The Overarching Challenge
I redesigned the existing onboarding experience and dashboard to create a more tailored way for users to work on their career goals. Whereas the previous dashboard used the same pattern and approach for all manner of careers, I wanted to dig deep into specific career paths to ensure each journey was both role-specific but also contained elements that were repeatable across all journeys. I specifically focused on the needs of people managers and product managers.
Understanding the Problem
I took advantage of existing primary research culled from one-on-one mentoring sessions conducted through TLH. This research contained advice and trajectories from current people and project managers. From this data, we discerned consistent patterns that we wanted to extend to all users following the people manager and product manager paths.
By drawing upon this research, I was able to make informed design decisions both about the typeof content to include as well as the expected steps and pace along both of these user journeys.
I took a look at existing products, like Noom and LinkedIn Learning, which are also aimed at helping users meet their goals in a very tailored, step-wise fashion. These apps helped me think about the pace and manner in which we should release information as well as ways we could visually chart progress. I also looked to project management apps like ClickUp and Asana to gain inspiration for information architecture and layout.
After my initial research stage, I put together a feature road map and user flows. Due to the time crunch, I moved quickly into lo-fi wireframes to help the stakeholders visualize the new journey.
I began by working on the people manager dashboard and went through several rounds of lo-fi wireframes. I began by segmenting resources by type and displaying peer matches on the home page. This iteration was more of a "one size fits all layout" that could apply to many different types of goals and journeys.
Hi-Fi Mocks: Product Manager
As I continued designing, I wanted the experience to be more personalized and more progress-based.Instead of dividing resources by type, I drew on our primary research and thought about the individual steps users were taking and how they flowed together to reach the specific goal of becoming a product manager.
Hi-Fi Mocks: People Manager
When I began designing the people manager dash, I began by trying to force this user journey into the product manager format. However, upon looking closer at the research I found that this type of journey was driven by many more individual concepts and questions, with each question expanding out into exercises and resources. This called for a different design pattern, one which allowed for users to dive deep and move through individual topics in an even more step-wise fashion.
People Manager Dashboard Testing
- Purpose: assess users’ reactions to the People Manager dashboard as they move through its main functionality
- Participants: 4 users with people management experience who would like to improve their skills
- Methodology: 30-minute Zoom interviews in which I guided them through the prototype and followed up with questions
- Findings Summary: Users reacted positively overall to the dash.Notably, they appreciated design patterns that allowed them to work from a centralized screen and navigate through subflows. They also appreciated how the dash functioned as a one-stop-shop for all information related to people management. Many users have relied on company-sponsored training to learn about people management and agreed that this product could replace that type oft raining. As compared to Product Manager testers, this set of users seemed to be working with an even looser set of processes to meet their goals. To amplify the experience, users wanted a note taking section where they could begin to process all the info they were receiving. Going a step further, they wanted to start planning ways to apply the resources to their work lives, potentially with a way to reflect on and evaluate their progress. Adding in a space/flow for making a plan and self-evaluating progress could be an element that fosters greater interactivity and allows users to see even more value in the product as they chart their progress
Product Manager Dashboard Testing
- Purpose: assess users’ reactions to the Product Manager dashboard as they move through its main functionality
- Participants: 6 users in the process of becoming Product Managers
- Methodology: 25-30 minute Zoom interviews in which I guided them through the prototype and followed up with questions
- Findings Summary: Overall, users had a positive response to the dash, citing it as a potentially helpful resource in pursuit of their goals. They especially appreciated how all the elements are contained in one centralized location in an organized way. They also appreciated how they could see the stage they were at/their path in a clear way. Though many users provided different answers as to what the dash could replace, they agreed that they use a series of loose processes in achieving their goals. They hoped for more avenues of connection on the dash, such as connecting to others at the same stage and gaining hands-on experience. It seems that this connective/experiential element could give the dash an even more competitive edge, incorporating networking elements from Slack/LinkedIn/ADP list.
This project reminded me how important it is to be willing to switch direction and let research dictate design. It's sometimes easy to become committed to a design pattern and lose sight of the nuances of the user journey. Complex products such as these sometimes demand multiple patterns within a single dashboard in order to truly tailor the experience to different user types.