September 19, 2015

On The Search Website

Role: User Research | Wireframes | Prototype | Interaction Design | User Testing
Tools: Balsamiq, JustinMind

I developed concept for the On The Search website to help job seekers conduct an efficient and effective job search. I started with user research to understand how job seekers were currently searching for jobs and what issues and unmet needs existed.


I observed and interviewed active job seekers who used online job search tools. I asked them to walk me through how they conducted their job search on a typical day. Based on these observations, I developed the abbreviated list of user needs below.

User Needs

  1. Job seekers need a way save time when searching jobs online.
  2. Job feeds need to be better at providing relevant job listings.
  3. Job seekers need a way to remove or limit duplicate job listings.
  4. Job seekers need a way to keep all their job search materials together independent of the job search tool or platform.
  5. Job seekers need to know when a particular company’s job listings have changed. (Ex. and Simply might not provide listings for all the companies they may be interested in and the company may not have it’s job alert feature.)
  6. Job seekers should have a way to pull company contact information so they can call or contact companies directly.
  7. Job seekers need a way to combine information they have found out about a company into one place.
  8. Job seekers need to have a way to keep their list of keywords accessible so they don’t have to retype them every time they visit a new site.

Key findings:

Time Consuming– Job seekers had to spend a lot of time and use several sites and applications to look for and apply for jobs. It was important that the time spent on online job searches was limited and effective because job search experts said the majority of job seekers got new jobs through personal connections and networking.

Multiple Sites – Jobs seekers used at three major search job platforms like, & LinkedIn in additon to industry and specific company sites to search for jobs.

Keeping Track -Job seekers kept spreadsheets, notes, lists, etc. to keep track of jobs they were interested in and when and if they applied. While large job search platforms offered many job listings, job seekers couldn’t pull in information from other sources or get a comprehensive view of their job search.

Features Didn’t Work – Some job seekers found signing up for job feeds/alerts or using their LinkedIn profile to transfer into weren’t effective. One job seeker received a “taxi cab driver” job posting for her “human services jobs” feed.

Nationals Vs. Mets 6-05-09, Nationals Park

Point of View: Your job search dashboard should be like a baseball scoreboard. You know where you are, what’s changes, and several pieces of key information is condensed.

Wireframes: Iteration #1

I wanted to design a dashboard that lets a job seeker see where they stand in their job search in one glance (any relevant job openings, if they have a contact with that company, and what’s the status on any activity in their job search).

User Testing

Conducted user testing on to answer the following questions:

  1. Would the user be able to effectively link their LinkedIn and email accounts?
  2. Would the user be able to receive the correct jobs and update keywords for job search criteria?>
  3. Would the user be able to effectively add a new activity to the Job Search Activity Tab?
  4. Was the On The Search Dashboard effective for displaying the information a job seeker needs to keep up to date on their job search?
  5. Is the information presented in a useful manner for the user?
  6. What would keep users from using the On The Search Dashboard?
  7. Are there any critical features that users are missing?

Key Findings:

  1. Users found the layout of the Contacts page confusing. Two users thought “Contacts” were the people who listed a particular posting.
  2. Users wanted to access the main sections (Contacts, Search Activity, and New Jobs) from every scene.
  3. Users liked being able to delete or condense duplicate listings.
  4. Features requested: Being able to sort columns on the Search Activity Table, print a report of their activity for their Job Search Accountability group, and upload resume & cover letter for easy applying.

Wireframes: Iteration # 2