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An AI-powered B2C recruitment platform to help job seekers find the best job at startups/SMEs in the US

Polaris. AI

Client

End to end UX/UI design,

Prototyping,

Usability Testing

Responsibility

1 Product Manager,

5 UX Designers,

1 UX Researchers,

2 Developers

Team

My Role

Product (UX) Designer

3 Months (2023)

Duration

The goal given by Polaris.AI was to launch an AI-powered B2C recruitment platform that is horizontal sales focused, aiming to help candidates find the best job at startups/SMEs in the US.

01 | Objective

I led the prototyping and usability testing and was responsible for the research and ideation, from defining the problem to delivering the final visual artifact.

02 | My Role & Deliverables

This project had few technical feasibility challenges with other teams and products. We also had to prioritize many tasks to ensure we could deliver the MVP on time.

03 | Challenges

We presented the interactive prototype and pitch deck to Harvard Innovation Labs and Spark Grants, successfully securing funding and initiating the implementation of the MVP product in Q3 2023.

04 | Outcome & Impact

Research shows that job seekers encounter time-consuming and recruiter access challenges. These candidates have expressed a strong desire for more personalized and tailored services on job-seeking platforms.

Job seekers often frustrated by manually matching their job experiences and company preferences when searching for startup or medium-sized enterprise (SME) jobs in the US market.

PROBLEM

An AI-powered unified and personalized job seeking platform bridges the gap between job seekers and recruiters, ensuring a transparent process for job matching, applying, and tracking.

SOLUTION

Highlighting key information from job description that matched the best with individuals’s experiences and skills ​

Instant Keyword Matching from Job Descriptions
01

Keeping you updated on the latest resources about what employees are experiencing to align with your job-seeking goals by providing:

  • Company information

  • Most commented insights

  • Employer summary

  • Growth potential

All-in-one company insights on one page
02

AI-powered resume checker enhances candidate’s resume toward any job by:

  • Grammar

  • Formatting

  • Matching

  • AI Optimization

Tailoring your resume with a resume optimization tool
03

Manage candidate’s job application/ interview status and keep the job applications organized in one place

Tracking Job Application Status and AI Chat Bot Search
04
Let's circle back and review how we arrived at our solutions in 10 weeks

PROCESS

Leverage the application portal to apply for jobs with a single click of the button​

3
1

Using ​large language model (LLM) powered resume editing tool to stand out from other applicants

HYPOTHESIS - provided by our client

The product will enable the AI matching algorithm to recommend startups/SMEs’ jobs based on candidates’ preference input and skills sets

Our client approached us with several hypotheses, including:

Helping candidates improve their resume for the jobs he/she applies for

4

Aggregated company information​

2
Analyzed the existing products and interviewed job seekers from all experience levels to validate the hypothesis

Research

As designers, we need to validate these hypotheses and find effective ways to address them. To achieve this, we conducted primary and secondary research.

Primary Research

Interview to validate the hypotheses from clients
To understand the user journey, the challenges, and the user needs to help them get hired faster
94 Screening Surveys

3

Non-binary

39

Female

52

Male

3

Entry level (0-3 yrs)

6 Job Seeker Interviews 

1

Intermediate level (3-5 yrs)

1

Mid level (5-7 yrs)

1

Senior level (7+ yrs)

64.9% of participants prefer using a desktop to apply for jobs.

Most job seekers hear back from recruiter within 5-10 days.

Company growth potential > salary > work environment > Benefits are the top four factors that job seekers consider the most.

Survey Insights
Interview Insights

Whenever job seekers search for jobs, it takes long time to actually find out the right job for them.

Entry to mid-level candidates emphasize different needs when looking for job compared to mid-level and above applicants. 

Job seekers often find current job application process too time-consuming to fill out a single application.

Conducted competitive analysis to understand the market trend and bring different values to job seekers

Secondary Research

The primary objective for the research was to identify user journey, pain points and understand what and how to help user get hired faster.​

What is Missing
Our opportunities

Challenge to provide a job search to meets all the user needs.

Targeting for all types of companies, but less focus on start-up and SME's.

Most of the job search platforms do not give any distinct information after submitting a job application.

Bridge gap between the job listing and the candidates's skill sets and preferences.

Manage candidate's job application after the submission.

