Introducing Snag’s New Homepage Experience
In early 2019 Snag (formerly Snagajob) released a new homepage experience for workers and job seekers. This update introduces new dynamic features that offer personalized experiences for our users. Over time the end result will redefine the traditional job search and will closer resemble a Netflix-like ‘discovery’ experience whereby jobs and shifts will be showcased to users based on a combination of their individual profile, past work experiences, and recent site visit actions or behaviors.
Why the homepage? Defining Opportunities:
- Worker engagement: Job seekers who visit the site via the homepage drive MANY (upwards of 80%) more page views and have a higher application rate than at any other point of entry. We understand these visitors to already have knowledge of our brand either via previous interaction or referral.
Opportunity: Identify the needs of the user in order to improve experience and offer more value to the job seeker (previous homepage was simply a showcase of promoted job postings and SEO links).
- Site efficiency: The previous homepage was greatly outdated both visually as well as in its implementation.It leveraged a secondary m.dot platform in order to deliver mobile optimized experiences. Page loads on mobile exceeded, at times, 20 seconds and Google ranking and SEO were being negatively impacted based on this practice.
Opportunity: Rebuild the homepage using responsive design to create a consistent experience and reduce the amount of overhead and development management required. Increase performance and search relevancy.
Defining our audience personas:
The previous homepage was essentially static and visible job postings only updated once a user provided location or key words via search input. If a return visitor was cookied this basic search criteria would become their default. Through discovery we saw opportunity to customize future experiences aligned to four personas:
- First-time visit job seekers
- Returning job seekers who have not yet created a profile
- Returning job seekers who have created a profile, but are not signed in
- Returning job seekers who have created a profile and were signed in
By collecting data, promoting profile creation, and tracking actions and behaviors during visit we would be able to begin tailoring each individual experience.
The Design Team
- Ux Researcher:
- Ux/Product Designers:
Danny Lambdin and William Hernandez
- Visual Designer/Art Director:
- Define long and short term vision & strategy
- Coach, mentor, and provide cover for design team throughout process including participation in discovery, critiques, demos, etc.
- Stakeholder management and socialization
Discovery and what we learned
How did we approach research?
We explored understanding our workers with simple concepts (rough sketches) and copy experiments. Research was conducted daily followed by sketching or prototyping. We received worker feedback, iterated, and retested within the same week, week after week. Along with listening to what workers were telling us, we also leveraged user behavior data (heatmaps and click data) from snagajob.com. Throughout this process we started uncovering what was most important to workers and what they responded to.
The worker state of mind
Two different themes emerged as we talked more with our workers
- “I know the type of job I’m looking for.”
- “I don’t know where to start.”
The challenge: Design a new experience that doesn’t get in the way of workers who know the type of job they want. Plus, ensure that experience doesn’t intimidate the workers who are unsure about what they’re looking for.
Words have a big impact
Our tests showed us that even a single word could impact interest and affect engagement.
For example, the words new vs. recently added had a very different reaction. We thought new would be a good callout for new jobs on Snag. However, we learned from job seekers that if they saw jobs labeled as new they expected them to be brand new jobs that they wouldn’t find yet on any other site. As a result, we changed the callout to recently added in order to better fit worker expectations.
Similarly expectations differed based on using words like recommended vs. suggested. Additionally the word popular was negatively received as the job seekers believed popularity implied competition and an unlikely chance of being hired.
As job seekers went from visiting Snag for the first time to having a profile and being logged in, their expectations of what they should see on the homepage changed. They expected a more personalized experience based on their behaviors and the information they gave us.
Armed with these user insights and cross-department collaboration, we were able to incrementally modify designs and test which moved us closer to the final homepage design and experience released.
It’s all in the DETAILS
How the discovery & learnings influence the designs:
Below are a few examples of how our learning informed design and experience decisions. Ranging from influencing IA decisions and primary action needs or goals the improved experiences begin to collect data from the job seekers that will begin to personalize their experiences and offer higher value to their job search needs.
1 – “I know the type of job I’m looking for”
Most visitors are coming to the site to search for jobs, so we wanted to bring that interaction to the foreground. Search is now front and center and includes the features workers tend to use the most (location, distance and keyword). Additionally our photography choices showcase workers in action performing familiar tasks to what is likely to be found on the site. The worker in the photograph is approachable and relatable; she also subtly directs the user’s attention to their primary action—SEARCH.
2 – “I don’t know where to start”
Not every job seeker knows what they’re looking for
Some seekers didn’t know where to start, especially those with no experience. So we provided an aggregate view of jobs on the homepage. The jobs displayed on the homepage change depending on what we know about the worker:
a. New to the site – Highlighting recently added jobs based on location.
When a job seeker sees a recently added job, they believe the employer is active on our site and more likely to view their application. This offers a level of excitement for them and also implies urgency to hire. Remember, the word choice here is important and has purpose; especially for the unknown visitor experience.
b. Returning job seeker, not signed in – Highlighting recently viewed jobs.
Our existing site data indicates a higher likelihood of an application being completed (approximately 3X) when a worker has previously viewed a particular job, so we bring those jobs to the surface and identify them as such. This also sets an expectation to the user that we are learning from their past actions.
c. Returning job seeker, signed in – Highlighting application drafts and saved jobs.
When a job seeker has a profile and is signed into their profile the experiences are far more personalized and data rich. Moving application drafts and saved jobs to the top of the signed-in dashboard helps the job seeker easily pick up where they left off. By surfacing this information we allow them to reengage from where they left off and make completing their application that much easier.
3 – “Searching for a job is FRUSTRATING.”
We heard the “F” word quite consistently when we asked workers what it was like searching for jobs. They were FRUSTRATED not knowing where to start or what to look for. FRUSTRATED with applying for jobs only to wonder if an employer would even look at it. Well “F” that!
As we tested and iterated we began to see a shift in the workers’ mindset:
a. Dynamic content: By bringing the most relevant information to the surface at the right moment, we put many of their frustrations at ease.
“Everything you wonder about the site is right in front of your face.”
b. Visual design: By partnering with the marketing design team, we were able to quickly experiment with many different approaches to color and photography. We asked job seekers how they felt as they interacted with the new homepage and learned how the visual design positively impacted their experience. We learned that the thoughtful use of color, and the right colors, along with relatable photography can offer comfort and incite trust. By defining a photography style that felt less ‘stock’ and reflected a situation that appeared more natural and aligned to a position or environment that our seekers might find themselves in resulted in them feeling more comfortable, delighted, and motivated.
“I feel pretty supported and motivated while seeing this page. It’s like you know exactly what I need and want.”
Below showcases several feature banner concepts which resulted in us opting to randomize banner image during page load. This subtle opportunity for change on the homepage reinforces a sense of constant activity on the Snag website. The result of this decision further ads the the user’s excitement and delight.
In the first 30 days post release we saw dramatic results based on the success of the improved experience. This success has validated our strategy and allowed the team to continue discovery efforts intended to bring our long term vision to life.
- ~200% more job posting page views originating on homepage
- 18-20% increase in ‘application intent’ (apply button clicks – not all applications are completed on our platform)
- 5-8% increase in completed applications on snagajob.com platform (substantial lift based on ~2 million monthly visits)
- Increased employer customer satisfaction and hire rate based on application volume and quality of applicant. Actual data pending.
Download detailed wireframes and mockups
Feel free to deep dive into various wireframe flows and final responsive mobile designs by downloading the following PDF files: