Recess is a paid time off (PTO) tracker used at Jackrabbit Design to help employees keep track of their remaining PTO days, view what days others have off, and be a place where a manager can easily approve PTO requests.
The idea of an internal paid time off tracker was long floated as an idea within Jackrabbit. The email method used before was confusing to keep track of and did not allow employees to see how many PTO days they had left to use. I handled the visual design for it, after having worked on the Jackrabbit Seeds revamp, another internal tool.
Keeping with the Jackrabbit brand and Jackrabbit Seeds redesign, I kept a white-based color scheme. Colors add emphasis to the key information and actions. Illustrations from Jackrabbit's calendar (done by Chris Ariñez) add visual interest to the space below each month. The logo was designed by Sandra Wong.
The biggest quality of life improvement on Recess is having it calculate the remaining PTO days available for employees for the year. The main view displays this number prominently. The right panel allows employees to scan through the year in a calendar format, select what days they want to take off, and request approval.
The second view shows everyone's PTO time and displays how many people are out on a given day. This helps project managers decide how to distribute projects to designers and developers.
Once the user selects their PTO days, a modal dialog pops up that shows the selected dates. Employees can select the duration of the time that they want to take off, add relevant notes, and finalize their submissions. A confirmation screen comes next to verify that the request has been emailed to the manager.
After submission from the Recess website, emails are sent to the requester and manager. The email provides a direct link for the manager to go into the admin panel and approve or deny the request. The requester receives a final email with either an approval or denial message.
The finished Recess tool helped streamline more than 80 PTO requests (a total of 2,216 hours) in the first six months of usage. Recess continues to provide employees with a better experience in managing their PTO.