Being in my final year of masters, I started looking for job opportunities and so did my fellow classmates. While going through the process, I found keeping track of the job applications to be a very complex, laborious and time consuming task. There were a lot of tools for the company end of the process, but very few softwares fulfilling the applicant’s needs. So I decided to create something keeping the applicant’s pain points & goals in mind, while also implementing everything I had learnt during my masters program at Thomas Jefferson University.
The goal of this project was to solve the selected social issue, unemployment in my case, by finding solutions to tackle it through the medium of a digital product conceived through user research and other user experience design techniques. While coming up with this solution, we also had to keep in mind the business aspects & marketability of the product and define branding guidelines for it. Lastly a working prototype for this digital product, web application coupled with a browser plugin in this case, was to be developed by us.
I started the project by doing an online search on the extent of unemployment in US and found out that that though statistically the overall unemployment rate is low, newly graduates are finding it difficult to get jobs in their field of interest. Then I conducted to some preliminary interviews in my university which further cemented my point that students are finding it hard to get jobs. I then conducted contextual inquiry & the 5 whys technique to find the root cause of issues faced by the students. This helped me get a list of problems faced by them while searching for jobs.
Having found the application process to be one of the major contributor, I sent out surveys to find people who would fit my target user group. Then I interviewed the 12 shortlisted people and asked them to walk me through their process, while I noted down any point point which I could notice. With this data I mapped out the job application process, which consisted of three stages.
Majority of my interviewees used a desktop to apply for jobs, so I decided to go with a web application as my product. To get ideas for my application, I studied a few competitors, looking at their pros and cons. Then I got another list of ideas trying to brainstorm solutions for the issues faced by the people I had interviewed. This lead me to my product concept of having a web applications with four sub-modules and a browser plugin to complement it.
Based on the sitemap & the initial sketches, I started creating wireframes in Balsamiq, iterating them according to the feedback I got from users as well as other designers. After which I created the visual mockups in Photoshop which exhibited the color coding implemented in the app.
After few rounds of iteration, I ended up on the final version of wireframes, based on which I created the visual mockups in Photoshop. Did another iteration of the visual designs which brought me to the end of the design process.
This project also required us to think of the business aspect of the product, which I think was a really important, since it prevented us from designing something impractical & monetarily unfeasible. I created the business model canvas and also came up with the logo for branding & marketing.
Looking at the nature of the system, I decided to make it a single-page application with dynamic content, for which I used AngularJS 1.6.7. I also wanted the web application to be usable on all devices, irrespective of the screen size, so I made it responsive by implementing the Bootstrap framework.
This project was a really good learning experience for me as I got the opportunity to put my almost all my skills & knowledge to use. The time frame of a year enabled me to try out new methods & techniques, the ‘Double Diamond Process’ being one of it. Getting to work on the entire research, design & development process, I gained crucial insights into the work done in each of these positions.View Detailed Case Study View Demo Site