Interaction Design Intern @ Intuit
During my time at Intuit, I worked on designing an internal enterprise tool that helps recruiters and hiring managers to review resumes easier and get to an awesome hiring decision sooner.
Role: Interaction Designer
Timeline: Jun 2018-August 2018
Team: Tech 4 Intuit Experience Design team
Tools: Sketch, Principle, Photoshop, Illustrator, Pen and Paper
People are the most essential part of any business. It’s critical to have an excellent process to recruit and hire candidates in order to build a sustainable business.
The Talent Acquisition team at Intuit learned that a considerable number of recruiters have complained that hiring managers were not responsible enough during the resume review process, which led to an inefficient recruiting process.
My task was to research and recognize pain points, identify opportunities, and develop solutions to improve the resume review process.
I was on the internal design team of Intuit, Tech 4 Intuit. I worked as an Interaction Designer where I interviewed recruiters and hiring managers, assessed their pain points and goals, and tested solutions with users. I was the only intern on the team and worked closely alongside my mentor and researchers.
Understanding the recruitment
Given the fact that I had limited knowledge of how recruitment works in a large company. I used the first few weeks to study the recruiting system and ask questions to quickly get familiar with the context. I also did some competitor analysis to note the design patterns they used and to identify potential features and information.
Understanding the problem
I created a simplified hiring flow to assist me with identifying deeper causes—who was involved, what were the problems, and why those problems happened.
As shown in the flow chart above, there were three main stages involved and each stage has its own problem.
Recruiters downloaded a resume and stored it on the desktop or cloud before sent to managers.
Recruiters sent resumes and phone screen notes to the hiring managers through email.
Recruiters had to wait for feedback to move forward.
Understanding the user
I partnered with a researcher and developed a research plan to interview recruiters and hiring managers. Participants were from the Mountain View and the San Diego office because I wanted to make sure it’s a company-wide problem that worth solving.
I discovered some behaviors from interviewing and observing managers:
Hiring managers need to switch between resume, email, and phone screen notes while reviewing.
Phone screen notes usually are very detailed and can be as long as a resume.
Users have different sizes of monitors, and there are various forms of resumes.
I learned that it takes an average of 60 days to hire a candidate at Intuit, and resume review is one of the bottlenecks of the process. One of the leading causes was hiring managers can get very busy, and resume review is at a lower priority. Hiring managers were the main focus, and I also made sure the design would work for recruiters as well.
To have an efficient hiring process, recruiters and managers need to collaborate to find a way that best works for them. We wanted to optimize communication between recruiters and managers and make it easier for them to review a resume.
Goals to achieve:
Manage and transport resumes efficiently.
Provide a better way to communicate and facilitate feedback.
Help recruiters to get support from managers to perform their job better.
In the first iteration, I took what I learned from research into quick sketches and then preliminary wireframes.
I was interviewing and designing at the same time, which allowed me to explain my designs to stakeholders at an early stage. I also presented my ideas at our team meetings and received critique from senior designers.
Exploration — Home Page
For this exploration, I wanted users to view resumes and status with cards and thumbnails. I assumed the idea would help users to better manage and review resumes by providing interfaces that they were familiar with.
We discussed and decided to discard the idea because it missed the information they actually need to see, and the cards and thumbnails didn’t use the space effectively.
I reiterated and sketched our new ideas for the home page. I discussed with my mentor and manager, and we agreed upon using the dashboard format as the main structure for the home page.
To help us achieve goal #1—Manage and transport resumes more efficiently, dashboard allowed users to:
Gather various data into one single interface.
Users can immediately see a detailed overview of candidates in one quick glance.
Users can filter data, interact with sheets to see changes over time.
Exploration — Review Page
For the review page, we wanted to make sure that managers could conduct several tasks on one single page. Resume, as the critical element on the page, would get the maximum space and maintain appropriate balance with other components.
In the beginning, we also had the idea of creating a mobile version for hiring managers so they can review resume in their spare time. Later we abandoned the idea due to project limitation and usability.
With the agreement on the dashboard format, I sketched out 10 more concepts and met with the PM from Talent Acquisition team and Allan, Director of Product Management, to get feedback and decide on next steps. I presented my sketches, research findings, and we revisited our initial design goals to guide our decisions. These concepts were focused on archiving goal #2 and #3.
“The sketch concepts did a good job of going broad and eliciting some very productive reactions from both Allan and Sarah. They spurred a number of other ideas from both of them, and made it clear what aspects they are most interested in.”
