Design Challenge

Butterfly Learning Center - Employee Time-Off

Project Details


Youth Advocacy

Skills Requirements

User Research, Usability Evaluation, Service Design, Industrial Design




Current situation

Currently, for a staff to take time off, staff fill out a piece of paper requesting the day off and then the admin approves it. Butterfly Learning Centre (BLC) have looked into different mainstream ways of staff requesting time off but all of them are either too expensive for a not for profit or require too much time to set up a profile and navigate through (some educators aren’t always extremely tech savvy).


BLC wants to get some help to reduce time consumed on this process which has lots of steps currently.


Primary user will be admin and staff at BLC. They have 30 full time staff and 15 part time staff. The main pain point is that the paper goes missing (messy desk), staff and admin lose the paper, forget to hand it in or it simply gets lost in the shuffle.


Currently, after the paper is submitted, the admin needs to approve (or not) and either return the paper or find the staff to return to them or let them know if its been approved, then enter it on the attendance sheet, then transfer onto an excel sheet and then enter it into Ceridian.


BLC would like the solution to be simple, help them reduce time spent on this process and understand there are staff who are not tech-savvy.

Other Notes

  • We have low budget, technical limitations for staff.

Final Executive Summary

We were able to collaborate with the staff to ensure that their needs were met in our solution, and it ended up being well-received.  Two potential solutions determined for the BLC: 
  1. Analog/Physical Collection Box
    • Simplifying the process of using paper forms by utilizing a single component where requests are made and approved. 
    • It meets the requirement of a digital-free solution that all employees can use regardless of prior familiarity and requires little additional training. 
    • Integrates seamlessly with the existing and well-established work-flow process.
  2. A digital solution of an email service integrated with a digital form process 
    • Integrating a Google Form with the time-off request process.
    • A free-of-cost solution that requires little set-up, and is easy to use, utilizes available (off the shelf) web application (Google) and fits with the current spreadsheet system used to track time-off requests and holidays. 
    • Gives employees the opportunity to request time off from home or from work (e.g., shortcut on iPads), digital portal/webpage with URL that can be sent out with weekly updates.
    • It does not require employees to set up an account; they can use any existing email address. 
    • Easily imports data into Ceridian’s human resources software through the spreadsheet that automatically collects the employees’ data from the form that is submitted.