UCL News


UCL Change Builders: Inside UCL – simplifying life for staff at UCL

Meet the UCL Change Builders helping to drive progress for our community of staff, students and partners.

A graphic that reads 'Inside UCL: Simplifying life for staff at UCL', with a person smiling next to it.

2 January 2024

Introducing UCL Change Builders

As part of our shared efforts to deliver on our Strategic Plan and respond to insights raised, teams across UCL have been working hard to drive progress for our expansive community.

It's often the combined efforts of many small steps of improvement, which build together to create immense impact, that make up much of our progress.

Recognising and celebrating the teams behind these efforts, UCL Change Builders spotlights these stories of change.

Know a Change Builder? Get in touch!

Inside UCL

Ever had one of those days when you just can't bring yourself to tackle the administrative tasks that you know need to get done?  

“The most important thing for us”, notes Lisa Tyzack, Senior Agile Delivery Manager at UCL, “was to make doing everyday tasks easier for staff”.

Lisa, who works within the staff experience product team, has been instrumental in the rollout of a user-led app for UCL staff aimed at doing just that.

Inside UCL is the brainchild of a collaborative team of colleagues from the digital experience team within the Information Services Division (ISD) and Office of the Vice-President External Engagement (VPEE).  

About the app and the power of collaboration

Through the many conversations and consultations that have been had within our community over the past two years, the message has come back that improving our systems and processes to make the everyday tasks staff need to get done easier and less time consuming is a priority.  

Inside UCL’s primary goal is to streamline processes for staff, making tasks like booking leave a four- to six-step journey for users. 

It consolidates routine processes into one interface, ensuring that task-ticking is intuitive and feels less of a hassle to get done.

No user guide is needed either – the app's features are designed to enhance staff efficiency and wellbeing seamlessly. “The idea behind Inside UCL is that everything's kind of in one place, so your everyday transactions, you know where you can do them” says Lisa, who selects desk booking and booking leave as her “joint favourite” features within the app. 

You can also use it to do things like view your payslips, update your personal information, record your sick leave and read staff news.

Two people sat at a desk looking at a mobile phone screen
Pictured: Manny Murraletharan (right) and Sonhal Mistry (left), part of the team working on Inside UCL.

User-led design 

The app’s success is rooted in its user-centric approach. Staff members have actively shaped the app's functionality through extensive user groups and feedback sessions, allowing it to evolve based on their preferences and needs;

“Inside UCL is very much user-led – it's led by user need and we try and deliver what uses want to see in the app” explains Lisa.

“We have also been working with Senior Management to help drive up compliance in certain areas. For example, our new ‘Report Safety Incident’ feature should make it easier to report a safety concern or incident”. 

Its development continues to be a collaborative effort of many different teams across UCL.

“For example, we're working with Digital because it's part of the digital experience notes Lisa, “with colleagues in HR because our system is a front end to lots of other systems, and with the team that own the desk booking system – it's a big collaboration!”. 

A person looking at the camera with their arms crossed and a smile on their face
Pictured: Manny Murraletharan.

Plans for the future

Looking to the future, the team has plans to introduce features tailored to managers, enabling them to perform manager-related tasks within Inside UCL.

This expansion includes simplifying processes when employees are unable to access MyHR themselves. The team is also engaging in discussions with managers to identify desired self-service features for future updates.

“We are showing a couple of user journeys to managers, checking for suggested tweaks”, says Lisa, adding “we’ll then go back to the design team and say, actually we think users prefer it this way”. 

The roadmap for the app includes viewing contract information, implementing technical enhancements, and ensuring app stability.

Lisa’s ultimate vision is its embrace by the entire UCL community, with features adapted to resonate with user desires and preferences “I just want everyone to use it, because whatever we put in there is going to be determined by users”. 

The app, which shows the power of collaboration, user-led design, and continuous improvement, serves as an example of how UCL teams and users can find solutions that transform staff experience and build change together.