How might we provide students with opportunities to gain valuable workplace knowledge and experience?
A mobile tool that allows students to discover events around them where they can gain valuable workplace knowledge and experience.
Passionate about the space of career education and mentorship and having personally gone through transitions from high school to college and college to the workforce as well as having a past background as a career centre mentor — I found that students benefit in having guidance towards making decisions about their future.
From what to study, to choosing a school or deciding on a specific career path, these are big decisions that impact your life greatly.
The majority of students and past students I was able interview noted that there was major influence on their decision based on stories they've heard at events or conversations from people that have inspired them.
From these insights, I wanted to conceptualize a mobile event discovery tool for students looking for opportunities to build experience and foster meaningful connections.
"Kids in high school are getting pushed earlier and earlier to make major decisions about their careers that they're probably not prepared to make."
Studies from the Ontario School Guidance Association has shown that students are incredibly anxious about the gravity of making career decisions and how this will affect their lives.
From early exploration on a project presented to the Innovation Hub and Policy Horizons of Canada on youth and education to qualifying as a top ten finalist for the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Student Pathways Challenge, I was motivated to continue solving towards helping students gain a better understanding of available career opportunities and pathways to get there for my senior year thesis.
The following document is a summary of a user testing session conducted to better understand core users: students transitioning from high school to university, college, trades, workforce, etc.
However, after testing I came to the realization that gaining workplace knowledge and experience is a continuous learning process and that the proposed solution could benefit beyond students.
Reframing the Problem
While interviewing students, job-seekers, teachers and industry professionals, I learned that face-to-face conversations were of the most value to a positive experience when exploring various career paths.
I also learned that direct exposure and engagement in skill-related opportunities is an important part of the job seeking process. These key insights helped me determine what the essential features of the application should be.
Understanding Stakeholders' Values and Needs
How might one get to the point of direct exposure to skill-related opportunities? Where can these opportunities be found? What are their expectations when attending these engagements? What do they value most? What motivates and enables them to actively look for these opportunities?
Utilizing Google Venture's Design Sprint process and product design frameworks, I was able to ideate through various ideas and came up with potential product goals to design within.
1. Encouraging students to become more engaged within the community
2. Communicating the value in attendance and calling out specific skills you may gain from an event
3. De-mystifying the fear of "networking" and approaching it confidently as an "experience building opportunity"
4. Providing guidance in how to approach new people at an event
5. Foster a community willing to continue the conversation after the event and develop meaningful relationships
design process and time management
Project Timeline ―
** On-Going Development **
Mobile Information Architecture ―
First-Time User Flow / on-boarding ―
UNDERSTANDING USER PREFERENCES
Proposed Solution ―
Iteration 1 —
Feature Exploration ―
01. On-Boarding Personalization
― Students are able to select which events appeal to them. If clarification is needed to understand event type, students are able to select an option to better define the benefits of each event. Personalization allows for a custom feed suited to the students existing event search needs.
02. Location-Based Event Exploration
― Events are curated mainly based on nearby events but also provides suggestions for similar events in nearby cities or previously visited cities. Students are able to directly search within different areas and are not limited to their current location.
03. Visibility of Friend Activity
― Social integration feature allows students to see popular events based on friend networks. If enabled, friends also within the platform will be able to see activity of upcoming event attendance and vice versa.
Design Iteration 2 —
Design Iteration 3 —
primary research studies and evaluation of existing solutions
Better understanding problem focus area and how to incorporate or improve existing features from similar products
Problem Area ―
Popular platforms such as Meetup, Eventbrite and Slack communities that have regular event postings are mainly targeted towards young adults to seasoned professionals, though high school students are not restricted from attending the events, they are generally not on these "adult-oriented" platforms and as welcomed.
There seems to be a disconnect in discovery of event happenings: 1. A user must already be active on the existing platforms, 2. Facebook's suggestion algorithm curates events related to your recent related search activity but this in turn requires having a registered account.
general pain points
― Limitation of known event posting platforms welcoming to high school students
― Language of websites particular to mature crowds and existing industry professionals
― Students may navigate through multiple platforms at a time in order to find events
Competitor Analysis ―
exploration of existing event search and directory platforms
OUTREACH ON user research and ux design slack discussion communities
Visual Considerations ―
developing visual language, branding and style guidelines for consistency while designing
Mood Board ― related terms, theme and visual art inspiration
Sketch, Adobe XD, Principle