Applicant Experience Focus Areas – Careerbuilder

Design Thinking

User Experience challenges and Information Architecture optimization were more important in this project than in any other I’ve worked on to date. The Applicant Experience Survey (AES) is a part of the Data Portal. Its entire purpose is to allow users to view, slice, and most importantly interpret their Applicant Experience survey result data via a web application.

Based on user feedback we found that users didn’t fully understand the data they were being given in its raw form. They especially didn’t understand what the normal distribution chart under each bar of data was (It was there to allow them to compare their results to the average of other companies).

We came up with a design that grouped the questions in to 5 logical categories based on the business issue they addressed: employment brand, advertising effectiveness, process efficiency, recruitment team effectiveness and demographics and assigned a score to each based on the company’s comparison to the industry benchmark. While I was the lead developer for the entirety of the focus areas project working with 3 other developers, I was the lead designer for the demographics area.

Demographics Design

The demographics theme is different than any of the others in that we can’t place a value judgement on any given answer. For example, if 90% of your applicants have a bachelors degree and the benchmark is 30% is that a good thing? Well, not if you’re looking for someone with a PhD. Demographics interpretation depends on your companies goals.

I quickly sketched out several design alternatives on my whiteboard. 3 UX focused alternatives (focusing on the interactions) and 3 IA focused alternatives (focusing on how to display the data) and mocked up each possible combination using Pencil (UX tool for Firefox) for a total of 9. I presented these to the team and subsequently to some in-office users (a very frequent and important use case).

The UX portion was simple. it was decided to stick with the design that was most like the design of the other focus areas. The IA decision was ultimately made based on function. The most important use case for this was comparing one demographic to another and comparing users within a demographic who finished the application, didn’t finish, applied and were interviewed, and applied and were not interviewed to each other. The table view was ultimately best for that as it placed the data points right next to each other. we used arrows to indicate when a segment is significantly higher or lower than the benchmark.

Demographic Design alternatives

Here are a few of the mockups I created.

Why such high fidelity? The development environment is very lean. by the time we got around to designing the demographics focus area, we had already implemented the other 4 themes. I chose a high fidelity because I needed our business owners to be able to visualize this focus area with the others already in production.

About the Project

To reiterate a little of what I’ve already told you, the Applicant Experience Survey (AES) is a part of the Data Portal. Its entire purpose is to allow users to view, slice, and most importantly interpret their Applicant Experience survey result data via a web application. Based on user feedback we found that users didn’t fully understand the data they were being given in its raw form.

The Focus Areas project was focused on redesigning the way the data would be displayed to take out some of the complexity. the 31 questions from the 2 AES surveys previously spread across 2 tabs where condensed into 5 categories. We took away the normal distribution diagram which some had dubbed “the mustache” because of its shape and replaced it with 3 categories. Below the benchmark, Meets the benchmark, and Exceeds the benchmark. Now at a high level, one can quickly see how their company is performing in the 5 key areas and then if they so choose drill down into each one to see how they’re doing on more specific areas. and further down to see the raw data which was previously the top layer.

I was the lead developer on this project working with 3 other full time developers and an intern. The project iterations required frequent and clear communication with our business partners and each other, as some of our developers were in India. I managed the workflow with the Indian developers and offered code reviews and help completing tasks where needed.

For a live demo of focus areas go to http://www.careerbuilder.com/Personified/ApplicantExperience/FocusAreas.aspx?demo=true