Developing next-generation digital employment tools to support low resource job seekers

  • Project Type: UX Research and Prototyping
  • Team: Jason Lam, Alex Lu, Tawanna Dillahunt, Earnest Wheeler
  • Contribution: Concept development, speed-dating workshop, survey, prototyping

BACKGROUND

Employers are increasingly using digital systems to faciliate their efforts in finding qualified employees. Despite this, there has been little support for individualss who lack the skill or experience in accessing and navigating these platforms. Our project aimed to explore possible solutions to make the job search process easier for underserved job seekers living in a midwestern city in the USA.

Objective

  • Discover what digital tools would best support low resource job seekers
  • Determine what barriers face job seekers interested in using digital tools
  • Provide framework to assess future digital tools

PROCESS

INFORMING THE DESIGN CONCEPTS - LITERATURE SEARCH

We gathered insights from the literature and generated ten tangible design concepts to address the needs of underserved job seekers. The concepts were based on the theory of planned behavior and included personal, social and societal needs.

SYNTHESIZING FEEDBACK FROM USERS - SPEED DATING WORKSHOP

A speed dating workshop was conducted utilizing storyboards that illustrated each concept. The storyboards consisted of 4 panels with the first panel describing the problem, the second panel describing how people would hear about the product, the third panel describing the product, and the last panel describing the value of using the product. The storyboards were presented in random order, then participants were asked to read each one, rank them, and explain their ranking.

VALIDATING AND GENERALIZING RESULTS - SURVEY

After completing the speed dating workshop, we wanted to validate the results and see whether it would is representative of the larger population. The survey was conducted with 263 participants and was designed to test how demographics, job search self-efficacy, and access to technology impact preferences for digital tools. I performed a descriptive analysis to assess this relationship.

IMPACT

Our findings provided a framework to evaluate digital employments tools and gave insight to what underserved job seekers wanted. The results were published in ACM SIGCHI 18 and went on to inform which design concepts to prioritize for the team. A prototype of Dream Gigs, a tool to help job seekers find job opportunities that align with career goals, was developed based on one of the design concepts.