SAVVIEST

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.

Project Snapshot

CLIENT
RESPONSIBILITIES
PROGRAMS USED
DESIGN PROCESS
OUTCOME
TEAM MEMBER

SAVVIEST

  • 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

Usability Tests

GOALS

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:

  1. Identify pain points

  2. Understand participants' mental maps of current product

  3. Understand needs and wants

  4. Assess the product's Net Promoter Score (NPS)

  5. Understand how many users' overall feedback

  6. Identify issues within software

USERS

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.

Data Analysis

AFFINITY MAPPING

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.

USER PERSONAS

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 CARLSON

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 WAKESHORE

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.

Designing Résumés

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

FINAL NOTES

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

WHAT'S NEXT?
  • Test user journey wireframes

  • Create style guide and design system within company

  • Obtain a new NPS score and analyze metrics