PILOT: Virtual Career Coach
Post Assessment Experience Product
This time, I couldn’t be more excited about our new project, and also with my amazing team, which would be composed by David Delgado and Brian Davis. The client is an innovative startup based in New York City called PILOT.
Important note: Due to my NDA with PILOT this post only reflects high level content only.
But, what exactly PILOT does? It would be no justice to say that PILOT is an online career coach service to help improve in their companies. This company is much more than that.
PILOT is committed to helping modern professionals feel powerful about how they manage their careers. The main product denominated, the Job Renovator, guides and propels self-driven people to be powerful by helping them realize their potential through an engaging digital experience.
“PILOT is like marriage counseling for your job” — Ben Brooks, CEO PILOT
Our client needs to create a post-assessment experience to keep users engaged, on track, and enable them to achieve the goals they mapped out for themselves in their blueprint. As of right now, the Job Renovator’s sales model is B2B, but the end users are intended to be the employees. Employers will have minimal oversight into individual employee goals, but will be able to get a pulse for the overall sentiment amongst their teams. The timeframe for this project is 3 weeks.
At the first sight, I found this brief very easy and standard to execute until I noticed that we won’t be able to build any digital interface to create the product at issue. I had worked previously in UX projects focused in apps, websites or software, but this was something new to me. I am the kind person that loves challenges so this project would be an excellent opportunity to explode my abilities and learn. However, being honest, I can’t deny that my first thought was, why the company is not interested in create an app or a web dashboard where users could do this process easily?
The reality is that business has their convictions, their budgets, their technical constraints, many different factors that contributes to critical decisions. My client came to us to help them to define the process of this assessment experience. And we are going to show them that we are designers, and that we resolve problems.
Girl, this is purely 100% UX design.
I am pretty sure that many of you, in sometime in your life, have felt any kind of negative experience in your workplace. That could be in different levels, less or more critical, but it is a kind feeling that is not certainly good. This was my initial assumption that I shared with my team, so we started to gather all our personal job experiences in the past to understand better that human feeling called frustration and compare each other to see how different could be from one to another.
Our initial exploration in the entire PILOT website and specifically, the ‘Job Renovator’ (JB) its main product, gave us more solid understanding about its service and its mission. The product itself, is simple. Once the user purchase the Job Renovator plan he gains access to the platform where the process start with a complete form to introduce your data in order to generate a customized coaching plan based in your answers.
After perform a competitive analysis, heuristic evaluation, usability analysis and user testing of during 90 minutes the results showed that JB has a great opportunities to improve in many aspects being this the initial premise of the emerging themes that were included in a extensive document delivered to the client.
Survey & User Interviews
The survey was centered in the workplace satisfaction and goal management. We wanted to filter our audience quick in order to start the interviews immediately. We reached a total of 40 respondents from our survey , which I find an excellent number given the short time that we exposed our screener in public channels.
Once we collected the survey information we started to conduct phone call and on site interviews. We conducted a total of 10 interviews, 3 of them was Job Renovator users and 7 were non-users. The fact that we could include in our research feedback from real customers of PILOT was crucial to determine our main key takeaways.
Here some notable quotes from our interviewees:
“Saved company $8k in fees & fines; never recognized for it”
“Didn’t feel like I mattered, my time; the job destroyed a lot of my self confidence; people who got a sense of my weakness played to that.”
“I want a game plan, not a blueprint.”
“I wasn’t too sure how far this $150 was going to go.”
Through the affinity mapping based on the data collected from the previous steps, we synthesized data points and quotes into recurring themes that fuel the user experience. Here the final key takeaways that we found:
- User needs self direct goals: Throughout our research, respondents indicated that they are more likely to follow a plan if it aligns with their own values and motivations. Reenforcement of their involvement in the process is key to maintaining motivation.
- Users feel undervalued: 6 out of 10 interviewees indicated that they felt undervalued at work. Moreover, they rarely sought to confront their superiors about this. As a result, they are disengaged or have quit their jobs.
- Notifications: Respondents and interviewees indicated that notifications were helpful when used appropriately, but could also be intrusive.
- Elephant in the room syndrome: Respondents and interviewees were well aware of problems within their company and their own work, but didn’t discuss because of a lack of an open forum to voice opinions.
- JR Feedback: Most users who saw went through the Job Renovator found it easy to follow and helpful, but weren’t sure how to implement the next steps or integrate into their life long term.
We created two main personas that address two type or user: The potential customer that has as main motivation recognition vs the customer that his main motivation is career goal. While Isabel, personifies those users that have a more critical situation in the workplaces, Gary is an employee that has a good position, however needs help to be more effective in his work.
To start the most excitement part of the project, we focused in Isabel persona. On this phase, we had to start build the roadmap for the user to make the Post-Assessment process a delightful experience that increase the engagement with PILOT.
User Journey Map
Personally, I enjoyed so much at this part of the project. This hypothetical scenario, but at the same time, real situation of many of our interviewees explained before during the interview session make me feel very empathetic, likely because at some point of my life I also felt frustrated in a past work position, only that, in my case I did not have any coach online that could help to redirect my posture.
The journey map reflects the existing pain points/feelings that our persona, Isabel, has during her roadmap such as skepticism or confusion. At the same time, we have the aspirational line that represents the positive feelings. Both lines are related with the use of Job Renovator and the Post-Assessment.
At this point, the real challenge was, how can we inject engagement, enablement, and accountability without any sign-ins or additional interface?
This was the main constrain in the entire project. But PILOT needs to provide a human element with customers, through digital dialogue to enable, provide encouragement, and user-accountability. A technical research was executed in order to know the already existent technology that would help us to build the process without the intervention of developers. Our efforts were focused on build the product with a MVP features that it will guarantee a minimal optimal experience for the user during the Post-Assessment process.
Isabel just filled out her Job Renovator, wants to get started on the goals she set, but is afraid she’ll get lost in the minutia of every day work. Over the course of the next 45 days, the post-assessment correspondence (via email and text-messaging), will nudge her to stay on-task; she’ll also be able to measure progress, set and reset due-dates, making changes as necessary along the journey.
For the design of these user tasks, we have to create 4 different user flows that would connect the ending of the Job Renovator process.
How to present a process of these characteristics?
It was not easy to reproduce a complex process without an app, dashboard or interface, since we were using emails, forms from Typeform and text messages. However, we did our best relaying in Invision and Placeit to simulate the user roadmap, and actually I think we nailed it.
We created a High-fidelity prototype in inVision to start immediately our usability testing. This process revealed important feedback such as some users would be more comfortable using a standard dashboard to manage their profile. This important information would be used in the next steps to design a future PILOT mothership. Here some of the comments that we received:
“Wooden background is a bit busy. Doesn’t feel like a career coach’s aesthetic.”
“More questions need to have the option to choose two or more answers.”
“Is there a way to add how long the re-assessment takes? Perhaps even a calendar reminder.”
2 out of 3 users said that they were likely to follow through with the re-assessment given this kind of user experience.
- A/B Testing on PILOT users
- Design Native CO-PILOT (Dashboard)
Thanks for reading!