Somewhere along the way, you may have found yourself not happy or fulfilled with your career. You may have wondered if there was another career out there that may fit your skills, interests, values, and needs. I know I’ve been there before; it was a difficult time for me as I felt alone and uncertain.
My team was presented with this challenge — how could we help people better understand their skills and passions, and connect them with possible career paths they never new existed? We had a timeline of 2 weeks to craft a solution.
Meet the Team
My role as planning lead was to ensure timeliness of delivering our product. During the 2 week design sprint, I facilitated meetings, managed timelines, prioritized tasks, and supported my team throughout every step of the design process. It was a pleasure to work with these delightful individuals and I'd do it all over again.
Our Design Process
We started our journey in conducting 14 interviews with participants who were screened on the criteria of already switching careers in the past or currently looking to switch careers.
- 7 Male | 7 Female
- 12 have already switched careers in the past
- 12 were between the ages of 25–34 years old
During the interview sessions, it was important for us to gain insight on the participants career journey, tools they used during their career switch (human interaction vs digital tools), aspects they valued in a career, and any challenges they faced throughout their journey.
We synthesized our research through affinity mapping and sorted them in specific buckets: resources used in career exploration, preferences, values, wants, and challenges.
It would be eye opening to find a career that matched well with my skills. I would then be more open and confident in switching careers.
As a minority, I had a Latino professor who instilled a mindset that I can accomplish anything regardless of my background, and that’s what has kept me going
We concluded that:
- People want some sort of skill assessment to help find a career match
- People prefer human interaction to gain insight on a particular career
- People utilize the web heavily to research careers
People exploring career options need a platform to assess their characteristic so that they can find a suitable and fulfilling career.
Once defining our problem, we wanted to explore other platforms to gain inspiration for our solution.
Kennia took on the challenge of comparing our competitors to evaluate pros and cons.
Pros: having career matching based on skill/personalist assessment, users can create an account/profile, and free career resources
Cons: members having to pay $48 a year, overwhelming amount of resources that are not organized, and careers or website being outdated
I tackled on comparing features on platforms that I thought would be useful in implementing into our design.
Lemonade: I loved the amount of white space, interactive AI questioning, and simplicity of the website.
Very inviting, right?
CareerExplorer: I thought the progress bar was super useful in terms of the user being able to reference where they were at and knew how much further they had to go in the assessment process.
Microsoft Reach: I appreciated the formatting of the mentor profiles as it was clean, concise, and informative for the user prior to booking a session to meet with mentors.
It was important for us to create a platform fit for our targeted user groups. Kennia created these two personas to help support our design process.
First up is 26 year old Sebas Villa. He is unsatisfied with his current career and is looking to explore other career paths that align with his passions and will allow him to grow as a person.
Next is 20 year old Vanessa Lui. She is a sophomore in college and is struggling to find a career that aligns with her artistic background. Vanessa has spent endless hours researching careers and connecting with her counselor but is feeling discouraged.
★ Please keep Vanessa in mind as we take you through our design journey.
Having Vanessa in mind, we created a user story and flow to help us better understand the user journey when on our platform.
Everything we did started off lowest fidelity as possible so we could iterate to increase efficiency and reduce waste. I sketched out the onboarding process of Vanessa taking an assessment, getting matched with careers, creating a login, and saving her matches.
Our team member Sammy sketched the homepage Vanessa would encounter when landing our platform.
Kennia sketched out the page that Vanessa could peruse through when checking out her career matches to learn more about a certain career.
I brought our sketches to life by creating good ole low fidelity wireframes through Figma. Nothing wild but definitely helped us eye out what we wanted to create for our mid-high fidelity prototype.
Before our interaction lead Sammy went off to create our beautiful prototype, we collaborated to finalize the typography, color scheme, and feel of our platform.
Does it make you feel warm, fuzzy, or cozy?
Our vision was to create an atmosphere where users felt comfortable as if they were at a café meeting a friend; very casual and inviting.
Alright alright enough of the whole design process. Let me introduce our final product: careercafé.
A web application where you can take an assessment, get matched with suitable careers, and connect with mentors. We are here to help guide you through the process of finding your next career and connecting you with knowledgeable professionals in your particular field of interest.
Our persona Vanessa wants to get matched with a career. Our assessment focuses on 4 aspects when matching her with careers: skills, personality, interests, and values.
After she takes the assessment, she has the option to refine her search or save the matched careers for future reference (she need to create a login).
Vanessa realizes that she wants to learn more about what UX Designers do day to day and would like to connect with a human. She utilizes our “Mentors” section to browse and is inspired by Sabrina Chen.
Vanessa decides she wants to connect with Sabrina based on her experience and positive reviews. She can easily book a video session based on Sabrina’s availability through our platform.
We focused the end of our sprint running usability testing to iterate and refine our design. Here are some of the feedback we received:
We were passionate about the creation of careercafé as the challenge resonated with each one of us. Our team will continue to run further usability testing to refine our product for launch. We are hopeful and determined.
It was a pleasure to work with my team and major kudos to you both:
Kennia Olivera for being a wonderful team player in every aspect of this project; taking on unplanned tasks and pitching strong ideas.
“Sammy” Chiu for being a visual pro and making our sketches and ideas come to real life through Figma.