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How to centralize, standardize and improve the onboarding process

The second Global Virtual Design Sprint (GVDS) team that I was part of focused on this challenge: how might we help companies improve the onboarding process, create a template that can be customized, with a format that makes new hires feel welcome (while providing onboarding training)?

gvds global virtual design sprint team

Unlike my first Sprint team, members were based in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Uruguay and me in Chicago.

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gvds global virtual design sprint HMWs sprint questions
gvds global virtual design sprint concept notes
gvds global virtual design sprint user flow story flow
gvds global virtual design sprint note taking sketches
gvds global virtual design sprint low fidelity prototype


Working with an online whiteboard (MURAL), we went through the Sprint process: clarifying the challenge, turning the problems into 'How Might We' and 'Can We' questions, laying out the user journey (story flow/map) and beginning with our sketches.

The team liked the idea of an app that would not only centralize all the information a New Hire would need (team members, org chart, emails, log-ins), but would also include components that would help the New Hire learn about the company culture and feel more welcome.

A couple of the components included a 'Lunch Buddy' schedule that would have the New Hire lunching with coworkers throughout the first 30 days; fun Scavenger Hunt type activities (like finding the Office Manager or coffee station and posting a photo); and interactive elements like quizzes to test their knowledge about company services and history.

Many team members have a corporate background and saw the need for larger organizations to do a better job with the onboarding process; our user testers agreed. Several wanted to know when the app would be available!

Some of the artifacts from our whiteboard are above; and below is my version of the prototype, based on the outline we put together.

gvds global virtual design sprint team


Our user testers, mostly in Human Resources, were enthusiastic about the concept. Other comments included:

  • "This is important because it helps to meet people outside of your department"
  • The app seems easy to use and to navigate through
  • It's good to "have something that would work easily" on mobile.

Their concerns were:

  • Knowing who would manage and update the content
  • "Who would be in charge of maintaining the privacy of the data?"
  • And the suggestion to add an org chart (which I did in my prototype)

This was another great (and productive) Sprint experience for me. I was a bit skeptical about how a virtual global team would be able to work together, but the online tools and the team spirit made it work!

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