Onboard by HR Cloud

Onboard by HR Cloud


One of HR Cloud’s core product sought to tackle a hot-button topic for employers—employee engagement. According to a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) survey, almost 70% of employees are disengaged at work and 22% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days. Disengaged employees are less productive and can potentially turn into toxic ones. The solution? Engage your employees as soon as possible during the onboarding process.




Often times, onboarding is confused with orientation. While orientation (filling out paperwork and completing routine tasks) is important, the onboarding process is much more than that. It can take up to a year to complete if set up properly. 

Our goal at HR Cloud was to automate the paper-pushing process and empower HR Admins to create content designed to engage their employees, like a welcome note from their manager, first-day information, photos of their new team, and helpful links and videos. We believed that setting up HR Admins for success would in turn provide a better experience for their new-hires.

How might we…

  • Increase employee engagement and productivity at work?
  • Decrease employee turnover?
  • Help HR admins create an organized, systematic, and structured onboarding process—one that includes clear goals for expectation setting?
  • Encourage communication of company values and culture for “cultural onboarding”?
  • Automate the paper-pushing process?
  • Support flexibility and scalability?


I started this project with the Creative Director, but quickly took over as the lead. I had the amazing opportunity to work directly with the CEO to drive product decisions and collaborate closely with our devs and product managers in Croatia.

We started with a six week timeline to flesh out the user stories for the MVP version of the app, followed by another four weeks of development.

We designed the app in Illustrator using components from our newly created pattern library. This allowed us to build pages quickly and consistently using pre-existing patterns. It also freed us up from having to redline our mockups, which minimized the back-and-forth with developers.



One big challenge we faced was how to extend our current branding system into this new suite of HR Cloud apps. I had to figure out how the app’s branding would be represented in a way that could scale to 4+ apps. To give each app a voice and personality, I made the header for each app a unique color. This also provided the user an easy way to establish context of what app they’re currently in. We had to walk the fine line between fun/playful and secure/technical.

Like most teams, we faced a lot of struggles throughout the project. Since our team was mostly located across the world in Croatia, communication was tough. However, the biggest challenge was figuring out what features our customers would value the most, simply because we didn’t have any yet. Additionally, because of the complex nature of our product, user testing was difficult. We found a way around this by utilizing our sales team. They gathered tons of initial feedback from potential customers while demoing the product in-person. Armed with this data, we felt confident in our initial feature set.



We shipped the first version of our product which included a basic portal with customizable widgets, as well as custom checklists that the HR Admin could assign to individuals or groups. This initial launch snagged us our first customer, Zendesk, who agreed to beta-test our product until it met their requirements. Their feedback was invaluable and led to product enhancements like a customizable banner image and portal pages.


What next?

Onboard became the most popular product that HR Cloud offers. However, if I had the opportunity, I would introduce more guidance during the set up process for HR Admins to educate them on best onboarding practices. For example, creating pre-built, customizable 30, 60, 90 day templates. I would also want to introduce quizzes, so HR and department managers had a way to measure each employee’s onboarding progress.



Customizing Branding

Admins can pick an accent color and upload a logo and background image. To preserve text readability, uploaded background images are converted to grey scale in the back-end and the chosen accent color is overlayed on top.



Adding Widgets

Users add widgets in the context of the portal by clicking on the "add widget" area. Doing so brings in a flyout with types of widgets to add. Next, users can fill in the widget with content while previewing the widget in the background.