Responsive Web App Design
Design a responsive web app using agile methodology to optimize user experience and user interface, focussing on job seeker side
binqit is an online job search platform focussed on helping students find part-time jobs quickly and easily using a vetting algorithm that matches them to jobs based on their profiles.
As binqit's existing web app was identified to have too many usability issues, it needed a responsive web app designed from scratch to improve a noticeably cumbersome experience.
1 Competitive Analysis
We sent out surveys to university and college Facebook groups and subreddits, as well as to our own friends who were current students or had been students at some point in time. We screened survey participants to isolate those that have held a part-time job or have looked for one. Our survey asked participants the following questions:
What things do you consider when choosing where to apply for a part-time job?
How do you prefer to communicate with an employer for the first time?
What job search platforms have you used to look for part-time jobs? Is there anything you like and/or dislike about the platforms you have used to look for part-time jobs?
Have you ever faced any difficulties during your job search process? What kind?
We interviewed 11 participants to get a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings about the job-hunting process. Slowly but surely, we began to understand binqit's target student users.
As there are two sides to every coin, we also had to consider employers’ thoughts and feelings about the hiring process. We focussed on small-medium businesses (i.e., locally-owned restaurants) since large businesses (i.e., chain restaurants) typically have internal applicant tracking systems in place. We interviewed 6 business owners to understand their needs and frustrations when it comes to finding the right candidate for the job. Some of the questions we asked them were:
How do you find applicants for open job positions? What online platforms have you used to find candidates?
What do you take into consideration when choosing which online platforms to use?
Is there anything you like and/or dislike about the online platforms you’ve used?
Do you have any concerns or frustrations when it comes to finding candidates and/or screening applicants through online platforms?
What things do you take into consideration when screening applicants?
To compile and visualize our user research, we took our participants’ responses and created 2 affinity diagrams - 1 for job seekers and 1 for employers - which we used to devised 2 user personas to represent binqit’s target users. We have Vlad, an international student looking for a part-time job, and Amber, a small business owner looking to hire part-time employees.
We conducted a competitive analysis to find any gaps in the current market landscape that our product could fill, focussing mainly on job search platforms that cater to part-time jobs. We looked at 4 key features that could be important to our target users based on our user research: Commute time, availability, matching, and feedback. We found only one competitor to have most of these features. This provided us with direction moving forward, as we knew that incorporating these features into our design would give binqit the upper hand in its market.
1 Site Map
1 User Flow
How do we make the experience of searching for a part-time job quick, easy, convenient, and transparent?
Match job seekers to jobs based on skills, qualifications, and availability
Offer built-in messaging and scheduling
Provide timely application status updates
Because we were limited to only three weeks, our team focussed on the job seeker’s user flow — how they would navigate the web app — instead of designing both the job seeker’s and employer’s user flows. This would include the following tasks:
Create a profile
Search for jobs
Apply to jobs
Connect with employers via messaging
Track applications, connections, and interviews
Low-Fidelity Sketches and User Flow
To visualize our users' journey, we sketched low-fidelity wireframes on paper and used them to create a physical user flow that visually mapped out the path a job seeker would take to create a profile, search for jobs, apply to jobs, chat with an employer, and schedule an interview. We also labeled features and the points they would alleviate to ensure we were nailing all of our users’ goals and frustrations.
1 Inception Sheet
1 Mood Board
1 Style Tile
UI Design Direction
For the style direction, we wanted the platform to seem friendly, modern, and fresh, while still evoking a professional and trustworthy feel, so as to resonate with our young millennial users. We used a variety of purples with yellow accents, along with a sans-serif font (Proxima Nova) to emulate binqit’s fresh and young brand image. Purple is often associated with the future and ambition, and yellow is often associated with positivity and happiness — these are all feelings we wanted to evoke in our users.
As we worked on defining the style direction, we digitized our low-fidelity sketches into mid-fidelity wireframes in Figma.
Job Seeker's Pain Point
Job seekers don’t know the days and hours a job requires, and so the jobs they apply to sometimes end up not suiting their availability.
Employer's Pain Point
Employers don’t know the applicant’s exact availability when they apply for the job.
To alleviate these pain points, we designed the ability for job seekers to input into their profile their exact daily and hourly availability so that they can be matched to jobs based on their availability.
Job Post Details
Job Seeker's Pain Point
Job searching is time-consuming.
To make the process of parsing through job posts quicker and easier, we laid out all the most important information about the job in an easy-to-read format. The job seeker can easily see:
How they match the job’s requirements
When the job post expires
The hourly rate
The start date
Various commute times depending on starting location and method of transportation
Responsibilities (bullet points)
Exact days and hours needed (tags)
To make things even easier, the job seeker can apply with just one click of a button, submitting their profile to the employer.
Automated Decline Messages
Job Seeker's Pain Point
Job seekers don't hear back from jobs that their application has been declined from. This sets job seekers back in their job search.
Employer's Pain Point
Employers can sometimes be too busy to send every applicant whose application didn’t make the cut a decline message.
To fix this issue, we came up with an automated decline message feature. Once a job seeker has applied to a job, their application will sit in the employer’s “applicants” folder. After 3 days of no activity with the application, the employer will receive a notification asking the employer if they wish to connect with the applicant or decline them. All the employer has to do is simply click one of the two options. If they click “decline”, a pre-written message will be automatically sent to the applicant informing them that the employer will not be proceeding with their application. The message is direct yet kind and friendly, so as not to discourage job seekers from continuing their job search.
Responsive Web and Mobile Screens
Our 3-week design sprint was definitely not enough to completely release binqit’s web app, however, we feel that we tackled the project successfully and our prototype met the needs of our user personas.
If given more time, we would love to explore the employer’s side of the web app and design the user flows for creating a business profile, posting a job, tracking applicants, messaging applicants, sending interview invites, and sending automated decline messages.
We expect that our responsive web app design will increase the use of binqit as a job search platform and give it a competitive edge in its market.
This was my 3rd client project at RED Academy. It taught me that when it comes to design, quality is more important than quantity. My team originally started out with a much wider scope than was doable in 3 weeks. Once we narrowed our scope, we were able to focus on making our designs top-notch and as robust as possible.
On a Personal Note
As someone who has been both a student and a Recruiter in the past, I loved working on this project because it hit close to home for me. Having used various platforms to both find a job and find the right candidate for a job, I enjoyed using my expertise to design a product that alleviated so many pain points that I myself have encountered.