Designing for Hope: A Review of 4 Career Websites
by Niyati Gupta
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We experience a range of emotions when we interact with different elements in our real world, and the virtual world is no different. Perhaps we all have experienced some degree of confusion when ...
We experience a range of emotions when we interact with different elements in our real world, and the virtual world is no different. Perhaps we all have experienced some degree of confusion when e-filing taxes, frustration when trying to book an airline flight online, or happiness when an old friend sends us an online note. Likewise, searching for a job on the web can trigger intense negative feelings of frustration and disappointment, often resulting in emotions of anger or fear.
In this current market, whether one is looking for work or worried about layoffs, chances are that the feelings of uneasiness about one’s career path creeps in. As user experience professionals, we are trained to put ourselves in the shoes of our users. In practice, however, our design methodology tends to become more about deadlines, best practices, and heuristics, and we may sometimes neglect the emotions of our end users.
Through a review of 4 career websites and a small user study, we will begin to understand what emotions job seekers experience, as well as how career websites address these emotions. Specifically, we attempt to answer 4 questions:
1. What negative emotions do users bring with them to career websites?
2. What career websites are doing to ease users’ minds?
3. What positive affect are users looking for?
4. Are any of the career websites’ designs (Monster, LinkedIn, Career Builder, SimplyHired) successful in giving users hope?
Academics and professionals are encouraged to share their feelings about online job search through a hands-on exercise and contribute their experiences designing and evaluating designs based on emotions.
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