- Stakeholder feedback
At this point, we had decided what features to include in the final design. I started to develop the hi-fi prototype and met with my mentor and managers regularly to ask for feedback. I also had meetings with the PM and other stakeholders, so we all on the same page.
I partnered with a researcher and designed a plan for user testing. Two themes were created for serving both hiring managers and recruiters.
Theme 1 — “A place for all” focused on creating a platform that contains more features and more information available for accomplishing the tasks.
Theme 2 — “Streamline” focused on accelerating the speed of resume review with limited functions to create a simplified working flow.
Tests were conducted with 3 hiring managers and 2 recruiters. Each test took about 45 minutes, either in-person or online via Bluejeans. Participants were asked to review a resume by going through static screens on a laptop, followed by open-ended questions.
All participants were able to navigate through tasks, and few features didn’t work out well. After the changes were made based on feedback, I handed all the files to my mentor at the end of the internship for further development.
The test results allowed us to determine whether the features and flows working for users.
Hiring managers are busy. Status of candidates was color-coded, which allowed them to check the condition with a quick glance.
“You get the status of each candidate right away, less than 3 seconds.”
“It’s more clear at a glance, not how many, but what status is.”
To speed up the review process, the combination of content and visual design needs to make sense and obvious for users.
Words matter a great deal in Interaction Design. I tested a few combinations of the labels in user testing. I found out "Proceed" and "Rejected" were much easier to understand than others.
Accessibility: Color blindness affects about 8% of American males and 4.5% of the entire population. The initial design emphasized colors which made them look like buttons and grabbed too much attention and caused confusion. The updated version emphasized content and used shapes to indicate the status.
Filter candidates that users need to see based on time or status.
From research and test, managers and recruiters stated they need to use previous candidates as references to make a comparison.
The number of columns went down from 7 to 5, and the sequence was rearranged based on priority.
The Status column was moved from right to left side because people were more used to reading from left to right, and status is an important thing that they need to see first.
The Candidates column was moved to the middle because I learned from testing that managers don’t really care a candidate’s name, which made it least important compared to others.
Some of the information was moved from left to the top because I wanted users to focus on the list instead of eyes going back and forth. The left navigation would serve a more straightforward function of showing current requisitions with auto-expand/collapse.
Users could highlight on a resume and have a quick conversation about specific things on a resume.
Participants really liked the feature and said it complemented the notes and draw managers’ attention to certain details, also can be a reminder for managers to remember things about a candidate.
It optimized communication and helped us to archive goal #2 and #3.
“I love all the comments is in one place and it reminds me quickly what we discussed last time.”
Since we were trying to make the resume review process more efficient, based on Hick’s law, I wanted to reduce the number of alternative choices which will shorten the decision time.
Save for later option: PM asked to have a place for hiring managers to store candidates temporarily so they can come back and make a decision later. But I decided not to do it after the interview and test with managers because we shouldn’t encourage them to sit on things. The system will keep their input like comment or highlights until they click Submit.
From a visual design perspective, the platform needed to follow carefully to the Intuit brand. I worked on the visual design where I studied and used the Intuit Quickbooks Design System as a reference.
I had a wonderful experience at Intuit in this summer. My time as an interaction designer intern allowed me to truly contribute to the team, the company, and the people. I was fortunate enough to have a team of exceptional designers and researchers to work with, and I learned so much from them.
Teamwork makes the dreamwork
UX design must be a group effort. It’s super important to collaborate and work as a team. Being a UX designer is like being a facilitator. We spread the value of design through the company. We design something and constantly to show the design to the team. We facilitate discussion and work together to make better design.
Articulating design rationale
A great part of a designer’s work is to communicate with others. Good designers are not only the ones who can design, and also they need to be great communicators. The ability to effectively explain design concepts is critical to the success of a designer and the project.
Critique is a great way of learning and growing
As a young designer, I learned how important it is to receive a critique well. It can improve our work and help our professional development. It’s impossible for a designer to have all the knowledge and consider every aspect of a product. We should work with stakeholders closely to build products that solve real problems and benefit the business.
“Good planning” + “working hard” lead to good results. Being able to start early and not waiting for the last minute to recruit interviewees allowed me to find sufficient participants and obtain useful insights.
Test as early as possible
Ask for feedback and critique is crucial to the success of a project. And the earlier you test, the easier to make changes which will lead to better results.
Thank you for reading!