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The Grad Guide

Career Advisor for Graduates - Case Study

Role: UX designer designing the The Grad Guide website and app from conception to delivery.

Responsibilities: Conducting interviews, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iterating on designs.

Problem: Users desire a way to view what careers they can get with their degrees/majors.

Goal: Design a career advising app and responsive website for new graduates that allows users to view degrees, talk to a career advisor, and get assistance with their resume.

Target Audience: Recent graduates that need help in the next step of their careers.

Introduction:

The Grad Guide is an informational tool designed for recent graduates to figure out what types of careers their degrees can get them.

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User Research

Pain Points:

Career Info not in centralized location: Most users desired a way to view career information in a centralized location.

Possible careers for specific degrees info not prevalent: Most users wanted to know what careers their specific degrees could lead to. 

Want to be able to talk to a Career Advisor: Most users desire the ability to talk to a career advisor to help them make decisions.

Research Summary:

I conducted interviews and surveys in an attempt to understand the needs, behaviors, and frustrations of potential users. The primary user group identified through research was recent college graduates looking to see what they are able to do with their degrees. A surprising user group that appeared were high school graduates seeing which degrees would lead to which careers.


The result of the research seemed to boil down to graduates desiring more information on the careers they could pursue with the degrees they earned. Career information is scattered throughout the internet and a centralized location for this information could be of great service to many users. These insights will help make a better and more accessible product for users.

Persona

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User Journey Map

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Usability Study Findings

Research Questions

  • What were the frustrations the user had when completing the tasks?

  • What are the users' opinions on the design and layout of the website and app?

  • Are there any parts where the user got stuck?

  • What can be learned by the steps the user took to complete the task?

  • What, if any, unexpected decisions did the user make while completing the task?

Research Insights

  • More images and labels

  • Adding Career Advisor and Resume Assistance links on Homepage

  • Overall structure of app and website was good and easy to use

  • Adding definitions to terms that users may not know

Wireframes

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Low Fidelity Prototype

User Flow: The user flow is the user navigating to a career based on a degree they choose.

View Prototype

Mockups

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High Fidelity Prototype

Some Final Mockups

Accessibility Considerations

Used high contrast colors to help users with vision difficulties view the app better.

Used icons and labels to
help make
navigation easier.

Used different font sizes to accentuate visual hierarchy.

Takeaways

Impact

This feature makes users feel like their favorite game values them and keeps track of their activity and achievements, which help in the user feeling more fulfilled. 

What I Learned

While designing the The Grad Guide website and app, I learned that designing software without competitors is pretty difficult because there are certain standards that competitors set. However, the baseline I used for my design was simplicity and an educational feel. I feel that came off quite well. Usability studies allowed me to further cement this line of thinking as most users liked the simplicity of the app and website. While relying on user feedback to dictate design choices is what I usually do, I feel like being able to predict what users might want before I test them is showing my improvement as a designer.

Quote from feedback

“This would have been perfect! I was so lost once I graduated!”

Next Steps

Conduct more research to see if users have new pain points or needs.

Iterate further on the existing features to improve and expand user experience.

Thank You

Thank you for your time reviewing my work on the The Grad Guide website and app! If you’d like to learn more about me or get in touch, my contact information is provided.

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