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Kado Inc.

Inspiring success through experiential learning
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Overview

Overview

Kado is an innovative start-up that promotes experiential learning to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world applications for university students. By emphasizing hands-on experience, Kado aims to enable students to better connect their classroom lessons to practical situations. Central to Kado's mission is the establishment of a three-way relationship involving universities, students, and employers. However, before students and employers can collaborate, they must undergo a screening process facilitated by a university representative.


Now, you might be curious about how we can streamline this three-way relationship. In this case study, I will guide you through our solution, which revolves around simplifying the process of university approval for students seeking potential job opportunities. From our research we found that students often encounter challenges when seeking real-world experiences prior to their graduation. With our approach, we aim to create a more efficient pathway for universities to endorse students for such opportunities.

Background

Team

Four Designers

Timeline

3 Weeks

Tools

Figma,
Google Suite

The Details

Within a team consisting of four designers, my role was the Lead Interaction Designer. My main responsibility was to delve into user behavior through comprehensive research, in order to craft a prototype that effectively fulfills user needs, while ensuring its functionality and visual appeal.

Key Contributions: User Research, Heuristic Evaluation, Competitive/Comparative Analysis, User Flows, Wire Flows, Wireframing, Visual Design, Interaction Design, Prototyping

The Problem

The process of matching students with opportunities that align with their qualifications has proven to be a significant challenge. There is a notable absence of a comprehensive system that adequately supports university advisors in seamlessly connecting students to relevant opportunities.

 

The absence of an efficient system often leaves university advisors grappling with time-consuming and manual efforts to identify suitable opportunities for each student. This leads to inconsistencies and missed connections, hindering students' access to valuable experiential learning and career development opportunities.

The Solution

We focused on developing and designing an efficient pathway that empowers university advisers to seamlessly match students with suitable opportunities. Our goal is to create a streamlined and user-friendly system that simplifies the process of connecting students with relevant prospects.

Research & Synthesis

Competitive Analysis

Learning from industry best practices

To gather valuable insights on design strategies and best practices, we conducted a competitive analysis on four job finding websites including Handshake, Linkedin, Fiverr, and Symba. Through this analysis, we examined and evaluated various aspects of their designs such as how they determine eligibility for users applying for jobs, and how they cater to different user groups. We used this so that we can identify successful approaches to match job seekers to employers and learn from industry-leading practices.

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User Research

When conducting user interviews, we prioritized sourcing representatives of each of Kado’s target groups: university advisors, companies, and students. We spoke to 15 individuals with different goals for each target group. 


We aimed to understand these three main aspects of our problem. First, we wanted to learn about the advisor's role in supporting students' vocational success and the challenges they face when connecting students to experiential learning opportunities. We also wanted to understand from the perspective of the student, how they search for secure employment opportunities. Finally, from the employer’s side, our goal was to learn more about what they consider when reviewing applicants and how they define success among employees.

How do you support students throughout the job searching process?

How do you measure success and what are the key performance indicators for a potential candidate?

Can you describe a challenge you faced when looking for a job and how you overcame it?
 

Key Findings

From our interviews we were able to identify 4 key findings:
 

  • Professionals seek upfront and honest information to ensure accurate prescreening for both employers and students.
     

  • Professionals value simplicity and transparency in job management systems to accurately inform matching and encourage applicant submission.
     

  • Setting clear goals and expectations guides all parties in the right direction when working on projects.
     

  • A growth mindset is important for both employers and students to excel in their professional lives and to succeed within the company.

Professionals value a growth mindset, and upfront and honest information in potential candidates.

Persona

After synthesizing the research and findings, we developed a primary persona named Jessica, who is a career advisor passionate about helping students prepare for and reach their career goals. She represents our target users and helps us visualize and understand their needs and challenges. Jessica's persona guided our design decisions and ensured that we always kept the user's perspective in mind throughout the project.

Fostering student-employer connections for career advancement.

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User Journey

To uncover pain points and identify areas of improvement in the user experience, we envisioned the journey that Jessica would undertake to establish a student-employer partnership.

