According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average number of jobs in a person's lifetime is 12, according to their 2019 survey of baby boomers. It's not uncommon for an individual to stay at a job for about five years. The BLS reported in its Employee Tenure Summary that in January 2020, "The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.1 years."
According to the website, JSN says "Everyone is welcome to join us. This group is useful for the unemployed, the underemployed, the misemployed, and the unhappily employed."
As I sought to define the target customer, I noted that all demographics are included in the above statement. However, a shared need is common among all four separately-specified groups of job-hunters. Because of this, I decided to use a needs-based customer definition because of the shared desire for a new job.
Our target customer is anyone with a desire to actively search for a new job.
In May 2020, the New York Times summarized the Labor Department's monthly report, explaining how the American economy lost 20.5 million jobs the month before, and employment increased to 14.7%, which is the worst it's been since the Great Depression.
In 2020, support for job seekers is of special importance, given the exceptionally high number of layoffs. Individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds are finding themselves seeking work.
JSN aims to provide training, support, and networking opportunities with the goal of helping job seekers "find a better job faster." They meet the under-served user need in the following ways, according to their "We Offer" section:
• Free training on Résumés, Interviewing, Branding, Elevator Pitch, Marketing Plan, LinkedIn/Indeed, Networking,
Negotiating Compensation and more taught by subject-matter coaches
• Access to recruiters and hiring organizations
• Keynote addresses by some of Austin’s best motivational and job search strategy speakers
• Emotional and spiritual support to help you through the ups and downs of the job search
• Career direction and life purpose workshops (fee based)
• Annual large job fair and several mini job fairs
JSN seeks to communicate it's value proposition to it's target market, but the existing online resource is unclear. First time users find the website's messaging and navigation confusing, which leaves first-time visitors wondering what JSN is, what it does, and who it's for.
To the right is a screen shot of the landing page for the JSN site.
Current JSN Landing Page
Business Objectives and Success:
Project Objective: Update the website experience of first-time visitors. People unfamiliar with JSN should be able to quickly learn from the Home and About pages what JSN is, what it does, and who it's for.
Solution: Redesign the website's Home page and About page to quickly communicate the organization's "who," "what," and "how." Funnel first timers toward filling out the registration form. As a bonus, the site should also consider the experience of frequent visitors by making the calendar and in-depth resources easy to find.
Success: This project will be successful if people unfamiliar with JSN can quickly understand "who," "what," and "how" from the Home page and About page so clearly that they want to sign up with the registration form.
Trade-offs: This project was primarily concerned with improving the experience of first-time visitors to the site. As such, the interface redesign is limited to the Home page and About page, though other elements of the site are also considered.
To gain an in-depth understanding of the target audience, I conducted audience interviews with a current user of JSN services. The questions I asked related to how this audience member researches new services, uses technology, relates to JSN, as well as the individual's personal life. All these questions will help create a holistic view of who the set of users are. This information will serve as my north star as I work to create a user-centered experience.
As I considered the goals for this website, I began collecting style ideas in an inspiration board. Considering style early in the process helps nurture possibility and efficiency.
To better understand how JSN fits into the industry landscape, I conducted a competitive analysis to analyze similar organizations according to a set of most important criteria: strengths, weaknesses, content, design, user experience, and opportunities. I found two local organizations with similar missions and methodology, and identified opportunities for JSN to differentiate itself through more professional design.