UX Intern At Rackspace

ServiceNow Redesign: researched users, conducted usability testing, and redesigned the platform called ServiceNow, related to the new hire process

Rackspace intern

My Role

  • Design Leader
  • UX Designer
  • User Researcher

Our Team

  • Zhen Wang
  • Mike Spencer

Best Practice

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Heuristic Evaluation
  • Interation Design
  • Usability Testing
  • Visual Design

Overall Process

overall process


ServiceNow is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider of enterprise Service Management (SM) software. Onboarding new hires (new employees) is one of the most frequently used functions. Through the ServiceNow, managers are able to assign equipment and to set permissions to new employees, and to track the onboarding process. The two main problems of the current site are unintuitive workflow and confusing taxonomy.

Research Study I

The SeviceNow New Hire Process redesign and research efforts were conducted in iterative, coordinated phases. During the first phase, generative research was conducted to determine key user needs. Following data collection, alternative designs were produced. The second phase of research was dedicated to evaluating those designs.

Phase I Goals

  • Document ServiceNow users’ primary needs and key pain points, focusing on the new hire onboarding process
  • Provide a set of recommendations for redesigning the onboarding elements of ServiceNow
  • Provide insights into what other elements or processes addressed through ServiceNow could be improved in later redesign efforts and how to prioritize those efforts

Heuristic Evaluation

Prior to user feedback sessions, a heuristic evaluation was completed. This enabled researcher to better understand the ServiceNow product, evaluate it against standard usability heuristics, and identify potential pain points for users during testing.

Major Issues

  • Lots of unused real estate
  • Icons that are confusing or don’t work
  • Info boxes that you can’t hover into or interact with
  • Color contrasts
  • Grouping of informaLon
  • Titles and navigaLon
  • ToolLps (annotaLon for some labels)
Heuristic Eval Screenshots

User Feedback Sessions I

Methods: "Think Aloud" Protocol (Semi-structured Usability Testing) + Post-session Surveys Including TAM (Technology Acceptance Model), SUS (System Usability Scale), STR (Supporting Tasks Rating)

During the first study of the project, generative research was conducted with Rackspace managers, most of whom had onboarded at least two new hires in the previous 6 months. Totally, 8 Rackspace managers participated in usability feedback sessions, lasting approximately 1-hour each. Participants varied by department/team as well as experience level: SMB Windows, Customer Programs, Cloud Office Email, Fanatical Support, Interaction Design and Data Practice

survey results

Top Findings & Design Decision

Top Findings Design Decision
Link in email creates security concern Spell out the link
Tabs vs One-page Smoother workflow/progress
White and grey color palette visually limiting Increase the color contrast
Iconography and labels not intuitive Find better icons and add tooltips
Process progression unclear Redesign progress bar and indicators
Confusing commenting process Make comment interaction more obvious
Permissions process unclear Define mirror permissions
Popup or panel often obscured Create mouse over and scroll function for popup

Design Office

4 Prototypes

In total, we came up with 4 different prototypes. After we talked to developer, we narrowed down the prototypes from four to two. We finally picked version 1 and version 4, and revised them based on the developer's feedback.

Version 1: Single Page Structure

version 1

Version 2: Single Page Structure with Collapse

version 2

Version 3: Single Page Structure with Three Columns

version 3

Version 4: Multiple-Page Wizard Structure

version 4

Research Study II

During the second study of the project, two design concepts were chosen for evaluation and feedback from managers.

Phase II Goals

  • Evaluate one iteration of ServiceNow redesign concepts and prototypes
  • provide a set of recommendations for ongoing concept and prototype development
Two versions to be tested

User Feedback Sessions II

9 Rackspace managers participated in second usability feedback sessions, lasting approximately 1-hour each, with high fidelity prototypes. Participants varied by department/team (e.g. different types of support groups, sales, investment), as well as experience level. After each session, on a scale of 1 to 100, participants rated each prototype based on how well they expected it to support them in the new hire process.

Results: the rating for the prototype increased from 65 to 85. In terms of design preference, a slight majority (5 out of 9) preferred the single-page form, however, order affect may have been a contributing factor to participants’ preferences. 6 out of 9 participants preferred the second design they were presented with.

Usability Testing Photo

Top Findings & Design Decision II

From the usability Followings are the results from usability testing on the prototype.

Top Findings Design Decision
Labels still confusing to users New labels and tooltip help throughout the form
Confused by language of progress bar stages Clearer wording to indicate ticket path and status
Concerns of logistics of desk location Select general area instead of specific location
Business costs of hardware selections Add informative icons and alert message
Desired to view permissions of mirrored Racker Able to display all permissions of a Racker
Unclear or missing fields in submission process Scroll to and highlight the missing fields
Unsure of how to create/edit autofill templates Created more intuitive UI w/ role-based templates
Separate sections of Comment Center confusing Combined all comments into single page
Desired status check of submitted ticket Provided live status updates and comment section

Revised Prototype

Form Before Submission


Status Check After Submission

After submission

Other Projects in Rackspace

In addition to the ServiceNow project, I also contributed to development of the style guide to assist with the implementation of internal tools in Rackspace, and consult with the company to build a high fidelity prototype to create consistency between customer website and customer support website.

Noted Hifi Design
Hifi Design Practice