Designing for Mielee — the solution that cares about your employees.

Nice introduction picture of young people laughing in what looks like an informal meeting

Do you feel committed to your work? 👨🏻‍💻

If the answer is no, don’t worry you’re not alone. Only 6% of French employees feel committed to their work, or to say it in an even more concerning way: 94% of people don’t.*

Shedding lights onto employees 🔦

Six months ago, Minh Pham founded Mielee from this exact observation: being happy in your job and committed to it can be so challenging that employees tend to leave companies for others or decide to work as freelancers. That not only results in a big turnover rate and unhappiness at work but it also reshapes considerably the job market environment. A lot of reasons are to take into account to explain those consequences, and we will not cover all of them now, — but from Minh’s perspective, one of the paths of action to address this was the CE one.

What is a “CE” you ask?

If you’re not French of Belgian, you probably never heard of this weird yet short acronym. CE stands for “Comité d’Entreprise” and can be translated as Perk Management Committee.

But, why?

When prospects have to choose to take a position in a company, a lot of different factors come into play: salary, job offer, position in the company, the culture of the company and… perks. From the company’s side, offering perks to its employees is a way to attract more talent and to retain existing ones. Sometimes employers cannot meet the expectation of higher salaries, but if they grant you financial perks for activities in your free time, at the end of the day, it helps you save more of what you are owing in your paycheck. It’s usually presented by HR as a package in job interviews, something to convince talent on a financial level but also a selling argument to promote the company’s culture.

CE are a big part of the company’s own brand. It’s basically a way to tell your employees that you know they have a life outside their job, to show that you are aware that they don’t always have the purchasing power to enjoy the remaining personal time they have left outside from work hours with cool activities. And that you, as an employer, can participate to their work-life balance.

In Minh’s mind, the desire to reinvent what we know of the traditional CE was clear since the first hypothesis and observations he had of it was something quite old-fashioned, traditional and not personalized.

What is Mielee?

What do I have to do with all of that? 🤔

When Minh and his co-founder built Mielee some months back, they had to focus on the business side of it and put all their effort into making the business plan work and get the company starting. After working on a first MVP (Minimum Viable Product) focused on the HR side of the platform, they asked for help to create the employee side of it as they needed to design the whole flow from your personalized dashboard to booking activities and spending your dedicated leisure budget allocated by your company. This is when I entered on stage and offered them my help as a UX/UI Designer for a 2 weeks-sprint.

This implied several tasks such as:

  • Conducting in-depth User Research,
  • Defining the target and the main problem we need to address,
  • Ideating to find a matching solution that would both answer user needs and work with business constraints,
  • Building a prototype that evolved according to user testing insights
  • Gathering inspirations to create a moodboard that would convey the value and atmosphere of the platform to-be.
  • Adapting while respecting the existing Design Guidelines to current needs and introducing new design elements into the Style Tile
  • Refining the prototype to deliver a hi-fidelity version of it.

Let’s get to it!

Following the Design Thinking Process, my role was first and foremost to focus on Research on the business side to understand the market.

What are others doing? 🏁

Bringing novelty into perks management is something that Mielee shares with a few other competitors on the market. But if we look closer into it, we see that most of the players are still traditional in the way that they offer some catalog deals and partnerships and have an overall proposition that remains very general and not that customized for the final user. But some big players like HelloCe or some modern ones like Clan can be threatening because they are aiming more and more towards Mielee positioning, that is to say, at the crossroads between an outsourced service and a personalized offer as you can see on the diagram below.

Competitors quadrant to have an overview of the market

Meeting with users 🙋🏻‍♀️

Since I had time constraints to work with, I had to jump rapidly on the User Research part of the process, and it started with recruiting users. After our kick-off meeting with Mielee, I had an idea of their target and expectations.

What are our hypotheses?

  • Big companies have an allocated budget to CE and big partnerships that allows them to propose very interesting deals.
  • Most CE are targeting families and don’t have a very diverse offer for employees who don’t have children.
  • CE platforms, should it be a website, an app, a dedicated office, are very old-fashioned and process are time-consuming.
  • Perks such as the CE is a criterion in interviews.
  • The CE participates greatly in the company’s brand reputation.
  • The CE benefits more of those who have been in the company for a long time.
  • First access and understanding of the CE are very opaque unless a colleague guides you through it.

