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Usability test of a staffing firm website.
Published:
Defining the Problem
Our client was among the largest staffing firms in the world. They had recently redesigned their website, but had not accessed the reactions of their target user groups: job seekers and hiring clients/employers. The client engaged our graduate student team (Whiteboard Consulting) to conduct a usability study on their newly redesigned website.
Client Goals
*  Identify usability issues from real users and gather actionable recommendations for user experience improvement.
*  Earn internal stakeholder buy-in. Our client lead was also seeking to gain more buy-in from management stakeholders by engaging an expert team to validate their own awareness of usability problems and help advocate for resources to improve the user experience.
First, our team conducted an expert review to identify potential pain points for each user group, particularly around task workflow and system status (e.g., the website telling them the next step in applying for a job).
We ran 12 usability test sessions split by user groups: 6 job seekers, 6 employer/hiring clients. The moderator’s guide was customized to each of the two user groups. Participants were instructed to use the “think aloud" protocol as they completed the tasks.
 
At the end of the session we used Microsoft Product Reaction cards to gauge participants’ reactions to the site.
 
We then shared our recommendations relevant to each usergroup. This breakdown enabled the client to prioritize, based on their budget and business model, which user group’s “low hanging fruit” recommendations to tackle first.
Presentation of Results
Our team organized and presented the results with the client stakeholder goals in mind (including building buy-in and their limited resources) by prioritizing the issues by severity.
Issue Detail:
Lessons Learned
*  The client's unique corporate governance structure (international) dictated some scope limitations. 
*  The presentation was well-received thanks to our stragey of working closely with the client lead to prioritize the features that were feasible to address.
*  Our clear understanding of the client's business model enabled us to craft test questions that revealed the participants’ cloudy mental model of the client's services both online and offline, e.g., “As a hiring manager, can I post jobs or do I have to call [client] rep?”
Project Deliverables 
Project Team