MWN
–– Career App
Conceptual Case
  • Imagining a better tool.
  • Pushing career planning beyond limits.
  • How to be different in a determined market.

01/ Summary

What was delivered and how

02/ Understanding the Problem

Finding the gap between a true career planning app versus a job board

How to be different?

The first challenge was determining how this concept would be different from career planning tools and job boards such as LinkedIn, Career Builder, and Indeed. We started with looking at the goals of the client and the primary functions we wanted to have.

Whiteboard with goals and app functions

Focus on the users

Thinking about what was missing from other job boards, we discovered a group of users neglected in the market. This group includes people who are at the very beginning of their career, and this can include people who have not started or finished their education. This market is missing the actual planning aspect of choosing a career.


Competitive analysis

I took a look at a few exisiting applications similar to the application we were trying to create. Figuring out what those apps did well and what they were lacking in. I started with a list of main comparisons to keep the research guided such as ease of account creation, login, and navigation. I evaluted experiences including initiating tasks, performing the task, and successful completion.

04/ The Solution

Taking an approach centered around a targeted user audience

Potential user groups

I began the design process by creating personas to help understand the potential users and their needs. To determine the experience, my first goal was to recognize different needs and expectations, and identify with the user I am designing for.

Storyboards

With user personas, I could create clear scenerios for the user. I wanted to visualize different branches in the journey of planning a career. I could break up the goals of the design and primary app functions, and align it to the user.

User persona 1

17 y.o. thinking about college and the career to pursue. Unsure of where to start in the whole process. Overwhelmed to think about the future. Needs to consider interests and potentional careers, cost of different schools, and potentional student loan debt. Interested in finding a career to that is enjoyable, can live comfortably with steady income to pay off loans.

User persona 2

25 y.o. newly graduated with a degree in computer science and looking for their first job. They find themselves searching job that they have heard many of times: software developer, software engineer, IT help desk. They are not sure these are the right fit but they also are not fully informed of all the career paths they can follow.

User persona 3

30 y.o. recruiter who wants to explore other options in their career and find a company with better salary and benefits.

User persona 4

42 y.o. who wants to advance further in his career by going back to school and earning a master's degree.



Sitemap

The sitemap was the next step in helping clarify what the site’s goals are before starting the visual design. We were able to decide exactly what we wanted from our application and then mapped it out. Our main priority was ensuring that every part of this application is reinforcing our goals. We were able to cut parts that aren’t directly tied to the site’s purpose.

Iteration #1

From the first iteration of the sitemap, pictured below, we determined the two paths for education and jobs had to be seperated. We could use a high-level sitemap to show the top most path the user could take but anything deeper than that we needed to expand a lot further.

05/ The Outcomes

Building the structure

Divide and conquer

Based on the complexity of the project, it was decided to split the design into two phases in order to produce a prototype in a timely manner to potential investors. Phase one is the job search function of the application. The wireframes and resulting prototype follow the user who is searching for a specific job position.

Plans for the future

The second function of the application will focus on career planning. This starts with a career and lifestyle assessment to determine best career fit for the user. From there, the user can dive deeper into requirements, qualifications needed, suggested colleges, tutition costs, and estimated salaries.

Wireframes
Room for improvement

By mapping the experience and outlining the design, I was able to find problems with the flow and ways to improve how the user will navigate throughout the app and complete tasks.

Prototype
Tap-through designs, as close to real

The prototype was delivered under time pressure to be able to pitch the product to potential investors. It could also be used for the developers to base a proof-of-concept app.

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