How To Improve Workday’s Account Creation Using Heuristics — a Mini-Case Study
I created a visual that highlights how the account creation process makes the user-experience difficult and what can be done to improve it. I propose a simple solution using usability heuristics and design standards as some guidelines.
I did this because I spent countless hours applying to jobs that use Workday’s services. I had become upset with the amount of times I had to create a new account for each company I was applying for and I always ran into the same issue, password requirements were missing.
What is the purpose of this case study?
First, this is not a full case study, it is a snippet of a problem I noticed and a potential solution I recommend. I also wanted to practice using Sketch and Principle to help solve something that mattered to me. In the reflection part below, I go into more detail. In sum, I’m frustrated, but Drake says it better.
Workday’s account creation system hides the password requirements until the user incorrectly enters a password and submits the form. This leads the user to spend additional time entering a new password in order to adhere to a complex password requirement, only now revealed.
Using basic usability heuristics (eg. Neilson or The Understanding Group) and design standards, presenting the required information (eg. password requirements) and password strength upfront will reduce errors. This can also reduce frustration, improve the speed of the form submission, and reduce abandonment.
Extra Background Info:
This mini-project isn’t about the strength of a password or using the right password. It surely isn’t about me trying to sell you LastPass™, “the last password that you have to remember”. My goal for this project is to show how a small design change to the account creation process (specifically the password field) can have a large benefit to the users. This was also a fun excuse to practice interaction animation.
As someone who has applied to over 100 job postings, I always enjoyed how Workday was the simplest and fastest way to apply to an organization. After finding my passion for user experience and applying more seriously to full time positions (with graduation looming in May), this process it has caused me more aches than gratifications. Workday is a B2B organization that provides HR software to some of the largest organizations in the world. Because Workday is a supplier for their customers, they don’t store customer data or account information on their system. It is done by their customers and means there is no cross-platform communication. Therefore account information doesn’t transfer from one application to another and each time there is a new application, the user has to create a new Workday account with that specific employer. Workday has hundreds of customers, which means hundreds of these independent systems for college students and other professionals to create accounts with.
I believe so deeply in the solution, I even tried contacting Workday on Twitter. Please excuse the sarcasm.
I just wanted to list a few examples of inspiration to solve this problem.
The Nielsen Norman Group have a wealth of knowledge and research in such areas but the article on password creation was especially helpful.
Although from 2009, Microsoft was on the right track regarding better password protection. This screenshot echos what has been missing in the Workday problem.
Password forms always remind me of this brilliant XKCD comic. Valid as always.
Of course I did some sketches too! I like to begin with sketches on my Microsoft Surface because I like how quick and easy it is.
After Screens W/ Documentation:
…No matter how pixel perfect or eye sparkling-good a design is, it won’t see the light of day unless you test it with real people.
This was a fun experiment to practice Principle, Sketch, and practice some of I’m learning at school. This originally grew out of frustration with a basic system but it then quickly developed into a learning experience. There is one large key takeaway I want to raise with this section, research, test and do more research!
Furthermore, no matter how pixel perfect or eye sparkling-good a design is, it won’t see the light of day unless you test it with real people. Teams can spend countless hours, weeks, months working on some design(s) or product requirements but it will be for nothing unless you test it. I’d say that testing more frequently would be best.
Although I didn’t do any in-depth testing during this project, I’ll always recommend it for future projects or if someone (Workday) wants to take this and run with it. Also, I know Workday has an outstanding design and research team but if Workday miraculously reads this, please try to test these designs or research it in greater depth?
In future iterations, I would recommend, more testing, more user knowledge and perhaps a heuristic analysis of this design and any other design that is put up on the chopping block.
Thank you for reading my post, if you have any questions, comments or pizza topping combinations, don’t hesitate to reach out.