The Ufirst Project

Creating a Workday that Works for You

Usability testing photo


The Ufirst project recently partnered with the ITS User Experience & Engagement team to conduct usability testing to learn more about UVA staff and team members’ experience with Workday.


Why is usability important?

Usability means that a tool is quick and easy to learn, efficient to use, allows rapid recovery from errors, and is easy to remember.  When software is successfully designed with these characteristics users will be satisfied (and not frustrated), will enjoy interacting with the tool, will achieve their goals efficiently, and will cultivate confidence and trust in the tool.


Workday Usability Testing at UVA

The Workday usability testing focused specifically on the employee self-service experience across the University. We asked seven staff and team members from the Academic Division, the Medical Center, and the University Physicians Group (UPG) to complete 10 tasks – tasks included changing a phone number, updating direct deposit info, viewing current health benefits, requesting time off, submitting a time card, and finding a co-workers phone number.

Testers completed these tasks with no training or direction while "thinking aloud" as the team listened, observed, and learned.  The testers were able to complete 83% of the tasks successfully.  They reported that Viewing their Profile was the easiest thing to do and Updating Direct Deposit information was the hardest – providing excellent guidance on where to focus improvements and training.

graphic over the tasks users were asked to complete during testing

What the Testers said

“The new technology is amazing. Having everything in one place makes it very comprehensive and I really like being able to use a directory to find my coworkers.” – Associate General Counsel, UPG

“Workday offers some incredibly good ideas and I think the ability to provide common information to multiple sources is fantastic. I also love the org chart and time off entry.” - Physician and Faculty Member


Opportunities for Improvement

A snapshot of the feedback includes:

  • Add the word “Home” to the top navigation
  • Change the “Payment Elections” button label to “Direct Deposit”
  • Make the Performance Management functionality easier to find
  • Preload Emergency Contact information or reduce the number of required fields
  • Make it clear that timesheet data is being saved

As we continue on the Ufirst HR Transformation journey there will be many changes and much to learn about the new HR processes, Service Delivery model, and HR team members supporting you in addition to the new technology.  We are pleased that Workday receives high scores in usability, making the benefits of the new HR that much easier to attain.