 

Jessica faces a daunting workload that includes student outreach, extensive email exchanges with employers and students, gathering crucial information for decision-making, and providing comprehensive support. It is evident that these tasks overwhelm Jessica, impacting her ability to effectively assist her students. She seeks a streamlined solution to carry out her responsibilities more seamlessly and efficiently.

Problem Statement

Jessica needs a way to ensure that qualified students are getting matched to relevant opportunities because she wants to see a greater number of students prosper post-graduation.

Solution Ideating

How Might We's

To spark innovative solutions for our design problem, we posed essential "How might we" inquiries, enabling us to frame and delve into the challenge at hand. These statements served as a framework for exploration, allowing us to approach the challenge from different perspectives.
 

  • How might we help Jessica access all the relevant information about an employer/project so that she can effectively match make?
     

  • How might we minimize the time and steps required to establish a university-company partnership?
     

  • How might we create flexibility in automated matching processes while retaining relevance?
     

  • How might we streamline communication between the student, Jessica, and the employer?

With the focus on the need to access relevant information, streamline communication, and reduce the overall number of tasks to create ease.

Design Studio

We started the design process by sketching. and critiquing each other's designs. Ultimately, we arrived at a solution by combining and refining our collective ideas, resulting in the final iteration that incorporates the best elements from each design.

Sketch & Critique

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User Flow

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Sketches

Usability Test

After observing that the majority of participants were unaware of the scrollability of the comparison page, we implemented signifiers to indicate the presence of additional information, resulting in an 80% increase in participants recognizing the availability of more content on that page.

 

Furthermore, we discovered that participants had questions regarding the labels in the overview section of the dashboard. To address this, we revamped the labels to provide clear definitions and accurately reflect the purpose of each metric. This adjustment led to a noticeable increase in participants' comprehension of the metrics, and they expressed their appreciation for having this valuable information at their disposal.

All participants were able to complete their
tasks, but some participants wanted additional information.

Our Solution & Design Highlights

After finalizing our visual design, we incorporated clickable buttons, menus, and other interactive elements into our interface. Our efforts resulted in a comprehensive prototype that showcased the product through detailed and interactive presentations.

​Dashboard

Our solution allows for Jessica, the unviversity's career advisor, to view metrics about her student requests so the she can track their progress, and identify areas that may require further attention.

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Student Requests

A view of all of the university advisor's student requests where they can filter by status, date submitted, year, and deadline.​

​Comparison

To allow for easy scanability, this comparison page offers a side-by-side view of the employer project and the student resume. To visually represent the qualifications and skills of users, a color-coded system is employed, distinguishing between matched and unmatched skills. Matched skills are highlighted in blue, while unmatched skills are displayed in gray, allowing for quick identification and assessment of skill alignment.

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See The Prototype

Check out our final interactive prototype on Figma by clicking on the image!

Next Steps

Based on the feedback received, where all four participants expressed a preference for personalized dashboard components, we plan to introduce a customization option to allow users to tailor their dashboard to their specific needs and preferences.

 

To enhance the accessibility of necessary information for universities, we are considering implementing a navigation feature within the comparison page. This will provide easier access to details such as student and company information, attachments, and administrative notes.

 

Furthermore, we aim to further develop the student and employer pages within Kado to address the specific needs, preferences, and pain points of all three parties involved. By understanding and catering to their unique requirements, we can better support the success and satisfaction of all users within the platform.

Refectio

Reflection

I gained a valuable understanding of the significance of active communication in driving a project to successful completion. It became evident that team members must strive for alignment and shared understanding to effectively work towards a common goal. Through open and consistent communication, we were able to stay on the same page and ensure our efforts were coordinated and focused.

 

Additionally, I recognized the immense impact of teamwork on achieving substantial progress. Collaborating with my classmates proved to be an enriching experience as we shared knowledge, insights, and perspectives. We provided support to one another and embraced constructive challenges, all of which contributed to the exceptional outcome of our design. By leveraging the collective strengths and diverse perspectives within the team, we were able to accomplish more than what could have been achieved individually.

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