Learnings as a Product Design intern

In the Summer of 2018, I did a Product Design internship at Bewakoof.com, which is an home-grown contemporary fashion brand based out of Mumbai. As an intern, Career was my first out of three projects I did at Bewakoof, which I was supposed to manage and get shipped working alongside my Product Manager. I have tried to elaborate my learnings as a product designer and what it takes to ship an ancillary for a company.
Breaking into the product design world as a self-taught designer is hard, because the field is relatively new and there are a few resources to learn for curious students. But eventually, I fell in love with the problem-solving, the complexity, the collaboration with product managers and engineers and other teams to build something from nothing, and consequentially the project ended up being a great learning experience.

For me, it was not just working at a digitally-native vertical brand (DNVB), it was more like working at a fast paced lean working environment where problems were solved by cross functioning teams. No problem which was to be solved was too trivial or too big, it was just the matter of analysing and prioritising the real problem at the moment. Many problems are left untouched when you are working at a company, it is not because those are fake problems, it is because the first question to ask is, is this a problem worth solving?

So how do we know which is a real problem?

As Julie Zhuo, VP Design at Facebook puts it very beautifully. We need to have a qualitative or quantitative evidence for the problem we are trying to solve and then we should move on to asking if this is really worth it? Because all of us have limited time, money, energy, and resources to solve a problem in a particular business.

Thank you, Julie, for breaking this down to me.

The Problem Statement

After various discussions and findings I realised that our problem statement is a multi-fold statement. We are kind of using the opposite approach to problem solving, we created a hypothesis that solution to the multiple problems we are facing can be solved by redesigning our Page. We might have been wrong at that time, we might have been totally correct. Lean approach always starts with Benefit Hypothesis, accepting the answer without validating it first, and it then moves through a continuous exploration cycle. In the process we found out that the major problems we are facing are,

  1. Very low percentage conversion rate from the existing career portal.
  2. Rare to find quality applicants which are right match for the company.
  3. Applicant data collected by HR is very discrete.
  4. Low responsive nature of the current portal. (90% of my audience used mobiles)

After successfully and hopefully identifying the problems we were finally ready to kick off the project. To solve any problem you first ask what the problem is, then find out who are you solving it for, then discuss on what the probable solutions are, and finally if you are done with all your assumptions and research, how are you actually going to measure the success of the project.

Project flow can vary depending on the type and the scale of project

Who are we solving it for

One of the earliest, most immediate takeaways from user research that helped us to identify and narrow down our audience was that most of the people who are willing to work at Bewakoof were those who were already aware of what kind of company Bewakoof is, and most of them were frequent users of Bewakoof and similar websites. That helped us identify the intents of our audience better.

Our audience might have different intents when they come to visit the Careers Page:

  1. Searching for a first time job
  2. Switching from one company to another
  3. Switching between his/her current field of interest
  4. Fashion enthusiasts or explorers who are fascinated with work culture and want to join irrespective of the area of interest

Not all companies need to build complex personas, when you are working in agile, the deadlines dictates that we focus on 20% of efforts which produce 80% of the valuable outputs. What is more important is to build an understanding among the team of your user rather than focusing on documents.

After gathering all the research we were able to create User Personas to help us empathize with the needs and preferences of our major user groups:

After I narrowed my audience into these three focus groups, I was under the impression that my work is done. But as I discussed this with my product manager we got into a very interesting argument on whether we should take design decisions according to the needs of Rohit or we should cater more to Ramneesh. I was arguing that we should think about Rohit first, as a person applying at a company like Bewakoof would be young and more of an explorer, but my manager had contrasting views on this matter that we should design for Ramneesh first. When I asked why, he told me because the data says so. 
Which led me to think about another ongoing debate in the industry on whether or not should designers know about data. To put in better words, should a company follow data centered design or a human centered design approach. There could be three approaches to data-centered design:

  1. Data Driven : Taking all your design decisions according to the data.
  2. Data Informed : Taking only yes/no decisions with help of data just to find out if you are going in the right direction or not.
  3. Data Aware : Being aware of the kind of data you’ll be able to collect through the design.

It mostly depends what kind of organisation you are working for, but it is always a mixture of these three approaches. So we checked the data and found out that most of the people applying at Bewakoof through the portal are more like Rajneesh.

Creating flows and iterating

I will not go into much detail on the detailed user flows involving every single step of a user’s journey because that would be unnecessary. But typically our application funnel looked like this:

Application Funnel
Complete flow

After understanding the typical user flows we were able to create information architecture and wireframes for our UI designs. While the creating the UIs, it was important to follow the current branding language of the company. Most of the branding pages at Bewakoof were designed by balanced use of typography, white space, and pictures.

Initial wireframes and explorations
Some of the initial UI iterations for web

One of the three fundamental ideas of Lean UX is to work in an agile strategy, whose nature is to work in rapid, iterative cycles and Lean UX mimics these cycles to ensure that data generated can be used in each iteration. These initial designs were now ready to continuously iterated upon.

At Bewakoof, we give a lot of effort to usability evaluation and iterating on our designs until we are able to create designs which are properly tested and optimised according to business and user goals. In usability evaluation, users are given a set of task to complete, the moderator observes each participant’s actions, and on the basis of the findings gathered through this exercise, it is made sure that the new design is is intuitive to use and provides a positive user experience. The aim of the usability evaluation is to ensure any potential issues are highlighted and fixed before the product is launched.

I created two very different use cases to cover both kind of sections that my portal is going to have:

Use Case 1 : You are a Data Scientist who is looking for a job change. You know a little bit about Bewakoof. Your goal is to find a relevant job opening and apply for the job.

Use Case 2 : You were going through our t-shirts and accidentally landed on our careers page. Now you try to explore and find out if the webpage interests you.

After many rounds of user testing and finding usability problems we were finally able to put an end to our design process. But as a product designer my job was not over, it was my responsibility to keep interacting and solving any problem with the tech, photography and content team to create an overall positive experience for the user. And finally we were able to create something like this:

Final version of designs

Concluding it

After three weeks of brainstorming, creating and prototyping, we managed to produce a new portal which increased the number of applicants applying to work at the company, solved the problem of discrete data management by categorizing and sending grouped mails through back-end to HRs. The new designs were highly responsive for all our platforms, and there definitely was an improvement in usability of the portal as compared to the older version.

Source link https://uxplanet.org/designing-careers-page-at-bewakoof-com-1af76f98ed83?source=rss—-819cc2aaeee0—4


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