Handshake Employer Review Page Redesign

Handshake is an online recruiting tool for higher education students and alumni. They do this by connecting students to jobs and internship opportunities.

Design Brief

As part of the Kleiner Perkins Design Fellowship Application , participants were asked to participate in a design challenge. The Kleiner Perkins Fellowship program connects students with opportunities to work with the most innovative companies. 

The task for the design challenge was to redesign a feature from any of the Kleiner Perkins portfolio companies participating in the fellowship program. We were free to focus on any disciplinary area: Visual Design, Interaction Design, User Experience, and/or User Interface Design. 

I chose Handshake and decided to redesign the employer review page because I had previous experience using Handshake while at Swarthmore College and therefore I had some knowledge on what could be improved to make the user experience even better.

User Research

Before working on the redesign, I studied the users of the platform to understand what their needs were and what they hoped to achieve by using Handshake.

Handshake users include:
- Employers
- Higher Education Institutions
- Students

For the redesign, I only focused on students.

User Persona

Below is a brief description of the wants, needs and goals of the user persona for Handshake.

These attributes were essential in determining the rationale for the redesign.

Analyzing Current Design

Below is the current design of Handshake employer review page

Problems with the current design

While the current design is functional, there are some issues that make it harder for users to achiever their goals.

Some of the issues include:
- Takes a lot of time and effort to get a comprehensive representation of the experiences of people who have worked for different employers on Handshake.
- Users have to scroll down to read numerous reviews in order to make a decision.
- Hard to get specific reviews based on things that matter to users.

These issues are brought about by:
- No quantitative rating. Currently has only qualitative reviews that do not give a clear rating of experience.
- Hard to get a quick overview. One has to scroll through numerous reviews to get a general overview of the experiences of people working for different employers.
- No breakdown of reviews. The reviews are generalized and so it is hard to get a specific breakdown of reviews based on categories that the user is interested in.

Negative impact of these issues

As a result of the current issues, users like Lyn:
- Take longer to apply for jobs
- Apply for fewer jobs because they have to a lot of time to read reviews
- Have limited information about what to expect from employers
- Don't apply through Handshake and instead look for alternatives


Desired outcomes

The redesign should help users
- Quickly get a general overview of employers
- Take a shorter time to apply- Apply for more jobs on Handshake
- Filter reviews based on interests / concerns
- Apply confidently having gotten enough information about the employers

Proposed solutions

Based on the analysis of the users and the challenges they face when trying to use the product with the current design, here are my proposed solutions:

- 5 star rating system. Use 5 star rating system to quantify reviews.
- Summary of reviews. Quick snapshot of reviews with links for different ratings. 
- Categorize reviews. Enable users to filter based on different categories that are important to them.

Redesign based on the proposed solutions

Based on the solutions proposed above, I used Figma to come up with a redesigned employer review page for Handshake.

Below is a snapshot of the before and after.

Original Handshake review page
Redesigned Handshake review page

Measuring the Impact of the Redesign

Although this project was not implemented, here are multiple ways that could be used to measure the impact of the redesign to determine if it positively affects the users.

Impact measurement can be based on:
- Number of completed job applications
- Time taken to complete job applications
- Engagement with employers' reviews
- User retention on Handshake
- Effects of rating on employers' number of job applications

To check out the PDF presentation of this design challenge, use this Handshake Redesign Presentation link.

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