Laptop and cellphone view of the Knotel careers webpage

PROJECT OVERVIEW

MY ROLE

This was a solo UX project commissioned by Knotel's associate director of recruitment. I conducted all of the research, interviews, and testing. I then synthesized this data and used it to design the website.

 

The goals of this redesign are to:

  • align Knotel's careers page by making it match the revamped brand aesthetic.

  • overhaul the sitemap and rearrange where certain information is shown so that it better caters to what prospective employees want to see when they're thinking about applying for a role with the company.

  • Increase the number of people applying to key roles within Knotel.

THE PROBLEM

How might Knotel's recruitment website be redesigned and aligned with its updated parent brand so as to increase the number of potential job applicants vying for roles at the company 

THE APPROACH

Creating the Research Plan

This website redesign had an incredibly tight completion deadline of only two weeks. As the sole UX designer working on all facets of this project, I needed to hone in on key research aspects that would facilitate rapid data collection, synthesis, and prototyping. 

To collecting quantitative data, I  bypassed conducting my own surveys and instead opted to use the research information readily available on hiring statistics. 

I  focused on qualitative user interviews - speaking with the recruitment team to understand their needs for the updated website and also interviewed job applicants to identify what they look for when visiting a recruitment website.

A heuristic evaluation was conducted to determine the improvements that need to be made to the existing recruitment website. 

DEEP DIVING INTO THE LITERATURE

The department of labor proved to be a good source for obtaining quantitative data that was relevant to the topics of hiring, retention, and diversity statics.

56%

number of job applicants sourced through company website.

77%

applicants and employers that say diversity is important when hiring candidates. 

49%

Compensation is considered when applying to or accepting a job.

Statistical information courtesy of the U.S. Dept of Labor

In addition to the three pieces of quantitative data presented above, the literature review also showed that aside from salary and job title, job seekers prefer to choose a new role based on the employer brand and organizational culture. 

They are more likely to choose organizations that challenge them and offers opportunities to make a difference. High quality applicants are more likely to prefer roles that offer a great work/life balance and provide them with ample opportunity to learn and grow.

YAKTY YAK

Interviewing Users

My initial interviews were with the six person recruitment team. I  had a more focused interview with the Associate Director of Knotel's recruiting shortly thereafter.

 

The team stated that they felt their current website was simply functional and did not do a great job at selling the Knotel experience and making job seekers feel excited about working there.

 

They also highlighted that while Knotel had undergone a brand redesign, their recruitment website did not and this made it feel as though recruitment was an entity separate from Knotel.

Our website is boring.  It looks
like it doesn't fit in at all."

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                             

Conversations with Knotel's Associate Director of recruiting echoed what the overall recruitment team stated. That the site was dissociated from the Knotel brand and did not "sell well".

 

They also provided more concrete improvement wishlist items such as including a "top jobs" section to highlight priority hires and providing a way for candidates to share posted jobs.

When I'm looking for a job,
I want to see what life is like
working there.

I  then spoke with four job seekers to get their prospective on the matter. All four stated that they look for information about company culture, benefits, and salary.

 

Speaking with this group validated the literature research which noted that prospective employees gravitate towards an employer brand that has great culture, and pay attention to "great workplaces" lists. They choose to work for companies that align with their values and belief systems. 

EARLY RESEARCH INSIGHTS

Heuristic Evaluation

The current Knotel recruitment site exists as a single page.

Pros:

  • Straight forward.

  • Simple and clean design.

  • Good use of video as a sort of testimonial section.

Cons:

  • Colors chosen aren't accessible.

  • Doesn't match Knotel parent brand aesthetic.

  • Prospective applicants have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find the job board.

Performing this heuristic evaluation highlighted the need to rearrange the information architecture of the site. 

It also showed that while the site was nice and straight-forward, it was overly simplistic, didn't answer questions that a prospective employee might have and had accessibility issues when tested against WebAIM.

 

More imagery would need to be added to really sell the idea that Knotel is a place where people want to work at.  

 

The heuristic evaluation helped to put into perspective what existing design features could be carried over, which would need to be revamped and which would need to be discarded all together.

