Web design and information architecture to improve usability and job search experience of skilled community members seeking "a paycheck with purpose".
In 2017, LA County voters passed Measure H, creating a new sales tax to support homelessness prevention and support services. Measure H funding has created over 2,100 jobs at government and nonprofit agencies working to end homelessness. To help fill the new vacancies across the region, the LA County Homeless Initiative launched a job search page but without additional support and resources, it is neither user-friendly nor intuitive. The Hack for LA team was brought in to design an open-source solution that can be shared beyond the Los Angeles County municipality as other regions also work to bridge the gap between the American public and the search for meaningful work.
Reduce the information density of the LA County Homeless Initiative's 'Jobs' page and streamline job searches across 60+ government/non-profit organizations.
Consolidate all organizations' job postings to a single web portal by extracting salient data from the 60+ organizations' websites.
In this project, I was able to complete the UX process through Step 5, handing off wireframes to our team of developers and providing clarification and support as needed. As issues arose during development, we iterated on certain features to ensure the delivery of our MVS (minimum viable solution).
Step 1: RESEARCH
Step 2: DESIGN
Step 3: PROTOTYPE
Step 4: TEST
Step 5: ITERATE
C&C analysis, heuristic analysis, high-fidelity InvisionApp prototype, pitch deck
2 months (2-week design sprint)
Sketch, Invision, Illustrator, Google Slides, whiteboard, markers, Post-It notes
Current Web Portal Evaluation
CURRENT WEB PORTAL EVALUATION
To guide our research and orient our team, we evaluated the current web portal through the Homeless Initiative's website.
- Hiring organizations are separated by region, which serves the organizations' reporting obligations but are a barrier to users.
- Rather than showing the jobs themselves, users are forced to visit each organization's career page in the hopes that they might find relevant work.
Using Jacob Nielsen’s 5 Definitions of Usability, I evaluated the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative’s current website and compiled a list of usability violations. The chart below captures the highest-priority issues I encountered, the heuristic that was violated, and a metric of its severity to the user.
COMPETITIVE & COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
To better understand the current market for online job boards, I conduct a competitive and comparative analysis of government job boards as well as job boards geared towards specific causes.
To supplement our research, I also conducted some guerilla user tests of the current LA County Homeless Initiative site. I focused my task-based sessions on assessing the content and usability of the site and how they impacted the productivity of finding relevant work. I also prepared a research protocol to help guide the team and onboard new contributors.
- 'Service Planning Area' is a confusing term for users; they don't know what it means out of context.
- Users have trouble finding specific citie(s) and/or details for their job search.
- Users are unable to quickly find work because they must go through each organization's career page to find a specific role.
Through insights gathered from our team's research and user testing, I create a journey map to help visualize areas where our users are experiencing frustration or confusion. This will help us to not only empathize with our user but to also guide our problem-solving efforts.
To determine the scope of the project and where to concentrate our efforts for the MVS, we utilized the MoSCoW method to reach a common understanding of what features will best resolve our users' pain points.
Bringing the design down to its core purpose of connecting skilled individuals to meaningful work, we made sure to incorporate affordances from existing job portals into every part of our design.
We added imagery and color to our wireframes and conducted another round of guerilla user testing to correct affordance issues and readability.
In anticipation of our first meeting with the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, we took our wireframes and prototyped them on Invision.
Following our client meeting, our clickable prototype was handed-off to the development team to be implemented. Over the course of development,
changes to our design had to be made to accommodate technical and fundamental restrictions. It was also during this time that we decided that
developing a responsive web portal made the most sense at little impact to our work flow.
You can view our work through the mobile viewport below or in-browser here.