Case study: Jobsite personalization

Curious about how I work? I will show you in this case study! Don't judge, it's my first. If you have any tips or feedback, feel free to hit me up on Instagram! Further more, enjoy reading.

Problem

The jobsite I’m doing this case for wants to be more unique so it has a better chance at competing with the bigger and more known jobsites. Along with the competition the following factors are the reasons for the difficulties.

  • Returning visitors (they apply only to one great vacancy and leave again).
  • Value (the websites doesn’t bring extra value compared to other jobsites).
  • Complex system.

Goal

  • To bring value to the users/visitors.
  • To be able to show the best vacancies for the users.
  • To help find our users/visitors a new job.

The proposal

Make the website personal, this means show the information the user is looking for. We know the users of a jobsite are open/looking for a potential new job. The key here is personalization.

This will enable the users to look for relevant vacancies quickly throughout a busy day. Users have less to think about, less actions to do on the jobsite and can explore opportunities they might not have searched for themselves.

The vacancies that can be shown can be sorted for the users the vacancies are catered to each user based on their preferences, skills and location.

If there is more information known about the user, there should also be the ability to show video’s or blogs that can help the users prepare for the next step in their career, interviews for example.

Showing personalized information will increase the trust in the jobsite, as a result users will come back more often and they will remember and share their experience about our brand with other people.

Design process

  • Step 1: Problem, goal and concept solution
  • Step 2: Research personalization
  • Step 3: Scenario and personas
  • Step 4: Pain points
  • Step 5: Solution and design
  • Step 6: Conclusion

My role and the team

Primarily I have worked on user experience research and creative thinking. Teaming up with my design colleague who was responsible for visual design and my development colleagues who were responsible for the interaction and implementation.

Research

What is personalization exactly, how did it develop in the last couple of years before 2018 and what is the future of personalization.

Definition of personalization

‘Personalize’: Verb (used with object), personalized, personalizing.

  • to ascribe personal qualities to; personify.
  • to design or tailor to meet an individual's specifications, needs, or preferences: a personalized search engine.

Dictionary.com

Why personalize the jobsite?

Personalization makes a website more relevant for the user. Why show information that is not relevant? We should be able to make for example our homepage more relevant and attractive for our users. Making our website personal gives us the chance to create targeted content. Examples of this are vacancies, locations, photos, video's, blogs etc.

History of personalization within websites

Personalization started with a page, before you would go to the actual site, where you could choose what kind of user you were. For example a employer or employee. Depending on the button you clicked you get the content that’s relevant for you.

When ecommerce got popular they started to show more and more personal products related to things you’ve looked at on the website or bought in the past. This is personalization. There are almost no big ecommerce platforms left that don’t personalize the content (products).

Nowadays personalization

Personalization is used by companies like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon and Instagram. While machine learning is getting more and more developed it can even personalize applications and websites more.

Non-ecommerce websites are behind on personalization, that’s a fact. So by integrating this in our website, the website can be way ahead of the most of the competitors.

Moz.com

Future of personalization

The prediction is that non-commerce websites will start with personalization as well, that’s just a matter of time. With the jobsite we can be leading in this.

Consumer expectations are constantly evolving. As people engage with companies across industries, their expectations for what constitutes a good customer experience continue to change. But one thing is clear: they expect the experience to be relevant and helpful. They want the companies they engage with to understand them as individuals and provide them with the right content, products, promotions, and messages so they can quickly and easily find what they are looking for.

Scenarios

In our case there are multiple scenarios why users are on the jobsite:

  • Scenario 1: User has relevant work experience and actively looking for a new job.
  • Scenario 2: User is a starter in the market, this is potentially the first full-time job after the user his or her study.
  • Scenario 3: User has relevant work experience but is not actively looking for a new job, but open to a new challenge.

Scenario 1

  • Work experience
  • Looking for a job
Results

Scenario 2

  • Work experience
  • Looking for a job
Results

Scenario 3

  • Work experience
  • Looking for a job
Results

I focused on the first scenario.

Personas

Jacob
Java developer
Family persona

Type:

Family

Ages range 35 > 43

Country:

Netherlands

Focus:

24 hours per week job

Looking for jobs:

Close by home

Mason
Front-end developer
Social persona

Type:

Social

Ages range 29 > 37

Country:

Netherlands

Focus:

Fun/social colleagues

Looking for jobs:

Within big cities

William
Full stack developer
Travel persona

Type:

Traveler

Ages range 27 > 34

Country:

Netherlands

Focus:

Inhouse dev team

Looking for jobs:

Within the area

These personas are created from the database of the jobsite. The personas up here are the short versions. To create these personas 60 people have been researched. The personas are focused on the dutch job market.

