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HEAVENHR Vacation & absence redesign

Vacation and absence is the most used module for HR software. This feature of the HeavenHR platform needs to be optimized as it's not easy to use at the moment.  We did user experience research to understand users' needs and pain points. We divided our research into user interviews and usability testing. 

UX Researcher & Designer

Interviewing, usability testing, design

Proto persona, prototype


Redesigned prototype


Adobe XD


Product Manager

Understanding the problem

HeavenHR is a multi-tenant platform (for employees and companies). We created 2 personas to represent both sides, Louisa and Stefan. Louisa represents the employee side and Stefan represents the company side. We interviewed 2 colleagues to get the first assumptions. 

Louisa (employee-side)

Pain points: 
The concept of planning and requesting the vacation & absence was not understood. 

The request button means that users submit the finalized request without being able to edit. This resulted in asking the supervisor to delete the request if there are changes in the vacation plan. 

The planned absence was left without realizing to request made the supervisor missing the absence request. 

Stefan (company-side)

Pain points: 
Tracking the absence budget and carry-over is confusing

Usability testing 

We tested the current Vacation & Absence feature with: 

3 Participants were attending this test:
1 participant using other HR platforms
1 participant never used the HR platform before
1 participant using HeavenHR platform

The usability test comprised of these 2 simple tasks for the users to complete:

1. Book holiday

2. Book half-day holiday

Summary of findings: 

Employee_Preview to refresh the request.

When requesting a new absence :

1. "Save draft" and "Request" buttons are confusing

2. The "preview" button functionality is not clear

3. The date picker shouldn't be enabled to choose the end date before the start date

4. Users tend to choose the calendar first, then the absence type


Absence overview : 
1. Carry-over budget overview is confusing for both employees and supervisors. 
2. Difficult to calculate the carryover budget.



1. Pop up for add new request (to get the users full attention to the request).
2. Rearrange the information : date picker first, then the absence type.
3. Rework on the wordings for ‘save’ and ‘request’ buttons to help users better understand the functionality of each.


4. Show budget bar to make the users better understand the absence overview and the budget allocations.


This project was the first time I conducted usability testing for a B2B software. I started first by testing my colleagues as frequent users of the platform. However, I'm aware that they might have some biases with the products themselves. When I "got out of the door" and test with the users, I started to get richer insights. 

I tested with very few participants: 1 per target group category. If I had the chance to test with more participants I could get much richer insights and bring more importance to influence product development. 

However, this is my very first usability test ever and it was a personal drive, that no one was asking me in particular to do it. I ended up having another session of a usability test with the improved design, presented the results to the C Levels. The initiative was very much appreciated, but then the project got deprioritized and didn't make it to the roadmap. 

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