Employment statuses are constantly changing, making the P.A.R. form necessary. Hilliard Lyons needed a form that could be easy and quick for management to fill out and expedite thru the chain of command when an employee’s status change.
Once filled out, the form travels to the specified supervisors for their approvals. Those supervisors receive an email notification to approve the form. Once approved, it moves to the next supervisor for approval. Upon completion of all necessary approvals, the form reaches Human Resources for a final decision. The form can be tracked in real time so the sender can see what step of the process the form is in. This allows the sender to send an email alert in the event the form is idle for too long at any stage of the process.
I modeled the tracking after the package tracking model found in mail tracking apps such as UPS and Fed-X. Before-hand, spending time with upper management and talking with Human Resources was essential. Following is a list of what was discussed.
One challenge was keeping everyone’s focus on solutions instead of features or “Bells and whistles.” This form contains a lot of fields, so confusion and user frustatration could've been the result if weren't careful.
We did not want to send users to a page to select a form from a list. Also, we did not want a cluttered and seemingly endless page. To cut down on cognitive load, clutter, and the over-utilization of space, it was best to make the form dynamic. Fields should change according to what type of form is selected from the menu. Thus, when users open the application, they’re greeted with a form selection menu across the top. This includes the fields that are common for all form types. Once a form is selected, the screen is populated with additional info or fields pertaining to that specific form.
Eventually I was able to proceed with it and create wireframes as well as a working prototype.
The result: A dynamic form that changes based on menu selection, and provides the user specifically what they need. Once the form is submitted, it can be tracked down to its most recent approval. To prevent delays and provide transparency, an automated email notification is sent out when a form is awaiting approval.
This application was widely used throughout the company for a considerable amount of time.