Y’ello Hive: Build an integrated employee app with the power of O365.
MTN Group briefed our team to design & develop a mobile app that enabled MTNers from around the world to engage and operate as a digital business without boundaries. The purpose of MTN Group, a Global Telco operator and one of the world’s most valuable brands, is to enable Brighter Lives across the ecosystem. Fusing this uplifting ethos within the employee value proposition of MTN Group is mission critical, because this directly impacts the future of the people inside and out. It’s no small task to be a culturally relevant brand and to resonate this culture internally. MTN Group is a diverse and complex environment and the Technology team was seeking a mobile application – a Y’ello Hive – that could become a home for MTNers, enabling them to access emails, download other Office 365 applications.
Our strategy for the Y’ello Hive App was to apply the same principles of Design Thinking and rapid prototyping that we would to any customer facing product, in order to make design, development and deployment decisions through a human-first lens. This aligned to MTN Group’s core purpose and the trust afforded to PlusNarrative enabled us to sprint together in product development cycles 1. gathering insights, 2. generating ideas, 3. building prototypes and 4. testing.
We surveyed our client-partners and the experts in their team, interviewed users from within MTN Group and facilitated workshops across a diverse base of stakeholders in the MTN environment. Our search for inspiration didn’t stop there, we looked to existing experiences for key concepts that might be built upon and even built up scrappy paper prototypes with our client-partners for feedback from potential users within MTN Group and select Operating Companies.
The Y’ello Hive application grew through the insights gathered during usability testing and one on one interviews with users. Today the app includes many important integrations and features such as Boardroom Bookings, Kudos, People Directory, IT Services, Catering and more.
With feedback directly from users, we had a clear idea of the features that complimented the employee value proposition (EVP) and user experience tweaks that might solve the most pain points for MTNers in their day to day. Our design team built a high fidelity prototype of the product for further testing – this approach feels and behaves like an app with limited functionality, to measure whether the prototype adds value to a user’s life before going into a full engineering process.
Our workflow is streamlined to gather feedback from our engineers, client-partners and the people the application seeks to serve as rapidly and early as possible. Through usability testing we will present a number of potential prototypes as we improve and iterate, before, during and after the engineering team has deployed a ‘finished product’. This was especially true as new features were requested over time and the same process could be repeated to ensure seamless integration into the existing product.
PlusNarrative used a variant of the MTN Y’ello Web design system that PlusNarrative created and deployed across the MTN Group environment, while applying the Google Material Design principles to ensure a lightweight, intuitive and beautiful mobile platform.
Written using React and built for Android and iOS mobile devices, MTN Y’ello Hive syncs user data instantly to give employees a streamlined view of their work days.
The application integrates directly with Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Graph, Service Now API and Sharepoint to allow for a Single Sign On (SSO), seamless and secure experience across multiple Microsoft services. It collects the power of the various Office 365 solutions under one roof.
Using React allowed us to maintain a single codebase and release many operating systems, thereby greatly reducing the time and costs required to serve the many different devices in use and rapidly roll out new features.
The first rapid iteration of the MTN YelloHive App was deployed to thousands across the MTN Group environment just 6 weeks after the project kick-off and it enabled MTNers to access important MTN Group news, access email and view upcoming events (Office 365 Integration) all in one easy to use mobile app experience.
The innovation cycle continued over the weeks after the app release, with frequent usability testing after each feature development sprint to confirm any assumptions that were made. Further iterations included new features such as IT Services ticketing (through the API Integration with Service Now), canteen ordering, Kudos sharing with fellow colleagues, and MTNers could now Book a Boardroom while on the go – a heavily requested capability discovered during usability testing.
The MTN Y’ello Hive App is in daily use at MTN Group locations across Africa and new features continue to roll out based on popular demand and data driven analytics.