Hypothetical App Redesign
UX & Interaction Design
Handshake’s current app is a neatly-filtered job board, which misses opportunities to help students build skills, learn about careers and connect to classmates/alumni. Adding career education, skill building pages and student/alumni profile tools can help Handshake provide more differentiated value to students and employers and make better use of student data.
Handshake is a job search tool for university students that “helps all students find meaningful careers.” I love Handshake’s mission to democratize opportunity, and I have used the product myself in internship applications.
Handshake does an excellent job sharing work opportunities, but I believe it could improve by increasing student awareness of career paths and skills they will need in their future. Rather than focus on small UI tweaks, I will lay out two new features that could help Handshake provide a more customized and differentiated experience to students.
Handshake’s Non-Unique Value Proposition:
Right now, a student searching for an internship on Handshake has a similar experience as they would have on LinkedIn or Indeed.com. How can Handshake better deliver on their mission? What other aspects of finding meaningful work are they ignoring?
Based on my discussions and video curriculum work with career counselors, reading books on career development, listening to podcasts, and personal experience, I developed four components to finding purposeful careers.
Handshake currently does an excellent job with job applications, provides some limited student connection tools, and hardly touches the first two categories. My redesign addresses simple changes to add more value in the first three areas. More testing would be needed to find which features add the most value to students.
Before I go into depth on the new design, here's an interactive version of my new app features and pages.
Prototype of Home, Skills, example career, example skill and user profiles. Created in Sketch and Framer X.
The current Homepage only shows jobs under different filtered categories. My redesign keeps this job functionality, but adds options for students to learn about career paths, learn about what skills employers look for and connect to peers/alumni.
I chose to replace the "events" tab with a "skills" tab. Students already receive lots of notice about events, and this skills data would be more relevant and innovative. The goal is to educate students about both what skills they have (and how those match employer needs) as well as skill areas to improve to help them get their dream jobs. I would love to discuss this idea further, as I'm sure that diverse perspectives and user testing could make this feature more valuable.
How can we effectively educate students about potential career paths that fit within their skills and interests? What information is relevant when learning about a career?
Below are the two "click into" options for learning more about a career or skill. I show them side by side because of their similarities.
Handshake's desktop version shows student profiles, but the app doesn't. I wanted to add recommendation functionality based on interests, experience and favorited jobs. The profile cards are present in the previous screens; here is the "click into" mobile profile adaptation for an alumna.
I believe that one of the best ways to find new areas to innovate is by connecting previously disconnected products, ideas or user tasks. Handshake could provide more value to students by going beyond a job board functionality to integrate networking, career education and skill-building into its app.
I am aware of the large scope of these features. My goal is to provide a springboard for more discussion, user testing and development, not offer a final solution or pixel-perfect adjustment of the current app.
Thanks for reading!