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Human Capital Management (HCM) is an £18bn industry, full of opportunity. Yet it’s an industry dominated by legacy enterprise software designed to meet compliance needs. As far as user experience is concerned, much of the industry is firmly rooted in the past and hasn’t kept up with advances in modern technology. This is about to change.

In a recent survey by industry expert, Fosway Group, 44% of Human Resources (HR) professionals identified user experience as the most critical driver for making the move to a new supplier of HR software. As millennials and members of generation Z move into the modern workplace, a poor user experience for enterprise software is no longer acceptable. A digital experience that matches those outside of the workplace is fast becoming an expectation and a right. 

Setting a new course

As User Experience (UX) Designer at Kallidus, an award-winning learning and talent solutions business, Dan Healy knows just how challenging it can be to embed a user focus in this industry yet that’s precisely what he’s been doing over the last 10 months. But how? Here he explains...

"Joining a new company, you have to be pretty brave to hold up an existing product for scrutiny by users but that’s exactly what I did at Kallidus. HCM is an industry dominated by oil tankers - huge, strong and reliable but not exactly known for their innovation or agility. There’s a clear opportunity for us to become a strategic leader in our industry through a process of disruptive innovation. And that disruption had to come from learning more about our users. After all, learning systems need to focus on the learner, right? 

Fosway grid

Fig 1: The Fosway 9-Grid ranks Kallidus as a Core Challenger in the HCM marketplace

"The team at Kallidus is very forward-thinking and recognised the untapped potential in our products and how User-Centred Design (UCD) could unleash it. This meant that I was able to get straight to it and start talking to customers about their experiences. 

"Engaging a group of learners for testing (I mean it’s all well and good me making decisions but really the objective voice of the user is key), we got down to business with empirical, evidence-based sessions focused around helping people to complete tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. Working with Box UK, we were able to build an objective picture of the opportunities for improvement across a number of our products, playing back the feedback to the entire organisation so that they could see what the real people using our products truly thought.

"And some of the results were quite sobering, but these are the most valuable. Admitting you have a usability problem is a challenge but, as with most things, acceptance is the first hurdle. Once you’re past that the possibilities are truly exciting."

The future looks bright

Following this initial testing, the team at Kallidus built a prototype version of its new Learning Management System (LMS). They tested it with existing customers, improving and iterating it along the way.  They have even tested it with prospective customers as part of a sales meeting - it doesn’t get much more transparent than that! So far, they’ve tested with more than 60 people from 10 different organisations. Adding this human part to the design process has given them great confidence that new and existing customers will love their new product. The new version of Kallidus’ flagship product, LMS, is due for launch later this year. 

You can find out more about Kallidus’ onward journey by following @BoxUK, @Kallidus and @danrhealy on Twitter.

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