Defining personas

Based on the literature survey, interviews, observations, and competitive analysis, we found that existing job search platforms do not effectively serve low-literate job seekers.

Consequently, two personas were developed - one for the business owner and the other for the job applicant.

The problem statement -
"How can we create a platform that minimizes the use of technology for low-literate job seekers and helps them find and apply for jobs?"

Affinity diagram

Affinity diagram

We decided to only use the affinity diagramming technique for two reasons.

  1. Time constraint

  2. It helped focus on the pressing needs of low-literacy job seekers by organizing the complex and multifaceted limitations they face.

Storyboards

Scenario 1

Johannes, a recent widow and mother of two kids who is passionate about textile weaving, finds a job through the app with Blaire, a small textile business owner who is seeking weavers at a budget-friendly price.

Johannes lost her corporate job due to the recession and wants to pursue her passion in textile weaving, but doesn't know where to find related jobs.

As a new textile business owner, Blaire cannot afford high labor costs and struggles to find weavers who are willing to work for his offered price.

Johannes uses our application to find various job opportunities while Blaire uses it to post vacancies for his textile business.

Johannes and Blaire find each other through the app and Johannes is successfully hired by Blaire.

However, this approach posed a challenge because it still relied on technology-driven job search processes, which the low-literate population struggles with.

Scenario 2

Josh, a builder in need of construction workers, and Jeffery, a contractor with a surplus of workers without ongoing work, use the app to connect and complete a successful contract together.

Josh is a builder but finds himself shortage of construction workers as they have migrated back to their home country due to covid.

Jeffery is a contractor who manages construction workers for various projects and is left with few of them without any ongoing work.

Both of them discover our application to be able to satisfy each others requirement.

Josh works with labor provided by Jeffery and completes his contract successfully.

To fully address the issue of limited job opportunities for low-literacy individuals, a comprehensive approach is needed that serves the needs of all job seekers, not just those who are connected with an agent.

Solution

Business owner posting a job vacancy.

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Business owners can create and manage job vacancies on the platform by detailing position titles, duties, and required skills.


They can also review applicants, filter candidates by qualifications, and communicate with candidates and agents directly through the platform.

Business owners can create and manage job vacancies on the platform by detailing position titles, duties, and required skills.

They can also review applicants, filter candidates by qualifications, and communicate with candidates and agents directly through the platform.

View Prototype ↗

Agent adding new candidate to the database.

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Agents can add candidates to their database, track their skills, preferences, and job search progress to match them with suitable vacancies.


They can review applicant lists and apply for jobs on behalf of candidates based on job requirements and qualifications.

Agents can add candidates to their database, track their skills, preferences, and job search progress to match them with suitable vacancies.

They can review applicant lists and apply for jobs on behalf of candidates based on job requirements and qualifications.

View Prototype ↗

Job applicant contacting the agent.

Applicant contacts agent and provides their interests and experience for agent to add to the database.

Agent provides the applicant with a list of open job vacancies based on their preferences and provides further assistance.

Agent sends job description and details of particular jobs to the applicant based on their interests.

Testing and evaluation

Usability testing was conducted with 4 potential users and 4 experts to assess the feasibility and key usability issues of the proposed tool using the think-aloud protocol and recorded our observations.

Tasks provided

  1. Add a new job posting as a business owner.

  2. Add new candidate’s information on the agent’s database.

What worked

  1. We found that all participants were able to successfully complete these tasks, indicating that the platform's design was intuitive and user-friendly.

  2. Participants were able to easily post new job vacancies as a business owner.

  3. Participants were able to add new candidates to the database without any difficulties.

What did not work

1. ​

"..the dashboard's real-time data is overwhelming due to its crowded display."

"..confusing sections on the dashboard."

Business module

Cluttered and confusing sections were removed from the dashboard to make it easier to navigate and understand the real-time data presented on the platforms.

Cluttered and confusing sections were removed from the dashboard to make it easier to navigate and understand the real-time data presented on the platforms.

Agent module

2.

"..how will employers, agents, and applicants connect with one another?"

"..the communication between employer and agent is unclear."

Modifications to the platform's sidebar menu now enhance communication between agents and business owners, establishing a clearer interaction channel.


The term "members" was replaced with "candidate profiles" for greater specificity and to reduce user confusion.

3.

"..applying for each candidates for specific jobs seems cumbersome."

We discovered that agents were unable to select multiple candidates before applying for a specific job, which was an important feature we had overlooked.

This feature was incorporated into the design to streamline the application process and enable agents to apply to a specific job with multiple candidates

Project outcomes

Outcome #1

Challenge

Team disagreements on project direction, causing delays and confusion.

Resolution

Aligned project direction by providing constructive feedback, including financial details for employers and labor laws for applicants.

Learning

Effective communication is key to project success, ensuring all team members understand project goals to avoid misunderstandings and delays.

Outcome #2

Challenge

Limited time impacting project scope and deliverables.

