UX researcher and designer

LaGuardia's

Tech Hire - OpenCode

UX design,
social media experience design
Group 93

Overview

Background

TechHire – Open Code has high-quality, free education in the form of ‘boot camp’ style courses. Programs are for eligible 17-29-year-old New Yorkers with a focus on people who are underrepresented in tech or are under or unemployed. They also provide career support and services.

Problem

TechHire – Open Code needed help connecting with new students on social media, their website, and course information sessions. 

My role

I led this project as a UX design intern under the supervision of the program director and Laguardia Community College’s design department.

Generative
research

Social media analysis

I did several content analysis exercises on the existing Tech Hire – OpenCode digital properties. This included a design analysis and card sorting exercises to identify post types. I needed to understand what Tech Hire had been posting first. 

Competative analysis

Once I had identified a range of comparative tech training boot camps, I did more content analysis card sorting exercises — this time identifying what comparative education providers are doing to connect with their audience.

User interviews

I spoke to five recent graduates of tech boot camps and asked them how they found out about education opportunities. I also asked them to go to the Tech Hire website and walk me through what they were seeing on screen.

They were then given several tasks to complete: find out about a course, RSVP to a webinar info session, and attempt to apply for a course.  

I also asked them to look at some of the existing social media properties and provide feedback on the visual identity and overall experience.

Findings

4/5 users expressed confusion about what the program entailed and how to apply. They thought the current website lacked individual course information.

3/5 users said the current visual identity on social media and the website did not look very professional, and this made them wonder about the quality of the program.

4/5 users said they were annoyed that they had to apply for a program or RSVP to an information session before they fully understood the requirements and details.

4/5 users said they would be unlikely to follow social media that only communicated marketing goals. They wanted a variety of content that was engaging and gave them a rest from calls to action all of the time. 

Showcasing talent on Instagram

Social media
experience
design

Instagram posts

TechHire – Open Code was using Instagram to recruit and engage with new candidates, alumni, and employers too. The post sequence needed a stronger visual identity and consistent application of color, font and composition. One that was more on-brand with the image or identity that Tech Hire was seeking to attract with its tech training courses.

Several post types emerge from my research. Some showcase talent to potential employers and the wider professional community. Others offer a look behind the scenes in the form of photography. There are calls to action for future applicants. Inspirational quotes and tech memes tap into to common tropes and schemes. They inject moments to contemplate and perhaps even laugh. 

Before
content strategy​

After
content strategy

Facebook and
Instagram stories

Tech Hire was also reaching candidates through Facebook and Instagram stories. I created a template that could be applied in a variety of ways to create any number of new posts. 

Building block design system

The variations (pictured below) became a kind of building block or starting point. Also supplied, a range of stock photography that marketing staff could use to create future posts. 

Examples

Next, I created some sample posts to demonstrate how a story might look. Below are some examples. 

Print
design

Context

Another way users were discovering Tech Hire was via printed flyers, shared as PDF via email within professional networks; and printed on dead trees placed in and around City University of New York institutions.

Before
After

User
experience
design

Website

When I started working on this project, I identified several flow deficiencies that were probably losing Tech Hire talent. These were later reinforced with my user research. 

Initially, there was just one landing page for the program and both courses. There was little real information about the courses, poor calls to action, and no real trajectories on the website promoting discovery. 

Site map

Before

After

My design adds two new pages—one for each course. Each new course landing page has clear calls to action to RSVP to an information session, and another to enroll in the program.

Furthermore, important information about the course, such as eligibility requirements, projected job salary, and potential career paths are now displayed.

Superfluous and confusing links to defunct unrelated courses have been removed. Clear calls to action let the user know how to apply to a course, find out more, or sign up to attend an info session. 

Journey map

With new course pages

Mobile website