wherever they left off (and without having lost the data input so far) – a very useful feature should an employee be booking some time off through the system and a customer or client calls. Furthermore, look for on-screen help and user tips on each page; and ideally, that will either support the application of the system training or even make the training unnecessary in the first place.

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3. Configurable

Permitting office-bound staff with their own desk to personalize their workspace is a classic motivational technique, and it works. For mobile or field workers, their equivalent space is the screen of their device. But with technology, personalization depends on the software. Can your people adjust the look of their mobile HRMS home screen? Understandably, you may have branded corporate colors and logos that should be non-customizable but not all users will need all fields and nor will they all want the icons, etc. in the same place on-screen.

4. Count the clicks

Continuing the point about configurability, as the business, you need to be able to customize processes rather than just use whatever comes with your HRMS as standard, especially on a mobile app. Mobile devices suffer from variable connectivity (coverage, Wi-Fi, dead zones, etc.) and every additional screen to load is a potential frustration. Users should be able to conduct their online HR business with the minimum number of clicks and swipes.

5. Single sign-on

In the same spirit, users need to be able to access various HR functions, possibly using their device to jump from one linked app to another, and all without having to enter a username and password repeatedly.

6. Social connectivity

Social collaboration is on the rise in HR, with HRMS systems being leveraged for greater staff connectivity, breaking down hierarchical barriers and business silos. If your HRMS has instant messaging and casual feedback features, how do they translate to a mobile environment for the user? Don’t forget, Facebook, Twitter, and other high-usage social media platforms have specially-designed mobile apps because simply accessing the web page via a web browser and mobile connection is less efficient. Does your HRMS aim to connect people? And, if so, does it connect mobile users as slickly as it does the in-office staff?

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall

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