VERSION

TWO

HOW MIGHT WE MAKE THE JOB SEARCH PROCESS HUMAN CENTERED?

Project Overview

Skills Developed:Design

  • Interaction Design

  • Rapid Paper Prototyping

  • A/B Testing

  • Usability Testing

  • Problem Discovery Research

  • Adobe XD Experience

Version Two provides MBA led career coaching to recent graduates as they make important career transitions.

Our final design, the V2 Portal, helps applicants see their progression towards their goal while streamlining communication with their job coach to obtain their ideal job.

Problem discovery

From user interviews, we discovered that the main challenge job applicants face when job searching is loosing motivation. When this happens, applicants either stop applying or accept the wrong job for them. 

This challenge is due to two main drivers:

1. Emotional and logical barriers to networking

2. Ambiguity after sending out applications

Final designs

The Version Two platform connects job applicants with a career coach. To encourage applicants throughout the process, there is application transparency, suggested next steps, a social applicant group to encourage each other, and onboarding questions to personalize the coaching style to what the user responds best to.

Background work

Initial Research
identified types of applicants from research:
Soul
searchers
focused
searchers
culture
searchers

User: People who aren't happy but don't know where to go, what to do, or anything about how to find their dream job.

High level goals: Find out what their personal goals are, find out what type of job or industry they would be happy in

User: People who know generally where they want to go/what job or industry they want, but have no idea how to get there or overcome their obstacles to get there.

High level goals: Finding out how to be considered for their dream jobs, need help putting together their applications and finding specific companies to apply to

User: People who know what job they want and how to get there, but are having trouble finding a company that is the best fit for them as a person

High level goals: Finding out the details of all the opportunities available to someone with their skillset, experiences, and interests. They are able to find some jobs but don't know if thats the best salary, the right company culture, or the best fit for someone like them.

1
2
3
High level applicant goals and barriers: 

Goal 1: Progress towards obtaining their ideal job

Obstacle: Feeling of lostness and ambiguity during the waiting period

Significance: Feeling defeated can delay progress

Goal 2: Feeling self accomplished

Obstacle: Need guidance to achieve their higher level goal

Significance: Too much or too little direction can be ineffective for the applicant, based on their personality type

Goal 3: To be considered for unposted jobs through networking

Obstacle: Emotional barrier and a logical barrier in networking

Significance: 80% of jobs are unposted and acquired through networking

Sprint 1

1. Testing different methods of decreasing ambiguity and showing next steps after submitting an application

2. Testing a feature concept of "contact trading" to encourage users to network

Sprint 2

1. Testing methods of setting a main goal

2. Testing methods of setting sub goals to achieve the main goal

3. Testing methods of setting deadlines for sub goals

4. Testing methods of setting deadlines for the main goal

Sprint 3

During sprint 3, our team paired 3 users in a group together. Each user was given the same goal of identifying job opportunities that they were interested in, and messaging contacts through LinkedIn.

 

Each individual had a varying amount of attention from their career coach. One user had a 1:1 meeting with their career coach to set goals, and received multiple texts from their coach throughout the week to check in. One user had a 1:1 meeting, with no text messages. The last user received no support from their coach and only had a goal and a deadline.

At the end of the week, the three users met in a group to discuss their progress. None of them were successful in completing their task because it "felt skeevy" to message strangers on LinkedIn.

The user with the most support had the most progress- he was able to identify companies and contacts that he was interested in connecting with. The user with the least support had the next greatest progress- she identified jobs she wanted to apply to. The user with the coaching session and no other support had the least amount of progress- he was unable to make any progress towards his goal. This variation was due to awareness of tools and resources LinkedIn offers, and personal drive.

Users agreed during their group session that a template would have been helpful in accomplishing their goal of sending messages.

Sprint 4

In sprint 4, we wanted to understand what the best method of helping users create a message was.

We "wizard of oz" created 3 message crafting prototypes to test.

Prototype 1: 

The user has access to three different templates they can use to craft a message.

Prototype 2: 

The user has access to a chat box where they can ask their coach questions while writing the message

Prototype 3: 

The field where the user types their message is auto-corrected and supported through an "AI bot" that offers suggestions as they type

Feature assessment

Through our prototype tests, we learned that interaction with the coach, social groups, and a clear timeline motivated our users to be successful more than other features.

Main takeaways and Learnings
  • Users love transparency

  • Users don't want to do extra tasks unless they understand why those tasks are valuable

  • Users prefer very individualized amounts of direction

  • Users know this about themselves- they feel comfortable telling their coach how much direction and guidance they need 

  • Although having the social deadline helped with motivating clients, users were unable to overcome the obstacle of knowing what to write in these messages, resulting in them failing to complete the task

Future steps
  • Evaluate cost structure and how it relates to user motivation

  • Do long term testing around goal setting and the timeline to get more concrete results

  • Create a complete guided experience throughout the entire process

  • Explore how to make this service scalable moving forward