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UWB Career

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About

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

Research

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."

Understanding Users

  • 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?

Prioritized Issues

  1. Out of Date Information

  2. Incompatibility with multiple devices

  3. Text-heavy

  4. Inconsistent Aesthetics

  5. Confusing Layout of Events Page

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Brandon Welch (Employer)

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Monica Libornia (Graduating Student)

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Blake Robins (Alumni)

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Dominic Wong (Undergraduate)

Personas

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.

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Monica Libornia User Journey Map (2021)

 

Survey Results

Participants

16

After sending out our surveys, we had 16 responses, ages ranging from 18-40.

Desktop Users

12/16

75% of participants primarily use computers to access the site, while others use mobile devices

First-timers

9/16

56.3% of our participants have never used the UWB Career site before. Many who have usually only visit once a year.

Second-gen students

14/16

87.5% of our participants were NOT first generation students in their family

 

Design

Difficulty Level

5/16

31.25% of our participants say it's difficult to find and use resources on the site

Design Changes

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:
 

  1. Appointments page is very well organized, colorful, easy to navigate, and helpful to students

  2. Quick links to helpful job searching sites on the home page (i.e., Handshake/HuskyHires/LinkedIn)

  3. Latest news section and announcements should stay front and center on the home page

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UWB Career Website Mockup (2021)

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Wireframes

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)

Prototype

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.

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UWB Career Website Figma Prototype (2021)

Usability Test/Results

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.

Recommended Solutions

  • 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