Let’s ask employees

I went and interviewed 10 people in total and it was impressive the number of insights they could give me on the subject. The CE is so common for employees that have been used for years to benefit from it, that they never really took time to dissect the way it works, until now!

Research insights quotes from 10 users interviewed
  • They all struggled when they arrived in their job position to have proper information regarding their CE rights. It was so opaque that without a colleague’s or a manager’s help, they would not have knowledge of the offer and would have missed nice opportunities. Some of them even think that the companies do so on purpose to give fewer perks to employees. Talking about a counter-productive company reputation.
  • They admit that until now, it has not been a very inclusive service because it benefits more specific employees and excludes others. It’s especially what happens with employees without kids (a.k.a. 100% of my user target) who don’t necessarily need deals on Disneyland Paris Park for kids or discounts for family trips.

“I don’t want to see my boss in a bathing suit”

My first reaction to a user telling me that was to laugh. But digging the topic deeper with the interviewees, it’s true that in some companies, when you book a trip sponsored by the CE you might end up stuck all day in a tourist bus with your colleague or by your boss side at the swimming pool, and it’s better to know that before buying the plane ticket.

To put it in a nutshell, taking part in activities with colleagues during the week is nice, spending summer holidays with them, much less.

It was important for me to confirm or infirm the trends that came out of those interviews with a broader audience. I thus designed an online survey to gather quantitative data and here are the main results:

About the CE offer, process & role.

Survey insights on how people view their CE
Results to be put into perspective with the number of respondents.

About how they view their CE

Survey results on how people view their CE
Results to be put into perspective with the number of respondents.

Answering Emilie’s needs 💁🏻‍♀️

Emilie Barnes, Mielee’s persona

All in all, Emilie the ambitious and dynamic employee needs to fit in. She would like to know her CE rights and share moments with her colleagues for team-building purpose even though she can’t find any clear information right now of what she is offered.

Sliding into your CE 🏄🏼‍♂️

That’s where Mielee swoops in with the perfect solution for her. An online platform on which she can connect all the time even when she’s not at work.

Mielee offer’s scheme

Visual proposal 🎨

For that solution, we needed to convey Mielee’s brand value and vision.

Moodboard proposal composed of 7 colorful pictures that match the brand values
V2 of the moodboard after the client’s feedback.
Mielee’s project style tile part 1 — colors, buttons, typograhy
Mielee’s project style tile part 3-icons, tags, illustrations
Mielee’s project style tile part 2 — cards, tags, templates

Ok, but what’s the end result? 🤔

Prototype scenario

  • Emilie is at work, she has a break and goes to her CE website.
  • She arrives on her dashboard on which she has a complete follow-up of her actions and budget.
  • She heard her colleagues talk about cool trips offers so she goes to “Subventions” and checks what’s here.
  • She is very interested in the trip to Norway and clicks on it. Here she has all the trip description and sees how much money she has left on her trips budget.
  • Reading all the steps she understands that she will be able to choose how much of this budget she wants to use and complete with her credit card. She goes on with the checkout process.
  • Her information is already there because her profile is synchronized. She has a recap on the side and can go to the next step. There she can choose her budget amount and decides to use 100€. She sees the recap being updated and continues to her credit card information. She enters her card, continues, and then she has all of her info for her to verify before paying. And that’s it she has her order confirmation.
  • She goes back to her dashboard, sees her new trip booked and her updated budget.
  • She receives a notification, it’s about new offers in the activities section. She checks and wonders what is organized on the 25th of September. It’s a yoga class for beginners. Yay, she always wanted to try!
  • She gets info on the class and the teacher, she’s available on this day and decided to register. Last info about the session, and done!
  • Once again back on her dashboard, everything has been updated in real-time.

Testing with users 🤜🏼🤛🏼

Desirability testing feedbacks from 23 users.

What’s next? 🧐

Short-term

  • A/B testing for the dashboard organization and cards type
  • Profile page with features and info

Mid-term

  • Onboarding flow
  • Responsive version on Mobile

Long-term

  • Partners interface and flow
  • Branding guidelines review for accessibility matters

Thank you for reading! ☀️

Make sure to visit my website: www.ellaforte.com
You can also add me on LinkedIn: in/ellaforté

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Ella Forté

Ella Forté

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Product Designer based in Paris. Huge fan of Friends. How you doin?