Resolution

Skipped empathy mapping due to a missed deadline, focused solely on affinity mapping to maintain progress while utilizing user research insights.

Learning

Being adaptable is crucial. It's important to remain flexible and adjust to unexpected challenges to meet project goals.

Outcome #3

Challenge

Team members lacked experience in user research and interviews.

Resolution

Leveraged individual strengths: one with programming background handled systems, another experienced in UI design developed screens, while I recruited participants and led interviews, with two others taking notes.

Learning

Emphasized the importance of collaboration and delegation to use team strengths effectively and support one another in achieving project goals.

Next steps

  1. Include an onboarding process to provide clarity about the purpose and use of the application.

  2. Use consistent spacing, icon style, and dimensions, and a limited number of colors to improve the overall aesthetic and usability of the app.

  3. Include a feedback system to enable users to highlight any grievances or issues.

  4. Conduct a UX audit to identify and address any additional issues with the design and functionality of the app.

Pain points to design opportunities

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PP to DO.png
PP to DO.png

Competitive analysis

We discovered that there are three commonly used types of solutions for connecting business owners with a low-literate workforce, which we considered in the development of our platform.

Comp analysis.png
Comp analysis.png
Comp analysis.png
  1. The current job search platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Craigslist are not suitable for low-literate job seekers.

  2. These platforms often have a complicated user interface with advanced features that are difficult for low-literate users to navigate.

  3. They also lack personalized support and resources for low-literate users, which can make it challenging for them to find and apply for suitable jobs.

Empleado

Providing a digital solution to assist low-literacy job seekers in finding and applying for job vacancies with the help of volunteer agents.

Overview

Type

Academic Project

Team

3 HCI students

1 CIS student

Duration

5 weeks

Tools

Figma
Notion

Storyboard That

Project background

In 2018, the total number of unemployed people remained high, at above 192 million, and it was difficult to find decent employment opportunities that provide productive work, fair income, and security in the workplace.

In 2018, the total number of unemployed people remained high, at above 192 million, and it was difficult to find decent employment opportunities that provide productive work, fair income, and security in the workplace.

Our prototype social computing system aims to address this important challenge by promoting sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, as outlined in United Nations sustainability goal 8. We have created a platform that allows agents from Indiana State's Department of Labor to assist low-literacy individuals in finding employment by connecting them with businesses.

Our prototype social computing system aims to address this important challenge by promoting sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, as outlined in United Nations sustainability goal 8. We have created a platform that allows agents from Indiana State's Department of Labor to assist low-literacy individuals in finding employment by connecting them with businesses.

Brief summary

Brief summary

Problem

The core problem that needs to be addressed is the limited access to job opportunities for low-literacy individuals due to their difficulty in navigating technology-driven job search processes.

The core problem that needs to be addressed is the limited access to job opportunities for low-literacy individuals due to their difficulty in navigating technology-driven job search processes.

Solution

We designed a platform that facilitates the connection between business owners seeking a workforce and agents who are willing to assist low-literacy job seekers in finding and applying for suitable vacancies. The main aim is to minimize the use of technology for these job applicants.

Targeted users

  1. Primary users - Business owners and agents

  2. Beneficiaries - Job applicants

  1. Primary users - Business owners and agents

  2. Beneficiaries - Job applicants

My role

Field research and narrowing down the problem, ideation, storyboarding, and agent module app design.

Skip to solution

Secondary research

"According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), as of 2017, 5.6% of the global population was unemployed."

"...people without any digital skills have low employability and will remain inactive and while not employed, deprived of income, their chances to acquire necessary digital skills will remain low."

As the graph indicates, the pandemic had a significant impact on the labor market, leading to a rise in unemployment.

To prevent similar disruptions in the future, it is important to prepare for potential economic shocks to create a more inclusive and resilient labor market.

As the graph indicates, the pandemic had a significant impact on the labor market, leading to a rise in unemployment.

To prevent similar disruptions in the future, it is important to prepare for potential economic shocks to create a more inclusive and resilient labor market.

User interviews

We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 low-income workers.

We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 low-income workers.

Findings

Based on the results of 16 interviews, the primary discoveries are outlined below as the major findings.

Based on the results of 16 interviews, the primary discoveries are outlined below as the major findings.

01

01

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Absence of an equitable system

Absence of an equitable system

"I got hired through my friend's referral as I had no idea whom to approach."

"I got hired through my friend's referral as I had no idea whom to approach."

02

02

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Existence of a language barrier

Existence of a language barrier

"Couldn't fill the application form as it was in English and I have limited reading & writing proficiency, so had to seek help from a friend."

"Couldn't fill the application form as it was in English and I have limited reading & writing proficiency, so had to seek help from a friend."

03

03

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Absence of a feedback system

Absence of a feedback system

"I wasn't aware of the work culture when I applied to this job."

"I wasn't aware of the work culture when I applied to this job."

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