Onrec Talk V9

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Madgex presentation to Onrec Chicago 2008

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  • ThanksIntroMadgex – 150 – Uk, Europe and Middle EastAmbition is why we’re hereOn average increase: conversions by User visits by etc. from case study…..We want to do the same in the USThis talk is 30-40 minutes long.
  • Before we start, I think we’d better address this question. A lot of people see UX as a vague buzzword used by consultant. It’s not. User Experience is a very real, very practical thing, it has a big impact on your business, and today I’m going to explain why.
  • Do you want to help or hinder the fulfilment of your user’s objectives? YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO GET THE GOOD CANDIDATES TO APPLY – this makes you or your clients happy and increase your profitsWHY SO IMPORTANT:This isn’t a repeatable opportunity. As much as a lot of recruiters would love to think that they can create a community around jobs, they can’t. Job searching is transactional. If the user perceives that they cannot optimise their value from their transaction on your site THEY WON’T COME BACK FOR A LONG TIMEThis is an incredibly important transaction as well. This is where they’ll be spending up to 50% of their life for the next 2-5yrsYou have maybe 2-3 shots in the working life-time of a job seeker to ‘show them the money’ of the right job for them with the least barriersIf you had a department store, would you allow your warehouse manager to decide where and how to display your products to maximise sales?
  • So what did they find?
  • i.e. none of them even scraped in as having a passable level of usability and ease of use. ...might think they’re small names, but....
  • Now, you can question their measures, since these are all very successful businesses – but there is some truth here.
  • So what did they find?
  • What’s going on?
  • With the best technical specifications, the most wonderful in room entertainment, marble floors and walls.Photo used with permission. Photo created by 770: http://flickr.com/people/770/
  • What is going wrong in the management of these recruitment businesses or processes?
  • What are the industry leaders not thinking about?
  • Analytics, Conversion Rates & Statistics. These provide a great summary view, telling us how are businesses are doing. But it’s like looking at your users from a distance.
  • To understand what your users are really doing, you have to get up close
  • You have to see the whites of their eyes and their facial expressions.
  • We are suffering from the newness of the web. The first job board in 1996. No Google at that time! Only 12 years ago.To make progress we have to fundamentally change this view. Numbers, while crucial, mask the fact that your business success is made up of individual experiences with your website.This insight is crucial, yet deceptively simple, so I’ll put it another way.
  • This may seem simple but it requires a fundamental shift in the way you (1)think about your users, and the (2) way you do design.
  • At its most simple, you need to get yourusers in a room, and one at a time watch them using your site, to find out what they do and don’t have trouble with. There are lots of formal researchmethod you can use to “get up close”. But I’m not going to talk about them today.
  • Today I’m going to talk about two thingsCommon mistakes that job boards often makeHow to avoid making them…and thereby increase quality applications and profit[FIFTEEN MINUTES UP TO HERE = 19 SLIDES = 47SECS PER SLIDE]
  • Common mistake #1
  • Some of these jobs look almost identical. How would a user be able to distinguish between them?
  • Thebasic web hygiene factors are about avoiding user frustration.
  • As I said. It’s not rocket science. Think about it from the user’s perspective.
  • Common mistake #2
  • Common mistake #2
  • The underlying problem with most basic user experience failures
  • What does right look like?
  • A common problem over the web, but surprisingly persistent in recruitment. Why don’t the normal web etiquette rules apply?
  • This problem is made worse because effort is made to ‘get people in’
  • It’s when they try and get out that the problems arise
  • We need to be honest with ourselves
  • You’re not the only business in your town that does what you do. You can’t make mistakes. The WORLD IS NOW YOUR TOWN.
  • Common mistake #4
  • So, the question is, how do we get from A to B?
  • How much do you care aboutwhat the user feels towards you. Again, are they people or numbers?
  • Watch the Frustration meter…..
  • Now look at the Frustration meter…..
  • It’s so simple it sometimes makes us feel sad ;-(
  • Yes, there are conflicting objectives that you have to weigh up. Our point is though that you need to weigh them up. Think about the warehouse manager doing your window displays and in-store layout again:What are the real security/ spam frustration impacts and costs vs. increasing high quality sales by 10%? Listen to your users and balance the risks. Your developers and systems people are not your clients. You don’t put all your stock in cages on the shop floor to avoid shop lifting. You merchandise to maximise sales and manage your stock loss costs.
  • Topix.net is a community news site
  • What are the underlying/ structural things you can do?22 SLIDES TO HERE = 15 MINUTES = 41 SECS PER SLIDE
  • Note the word ‘underlying’ on the previous slide
  • I’ll be blunt
  • Stand back, take a deep breath and then a long, hard look
  • You’ve batted the frogs before. And they always win eventually....
  • Some immediate things...But there is a bigger change (next slide)
  • There are plenty of competitors out there for the best people and the recruitment advertising dollar that will put the user front and centre of their organisationThe active, valuable users in your recruitment cross-hairs know from the increasing depth of involvement and engagement in their other web interactions what to expect from their ‘employment transaction’ on your site.Fail to deliver and say goodbye for 2-3 years at least
  • We’ll be honest.
