In 2018, Savviest, a software product that helps job seekers easily create and manage résumés, launched their beta product. During its inception, the product had been created by two developers. I had the opportunity to conduct user research, competitive research, and data analysis to create data-driven designs based upon my findings. This provided an excellent direction in order to improve the software usability and marketability.
Conduct competitive research
Design and implement usability tests
Provide test results to team and deliver Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Produce data-driven designs
Zoom.us, sketching tools, Sketch App, InVision, Realtimeboard
Understood concerns of product through conducting competitive research and usability tests, affinity mapped and discovered user personas.
Explored design possibilities through creating the user journey and wireframing the onboarding workflow.
Designed résumé templates for the users' final product
Uncovered competition workflows
Understood users pain points of launched software
Provided team with NPS for base metric
Clarified user journey
Designed improved onboarding workflow designs
Delivered résumé templates
Devin Owen & Justin Midyet, co-founders & developers
Due to product launch, I knew that I had to conduct a usability test immediately to understand how users interact and perceive the delights as well as pain points of the software. The goals of the test were to gather qualitative data to gain design insights.
My specific goals included:
Identify pain points
Understand participants' mental maps of current product
Understand needs and wants
Assess the product's Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Understand how many users' overall feedback
Identify issues within software
The target users for this service are young professionals: early 20s to early 30s. Technology proficiency for each participant was between 7-10 (0-10 scale). I tested six individuals with various backgrounds and demographics. All participants consented to having the sessions recorded for research purposes.
TEST FORMAT AND SETTING
The test was conducted through a remote video communication tool, Zoom.us, which also allowed me to record the sessions and in person. The test was unmoderated with light objectives. I provided information about the product and a guiding goal that allowed them to get started and explore the software. The users were asked to employ the "think aloud" method, which allowed me to observe not only their actions but their thought processes as well. The tests lasted 45 minutes.
The goal for conducting these usability tests was to understand how the participant interacted and explored the different features within the product, what were their paint points during the process, understand their expectations, and gather feedback.
After I conducted the user tests I compiled the notes I had written during the interviews as well as rewatched the videos that I recorded. I extracted the data points from each participant and wrote them on a different sticky note in the Realtimeboard application. Each participant recieved a different color sticky note to protect their identity. I organized and categorized these data points based on the topic that I had discovered. This provided me with useful data about how the participants used the software, their pain points, and how to improve the product. Below is a snapshot of how I mapped the data.
HIGH LEVEL RESULTS
The gathered results from the tests were very interesting and provided high insight as to the users' pain points and priorities of improving the site. From the data, I deduced that:
Concern: 100% of users wanted more guidance in how to use the app
Concern: 100% of users found it challenging to understand how to enter in their unique resume information
Design solution: Design a clear onboarding & workflow design
Concern: 60% of users mentioned that they want to import their LinkedIn information and previous resumes
Design solution: Allow users to upload previous work
Concern: 100% of users were not happy with the end product of their résumés
Design solution: Improve résumé template designs for a wide variety of cases
NET PROMOTER SCORE (NPS)
An industry standard way to understand the viability of a product is to simply ask their uses:
"How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend, between 0-10?"
This question was one of the most valuable questions I asked during the interviews. According to NetProtomer.com, NPS "measures customer experience and predicts business growth." By giving the user a range from just 0-10, you are able to understand if the user is unlikely (0-6), neutral (7-8), or extremely likely (9-10) to promote your product.
Basically, % extremely likely - % unlikely = your net promoter score.
When I asked this question to the participants, the answers were vague. People could see the value of this product but also expressed that it felt like the app needed to improve before they would recommend it, nonetheless use it themselves.
The overall NPS for Savviest was -40.
Another NPS will need to be taken after redesigns are implemented to gauge the effectiveness of the data-driven designs.
During the usability tests I gathered demographic data in order to understand the user population better. I combined this information with the data points I organized in the mapping process and found two main user personas. These personas can be titled the "Professional" and the "Explorer", which are found below.
Lucas is a businessman who has worked hard to get to where he is today. He appreciates excellent résumé tools that can help him apply to a job quickly and effectively. It is essential for him to import previously written résumés, and utilize his LinkedIn history.
"It is essential that I'm able to utilize my professional history that I've already created."
Kathleen has a colorful past full of many unique experiences. When creating a résumé she needs to be able to add and adjust all of that information. Customization of her résumé is imperative.
"I put a lot of information in my résumé, so every inch of it is precious real estate."
User Journey to Wireframes
USER JOURNEY WORKFLOW
There was a significant need to have a clearer user journey. The user journey workflow that I had designed consists of the user signing up, then promptly being given two screens seeking basic information about the user and their professional and educational experiences. This information is to be utilized to get them up and running within the software. Then the user is sent to the dashboard where he or she will have action items for them to get started.
FROM SKETCHES WIREFRAMES
I began creating sketches and then wireframes of the current software of possible onboarding experiences and user interface designs. I wanted to keep much of what the company had in place with a higher focus on user experience design, interaction design, and design principles. I created several low-fidelity mockups which allowed me to identify design issues and solve them before creating pixel perfect mockups.
While I was designing the user journey and the onboarding designs, I also needed to create résumés for the team. Résumés are very important. They are the professional face of individuals seeking employment and thus have to say a lot about the person in a visual and verbal way. Depending on the career path one is seeking, the résumé needs to reflect that perfectly. When designing the résumés I wanted to provide several designs that were modern, classic, and professional. Each résumé design starts with colors and font choices but can be easily changed due to the need of the user.
Final Notes & Next Steps
Overall, the project was successful and I was able to gather the information I was seeking in order to create a refined user experience for Savviest. These included:
Understood users pain points of launched software
Provided team with Net Promoter Score (NPS) for base metric
Clarified user journey
Produced improved onboarding and user flow designs
Designed résumé templates
Test user journey wireframes
Create style guide and design system within company
Obtain a new NPS score and analyze metrics