Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Workday's new user interface

One of the things that I hear frequently is that users *love* Workday's interface. I can see why, it's easy and intuitive to use and pleasant to view. So I'm quite surprised that they're bringing out a new version of it. Here is a preview, the left is the current version that we know and love and the right is the future version:

My initial reaction is 'ugh!' It's called the 'canvas user interface' rather than the landing page.

Why is Workday making this change?

According to WD it will make for a consistent branding experience between desktop and mobile users. It will also allow for more branding by customers in mobile. On the plus side the blue that you see in the canvas can be customized in color, so if your key company color is red you can change that. Users will be able to set whatever color they want on their mobile devices however.

Also WD stated that the darker text will be easier to read.


Workday is handling the desktop experience separately from the mobile UI. Mobile is already in production. Customers can preview and use the new interface in desktop production but it's an opt-in. Everyone will be forced into using it as of WD 31 in Sept 2018. In the meantime your users are suffering through an inconsistent experience between desktop and mobile.

Customer impacts?

At least customers have a year to start changing any of their documentation, training materials or job aids. This is a major overhaul in the look of the software.

User opinions?

As I informally chat with HR systems people in my WD circle, no one is impressed. In the greater WD community people are seeing it as a step backwards. In particular people are wondering why WD is devoting so much time to making its product mobile friendly when so many users are desktop based. My personal favorite is the people who are comparing it to software of yesteryear like old Windows systems or *shudder* PeopleSoft 8. I actually see the PSoft comparison on the drilldown pages, plus the sample blue is similar to the PSoft blue.


  1. Saw the UI at Rising last week and this information is already outdated, Stephen. Always evolving, those Workday innovators...

  2. Not impressed and neither are the other members of our implementation team. I hear SAP has an amazing new UI.