The Livelihood Future Skill Lab Project is a web portal aiming to bring together theoretical research and practical training to help individuals build careers that are sustainable and resilient to future changes.

Context

Team Capstone Project
Livelihood Project Inc.
Jan – April 2021

Contributions

UX Research
UX/UI Design
User Testing

Tools

Figma
Adobe Creative Suite

The Story

Livelihood Project Inc. is a non-profit organization that began its journey in 2016 with a mission to discover how future skills development will append future career paths. It started with a bottom-up approach by running a cafe in Kensington Market staffed by refugees and newcomers learning digital business skills.

Now moving to the next phase, our project partner is looking to broaden its influence by introducing this online platform to better bridge theoretical future skill research with practical applications, and eventually help people advance in their future careers.

My Role

In this four-month capstone project working together with Livelihood, I collaborated with four teammates (Chu Li, Vicky Yao, Chris Xie, Janice Hu) to build this web project from scratch.

I was actively involved in all design phases, from conducting interviews to synthesizing research results. I also led the visual design creating most of the slide show, customer journey map, and the UX/UI design of the clickable prototype.

Our Design Process

Initial Research

Understanding Business Goals

We initiated our project by having two kick-off meetings with the founder of Livelihood Inc. – Parin Kothari. The informative conversation helped us understand the business model, target audience, and value proposition of the organization.

Regarding the three-phase development plan of the Project, the Future Skill Lab is currently at Step 2, with a business goal to create an enriching platform that will help people stay informed about future skills, and eventually reach a greater audience and gain more organization buy-ins.

The Challenge

 

Who are our potential users?

In order to create a higher-level impact, our project partner aims to focus on professionals as the target user group, including analysts and researchers working for governments, corporates, funding organizations, and universities.

This brought us a challenge in conducting the initial user research since it was hard to locate possible interviewees. We managed to solve the issue by sending rounds of cold emails (45 in total) on LinkedIn and luckily, got 8 responses for both initial research and user testing. We were able to gather some of the most insightful inputs from these manager-level leaders in the future skill field.

Step 01

User Interviews

We conducted 4 semi-structured interviews of 30 minutes each, during which we asked interviewees about their understanding of future skills and their expectations of this potential portal.

Here are the questions we cared most about and their answers:

“ What would motivate you to go online to find future skill-related information? ”

—- To cope with the current crisis (COVID and climate) and to build a more inclusive future.

“How did you like your past experience learning about future skills?”

—- Current Information available is mainly abstract and ambiguous recommendations. Users need to transfer the concept into more actionable guidelines.

“ What contents do you expect to be there on a website about future skills? ”

—- Practical contents for job seekers and theoretical content for building a culture of continuous learning in the long run

Step 02

Persona

From the interview answers we gathered, the team built the persona of Naomi, who works as a research analyst for a think tank. Naomi is deeply concerned about social fairness issues and wants to get herself as well as others prepared for the future job market.

Step 03

As-is Experience Map

The journey to learn future skills from current existing websites can be concluded as five stages. As shown in this Customer journey map, we examined the actions, feelings, pain points, and possible opportunities of each stage.

Synthesis

Define Problem and Design Strategy

The team concluded four main pain points that are most troubling for users in their current journey and came up with correspondent design solutions to improve on those points.

Step 04

Low-fi prototype

We completed the first round of low-fi prototyping in Figma. Internally, we used team voting as a method to agree on design solutions. The design was also approved by project partner before moving to the next phase.

Step 05

Usability Testing

Cognitive Walkthroughs

To validate our design, we did 3 user testing with our target user group. Since we want to test the whole site with several different flows, the team decided to use the cognitive walkthrough method for time and cost efficiency.

The success metrics we used were qualitative, focusing on whether the users would consider contacting livelihood Inc. based on the website walkthrough, matching the business goal to broadcast Livelihood Inc. to a greater audience and build potential long-term relationships.

 

Step 06

Final Products

Homepage

  • An enticing entry point to attract users
  • Introducing the organization through engaging materials
  • Showcases research articles, highlighting the credibility and timeliness of the resources

Research Hub

  • Provide editor notes as a practical guide
  • Highlight social impact to match user’s needs
  • Comment area to communicate and build connections

Future SMART Wizard

  • Conversational questionnaire to prompt for users information
  • Relevant future job prediction – highlighting job’s potential growth rate, salary prediction as well as the skills required
  • A personalized step-by-step roadmap for skill training
  • Explore the future job market landscape
  • Check out the description of each position
  • Compare positions and find transferable skills

Subscription

  • Sign up for a newsletter subscription
  • Tailor subscription by personal preference

For full clickable prototype….

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