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Hive Project

Employee Feedback, Digital Product Development – Hive

Final app prototype created by James Seabright.


Students spent four weeks working with Hive HR, a Newcastle-based tech startup who had successfully developed a web application to survey employee satisfaction and receive feedback, and now wanted to explore what a more dedicated app with a focus on accessibility might look like…

Agency briefing by IX Designer James Heffernan and Product Owner Emma Booth.


Hive’s purpose is to give people better days at work. They do this by providing employers with the tools and insight to measure employee engagement through strategic surveying. This means that their target market is any business with employees. And, with ever-increasing focus on inclusion and diversity, their user-base has no real parameters. In a nutshell, their employee-facing products have to cater for anyone and everyone, equally.

General feedback is instantaneously available to the employer through a browser-based dashboard, however, for more complex feedback evaluation this is first analysed by Hive’s People Science team.

Creating a persona as part of initial research by Beth Peek.


Most modern businesses are only as good as their employees. Recruiting and retaining happy, engaged employees who take pride and satisfaction in their work is of critical importance to employers.

To measure employee engagement companies have traditionally carried out surveys. These have often been conducted annually due to the difficulty of organisation, collection and analysis, however, now thanks to the advances and availability of technology surveys can be distributed and evaluated at the click of a button. This gives employers a chance to get instant feedback on employee engagement and allows employees a platform to give constructive feedback.

Whilst for computer-literate people working in office environments, access to surveys might be easy, for others this is not always the case. Imagine, if you are working on a building site with limited access to technology and may not be able to read, or English is not your first language? Or if you suffer from a physical or learning difficulty which makes seeing or reading a survey more challenging? Previous solutions may have utilised paper or individual telephone calls which can be labour-intensive and time-consuming. It is these scenarios we want you to focus on to help make it an equal experience for all.

Sketching wireframe ideas by Beth Peek.

The Ask

Design and prototype concepts for delivering digital employee engagement surveys without barriers or compromised user experience, regardless of accessibility issues.

Key accessibility issues

●Language and literacy

●Computer literacy and access to technology

●Physical disabilities including hearing and visual impairments

●Learning difficulties such as dyslexia

Learning how to wireframe and use the latest prototyping tools such as Figma. Wireframe by James Seabright.


Students worked face-to-face with members of Hive’s own design and marketing teams to understand the challenges that Hive faced in trying to create an app for a diverse range of user needs and scenarios. Meetings and presentations took place both in our design studios and at the clients office giving students a really valuable insight into the working processes, environment and expectations of creatives working for a tech startup.

Usability testing by Lauren Critchley.


Students presented their own conceptual solutions which included infomercial videos to show how their solutions worked across one or a number of use cases. They also produced working demonstrations and prototypes using authoring tools such as Adobe XD, and Figma.

Students presented final work at Hive’s head office

Service concept infomercial by James Seabright

Course info

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

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