A modern touch: Building a time clock for SwipeClock

SwipeClock needed to update and add to its hardware time clock line. The existing clocks utilized aging technology which was starting to limit capabilities and functional improvements. This presented challenges and frustrations for our brand, partners, customers, and the hourly employees clocking in and out.

Solution

We designed, in-house, a WiFi-enabled touchscreen time clock with fingerprint recognition for SwipeClock, addressing the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by prioritizing:

  • User Experience (UX): A 7-inch Android-based touchscreen interface with a familiar layout (leveraging Material Design principles) provided a familiar experience for employees used to smartphones and tablets.
  • High throughput: The device needed to facilitate a fast and efficient clock-in/out process for a high volume of employees.
  • Seamless integration: The time clock was deeply integrated with SwipeClock’s existing SaaS solutions for timekeeping and scheduling.

Impact

The new time clock was a massive success, exceeding sales projections and becoming SwipeClock’s best-selling new time clock in years.

  • It was the first WiFi-enabled and biometric clock offered by SwipeClock, filling a significant gap in their hardware clock line.
  • Multi-million dollars in sales helped drive a private equity acquisition.
  • Deep integration with SwipeClock’s timekeeping and scheduling software drove additional updates to the back-end configuration to support the new functionality and helped facilitate improvements across the board for customers.
  • Punch accuracy was improved by reducing early and “buddy” punches, driving significant payroll savings for customers.

My role

As the Lead Product Designer on the project, I participated in and led:

  • User research: With my Product Management partner, we conducted in-depth user research, including interviews with SMB owners and SwipeClock’s reseller partners.
  • Design and prototyping: Designed a simple, user-friendly interface with a focus on efficiency and clarity. Also, interactive prototypes for validation and feedback.
  • Collaboration: Actively collaborated with cross-functional peers in product management, engineering, sales, and support, along with company leadership to ensure the design met user needs, technical feasibility, and market demands. I also mentored a junior software engineer and junior product manager on UX principles and usability best practices, fostering a collaborative design culture within the team.
  • Testing and Iteration: Conducted usability testing and gathered feedback throughout the design process, iterating on the design based on user insights.

Learnings

  • User-centered design: Prioritizing user needs through research and testing led to a product that was both functional, efficient, and very popular with partners.
  • Adaptability: The project required leveraging existing technology with limited hardware and software capabilities creatively. We had an older version of Android along with aging software and mid-grade clock hardware.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: Working closely with other departments and external resale partners ensured the design was not only user-friendly but technically feasible and commercially viable.

By incorporating user research, a focus on UX, and seamless integration, we created a successful time clock solution for SwipeClock, exemplifying the impact of strong Product Design leadership and cross-functional collaboration to achieve business goals.