REVALUTION AND RE UNDERSTANDING OUR PLATFORM USERS
In order to establish a solid foundation for this project, it was important for me to focus on advocating for and reintroducing our entire team to both our current and potential users. By doing so, we aimed to gain a better understanding of what was working and not working for our users, which would enable us to recreate a superior product. Broadly speaking, we identified three categories of users: attendees (students, job seekers), representatives (employers, recruiters), and hosts (organizations that host job fairs, including school districts, career centers, and workforce development organizations). This complexity in user types made the design process more intricate, and necessitated thorough research into each user group.
We conducted both qualitative and quantitative research to gather information about our users, utilizing various methods including:
- Support Requests: We analyzed support emails, which provided us with a wealth of information. This allowed us to quantify user experience pain points based on the number of support issues received.
- Training and Practice Sessions: During these sessions, we trained users on how to use the product, and observed in real-time where users had difficulty with the platform and where they were confused.
- Forums: We discovered that representative and host users frequently utilized several popular forums in their industries. By analyzing these forums, we were able to gain insights into how users felt about various products, their goals, and their challenges, which helped us design our platform to address these issues. We also read and researched content from subject matter experts in the field to gather additional knowledge.
- Surveys: We collected data from a subset of individuals using a well-defined set of inquiries with the aim of drawing conclusions about our service on a broader scale.
This resulted in a deep understanding of our users' touchpoints, tasks, insights, capabilities, expectations and evidence in order to distinguish between the needs and goals of our users. This also helped in establishing more meaningful meetings and discussions to have a clear vision to our product road map.
A highly effective method for providing our team with a comprehensive overview and a clear reminder of our user-centric approach in the holistic redesign of our product is to present them with our user journey map in a single frame. This map details the positive and negative experiences of job fair participants (attendees, representatives, and hosts) and their corresponding tasks, patterns, flow, and core usage before, during, and after the event. By using this approach, we are able to solidify our focus on the users and ensure that all team members have a shared understanding of their journey.
The impact of the journey map: The user journey map had a significant impact on our team. It clearly highlighted the inconsistencies and shortcomings in the design of the original Jobs Connected product. This provided our team with the ability to synthesize and focus on the necessary iterations for the current version, while also creating a vision for future ideal user flows. Additionally, the journey map facilitated a dialogue within our team, allowing us to establish a better design system for our users and reference it when developing new, impactful creative solutions. This has resulted in an ongoing conversation about how we can improve the user experience for our Jobs Connected product.