Pain points

Since this was something new for the website, there wasn't much time and we were this was going to work we didn't test it up front. The testing we will do when this feature is live on the site. For this we will use Google Analytics and Hotjar.

Although we didn't do the user validation, we know there are some pain points on our website from experience. Our business developers are in constant contact with the users. This is the list we came up with.

  • Users don't always get what they are searching for

  • Users don't know what extra information is available that can help them in the process of getting a new job.

  • Users don't always know what they are looking for.

  • Users don't know how to look for what they want.

  • Users are often stressed so, they want to apply as quick and easy as possible.

These are things we know from our 10+ year experience within the jobsites and recruitment business.

Solution

The solution? Creating a grid that can be used on different pages. In this grid the following things can be shown:

  • New vacancies

  • Relevant vacancies

  • Relevant companies

  • Nearby locations

  • Blogs and video's

  • Call-to-action

New vacancies

User logged in: Show vacancies that are new since the last time the user logged in.

User not logged in: Show recent added vacancies in general, so the user can see the activity on the website.

Relevant vacancies

User logged in: Show vacancies on basis of the profile of the user. For example: the profile of the user says 10+ year experience in php. Only show senior or higher up vacancies to that user.

User not logged in: If the user has been at the jobsite before and useful information is saved in the cookies, show vacancies on basis of that information. Otherwise show vacancies were many people applied to, that are probably the most impressive vacancies/companies. They might impress the user as well.

Relevant companies

User logged in: Depending on the preferences of the user, show companies that comply with that.

User not logged in: Show big or popular companies that the most users will know.

Nearby locations

There are multiple scenarios here.

User has a account: We know where the user is looking for a job (this isn't necessarily where they are currently living). In the grid we can show the city and the cities near there. In the future the user might be able to say, I want to work in any of these locations.

User doesn't have a account: Use the ip address of the user to show cities near it.

User is anonymous/from another country: Show user the cities with the most vacancies in the Netherlands. These are cities everybody knows like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht etc.

Blogs, video's etc.

User logged in: User is shown content that helps them to apply, prepare for a interview or help them to negotiate with the potential employer. In case of the users other then the personas I created there could also be something like career advice.

User not logged in: User sees the newest content or the most populair content.

Call-to-action

User logged in: User will be shown can be a call-to-action where we ask for more information to optimize the grid for that specific user.

User not logged in: User sees a register/login or upload cv call-to-action for example.

Design

And now, ... I present to you ... our personalized GRID! This is the MVP (minimum viable product) that has been decided on by the team.

Personalized grid

Next step

The solution, the personalized grid, is live on the jobsite as we speak (sept. 2018). So what is next?

Since I didn't dive in to the user research based on users, but on the knowledge within the company, I want to see how users use the personalized grid.

Also I want to speak to our users. That way I can find out if the solution is working and if there is anything the users are missing in the grid.

After collecting the new information I would like to start testing the grid and find out what works the best for the users.

Summary

So here is a little summary. The problem was, there jobsite wasn't unique and personal. The goal, bring value to the users, be able to show the best vacancies for the users and help find our users/visitors a new job.

The proposal was to personalize the website and show only content that is relevant to that user. This will create trust and bring value to our users.

The prediction is that non-commerce websites will start with personalization as well, that’s just a matter of time. With the jobsite we can be leading in this.

Pain points come from our experience with our users. The paint points are users don't always get what they are searching for, users don't know what extra information is available that can help them in the process of getting a new job, users don't always know what they are looking for, users don't know how to look for what they want, users are often stressed so, they want to apply as quick and easy as possible.

The solution is creating a grid that can be used on different pages. In this grid the new vacancies, relevant vacancies, relevant companies, nearby locations, blogs and video's and call-to-action will be shown. Depending on if the user is logged in or not.

Thank you

My name is Sander Volbeda, I'm a ux/product designer based in Groningen. I hope you've enjoyed this case study of mine, it's the first I wrote. Special thanks to Filippo Rovelli and Johny Vino for being the inspiration behind this case study.