ORIGINAL TEAM CONCEPT
The design solution my team and I created for this project (before my revisit) was a tool to help suggest possible careers - based on transferable skills - for our user to switch to, connect them to LinkedIn Mentors in the career suggestions they're interested in, and also present "smart help" during online messaging sessions to teach the user specific industry terms.
My role in the original team concept was content strategy, copywriting, some interaction design, and user interface design (including low to high fidelity wireframing, prototyping, and visual design).
How might we leverage LinkedIn's strength as a professional networking site to help trades workers affected by automation make informed decisions about their career? This frame lead us to focus on a user who had been hearing about and seeing automation affect his co-workers. Our user was uncertain about their future but had not decided on a course of action yet.
MAJOR DESIGN DECISIONS
Mobile-First Website: We had initially assumed that trades workers would be more likely to use a computer when searching for job prospects or simply browsing. However, over half of our user interview participants mentioned using mobile devices more frequently - especially when browsing social media. Since our user is introduced to LinkedIn Blueprint through a targeted social media ad, I determined that a mobile-first website would keep the user more engaged, as it does not require them to be taken out of the experience by needing to download an app early on.
LinkedIn Branding: My team and I decided to work within LinkedIn's existing branding, color, and style guide, as LinkedIn Blueprint is an addition to LinkedIn's established main website. Blueprint also gives value to the business by connecting the user to other LinkedIn offerings and parts of their site.
REVISITING THE PROJECT
After the course was over, I re-assessed the project and felt that our solution lacked cohesion. It contained three surface-level solutions combined into one: a way to suggest career options, a way to connect the user to a mentor, and a way to make user-mentor messaging more interactive. Our solution also did not fully utilize LinkedIn's strength surrounding networking and creating connections. The main changes I made are:
Change of User Persona: Deciding which career to switch to is a time-consuming and difficult decision, which probably cannot be helped by a 3-step questionnaire. This was due to our persona being vague - they knew about automation displacing jobs in their industry, but had not decided on a course of action. I adjusted our persona to someone who still has similar pains and behaviors, but already has an idea of their next career.
Focus of the Questionnaire: The questionnaire's original purpose was to suggest possible career options to the user. However, now that I had changed the persona, I changed the purpose of the questionnaire to only connecting the user to LinkedIn Mentors. The questionnaire uses a combination of the user's current job, the skills they pick, and their desired career to curate a list of mentors of interest to the user.
Ease of Implementation: Some aspects of our solution, such as the Career Journey Previews, would require a large amount of resources from LinkedIn to implement. The Previews originally used photos to visually represent jobs. However, each job type would require its own image - potentially thousands of unique images. I changed the preview to pull from the full Career Journey instead, which uses a set number of icons across different types of goals.
No more Smart Messaging: My decision to remove our smart messaging feature was due to the fact that although it was designed to engage the mentor and user, it actually takes the user away from the current conversation with the mentor, to reading more generic information in the chat window or on other parts of the site. It is also difficult to implement (LinkedIn would need to write hundreds to thousands of definitions for different terms).
Career Blueprint: I took inspiration from and built upon a previous, rough idea my team and I had of a "career plan" to create the Career Blueprint; its main purpose becoming a tool for connecting the user to mentors and other people going through similar career switches. I felt that integrating LinkedIn Groups was a great way for the user to find a community, and being able to share and discuss each other's Career Blueprints within the group would encourage more connections. The Career Blueprint is also an easy way for the mentor to understand the user's plans and thus, give more informed advice.
User Interface: My team and I had the opportunity during the course to present a previous iteration of our project to LinkedIn User Experience professionals. They gave valuable feedback regarding mobile interfaces, interactions, and touch sizes, which I used in my redesign. One example is changing the questionnaire from being vertical and scrollable to having each step on its own screen, so that the user's attention will be focused at every step.
This project was a great experience in learning how to design within existing brand guidelines, and thinking of a product design that could fit in and link to other solutions provided by LinkedIn to bring value to both the target user and LinkedIn as a business. The greatest challenge was figuring out how to scope down and design using LinkedIn's strengths, rather than trying to come up with a product completely different from what LinkedIn is known for.
Thanks for reading about my project! This project was created in a team of myself, Jessie Li, Emily Hui, Simranjit Bagga, Ali Reza Mogharrab, and Momchil Kutev.