​AHO Onboarding Experience

​Improve the onboarding experience of employees in The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)

​New AHO employee onboarding process : First day

The new AHO employee onboarding project is a one and half months project corporate with AHO’s school human recourses department. The major aim of the project is to provide a better onboarding experience from the perspectives of new employees and provider. The project team consists of all the Service Design-1 students, we work together for the research phase, then we choose different opportunity areas and work individually for ideation and implementation phases. I focus on the welcoming stage which is the first day.

​My Role

Service designer


​User journey


​Pop-up book


​Project Type

​5  weeks

​Service design

  • Research : 2 weeks

  • ​Ideation workshops : 1 week

  • Prototype & test : 1 week

  • ​Pop-up book : 1 week



For the user, we chose to focus on the international teachers as a starting point, who have the most complex set of needs and journeys and are the biggest category of new employees. There are lots of departments of AHO involved in the onboarding process, which are Human recourses, IT department, Head of institute, library, Administration, Finance and Students etc.

We spent 3 weeks for the research, interviewed 20 people from AHO. We defined the on boarding journey for 5 main stages, which were Before application, Hiring process, Moving to Norway, First days and Working in AHO.  


There are different issues in these 5 stages, which are:


  • A general lack of communicated information

  • Roles and responsibilities are not clear for the actors involved in the onboarding process.

  • A lack of structured and documented procedures.

  • Moving to another country is always frightening.

  • The welcoming procedure is informal: that’s a good thing and bad thing.

  • It’s often different for new teachers to understand all the complexity involved in being a good teacher.


We presented the findings from the research phase to the service provider and then had a co-creation workshop with some of the stakeholders to develop insights and ideas together. We were able to identify 7 different opportunities for improvement : Transparency contract system, Welcome moment, Buddy program, Procedure guides, Roles and  responsibilities, Templates and How to teach in AHO. We then worked individually for different areas, and welcome moment is my focus areas.


The next step I took was to use experience design tools and techniques to understand what the first day journey and experiences were like for new employees and managers. I generated a present user journey map with key actions, touch points, and breakdowns. I were then able to reveal critical moments, along with the factors that shaped these instances, which highlighted where things go well for new employees and where the experience falls short.


Armed with the first day's onboarding story and opportunities I identified, I crafted a vision, a set of guiding design principles for evolving the onboarding system.



​Structured welcome routine




Emphasize people first

Clarity roles and responsibility



In order to have a structured first day activities, a well preparation for the first day is distinctly important for the whole welcoming process. But now the roles and responsibility of the preparation for the whole welcoming process are not clear.

AHOffice is a platform to manage recurring workflows. HR manager/ institute leader can use it create customized checklist for different onboarding stages like checklist for hiring process , checklist for first day preparation, etc. Then assign checklist tasks to the different team members to clarity the roles, and follow up with them to make sure they prepare ahead of time for the arrival and onboarding. AHOffice helps the service providers identify their roles and improve the internal efficiency for onboarding process.

Welcome Routine 

A formal and structured welcome routine is the most essential part of the welcome process, which would make the new employee feels welcomed and prepared to start working, begins to understand the position and performance expectations. I redesigned the welcome routines, which starts as receiving the welcome email, ends after he/she finished the first day. 

A pop-up book was made to illustrate the first day journey to help people to have a vivid understanding how the first day will look like.

Physical Collateral

There are also a set of products created to make sure employees have a pleasant journey. 

A welcome email ( digital ) template and a welcome card ( physical ) which will be sent to new employees before the first day. The welcome email includes main content ,colleagues information board, and an extensive FAQ about AHO on an Internet that is accessible to new hires from a link. The welcome card includes the first day journey map which helps them to know the schedules for the first day and the map of AHO.

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