Tag Archives: Human Resources

Illustrate new product information

When an interesting new product was acquired in a merger, Mercer needed a way to differentiate it from the other, similar report products available. We offered three visual options for describing how a human resources executive might benefit from this new product. The workforce modeling tool enables careful analysis of important decision points like compensation strategies, expansion planning, or demographic modeling. How can a company use the valuable reports to most efficiently address all these issues and others?

New HR product option 1

In this option, the features are displayed as if on a big screen

Second sketch

A layer cake approach is shown here to filter data through reports to new insight.

Mercer sketch 3

Global data gathered is used in three key reports from which HR directors can draw new insights.

A chalkboard that says images and alt text

Use accessible images and alt. text in digital docs

A chalkboard that says images and alt text

At some point we’re all likely to need help reading our screens. We recently completed another concise video in our series for the Forest Service on how to work with images and alt text to improve accessibility. Even if you don’t know anyone with challenges at present, designing your content for accessibility makes material more usable in general.

The series is intended to make a dent in the mental blocks most authors have in understanding accessibility guidelines. We create fun two-minute topical overviews that help make the dry and daunting rule documents more easily understood.

An accessible coffee shop

The accessible hangout for all forest residents

The premise in the series is that we should “take care of the entire pack” by being considerate of others. There are different ways to access information online and we want to make sure that all recipients can ‘get the picture’.

Two wolves, one uses eyes and the other his ears

Different means are used to surf the internet.

To build interest in accessibility training, we hid an ‘easter egg’ in the prior video and encouraged employees to look for it. Correct answer submissions were registered for the honor of being drawn into this video’s cybercafe. Without a punishment or reward for compliance, we’ve been forced to explore alternative means of encouraging behavioral change.

The final video is posted on YouTube and joins text and type, the prior installment, as well as our introduction to accessibility guidelines.

How can levels of service be visually described?

There are times when several choices are available for consideration, and the choices can be made along various criteria. Different options like service level, cost, features can all conspire to make a clear choice difficult. In those instances a visual representation can be very helpful.

Here’s a great example from Mercer, one of the world’s largest HR consulting firms. We explored several options for the Mercer Workforce Insight Network, or Mercer WIN. This software product is accessible online and offers a variety of helpful reports to talent management professionals worldwide. Our first challenge was to study the existing model and understand the various buyer opportunities represented:

As is often the case with a model forced into a shape; the four sides are not equally important or even necessary. Who is the audience? What do they want to do? How can this product help them do it more efficiently and accurately? One early approach was to organize Mercer’s products according to several key things talent managers needed to accomplish.

Choices organized by three consumer needs

We considered how audiences might want to purchase the product at various analytical levels. The ‘Data Analysis Power Curve’ on the left roughly correlates with how users can access the data. It begins with a basic reports and proceeds through correlations and predictive causation models.

This option uses the 'Data Analysis Power Curve' to organize options

We chose at a solution that placed the buyer, or Talent Manager, at the front and center, in control of all the features that might be needed as a company grows in data requirements. This allowed us to build the story from the center out in the final production.

Once the conceptual direction is chosen, we work to create a detailed or ‘blueprint’ drawing that has the correct visuals and draft copy positioned. This guides final illustration production. Here is the updated model with more detail.

The final version looked like this, and was updated with an animated version and different languages. The product levels are at left, the major benefits are at the top on the big screens, and the data analysis capabilities are at the right side.

As an additional benefit, related products can be discussed within the visual context by bringing then in as additional support segments surrounding the talent manager.

Here is a short video interview with Chi Swain, Partner with Mercer Human Resource Consulting.