  • Definitely don’t do this
  • Your template for future success
  • Shameless plug...
  • ..and thank you for reading11 SLIDES = 10 MINUTES = 55 SECS PER SLIDE
  • Onrec Talk V9

    1. 1. Designing User Experiences to drive conversions and profit for your recruitment site<br />Simon Conroy, CEO Madgex Ltd<br />
    2. 2. What is user experience?<br />Simple – it’s the experience a visitor has when they come to your site.<br />
    3. 3. Defining User Experience (UX)<br />Visitors normally have a goal in mind (e.g. find a job), and your site design can make it easier or harder for them. <br />For example:<br /><ul><li>How many steps does a task take?
    4. 4. Is there a learning curve?
    5. 5. Do users have to jump through hoops to get what they want?</li></li></ul><li>Setting the scene<br />In April this year, Forrester did a User Experience review of 12 US Job Boards <br /><ul><li>Forrester are an impartial, objective research company with no agenda
    6. 6. They applied tried and tested User Experience evaluation methods</li></li></ul><li>ALL 12 SITES FAILED<br />
    7. 7. ALL 12 SITES FAILED<br />Financial Services<br />AIG<br />Citigroup<br />Merrill Lynch<br />The Goldman Sachs Group<br />Job Boards<br />CareerBuilder.com<br />Monster<br />Dice<br />Yahoo HotJobs<br />Retailers<br />JCPenney<br />Kroger <br />Macy’s <br />Rite Aid<br />
    8. 8. Across the sites tested, Forrester found...<br />?<br /><ul><li>Simple tasks like checking the status of a job application were difficult to complete.Excessive banner advertising often obscured key content
    9. 9. Too many steps in critical tasks like job application was highly likely to cause drop-out.
    10. 10. Content was often cramped, causing poor readability
    11. 11. Error messages tended to be confusing and tricky to recover from</li></li></ul><li>We’re talking about 12 top name US job boards here...<br />....Technically complex<br /> ... All the machinery of Marketing & PR behind them<br /> ....Yet they fail on user experience!<br />
    12. 12. This is like designing a state of the art hotel...<br />Photo used with permission. Photo created by 770: http://flickr.com/people/770/<br />
    13. 13. ... But then making it really difficult for customers to get in!<br />Photo used with permission. Photo created by fortinbras: http://flickr.com/photos/fortinbras/<br />
    14. 14. How has the recruitment industry got itself into this situation?<br />
    15. 15. Lets start by thinking about what we are paying attention to. <br />
    16. 16. © Eames & Eames (1977)<br />
    17. 17. © Eames & Eames (1977)<br />
    18. 18. Exercise: what do these common web marketing terms conjure in your mind?<br />Funneling.<br />Conversion.<br />Chutes. <br />Do they sound like things people choose to do? Or things that happen to people? <br />
    19. 19. Somehow we de-humanizeour users! <br />They aren’t mindless animals to be herded down funnels and chutes. <br />
    20. 20. The key to a successful UX is not to design for statistics.<br />It’s to design for individual experiences. <br />
    21. 21. Usability Testing<br />Ethnography<br />Depth Interviews<br />Heuristic Evaluation<br />Card Sorting Studies<br />A/B Testing<br />Multivariate Testing<br />Surveys<br />Remote Async Testing<br />Diary Studies<br />Contextual Enquiry<br />Focus Groups<br />Cognitive Walkthroughs<br />Eye Tracking<br />Co-Discovery studies<br />Consistency Inspections<br />Guideline Checklists<br />Clickstream analysis<br />
    22. 22. What I am going to talk about:<br />Job Board User Experiences up close: some common mistakes. <br />How you can avoid making similar mistakes<br />
    23. 23. Mistake 1: pogo-sticking<br />Yahoo’s Hotjobs<br />Started in 2002<br />One of the larger US job boards<br />
    24. 24.
