owlhouse is a social collaboration platform that helps students and individuals lead more fulfilling careers through mentorship and networking opportunities.
The apps key features provides video/text meetings with mentors and opportunity positive group discussions for skill enhancement and career growth in both entry level and professionals alike.
I led the research, design, user testing and development of this project end to end.
The deliverables consists of a research phase, mobile app platform, responsive web marketing site, and a multi platform product.
As learning institutions are often structured on competitive grading systems, many students and graduates are discouraged from meeting industry standards and feel pressured acquiring soft skills like communication and teamwork that are needed in every workplace.
In a Gallup and Strada Education Network, students often don't feel confident they can succeed in the market and feel that schools are not providing enough career support or resources.
To get a better understanding of existing behavioural and quantifiable data, interviews with college students in North America were conducted to refine the current challenges in college students' career planning experience and bridge the gaps to the student's main challenges.
Career platforms primarily exist for all individuals seeking help in their career.
Students are challenged by the enormous competition among established professionals and feel inferior entering the workforce with little to no experience.
Career platforms are made for individuals who already know what they want.
Many college students coming out of graduation suffer from not knowing exactly what it is they want to do in their career, but yet are expected to have everything prepared.
With the ongoing deadlines of school work, students are left out of most professional networks.
Collaboration is a key element in all industries. The focus of academics in school can bring students to a disadvantage when it comes to networking.
To address the needs of students transitioning into their career space by providing opportunity rich tools that shows the most relevant content based on students' interests' and challenges for career planning.
To achieve internal operational efficiency across multi platforms by building streamlined and scalable design components that will work across both our mobile app and web platform.Our Users
To build a user centred product, our user persona was refined based on our interviewee’s and key theme to help reflect the interests of our closest users. Two main archetypes were defined and created with impact statements to help achieve our design.
The student is ambitious and often looks for opportunities to upskill themselves and their work. They are highly dependable academic students and always seek ways to gain more knowledge so they can be more prepared for their career. However, the anxious planner is often overwhelmed with the industry requirements and feels that they do not have enough experience.
The student is often optimistic and open to exploring potential careers. They have the interest to learn more about different industries related to their program or interests, but are not tied to their area of study. However, they often struggle with too many/little career choices since they cannot find many resources with the information they need.
The early ideation process was conducted through design sprints based on the theme and user personas to help better communicate our value proposition. The purpose of the sprints aligned the scope of the epic and user stories to reflect users needs.
User flows were designed to map out the journey of the two prospective archetypes.
I went through two rounds of user testing where at least 5 iterations were made per screen to reflect improvements in user flow and better information delivery.
I focused on making screens personalized to the user and designs accessible. Accessibility checks with Adobe Accessibility Contrast Checker and Figma's Contrast Checker were conducted to ensure design layouts were scalable throughout.
I want our users to have a personalized experience. The initial app design needed a more scalable layout so users can browse content easier. I also wanted to improve the user experience to be more gender neutral and minimize the amount of colour for better consistency.Final Designs
One of our design principles is to deliver consistent and straight-forward content. I kept screens simple and easy with one task so information is concise and users are not overwhelmed with the information.
The content is personalized and specific to our user's goals. The app offers two streams of social services from personal video/text meetings with mentors to general career discussions hosted by mentors. The suggestive tabs and filters allows owlhouse to better understand our user and match them to their most desired choice within the shortest amount of time.
Mentor Profiles are unique to the app and provide users a sneak peak of what they can get out of each mentorship. I kept information concise and accessible so work is reduced for users as they can navigate through the flow easier.
I developed a web platform so the product can be made more scalable and accessible with multi functional use.
The components and elements are made scalable through the foundations of atoms, molecules, organisms, templates, and pages. I reduced inconsistency in our design by using the Atomic system and prevent time loss for future development.Learnings
A critical part in our process was learning how to design for the digital experience. The importance of making our users feel involved through every part of the flow is crucial in delivering a complete user experience. We had to constantly iterate and ideate new solutions to ensure that our product is not only working but is user friendly.
If there was one thing we needed to receive through our process was feedback. In order to stay grounded and focused on our goal, feedback was constantly needed. If I hadn't done any user testing and further research, I could have missed the potential to evolve our product faster, but most importantly, failed to understand our users concerns. Receiving feedback helped me realign initiative and reconstruct brand guidelines.Next Steps
In all projects there are bound to be mistakes before launch. Continuing to improve and iterate our app for the future will keep the app effective.
I will continue to define the brands initiatives and design the apps features for mobile and web platforms.
I will continue to optimize our design to be user friendly and refine our app models for a more streamlined flow.