An Onboarding Application
Apprenticeship.Miami helps companies launch registered apprenticeship programs and connect them with apprentices who are highly motivated, talented, and truly representative of all that Miami has to offer.
Their goal for this sprint was to develop a company onboarding process where hiring managers could show their company needs and create a profile so that the experts at Apprenticeship.Miami could further assist with developing the program.
To launch the sprint, we began by interviewing the stakeholder and their in-house designers. We wanted to get a more in-depth understanding of the brief and what was the goal of creating this application.
“We want to create a process where the user is telling us about their company but are still being informed about apprenticeships,” said Carlos. The main takeaways from the interview were that ALOT of companies have the wrong idea about these apprenticeship programs. Educating during the process would help them understand the benefits and be more inclined to begin their own.
We were not experts on apprenticeship programs. If we wanted to educate the users, we also had to find what would be insightful facts that could help change the negative perception of apprenticeships. Even though we still did not know how the application would look or work, we knew that asking the right questions was the biggest part of the entire sprint.
Some key findings from our article research:
$20,000 salary difference between an entry-level tech position and an apprenticeship in tech
For every $1 invested in apprenticeships $1.48 is returned.
Employees are more likely to stay at a company longer when the company they work for invests in their development.
Now that we knew more about apprenticeship programs and how they could benefit companies. It was important to understand where these companies are having issues with these programs. We created an open-ended survey where the hiring managers would tell us about their experiences with apprenticeships.
When asked why they want to hire an apprentice, they told us it was because of the low-cost salaries, they get to help someone start their career, and they would not require training if the person were to become full-time.
Their expectations for apprentices were both positive and negative. Some said they expected them to ask a lot of questions to get to know how to do tasks, learn from their mistakes, and become independent at the end of the program. But others expect apprentices to initially detract value from the company since they would need extra attention to have them go down the right path.
Last but not least we learned where have they experienced issues in the past with apprentices. The hiring managers specified that many of the problems come from leaving them on their own, apprentices tend to make assumptions that lead to doing tasks incorrectly. The other biggest point was since they are 1this entry-level position, they can become complacent. Becoming lazy and lacking passion that can lead to a sense of entitlement to receiving a full-time offer.
We decided to take a look at the current website for Apprenticeship.Miami and review what their strengths are, where they are weak, the opportunities they have, and their threats.
Some examples were
Its mission statement has an important and clear goal behind it.
A personalized experience for both employers and interns.
Issues with design consistency — text, buttons, color.
Limited information backed by a bunch of placeholders
Make the experience more natural instead of just another job posting site.
Competitors that have a fully fleshed-out service or application.
The contact and Sign Up process ends abruptly and is essentially a dead end.
It is always good to see what works and what doesn’t for your competitors. A competitive analysis was huge for this sprint, we wanted to know what these companies were doing right and wrong.
The 2 companies we analyzed were Handshake and Multiverse.io, specializing in helping both parties, employer and employee.
Here are some of the insights we gathered during the research portion of the sprint:
People don’t know the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship, it is important to make that clear.
There are a lot of pros compared to the cons of an apprenticeship program. Hiring companies need to learn about them.
Whatever experience that is made, has to be a personalized, easy and accessible process.
After reviewing the research results we created our problem statement:
When looking to hire, I want to be more informed about the value of apprentices so that I can make the best decision for my company from a business and talent growth perspective.
How Might We
The How Might We statement put together before creating our User Persona was:
How might we design an app that educates employers about the value of apprentices, as well as gathers information about the company and its goals?
From the research insights and the constructed statements, we were able to come up with our primary user, Sebastian Fernandez. Sebastian is the hiring manager for Origin PC in Miami, Florida. Some of his goals and needs are to learn about the value proposition of investing in apprentices and to find ideal candidates who are eager to learn and succeed in their field.
Some of his pain points are that he isn’t aware of the benefits that come from investing in apprentices early on and that in the beginning, apprentices need to learn their responsibilities which lowers overall productivity until they are independent.
For our user journey, Sebastian goes through his typical process of searching for candidates to hire.