    25. 25. Pogo-sticking<br />Users have to be clicking in and out of item detail pages rather than being able to compare the items side-by-side.<br />This causes frustration!<br />
    26. 26. Research findings from UIE <br />Independent user research carried out by UIE shows that in some cases, designs that avoid pogo sticking can produce 5x higher conversion rates!<br />Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/2883525/uie-listing<br />
    27. 27. Mistake 2: The unfriendly 404 page<br />It’s easy for a user to enter a URL incorrectly – e.g. When copying and pasting from an email. <br />Lets see how monster copes with broken URLs...<br />
    28. 28. What happens if you put a broken Job URL into monster?<br />
    29. 29. They are forcing their users to jump through hoops...<br />
    30. 30. SimplyHired have a much more graceful response<br />Since they know the user is lost, they takes step to help them out.<br /><ul><li>Explanation is given
    31. 31. Search tool is provided
    32. 32. Navigation suggestions are provided.</li></li></ul><li>Mistake 3: the unsubscribe roach motel<br />Email alerts are the life blood of recruitment sites. <br />It’s tempting to make them easy to turn on but a pain to turn off!<br />Roaches users can check in, but they can’t check out!<br />
    33. 33. Subscribe is easy<br />Registration is quick – it’s easy to think of a password<br />
    34. 34. Unsubscribe is hard<br />Oh dear, that didn’t work... <br />I’d better click “forgot your password”<br />Hmm, which password did I sign up with? I’ll try this one...<br />Type my email address again. <br />OK, now I need to check my email, wait for it to come through...<br />
    35. 35. Mistake 3: the unsubscribe roach motel<br />Why do we do this? <br />Is it just bad design through neglect?<br />Do we think we are smarter than our users?<br />Roaches users can check in, but they can’t check out!<br />
    36. 36. &quot;Always leave the cage door open, so the bird can return“<br />- Ancient Chinese proverb<br />
    37. 37. Mistake 4: Making users do our data conversion dirty laundry<br />
    38. 38. What recruiters want<br />Semantically structured .xml<br />What job-seekers have<br />Visually formatted .doc<br />How do we get from A to B?<br />Credit: http://flickr.com/photos/kafka4prez/<br />
    39. 39. Do you…?<br />Spend money on some parsing software to do the conversion automatically?<br />Invest in a massive data entry team to do it manually?<br />Be lazy and just force the user do it?<br />
    40. 40. Dice.com profile creation<br />1. Profile name<br />2. Profile Details<br />3. Desired Position<br />4. Experience<br />5. History<br />6. Resume<br />7. Preview & Post<br />8. 3rd party upsell<br />9. Confirmation<br />Frustration meter<br />
    41. 41. With CV parsing software this could be reduced to:<br />Step 1: upload your CV<br />Step 2: …there is no step 2. <br />Frustration meter<br />
    42. 42. It’s a false economy<br /><ul><li>User Experience improvements cost money, but avoiding them is a false economy.
    43. 43. The longer and more tedious a user journey, the higher the drop out rate.
    44. 44. Your UX is your conversion rate which in turn is your revenue stream!</li></li></ul><li>It’s a false economy<br /><ul><li>When sampa.com removed a single form field from a user journey, their conversion rate went up almost 10%</li></li></ul><li>It’s a false economy<br /><ul><li>When topix.net removed an entire page from a user journey (forum posting), they found their conversion rate went up 10 times.
    45. 45. 10 times!!!</li></li></ul><li>How can you avoid making UX mistakes on your recruitment site?<br />
    46. 46. Hopefully by now I’ve got you fired up about UX.<br />Perhaps, you’re a job board owner, and you’re thinking of correcting these problems when you get back to the office next week.<br />
    47. 47. Want my advice?<br />Don’t. <br />
    48. 48. If you treat the symptoms, your problems wont go away<br />If your job board has issues like this, they are symptomatic of a deeper problem<br />Don’t rush to treat the symptoms – instead think about the underlying problem<br />
    49. 49. If you treat the symptoms, your problems wont go away<br />If your organisation is not UX focussed, you will always be plagued by UX problems.<br />
    50. 50. Some of the things you can do<br />UX training for everyone. <br />At Madgex everyone, even the admin staff, receive regular training & workshops. Voluntary but fun – so everyone ends up attending. <br />Regular iterative user research<br />At Madgex we are continually running research and tweaking our designs. An average study turns up 20-50 issues like the 5 we’ve looked at today.<br />
    51. 51. Some of the things you can do<br />Most importantly<br />Stand back and look at the way you run your business:<br />Question: Where is the user’s voice heard?<br />If the answer is not at your Board and Management team meetings every single week then you’re structured to fail in the medium to long term.<br />We/ You are well into the age of (conscious) user empowerment <br />
    52. 52. Some things you shouldn’t do<br />Don’t just hire some UX people and hope they can solve everything<br />UX involves criticism and there has to be an openness to change – <br />everyone in the organisation has to be UX oriented, not just your UX team<br />
    53. 53. Some things you shouldn’t do<br />DON’T separate your UX team from your design team<br /><ul><li>Outsourcing your research to a dedicated UX consultancy is tempting...
    54. 54. But it introduces a gap between research and design / development
    55. 55. Important lessons will inevitably fall through the cracks, and you will loose UX momentum between research projects.
    56. 56. By all means engage with UX consultancies but beware!</li></li></ul><li>Out with the old<br />UX work is seen as <br /><ul><li>Time consuming
    57. 57. Costly
    58. 58. Mandated but frustrating
    59. 59. Endless!</li></ul>In with the new! <br /><ul><li>Staff who find UX issues are rewarded
    60. 60. Everyone receives regular UX training
    61. 61. Everyone cares about it, regardless of position</li></ul>Conclusions<br />
    62. 62. Alternative solution (and shameless plug)<br />On the other hand, you could avoid all this hassle and licence the Madgex V3 job board platform. <br />We are a UX centric organisation – our new platform covers all the issues we’ve talked about today, plus lots more that we’re keeping under wraps for now!<br />www.madgex.com<br />
    63. 63. Thanks for listening<br />Questions<br />

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