Portfolio: Isolated Worker Program

The Isolated Worker Program tracks sexual harassment training of employees in certain industries who spend the majority of their time working alone. I was brought on board to create a prototype of how such a program could work for their employers.

This new initiative from Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries had a unique challenge in that, when I talked with the intended audience of this new website, they made it clear in no uncertain terms that they were not thrilled about this new legal requirement. Users were upset, and nobody wanted to have to use the tool any longer than they had to. Therefore, I tried to bring as much focus as possible by stripping away any information that did not strictly require their attention. The home page, when one logs in, shows when they can make their next report, as well as any reports they still have time to amend. Everything else is offloaded into other tabs.

The audience made it clear in no uncertain terms that they were not thrilled about this new legal requirement.

Despite their initial protests, users did have some needs for advanced editing features, as well:

  • The ability to make amendments to their submitted reports.
  • The ability to save a working draft, in case they were interrupted and needed to return to finish their report later.

I included these features in the prototype and made an effort to call out these special statuses for drafts and amendments. For drafts, I added a badge to the saved report, along with microcopy cues on the editing actions. For amendments, I added an info box at the top of the edit screens to remind the user that they’re overwriting an older report.

In addition to making reports, employers can also add the locations of the various businesses they manage, so they don’t have to tediously type in the same information every month. Users are able to freely add and delete locations at will without worrying about screwing up previous reports, and they can also manage their locations within the reporting process.

I ran this project through a couple of usability studies to watch people complete tasks related to the application. I’ll never be able to relieve all of the grumbling related to the legal requirement by UX alone, but by the end of the prototyping process I at least had users smoothly making and amending reports. From there, I handed it off to developers and helped them tune the UI in the final production application.

Are you in need of design or development work? I’m available for hire! Send me an email and let’s talk.