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Making your job website easier to use

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Making your job website easier to use

Stuart Church, director of Pure Usability, teamed up with Pete Walker of the ILRT to run a workshop session at the Towards e-recruitment conference at the University of Warwick in January 2007. The session focussed on the need for a more user-centric approach to e-recruitment with Higher and Further Education.

Stuart Church, director of Pure Usability, teamed up with Pete Walker of the ILRT to run a workshop session at the Towards e-recruitment conference at the University of Warwick in January 2007. The session focussed on the need for a more user-centric approach to e-recruitment with Higher and Further Education.

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Making your job website easier to use

  1. 1. Making your job website easier to use Stuart Church Pure Usability Ltd Pete Walker Institute for Learning & Research Technology, University of Bristol 25 January 2007
  2. 2. An Example v v
  3. 3. What is Usability? <ul><li>5 components to usability: </li></ul><ul><li>Learnability </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Memorability </li></ul><ul><li>Errors </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Gives an impression of “researchers in lab coats”, but it shouldn’t always be thought of in those terms. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Benefits of Usability <ul><li>Reduce costs (development time, development costs) </li></ul><ul><li>Increase sales (increase transactions, purchases, retain customers, attract more customers, increase market share) </li></ul><ul><li>Improve effectiveness (increase success rate, reduce error; increase efficiency/productivity; increase satisfaction; increase trust; reduce training costs) </li></ul>http://www.diamondbullet.com/egovportal.pdf In the US, a redesign of the architecture of a state government portal site that increased users' success at finding information from 72% to 95%, reduced their time in finding information by 62%, and resulted in significantly higher user satisfaction ratings. This led to an estimated savings of at least $1.2 million per year for the citizens of the state and increased revenue for the state estimated to be at least $552,000. More ROI benefits of usability can be found at http://www.usabilityfirst.com/roi/studies.txl
  5. 5. It’s more about User Experience, though… http://www.semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/000029.php Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb
  6. 6. User Experience sells!
  7. 7. What about job websites? <ul><li>A matchmaking process </li></ul>CV CV CV CV Have skills Looking for a particular working environment Need skills Have a particular working environment
  8. 8. But needs are very variable CV CV CV CV I want to build on my PHP skills My main interest is in teaching We need to boost our research profile for the RAE We want someone who is flexible I won’t get out of bed for less than £40K Our salary limit is £25K
  9. 9. So… we need to understand jobseekers needs <ul><li>Who are they? </li></ul><ul><li>What are their criteria for looking for a job? </li></ul><ul><li>What motivates them? </li></ul><ul><li>What lifestyle are they looking for? </li></ul><ul><li>What benefits are they looking for? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Arriving at the home page “ What can I do here?”
  11. 11. Search A search for “Information Architect” yields 2 pages of results…. ..while a search for “Information Architecture” yields 3 pages of results….
  12. 12. Browsing & classification It’s difficult for jobseekers when different sites use different job classifications But there may be other approaches
  13. 13. Finding locations Classifications of locations don’t work well – they limit user freedom and choice Allowing the user to specify a location and a distance provides much more flexibility
  14. 14. Registration pages As soon as you request information from users that isn’t essential for their task you create barriers Ask for the minimum amount of information and consider carefully when you ask for it
  15. 15. The job advert <ul><li>Jobs are lifestyle choices, not just a match of skills </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have the right skills? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the money right? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it sound interesting? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the people like? Can I talk to them informally before I apply? </li></ul><ul><li>What future career opportunities are there? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the place like to live in? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the advert motivate me? (searching for that warm, fuzzy feeling!) </li></ul><ul><li>How easy is it to apply? </li></ul>
  16. 16. So how do we improve the user experience? <ul><li>Understand user goals & motivation (i.e. do some research!) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce friction in allowing users to achieve their goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design to support user goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak their language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide efficient search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop easily understandable classification schemes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give users a strong “scent of information” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build relationships – don’t ask for too much information up front (e.g. complex registration forms) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test your site! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no substitute for actually sitting down and seeing how people use (or fail to use) your website – you’ll always be surprised! </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. User Centred Design Process Source: http://usability.msu.edu/approach.asp
  18. 18. Dilbert
  19. 19. Project tips <ul><li>Understand who your users are and what they want to do (see previous slides)! </li></ul><ul><li>Don't design by committee! Have someone with vision who owns the user experience </li></ul><ul><li>Meet regularly with the techies building your site. Ask stupid questions! </li></ul><ul><li>Site content - it always takes longer than you think even if you think it will take longer than you think </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility legislation - can everyone use your site? </li></ul><ul><li>Site availability – should and/or can your site be up 24*7? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Project tips – continued <ul><li>Where is the site info’ coming from? Issues with database-enabled sites </li></ul><ul><li>Keep asking users what they think (test regularly) </li></ul><ul><li>Site design “freshness” – little & often versus “Big Bang” redesign </li></ul><ul><li>Be focused - concentrate on fewer things and do them well </li></ul><ul><li>User experience is the driving force behind design and must be considered throughout the lifecycle (not just bolted on at the end). </li></ul><ul><li>BBC's 15 design principles </li></ul>
  21. 21. Contact <ul><li>Pete Walker Institute for Learning & Research Technology University of Bristol email : peter.walker@bristol.ac.uk tel: 0117 928 7192 </li></ul>

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