Onbie

RBC Technology and Operations Student Innovation Challenge
Award winning project (ranked top 5 of 82 submissions)
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My Role
Timeline
Team
Tools
uX lead, Visual Designer, Presenter, animator, video editor
1 month
Andrew Girt, Amanda Gu, Eshan ratnayake, derny augustin
Figma, Illustrator, Photoshop, slack, adobe premiere pro, adobe after effects

Challenge Statement

Identify a pain point that could be solved by a Slack bot which would improve the overall RBC experience.

Our team consisted of individuals from different fields and disciplines. We had a project manager, a business analyst, a designer and two developers.

We were expected to create a proof of concept within one month. Given the short time frame, we picked the most important components to design and code.

Problem

New hires and team members are faced with a seemingly endless list of onboarding tasks, resources, and documentation across many disparate sources.

Whether it's setting up their computer, accessing their email or downloading specific software, users found it difficult to locate and navigate these scattered resources.

"As much as I love working at RBC, my first weeks were no piece of cake. Finding the right resources meant reaching out to different individuals."
- Business Analyst, T&O Operations

The Design Challenge

How might we solve the challenges of onboarding by creating a Slack bot?

Solution

Onbie, a friendly Slackbot that pulls resources from across RBC to create a comprehensive resource list, tailored just for you and your team, all in one place. There's also no shortage of resources for experienced RBCers who are looking to learn.

Onbie's unique features include:
Assigning resources to anyone else at RBC or saving resources for yourself
Easy browsing through relevant and popular resources for your department
Cataloging resources from multiple other sites, file formats, etc into one single location (that isn't your bookmarks bar)
Leveraging Slack Modals, Blocks, and Views in order to present information in an organized, streamlined, and visually-appealing way

Our approach

Phase 1 - Research

Understanding the problem space and connecting
with RBC employees

User Research

Our research entailed of 15-20 minute conversations with new interns to discuss their onboarding experience. HR was also able to connect us with 3 new full-time employees, whose experiences helped paint a more elaborate picture.

Throughout this internal research, we populated our Lean Canvas while brainstorming possible solutions to current challenges.

Lean Canvas


Phase 2 - Ideating

Painting a clear picture of the direction we're headed

Process Flow

At this stage, our developers were ready to put their skills to the test. First, they needed to get acquainted with RBC's APIs that could be integrated into Slack.

While they were doing so, the remainder of the team focused on creating a process flow that would help us move forward in both development and design.

Brainstorming

As the designer of the team, I held a brainstorming session. At this stage, I asked everyone to engage in Crazy 8's, my favourite design sprint. From there, I recorded suggested ideas and sketches for low-fidelity prototypes.

Phase 3 - Prototyping

Creating a (user) friendly Slack Bot

Main Considerations

Our main goal consisted of creating an inviting, inclusive, and friendly bot. For this reason, we didn't want to use illustrations that depicted a specific gender.

While creating Onbie, our main focus was not solely on its appearance. We were also concerned with its tone while addressing users and responding to certain commands.

Visual Elements

Phase 4 - Code

Bringing Onbie to life

Developement Stage

Our developers used the following to deploy Onbie:
Slack's WebClient API
Glitch.com
Slack Modals, Blocks, and ViewsWe added the /onbie slash command that is used to invoke the bot

Phase 5 - Presentation

After a month of hard-work, we were ready to show
Onbie to our peers

Submission Video

In the end, our efforts allowed us to place 4th within 82 total submissions! Needless to say, we were ready to celebrate. But first, we came together as a team and reflected on what could have been done differently.

Final Prototype

Simplifying the lives of new RBC hires

View interactive prototype

Reflection

Onbie was a fast-paced project that pushed our boundaries. Dedicating 5-6 hours per week on top of our regular internship was undoubtedly challenging. However, through this experience we have made life-long connections and learned valuable lessons.

Initially, we were blindsided by the difficulties associated with creating a Slack Bot within a month. However, through effective prioritization, communication, and planning, we managed to produce a functional prototype within the tight time constraints.

The most challenging part was getting access to RBC's APIs for development. During these stages, we hit a roadblock and lost precious time. A second consideration was the excessive amount of features and details we had included in our prototype. Our vision was big, however, our time was small.

Therefore, we should have started with a smaller proof of concept that concentrated on one specific aspect of the bot rather than adding complex features such as the bookmarking system from the get-go.

This demonstrated that focusing on too many auxiliary features can create a weak foundation. Overall, perfecting essential features of the bot (in the development stage) would have meant greater success for this project.

Final Takeaway

Collaboration allows for the diversification of perspectives and leverages new skill sets, resulting in the best solutions

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