Skill builder

Careers New Zealand's website provides tools and information to support people of all ages to make decisions about their career and education throughout life.

iAuditor web app

In order to comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information. All information presented here is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Careers New Zealand (CNZ).

Understanding the problem

Careers New Zealand wished to develop and host an online skills self-assessment tool target to 25-34 year old New Zealanders who are described as having ‘low skills’.

The purpose of the tool was to enable these young people to see how skills and experience they have acquired in the workplace or elsewhere relate to potential study or training opportunities.

The ultimate aim was to encourage them to re-engage with formal training or study, thereby improving their chances of securing stable employment, in a relatively well-paid job.

To better understand the problem a research was commissioned to:

  • Firstly, identified and re-analysed sources of secondary data in order to define and segment the Target User group, including identifying its defining demographic and socio-economic characteristics

  • Secondly, run six focus groups with a cross-section of the Target User group in order to provide insights relating to Users’ values, attitudes and needs.

The first stream of work concluded that:

  • the core Target User group roughly comprised between 28,000 and 45,000 individuals (25-34 year olds)

  • the higher estimate was based on 25-34 year olds who were ‘low skilled’, ‘intermittently employed’ and earning less than $40,000 per year (8.3% of all 25-34 year old New Zealanders)

  • the lower estimate removed those people who were not currently looking for work because they had caregiving responsibilities.

The second stream of work concluded that:

  • Most had received little (if any) advice, support or guidance from school with regard to subject choice or career paths that would suit their individual skills, interests or talents

  • Becoming a parent is a major catalyst for change. They are now at a stage in their life where they are ready to seriously contemplate their futures. Their primary motivations are to provide for their families and set a good example for their children

  • After years of working in low skilled jobs, most now had a clearer idea of what they wanted to do and realised that having the relevant qualifications could help them get there

  • The key barriers holding them back were financial.

Defining the scope

After analysing all the data from the commissioned research and talking to experts in career development we came up with the following user stories:

  • as a user I want to provide information about myself so that any subsequent suggested training options are relevant to me

  • as a user as I provide information about myself I want to be presented with suggestions that are relevant to me

  • as a user I want to be able to stop using the tool and be able to come back later and continue where I left off

  • as a user I want to be able to view information about ways of overcoming barriers to engaging in training so that I know what options I have to overcome them

  • as a user if I find a training option that interests me I want to be able to initiate the process of engaging with the relevant training provider

  • as a user I want to be able to create and maintain an action plan related to training options I am interested in

  • as Careers New Zealand I want to obtain feedback about the effectiveness of the tool so that I can evaluate and iterate on it

  • as a user I want to be given assistance if I need it.

The non-functional requirements included:

  • complying with Government Web Accessibility Standard 1.0 level AA and Web Usability Standard 1.2.

  • being implemented in Careers NZ technical context: Silverstripe CMS

  • being responsive to mobile devices.

Exploring potential solutions

On this phase we worked together with an external design agency where I was responsible to brief and oversee the work.

We started reviewing the comissioned research and the project requirements to identify key personas and scenarios to create ideal user journeys.

Polarity diagram, personas and customer journey

Once we were happy with the personas and user journeys we wireframed the end-to-end experience and documented the interactions and technical requirements. Then, we completed a focus group with a cross-section of the Target User group in order to evaluate the design concept.

After a couple of iterations on the task's flow and interactions we explored some design patterns and style guides.

Delivering final solution

Once the final experience has been agreed we developed a full UX design framework – incorporating the user stories, personas, jouney maps and wireframes.

This framework provided the external agency with the foundation for the overall experience delivery. They were responsivle for the visual design and development of the interactive tools.