Our main focus here is the frustration stage, which is:
Based on Sebastian’s past experiences, he is conflicted because his instinct is that his company would lose value by hiring an apprentice even though it’s the other way around over time.
After exploring the reasons why Sebastian would want to use the Apprenticeship.Miami application we came up with the User Story:
As a hiring manager, I want to learn about the value of apprentices and how they can benefit my company so that I can set up a program to guide/mentor them and eventually hire them for a full-time position.
With the User Story formulated, we explored the main user flow that help facilitate the needs of Sebastian and would be the framework for our MVP.
To kick off our ideation process, it was essential to discuss what we believed were features that were possible to add and features that were not possible. Some must-have features were the ability to create a profile for both employer and potential apprentice, and a user-friendly process. The should-have features are a calendar/booking system and a natural Miami feel to the application. We decided that a direct messaging system was not essential to the MVP so we left it as a could-have possibility, while things like job postings and a matchmaking system would not be found anywhere throughout the Apprenticeship.Miami app.
We wanted to create a color scheme that would portray not only the typical Miami look but also a professional setting where one can learn. From our research, we learned that dark blue represents knowledge, integrity, and seriousness. These descriptions were all fitting to what Apprenticeship.Miami wanted to portray the educational side of the application.
We had come up with 5 categories that resembled how we believe the user would feel with the color combinations presented in the Mood Board. From there we asked the user to pick 5 words out of a list provided that described how the Mood Board made them feel. From the results, the surveyors had felt the same way we had predicted.
We had come up with the 5 categories:
With most of the ideation complete, we decided to separately put together a low-fidelity version. Once we were both completed, we presented what we had envisioned and took the best features from both to create the final iteration of the low-fi.
Option to sign in as both employer and apprentice
Webinar (mentioned by stakeholder)
The onboarding process consisted of questions that would fill up their user profile. From the user profile the Apprenticeship.Miami experts can further understand the user to help them get their apprenticeship program going.
For this MVP, we demonstrate the employer’s side of the application. The questions asked were specific to the kind of company the user works for while also educating them about apprenticeships. From our research, we were able to use the facts and key learning and turn them into insightful questions. The user is told about apprenticeships and then asked about their view on the question.
Once the rough design of the application was mocked up, we went ahead in creating the component that would be used. During the Low-fi, we did not know what exactly the navigation bar would include. We decided to add both the option to book a meeting and or send a direct message to an expert (The direct messaging feature is not part of the MVP, but could be further expanded if given the option). This phase was focused on the interactions that would be present throughout the entire experience. Once they were completed, it was time to test what we had come up with so far.
Users were told beforehand that for this test, they were taking on the role of the hiring manager at their current company. Users were also told to think out loud and give suggestions. They were then given scenario tasks to complete. One of the tasks was to complete the onboarding questionnaire to see how much time user’s spent. During this task, the user was timed to see if the questionnaire was either too long or too complicated. The results from the testing reflected an average questionnaire time of 1 minute 25 seconds and a 100% success rate based on the scenario tasks completed by each user.
Our style guide provides all the assets needed to work on the Apprenticeship.Miami app. The colors decided were similar to that of the mood board, while the typography stayed the same as the company’s website.
The culmination of the 2-week sprint for Apprenticeship.Miami. Our high fidelity takes a hiring manager through a user-friendly process while still reflecting the Miami personality. We used red as a utility color to help users easily know where they need to navigate. The application has a clear end goal and makes it clear while going through the process.
Added button to schedule additional meetings
Defined what an apprentice is at the beginning of the onboarding process
Changed the questionnaire wording to be easier to comprehend
Added a navigation bar page indicator
Removed shadows from certain components
Strong research on the user, the company, and the topic was essential to creating our MVP.
Conveying our thought process and reasoning for decision-making was important to stay on the same page with the stakeholder and other designers.
Staying consistent and productive while waiting for feedback helped us stay on pace.
Implement a direct messaging system that allows users to contact staff or support.
Create a questionnaire portion for apprentices.
Expand the Learn More section by making the article cards interactable so users can read the full article.
Continue to iterate and conduct more usability tests.