The University of Washington Bothell Career website is for UWB students and alumni to access the Career Center's services to help their career development journey. For this case study, our team wanted to focus our scope on making the site easier to navigate so students can better access the information that would help them understand the current job environment. We also want to give students the option to save events to a personal calendar and get notifications for different events offered by the Career Center, which would allow various opportunities for students and alumni to network with potential employers.
Role: UX Researcher & Designer
Responsibilities: User Research/Analysis, Prototyping
The purpose of the research was to accomplish two goals:
Assess our current understanding of issues that users experience
Identify specific technological pain points while using the website
To focus the research goal, our team came up with the following hunt statement:
"Discover the steps involved in transitioning from student to employee to improve the UWB Career Services website's user experience, navigation, and helpfulness."
What do users do to prepare for interviews?
How do users search for the jobs they want to apply to?
Where do users need the most support in their career search?
What are the main devices users use to access info?
Improving the Website
What are the user’s expectations when searching the site?
What do users struggle with most on the site?
What services do users use frequently?
How long does it take for users to find what they want?
How can we streamline access to career services?
Which pages have the most/lowest traffic?
Are low-traffic pages necessary?
Out of Date Information
Incompatibility with multiple devices
Confusing Layout of Events Page
Brandon Welch (Employer)
Monica Libornia (Graduating Student)
Blake Robins (Alumni)
Dominic Wong (Undergraduate)
Our main personas include the following archetypes: graduating student, undergraduate, alumni, and employer. We focused on these because we found the website targeted these users, the primary being the students and the secondary being an employer. That is why we wanted to focus the primary personas on the three types of university-affiliated students and one secondary persona focused on the employer.
User Journey Map
Our primary persona is Monica Libornia, who is a graduating student. Among the students we interviewed, graduating students are the most common users of the Career Services at UWB, as they are transitioning from student to employee. She is a first-generation college student and has never had a job. Since she doesn't use the UWB website often, she needs an easy-to-use and accessible site. Monica wants to get information quickly and straightforward descriptions. As she prefers using a smartphone or laptop, she would also like the site to be accessible across different platforms. Based on this information, we made the following journey map for this persona to help guide our design.
Monica Libornia User Journey Map (2021)
After sending out our surveys, we had 16 responses, ages ranging from 18-40.
75% of participants primarily use computers to access the site, while others use mobile devices
56.3% of our participants have never used the UWB Career site before. Many who have usually only visit once a year.
87.5% of our participants were NOT first generation students in their family
31.25% of our participants say it's difficult to find and use resources on the site
Things to Keep:
There are a few aspects of the current UWB careers services website work very well and should either be kept as they are or kept as a high priority in future updates:
Appointments page is very well organized, colorful, easy to navigate, and helpful to students
Quick links to helpful job searching sites on the home page (i.e., Handshake/HuskyHires/LinkedIn)
Latest news section and announcements should stay front and center on the home page
UWB Career Website Mockup (2021)
The following images are sketches for a website design for the UWB Career site based on our research. To represent our primary users, I drew these wireframe sketches for a computer and mobile user interface. The third image below is a wireframe of the Events page in calendar form, which is one of the prioritized solutions suggested above. However, the student must have a UW NetID to be able to do so.
UWB Career Mobile Mockup (2021)
Using Figma, we created a medium-fidelity prototype based on the sketches that I drew above, allowing potential users to experience the flow of the propsed website. We also conducted a usability test with this prototype to understand what we might still be lacking in the design.
Our project's usability test aimed to see how our prototype resolves the pain points identified in our user research and addresses our preliminary research questions. With the pandemic, we decided to conduct a moderated testing method through Zoom. This allowed us to also record the participants or their screens during the test as they performed the tasks asked of them. That way, we could also pull direct quotes to show how users truly interacted with the website’s new design by voicing out their thought process.
Prioritized info in menu bar/side bar
Events page in calendar format
Break up the walls of text
Provide up-to-date and relevant info
Provide a variety of info for all students
Website resizable and mobile compatible
Students save and manage events
1-2 sentence description for video tutorials
More image-related links like on home page
Distinction for different links either with words or colors