USER PAIN POINTS

Through the preliminary research, we confirmed that the hypothesis provided by our clients are validated and meets the need of our target users 

Define Design Question
How might we help job seekers find their personalized job in a seamless matching, applying and tracking through AI-powered job seeking platform?
Our Research - user pain points
1
3
2

Users often experience being "ghosted" by recruiters when they reach the interview stage

4

Entry to mid level candidates emphasize different needs when looking for job compared to mid level and above applicants 

Job seekers find it difficult to match their own experiences and skills from job descriptions

Users perceive the current job application process as excessively time-consuming,  due to the manual fill out of the job application

Client Hypotesis - solutions
1

Using ​large language model powered resume editing tool to stand out from others

3

Aggregated company information​

2

Helping candidates improve their resume for the jobs he/she applies for

4

Leverage the application portal to apply for jobs with a single click of the button​

Developed user personas and Journey map to further empathize with target audiences and inform design decision making

IDEATION

We brainstormed a handful of features and design opportunities to build the platform’s foundation

DESIGN

I created sketches for the main job posting sections of the platform and annotated the interaction touch points to facilitate the conversation with the team and our clients.

Created user flow and sketches to visualize designs and presented to clients to gather feedback and ideas

SKETCHES & WIREFRAMES

Turned initial sketches into wireframes to quickly test out features desirability and feasibility

User Flow

Sketch

I led the user experience design of Job Listing Page and usability testing phase and incorporated design system to create higher fidelity prototypes

MID-TO-HIGH FIDELITY PROTOTYPES

Job Listing page (final design)

Conducted A/B and discovery testings to evaluate the usability
(including both functionality & visuals) of the product

EVALUATION & REFINE

We wanted to make more iterations before finalizing the designs.

We asked our participants to look at the screens, complete tasks on each flow and encouraged them to openly share their opinions and thoughts/feedback.

15 Usability Tests

1. Are any of the flows confusing?

 

2. What do people like and dislike about the design?

2 Main Testing Goals

1. Test Perceptions of Visual Design 

2. 73% Satisfaction level

2 Key Insights
What didn't worked
4 Updates

User are satisfied by the "keyword analyze" feature

64.9% of participants prefer using a desktop to apply for jobs

Users don't have enough patience to fill out the long scroll preferences filter.

Majority of the users who fail to read the radar diagram, because usually users simply attract by the design but not the information on the diagram.

Added a short onboarding questionnaire during sign-up to pre-start the job and company preferences selection

Added product features highlight to home page 

Added 'Polaris Insights' to Detail Job Description section

Redesign the job listing layout due to “paradox of choice” to ease decision making

The 'Apply Now' buttons on both the job matching card and the job detail page are highlighted in blue, making it challenging for users to focus on a single button.

What worked
User Flow and Concept Testing:  Intuitiveness of the overall interaction
Created more insights about the company 

ITERATIONS

Iteration 2: Side filter
Iteration 1: Company Insights
Iteration 3: Job Matching Card
Iteration 4: Job Listing Page Layout
Project management and time management

TAKEWAYS

I learned that prioritization is very crucial for the team to speed up and focus on the right thing to do. When collaborating with other UX designers, it's easy to have long discussions and flipping back-and-forth between potential solutions. While this can be a valuable part of the process, it's crucial to establish a timeline and a structured decision-making process.

Pitch the story, not just the idea

When delivering the requirements to developers, it's crucial to learn the feasiblility of design, features, or user. While my front-end programming knowledge can help me validate the implementation of the website layout, but it's essential to communicated with developers to confirm the feasibility of more complex elements, such as AI, LLM, or in-depth language training models, among others. This was one of the reasons that prompted me to want to pursue a masters in HCI—I want to be more versed in programming languages so that I can translate my vision and designs into the final product more precisely.

Ensure the deliverables are well communicated early and often with developers

A good story is key. Before a presentation, know who the audiences are and ask myself: "What part of the story matter to them? "what levels of feedback do I except from them?" "How familiar are they with UX design?" Then prioritize and do the most important storytelling such as tailor content, tone, and style to their needs and interests instead of showing all the context.

Test with previous interviewees

NEXT STEPS

Given the time constraints, we started off by prioritizing the time-consuming challenges as our centerpieces of our user testing, and we only had two round of user testing with new 'job seekers' users, which would have been insightful if we tested with our initial interviewees from the user research stage.

Product differentiation and business opportunities

As I continued to refine the prototype, I started to think about its business opportunities. Can I extend the current experience to multiple devices? How can I redesign the job listing page and application tracking page to better support junior job seekers who need assistance? These are areas that I want to explore further and iterate on in the near future. Stay tuned!

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