Human Exponent

Improving the job search experience with psychometric assessments.

Overview:

  • 6 week internship at a startup. 

  • Lead UX Researcher.

  • Provided UX Recommendations.

My Role:

  • UX Researcher & Interviewer

Tools Used:

  • Google Docs

  • Zoom

Timeline:

  • 6 weeks

Intro & Problem:

Human Exponent is a seed stage startup based in Palo Alto, CA. Their mission is to help people discover their talents through psychometric assessments. These assessments are psychological measurements of personality, character traits, knowledge, abilities and attitudes. With the data given, customers have the chance to get “matched” with top companies. 

Before launching their product, Human Exponent wanted to test out their beta to potential customers to understand their pain points and frustrations and iterate as needed. 

My Role & Solution:

As a UX Researcher, I conducted a comprehensive user research study for the Human Exponent team. I worked closely with the startup's co-founder to figure out a research strategy, timeline, and goals. I carried out all research and interview activities. My goal was to understand the problem they were solving, synthesize user feedback, and analyze critical areas of improvement to provide UX recommendations.

 

Research Process:

Prior to interviewing potential candidates, I spoke with the co-founder to discuss the goals and outcomes their startup was looking for. In this meeting, we came up with a number of research activities that we believed would get us the desired results:

Research Goals and Outcomes

  • Conduct a Heuristic Analyses of Human Exponents Beta. 

  • Create User Testing & Interview Script.

  • Provide UX Recommendations: Usability Test Summary , User Flow Summary, User Flow Diagram. 

Research Activities Requested

  • Find research participants with desired user characteristics.

  • Conduct user interviews and user testing.

  • Show demos of beta version of the app.

Image by Scott Graham
Heuristic Analysis:

The first step of my process was to familiarize myself with Human Exponents beta and understand what types roadblocks users would have. Once I familiarized myself with Human Exponent's beta, I decided to conduct a Heuristic Analyses following Nielson Norman Group’s 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design

Introduction:

When designing a product or interface, our priority is to ensure we are offering a seamless user experience and solving problems for our potential users. The purpose of this heuristic analysis is to spot usability issues and rate Human Exponent's Business to Consumer  website pages using Nielson Norman Group’s 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design. The three heuristics I will be using are: 1) Visibility of System Status 2) Match between systems and real world 3) User Control & Freedom. 

 

The rating system will be defined as:

Analysis of Human Exponent:

B2C:

Human Exponent’s goal is to improve the job search experience with psychometric assessments. These assessments help customers discover their “profile” to give them a better understanding of themselves (i.e. personality traits, character, work performance and more). Customers will also have the chance to get “matched” with top companies and receive career advice or job recommendations.

1. Visibility of System Status Score: Average

B2C: Human Exponent system of information is overall clear with a little technical jargon. The menu items are easy to understand and the aesthetic layout of the interface is a simple black and white color. The content organization of the landing page can be clearer and easier to understand. The information architecture seems to be well aligned with other industry leaders. 


2. Match between systems and real world Score: Needs Improvement 

Although there is familiar language presented to the user, a first time user who would stumble upon this site might feel forced to go elsewhere to find explanations or definitions of the language that has been presented. Terms such as, “psychometrics, psycho-demographic, digital footprint” can have people scratching their heads if they’ve never heard of it before. Users should always understand the meaning without having to look up a word. I believe some of the language can be simplified and have more of a conversational feel. Users need language that is easy to understand, familiar and doesn’t make them think. 

 

3. User Control & Freedom Score: Average

Sometimes users choose system actions by mistake and they need an easy way to correct their error. From visually observing the prototype, I was able to tell that there are no back and forth buttons to have users “quickly” escape. I advised the team to include it in the next prototype. 

User Testing & Interview Script:

The next step of my research process was to create an interview and usability script to provide structure during the interview and usability testing. 

Research Findings & Recommendations: 

After testing the prototype on two user participants, I summarized my findings and made recommendations for Human Exponent. See the summary and reccomendations below:

Usability Test Summary:

Introduction:

I tested a digital product named Human Exponent on two user participants. My intention was to discover how users interacted with the product, their roadblocks with the digital product and if the concept of it made sense. From my observation, the two main things users struggled with is the context of the language and the user flow of the website. Below are my findings and recommendations to improve the user experience with Human Exponent. 

Findings: 

Issue 1 ) The main finding of my observation is the language context. Users founded it to be too lengthy, wordy, confusing, and awkward. 

Summary:

• Some confusion on wording, spelling, length. 

• Some disinterest in having to complete tasks when asked to “sign up”. 

• One user mentioned that the light grey color of the font was hard to read. 

• One user mentioned he wanted more information about the product before “signing up”. The value component was unclear. 

 

Recommendations:

•  Never assume users will understand abbreviations, technical jargon, or that our own interpretation of language / words will match those of users. Users should always feel like they understand the meaning / value of what you’re trying to sell.  I would advise to make the language easier to understand by writing simply, concise and clear. Be mindful of your user and make sure to use words, language that is familiar to the user and doesn't make them think. 

Findings:

Issue 2)  Users found the user flow to be unorganized and confusing.  

 

Summary: 

  • Some confusion with navigating website

  • Some frustration in not knowing what the next step is. 

Recommendations:

Think about user flow as the GPS to your website. Without GPS, you can get lost, confused, or frustrated. I will redesign your user flow to help people complete an action or step. My goal is to retain your customers by leaving them with a good impression of your product. 

 

Usability Issues by Priority:
User FlowSummary & Diagram:

While testing the user flow of Human Exponent on two user participants, I observed how they struggled interacting with the website and were left a little unclear as to what next steps to take. I wanted to solve this by creating a new user diagram for Human Exponent. The goal was to create a step by step process  that users will have while interacting with the product. This flow should lead to a better user experience as it guides users to navigate the website easier and motivates the participant to take a free personality assessment and gain trust. The image below is my user flow recommendation for Human Exponent.

TITLE OF THE CALLOUT BLOCK

Conclusion:

Although my project with Human Exponent lasted 6 weeks, I was able to deliver valuable feedback that would help the company understand their users needs and wants. This understanding would give them the opportunity to iterate their product and turn insights into consumer-centric results. 

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