New features and design in updated version of the app

8th February 2023

Humly revolutionises education by empowering supply educators with total career control. We disrupt the middleman agencies by giving you the freedom to find, choose, and book the best supply jobs that fit you. And the ultimate tool we use to drive that revolution is our app. Today, it just got better.

“Humly is about making it easier for educators to work when and how they want. And our new calendar views, availability setting, and simplified overall navigation will do just that and more,” said Humly Co-founder and Head of Product Kristoffer Persson.

A lot of work went into this update – over two months from disciplines like UX, UI, software development, design, marketing and more, with over ten professionals working over 1,500 hours. 

We began with qualitative and quantitative research, conducted multiple interviews with educators, plus many rounds of tests, all to do the complex work of making a simpler, better app – so our educators’ work-life works better.

Here’s what we did and why we did it.

What’s new 

With every app update, we have one clear goal in mind – to create a better experience for our educators.

But doing that requires taking a step back to see the bigger picture of what all our educators want. And what we discovered was a need for more simplicity, efficiency, and inclusivity to create a smoother, intuitive experience. 

“This update offers three major impacts for our educators. First, the new monthly calendar views will help educators better visualise and plan their schedules. And long-term availability removes the need for educators to input their availability every week. Finally, we’ve simplified and prioritised navigation around two key elements: How educators find new jobs and how they keep track of schedules and upcoming jobs,” said Humly UX Designer Ludvig Andersson.

The app now works better for every kind of educator because it will be quicker to use. It will be easier to use. And it will offer a simple, straightforward navigation that prioritises what our educators care most about.

And through it all, we’ve been able to reinforce Humly’s ethos: create, develop, and drive technology with a human touch. 

“We empower educators by giving them total career control to find, choose, and book the jobs they want. But how they do that through our app must be just as empowering. It demands a bespoke experience, providing flexibility and control. And we can only deliver on that by listening, understanding, and acting on our educators’ needs,” said Andersson.

And those needs are growing – just like Humly.

The drawing board

When we look to make changes to the app, we start by understanding the fundamental needs and problems of our educators. So it was a bit of a shock to learn that one problem was actually us.

We’ve gotten bigger. 

The sheer volume of new educators, and new kinds of educators, joining the Humly revolution every day put a spanner in the works. It’s a good problem to have, for sure. But one that demanded a better-than-good answer. 

“Historically, we’ve had a lot of educators doing supply as a secondary occupation, working one to two days. But last year, the number of educators working all week long increased dramatically. And during our evaluations with educators, we discovered the Humly app didn’t meet their needs properly,” said Andersson.

So by redesigning the app to enhance the experience and usability for full-time supply educators, with monthly calendar views and more efficient availability settings, we’ve set the stage for them to find even greater success.  

One that’s bolstered by all-new aesthetics.

Look, and feel

Nearly all human communication happens non-verbally – as much as 93%. And while that’s more about person-to-person interactions, it illustrates the absolute importance of brilliant art direction.

“The visual design must be instantly easy to follow. It’s not just about using the best colours, icons and fonts but incorporating the right balance and spacing, tying it all together. With this update, we’ve created a visually consistent, intuitive experience, ” said Humly User Interface Designer Hanna White.

But beyond the importance of a dynamic style comes the need for an inclusive one. Because if we’re not building something everyone can use, we’re not really building something everyone should use.

“As a UI designer, my job is about empathy. It’s about putting myself in our users’ shoes. Because keeping our app accessible for everyone is a crucial part of Humly’s DNA. So when we discovered one user had a visual impairment differentiating between reds and greens during testing, we immediately knew our design needed an adjustment,” said White.

To recap: Our update improves usability. It simplifies and amplifies the elements that matter most to our educators. And it ensures an intuitive experience for every educator. 

So are we finished? Nope.

“As a designer, you’re always aware the job is never really done. It’s just done for now – as there’s always room to improve. So to keep Humly relevant, we must continue advancing the tools and platforms our educators use to find the jobs they want,” said Andersson.

On the horizon

The moment we complete a project at Humly is the moment work starts to make the next one even better. 

“In 2023, we’ll focus on what we call the ‘matching experience’ within the app. This includes how you keep your profile up to date, how you set matching preferences, how you find new jobs, what information you have access to, and what happens after a completed job. We’re looking forward to improving all of this together with our users,” said Persson. 

And while we’re excited to release this update and see it improve the experience for our educators, and empower them to greater success, we know the work’s not done. 

Not by a long shot.

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