Symplicity Jobs & Careers

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The Challenge: Job Search On the Go

For over 20 years Symplicity has helped Career Services Centers of Higher Ed Institutions provide students with tools and resources needed to find a meaningful career. In 2016 and early 2017, we’ve observed a steady increase in usage of the website on mobile devices.

However, the usage of our native mobile apps had stayed low. This created a business need in the company to redesign the mobile app in order to cater to students’ and universities’ mobile usage needs.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not reflect the views of Symplicity.

My Role

Led the redesign of Symplicity Jobs & Careers for iOS and Android since the onset of the project in June 2017.

I worked alongside a Design Manager, a Product Manager and 5 Engineers.

User Experience Strategy

Created prototypes, mocks and style guides to share the vision, design and content strategy. This helped communicate ideas, enable alignment and drive decision making.

Planning & Scope Definition

Worked with my product manager, scrum master and design manager to prioritize feature backlog and plan for different phases of releases. I evangelised user goals and balanced business goals.

Design Execution & Validation

Created user flows, wireframes, prototypes, mocks, design specs and style guides for iOS and Android.

Ownership & Leadership

Presented concepts to gain buy‐in from executives, senior stakeholders, client advisors and developers throughout the project lifecycle.

The Discovery

Existing App Review

I started the discovery process by reviewing the existing app. My initial impression of the app was that it looked and worked like a mobile website than as a native app.

The rating on App Store at that time was 2.0, and so I combed through the reviews on App store. The reviews described the app as ‘clunky’, ‘overwhelming’ and ‘hard to use’.

While the website had evolved in design dramatically since 2015, the app had not been updated since 2014 and still reflected the old website design. This explained the almost negligible usage of the app, and increasing usage of the mobile website.

I presented my findings to VP of product, design director, product manager and engineering managers. My recommendation was to start from scratch and build new native apps with design and architecture that focused on our users’ needs and goals.

User Research & Insights

After gaining buy in, I decided to conduct user research to understand why and how students users would use the mobile app. So I conducted 10 qualitative interviews with a representative sample of student users. Below are the main findings from user research.

"Browse jobs while I'm in between classes"

Students who are actively seeking jobs said that they’d use the mobile app to quickly browse through available jobs while in between classes or on the bus on the way to school.

Symplicity Careers Jobs Existing Flow
"Quickly save jobs that I like so that I can apply to them later, when I have time"

Students also wanted to be able to quickly save jobs that they found interesting, and then apply to them using their desktop later when they have time.

Symplicity Careers Jobs Existing Flow
"See a very well tailored list of jobs that are relevant to me"

In the existing app, the main jobs list wasn’t personalized to the students’ major, class level and career interests. It was just a list of all jobs in the system sorted by the post date

Symplicity Careers Jobs Existing Flow

The Vision

Make the career finding process personalized, convenient and fun for students.

Design Goals

Based on user research insights and the vision for the app, I came up with the following design goals for the app

  • Focus on personalization
  • Simple information architecture
  • Brand consistency across iOS and Android
  • Internationalization
  • Accessibility

The Method

Auditing and Inventory

I started by combing through reviews on the app store and in-app feedback. I used this information to make a list of positives that we should keep, and a list of negatives that we should fix.

I then reviewed all of the user flows in the existing app, and marked pain points.

Symplicity Careers Jobs Existing Flow

I also audited the UI components and UX patterns being used in the app. The old mobile app, which hadn't been in updated in over 3 years, no longer felt consistent with our website's visual design and branding which had evolved in that time. We wanted to make sure that the visual design of the new app aligns with our brand.

The Ideation

Once I had a vision, and a direction, I conducted a started ideating using Crazy 8's method. Everyone in the team individually drew 8 distinct solutions for the home screen of the app.

Symplicity Careers Jobs Existing Flow

Prototyping and Testing

I prototyped our main user flows in Axure, and created a usability test plan to validate our assumptions.

"Prototypes helped us get good feedback from the stakeholders and..."

Prototypes helped me get good feedback from the stakeholders and senior leadership. I conducted a round of usability testing with 5 student users. I asked them to use the prototype to complete key tasks, and then used the results to iterate on our prototype.

symp careers prototype1

The Execution

Symplicity Jobs and Careers is a career finding app, available to students at over 1000 universities around the world. Students can discover, search, track and apply to jobs on the go.

Discover Jobs

Students can discover jobs that are relevant to them, swipe right on ones they are interested in and swipe left on ones they aren't.

swipe right

Search Jobs

Students will be able to search and sort through all the job opportunities available at their school.

swipe right

Apply to Jobs

Student can easily apply to jobs on the go.

swipe right

Track Deadlines

Students can track favorite jobs, applied jobs, interview invitations and schedules conveniently.

swipe right

The Evaluation

Once the team had a beta version of the app ready for use, we wanted to put in the hands of our users.

Couple of months before launch, we doubled down on validating our ideas and testing our assumptions.

We had an extended beta, and conducted usability studies with a representative smaple of students from our client universities.

Analysis of our findings revealed the top risks in the product to be:

  • Relevancy of Search results
  • Inability to preview resume before applying to a job
  • No distinction between jobs that can be applied via the app vs external website

We also got a lot of positive feedback, that reassured us of the direction we took with our new app

The Launch

In December 2017, we launched the app on both iOS App Store and Android Play Store in the U.S. In March 2018, we launched Spanish, Portugese and Arabic versions of the apps.

Both the launches went off without a hitch. As of June 2018, the app has a rating of 4.8 on the iOS App Store