Context

Savviest is an early stage career CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) startup that uses social feedback and AI to support users through the job search process. While their tech-enabled job search product currently focuses on resume and cover letter creation and improvement, their value propositions are expanding into job tracking and career coaching.

I was brought on to develop an internal support interface to support the career coaching product expansion. Over the course of the 4 week project, I was responsible for:

  • Conducting research and user interviews

  • Leading the end-to-end design process from sketches to creation and testing of wireframes and prototypes

  • Designing a solution to enable career coaches to connect with and support clients through their job search process

Tools : Figma, Photoshop, Illustrator, Google Suite

Product Priorities

Focus

To create an interface for external Career Coaches and Counselors to access and support end-users through their job search.

Goal

To push the product into MVP version 2, ensuring the highest level of functionality while ruthlessly avoiding feature creep.

Research

Quantitative Research

I began with basic demographics about the primary user group, career coaches and counselors. Key takeaways included:

  • Majority age range is 20s to 50s, with average age being 41

  • Generally educated with 56% having a Bachelors degree and 29% having a Masters degree

  • Level of education supports the assumption that coaches are familiar with technology, especially when the interface is intuitive

  • Majority are located in NYC, LA, and Chicago

  • 65% are women, 29% are men, the remaining 6% do not self-identify

Qualitative Research

Next I interviewed 5 coaches who have established or developing relationships with Savviest to learn:

  • Coach-client relationship arc overview

  • Methods of communication and support interaction

  • Core information coaches need to best support their clients

  • Common tools coaches use to support their clients

  • Common challenges coaches encounter

  • Early indicators of success

  • Average time-span of a coach-client relationship

  • What data and analytics coaches track and/or find valuable

Discovery

Personas and User Journeys

To meet the client's goal of maintaining the highest level of functionality within MVP, I aggregated user interview data to create an affinity map and priority canvas for career coaches which informed the persona and user journey.

Persona and user group for primary user group (career coaches and counselors)

Persona and user group for primary user group (career coaches and counselors)

The persona and journey map focused the problem statement and identified product opportunities.

How might we enable career coaches to successfully support clients through their job search while utilizing existing savviest interfaces?

Ideation

Interaction Design

The client wanted to build upon existing site structures to achieve high functionality with minimal feature creep, and user stories helped refine the key flows and information architecture for the MVP.

Expanding User Base Through Thoughtful Internal Support Interfaces

Primary User Stories

  1. As a career coach, I want to access basic information from forms and/or conversations to determine my client's specific needs

  2. As a career coach, I want to communicate or schedule communication with my clients

  3. As a career coach, I want to see my client's job search documents and add comments/questions

  4. As a career coach, I want to see/compare job descriptions with applicant materials

Design

Sketches

I began with quick sketches to visualize an interface structure that could build on existing elements from the client's design system to meet the new project's needs.

(The sketches reference a tandem project to develop an interface for internal employees, which was de-prioritized in favor of the coaching product.)

Sketches and annotations for a single interface structure that could be repurposed for both primary and secondary users.  The secondary user interface (for internal employees) was de-prioritized in favor of the career coaching product.

Sketches and annotations for a single interface structure that could be repurposed for both primary and secondary users. The secondary user interface (for internal employees) was de-prioritized in favor of the career coaching product.

Wireframe Mockups

I repurposed elements from the client's existing design system to mock up some quick wireframes to present for feedback. Although not pixel perfect, they gave the client an opportunity to respond with their preferences for both the UI and potential engineering challenges.

Client feedback communicated preferences for the form fields, general layout, and a desire to have user view buttons in the side nav rather than the header.

Client feedback communicated preferences for the form fields, general layout, and a desire to have user view buttons in the side nav rather than the header.

Prototypes & Testing

Click through embedded v1 prototype, or click here to open in new tab

Wireframe Prototype v1

Coaches reported that to best support their client's throughout their job search, they needed to:

  • Communicate with their client to gain a full understanding of their client's needs and goals

  • Access their client's profile information and documents

  • See the jobs their clients are interested in and/or applying to

  • Give feedback on their client's job search materials

In response to this feedback I made a hi-fidelity wireframe prototype in Figma.

User Testing

Context

User interviews had yielded valuable initial information, but coaches and counselors consistently responded that their process was not one-size fits all. The primary goals for testing this first prototype were:

  • To get feedback on navigation and usability

  • To get a more full picture of how coaches might use this product

  • To understand the specific features that would most benefit coaches

I tested the prototype remotely with 6 career coaches who have, or are developing, relationships with the client, giving the incentive of having a voice in developing the product they may use in the near future.

Strengths

  • Users responded positively to the clean UI and easy navigation overall

  • Users felt the site was very well-organized and would support them in their coaching role

  • Users anticipated the features to be helpful and relevant, especially the notes and comments on documents

Areas for Improvement

  • Users wanted a dashboard to notify them of pending tasks, with prioritization

  • Some navigation inconsistencies when returning to main screen from document detail view

  • Users gave feedback about the relevance of visible basic client information, and offered suggestions for what would be more helpful to them

  • Users wanted the ability to customize, especially in the job tracking feature

  • Users wanted the ability to create custom tools for clients

  • Users wanted the ability to reset their client's password

  • Users were curious about the potential to aggregate and analyze data from these interfaces

Final Prototype

Key iterations in the final prototype include:

  • A dashboard with integrated calendars, meetings, action items, and client data

  • Adjustments to basic client information in accordance with coach's needs

  • Reorganized side navigation and main navigation buttons to be consistent with prioritization of actions for greater affordability

  • Consistent UI across document detail screens and consistent exit navigation back to home screen

  • Customization within job tracker

  • Reset Password button added to main navigation within client profile

Click through embedded v2 prototype, or click here to open prototype in new tab

Insights & Next Steps

Savviest is an early-stage tech-enabled job search startup with plans to expand their platform to include career coaching. Personalized coaching opens an array of value propositions, and research validates the benefit of a coaching platform for coaches and job seekers.

Applying design solutions based on user research to the client's existing design system enabled me to create a prototype that will support the new career coach user base once shipped. The prototype has been handed off to in-house engineers with projected rollout in fall or winter of 2021.

Design Thinking Solutions:

  • Integrated and comprehensive dashboard gives users an easy overview of action items and multiple access points to client profiles

  • Site navigation and architecture aligns with logical steps of coaching process

  • Consistent UI and navigation throughout every screen for usability

  • Customizable job-tracker timeline

Next Steps for Coaching Platform could Include:

  • Build coaching activity interfaces (recent activity, notes, and tools) following structure of similar actions from end user profile screens

  • Build an interface for coaches to create and share tools (worksheets, spreadsheets) with clients within savviest's platform

  • Utilize existing structures for resume and cover letter creation by end users with modification for coaches' needs

  • Begin gathering and aggregating job tracking data to better support end users and coaches

I presented final hi-fi wireflows to stakeholders with annotations of added value and next steps. Below is a snapshot of a portion of the wireflow, with a link below to access the full document.

7
Hours of User Interviews
40
Screens
30%
More users
"Rachel is a dedicated, strong contributor and a pleasure to collaborate with."
- Devin Owen, Savviest Cofounder