Problem Statement

How might we provide students with opportunities to gain valuable workplace knowledge and experience?

 
 
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From your high school english teacher telling you that you're more than a 9 to 5 office job, to the engineer you met at a hackathon offering you your first internship, or that time you volunteered for a non-profit education organization that led you to your first freelance gig.         

 

Whether it was a teacher sharing a personal story, meeting an industry professional working at your dream company or learning about an organization that does work you’re interested in — behind all of these memorable life events are the mentors, role models and meaningful causes that have influenced how we’ve made some important life decisions. 

 

Opportunities to learn new skills, meet interesting people and conquer exciting challenges are all around us — Footsteps makes it easier to discover and keep track of along the way

 

solution

A mobile tool that allows students to discover events around them where they can gain valuable workplace knowledge and experience. 

 

WHY? 

As the world evolves and changes, so do the jobs around us. Because the skills required for these jobs are constantly shifting, it’s challenging to prepare for them. Students are especially prone to feeling underprepared when looking for jobs and could benefit from opportunities beyond the classroom.

 
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WHO?

While interviewing students, job-seekers, teachers and industry professionals, I've 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.

 

WHAT?

From these insights, I wanted to conceptualize an event discovery tool for students looking for opportunities to build experience and foster meaningful connections. Students can search for events based off their interests, location and friends attending.

 
 

Design Process

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Product DEVELOPMENT OvervieW

 

Process documentation of interface flows and functionality breakdown

 

Research and testing

Primary, secondary research overview and prototype tests

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"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. 

 
 
 

Research Learnings

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. 

 
 

Identifying user problems and considering business metrics 

 

Product Goals

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

 

Competitive Benchmarking Analysis

Evaluating existing solution to better understand the problem focus area and how to incorporate or improve existing features from similar products

Exploration of existing event search and directory platforms

 

Focused 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

 

Outreach + Surveying 

 
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design process and time management

Project Timeline ―    


user flow

Mobile Information Architecture ―

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on-boarding process

First-Time User Flow / on-boarding ―

 

UNDERSTANDING USER PREFERENCES 

Proposed Solution ―

Iteration 1 —

 
  Main feed functionality  ―   Suggested events 

Main feed functionality ― Suggested events 

 

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. 

 
 
 
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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 system

Developing a visual language and style guide for consistency while designing

 
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login flow

Options to search event by location or directly login with e-mail are provided. 

Searching event by location brings a user directly into the app to browse through what they're interested in and view events, but will be prompted to create an account when they wish to access specific event details.  

 
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ON BOARDING 

Users are able to select which events appeal to them. If event terms need to be clarified, users are able to select an option to better define the benefits of each event.

Personalized selection allows for a custom feed suited to the users existing event search.

 
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MAIN FEED

Based on the on-boarding selection of a users selected event interests, a customized feed is curated with suggested events nearby organized by date.

Users are able to add additional or remove existing types of events within the search bar. In addition, they may go through advanced search options that are organized by cost, recently viewed, popularity, type of event, etc. 

 

Branding Exploration

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Visual Considerations

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Mood Board ― related terms, theme and visual art inspiration

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tools utilized

Sketch, Adobe XD, Principle


Additional Projects
  RealTalk.Careers  / UI/UX Design + Research

RealTalk.Careers / UI/UX Design + Research

  Your Student Journey  / XD Design + Research 

Your Student Journey / XD Design + Research 

  Expedia Redesign  / UX/UI Design + Research

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