Breadcrumb Digital was commissioned to complete a usability review of an existing digital product that connects job seekers with a suitable role. Numerous observations of product users interacting with the interface were carried out to isolate issues with the existing design.
This information gave us the insights to create an improved user experience that has allowed more job seekers to connect with new jobs and caused a shift in how MAX Solutions approach user experience research.
MAX Solutions is a national organisation that has been delivering employment, health, and training services since 2002. They are best known for their work as MAX Employment, an employment service provider that believes a job can change someone’s life.
MAX Solutions had developed a new web based system, MAX Connect, to match long term job seekers with jobs across Australia according to their skills and abilities. The original user interface and input questionnaire were developed based on the perceived needs of users. MAX Solutions knew validating these assumptions was an important step in helping both job seekers and staff to more fully engage with the the system.
Our challenge was to review the usability of the existing product by talking to MAX Connect users, combining their feedback and our skills to implement a simpler, user-friendly system interface.
Our primary focus was to understand users’ needs through interviews, observations and testing. We pulled a range of skills together from across the team to achieve this.
The project team worked closely with MAX Connect users to isolate their biggest problem points with the existing system and brainstorm potential improvements.
Taking these findings, the team developed solutions to improve the experience and created wireframes to represent the new interface.
Developers then used the wireframes to create functional prototypes for user testing. When iterative testing and internal reviews required changes to the interface, the team quickly applied them to the system and ultimately delivered the final polished product that was handed over to MAX Solutions.
When it comes to reviewing usability, there is no approach that comes close to being as effective as getting out and talking to users face to face while they are using the system. By making small improvements and testing each phase of changes with users, we gave MAX Employment staff and job seekers an experience they could use.
By engaging with both job seekers and MAX Employment staff, and observing how they actually used MAX Connect, we uncovered the motivations behind users’ decisions while using the system.
Expertise in design development
Understanding the needs and thought processes of the users is useless information on its own. By combining the insights developed during observations with best practices in usability we were able to quickly develop new designs and functionality to be tested.
Iterate and test
Every major change to design and functionality was tested with real users in their own environment to understand how the changes impacted their experience with the system. Where problems persisted, new solutions were developed and again tested by users.
With design and testing complete, and the user seal of approval, the updated interfaces went live for users across Australia in May 2016.
The immediate jump in both staff and job seeker satisfaction with MAX Connect as a result of our work highlights the importance and benefits of our rigorous user experience testing methodology. MAX Solutions now sees the early gathering of user needs and testing of proposed solutions as an essential part of any new project.