DISCOVERY

Knotel's website needs to be more robust

During the heuristic evaluation phase, a noted benefit of Knotel's current recruiting website is how straight forward it is. A job seeker is immediately met with the types of benefits offered and can scroll down to see the job board. 

While this information is essential, it's one dimensional and fails to take into consideration the other things prospective employees look for when deciding whether or not to apply to work for a particular company namely:

  • helping a candidate feel like they're a good fit for the company culture.

  • reflecting a positive branded experience.

  • conveying that Knotel is a place where they can grow and learn. 

If  I  wanted to make meaningful improvements to the recruitment website, I  would need to focus my designs on not just providing the basic information but also incorporating those other factors as well.

The insights gleaned from my interviews and research allowed the user persona to take shape.

THE FRAMEWORK

Structuring Content

Before starting any designing, I  spent a great deal of time reorganizing the sitemap of the recruitment page.  I wanted to update the flow and rearrange the way in which  information was presented. The updated sitemap is illustrated below.

Colorful sitemap of Knotel recruiting website

Tap on image to magnify 

THE SOLUTION

Based on the research insights, the solution for this redesign centered on expanding the level of information available to prospective job candidates.

 

The information that would be presented would not only talk about the types of jobs available, but would also sell Knotel as a desired company to work for. 

To do this, I would:

  • include testimonials from current Knotel employees.

  •  introduce a "Life at Knotel" page to speak about the employee experience. 

  • rearrange the information to better highlight the things prospective employees deem most important (benefits, work/life balance, compensation).

  • include a "Featured Jobs" CTA to spotlight hiring priority's list.

  • give potential employees the ability to "tour" Knotel HQ spaces so as to spotlight what working at Knotel may be like.

  • make the site mobile friendly as a majority of job seekers stated that they conducted much of their job searches via their smartphones.

VISUALIZING THE DESIGN

Wireframing Interfaces

Instead of sketching, I opted to wireframe my designs and test the wireframes via usability testing. Using this method, helped me to save time and allowed me to evaluate the feasibility of my designs with real life users and make recommended changes as the testing proceeded.  

HI-FIDELITY MOCKUPS

After performing my wireframe usability testing and receiving feedback on those designs,  I then created my initial hi-fidelity mockups of the landing, hiring, and life at Knotel pages which are  illustrated below.

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1. The image identifies this as a Knotel event but doesn't quite incorporate the geometric patterns associated with the rebrand.

2.  The buttons are patterned which would be difficult to code. Also, the buttons are hard to see when they are overlaid on the image.

 

The buttons don't match the existing CTA buttons found on the Knotel parent site. 

3. The patterned background while funky, isn't bold enough resulting in the hiring timeline appearing washed out.

4. Excessive use of patterns in both the hiring timeline and FAQ section.

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5. Generic hero image. Difficult to read title overlay on hero.

6.  Spacing is inconsistent.

7.  Need to select better team imagery that has similar photographic composition style.

8. Footer is very small and difficult to read. No line to separate the footer from the rest of the page. 

I  once again performed usability testing to help improve the designs and based on the feedback, created a final hi-fidelity mockup and prototype to fully encompass this new website experience. 

SYNTHESIZING THE DATA

Knotel's new recruitment websites attempts to solve a myriad of issues pointed out by both the recruitment team and job-seekers visiting the site. 

The relaunched recruitment webpage embraces the use of the geometric patterns and new brand colors. There is now a featured jobs CTA button located at the very top of the page.

 

The information architecture has also been reorganized. Benefits are front and center while things such as the company's values can now be found in the Life at Knotel section.  Two new pages were created to specifically address hiring practices and working at Knotel.

Prospective employees can now take virtue tours. Pressing employment related questions are now answered directly in the hiring page. Lastly, the page is also mobile friendly.

GO ON AND TAKE A BOW
Introducing Knotel's revamped recruitment website

READY, SET, GO?

At the time that the website prototype was completed and presented to the recruitment team, there were plans to launch the new recruitment site in 1 month. However, during that time Knotel has undergone a business and organizational restructuring. 

Knotel is currently focused on addressing high priority business needs and have decided to not focus on recruitment until the latest round of restructuring is completed. Aside from this bit of news, the feedback received from the recruiting team was overwhelming positive with many hoping to have the new site implemented soon. 

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