ONREC is an online recruitment resource platform for HR Directors, Personnel Managers, Job Boards and Recruiters. Onrec provides daily news about the recruitment industry and a company directory for any person looking for a recruitment solution. Their team comprises two people: the founder (main stakeholder) and a publisher.

They decided to re-design their website in order to increase their revenue by selling more directory profiles to their clients. Aim to become a reference in the United Kingdom in the recruitment industry by providing the latest news updates to their clients with a great reading experience and also want to increase the number of subscriptions to their current mailing list.

The challenge 

The first time I had a look at Onrec, the message and brand was vague, I was unable to define which services they were providing. The challenge here for me was to re-define the brand of Onrec online in order to facilitate and improve the interaction between the users and the company online.  It was also important to make the website more engaging and less content heavy as it was before. I knew that by designing the website this way, it could have a positive impact on the experience of the users of the website.

Communicating my ideas and reassuring the main stakeholder throughout the process was very important in order to always keep him updated how the project was moving.  I would describe this stakeholder as not familiar with new technology and quite reluctant to effect any change. I had to be very emphatic and communicate every step to him.

This project has been elaborated in group. I was delighted to be the person in charge of leading the design process of the website redesign. It has been six weeks of hard work and collaboration between us, the main stakeholder and the publisher.

I will now explain all the steps of the process I followed to achieve the final solution. I will focus on the elements of the user experience I have been working on.

What I did 


After several short but intensive meetings with the stakeholder and publisher, I started the project with a discovery phase where I analysed the current website in order to ascertain the problem I needed to solve and how the users were using the website. In every project I work on, I am very sensitive to the data. It’s an important factor I always share with my clients so they understand my suggestions and ideas from inception.

Google Analytics

I used Google Analytics to delve deeper into the analysis of the website to re-design. I was able to learn more about the users and their behaviours. I was astonished to see how high the bounce rate was on the main pages and some other pages of the website! For example, the homepage had a bounce rate of 90%, which is huge. According to the stakeholder and data on Analytics, the traffic of ONREC seems comprise more new users than returning users (12% of returning users).

By analysing the following parameters, we assumed that this was happening due to a very confusing messaging and value proposition. I also noticed from Analytics that the website is more used on desktop than mobile (80% on desktop vs 20% on mobile).

Survey

To clarify the assumptions I made previously, I found it necessary to validate and hear more from real users. Due to the way I was operating in this project, the easiest and fastest way to collect some information, was to conduct a survey with a group of real users. It was my first time to try out this method. It was important as everything coming from real users could help me in making my decision and articulate my choice to the main stakeholder.

This made him less reluctant to change. From the responses I received back from users, they pointed out a lack of engagement and clarity on the website. For new users, we had confirmation that it was just hard to understand at first what Onrec is and its value proposition. This probably explains why new users are not returning users to the website.

Strategy and goals

In order to correctly solve the main problem and operate efficiently during the re-design, I decided to adopt a user-centred approach. It was important to establish a clear strategy of the re-design by defining the user experience at the very core and establish the necessary features to build and improve. Here are the goals I found and that I had to keep in mind during the re-design:

    Business goals
  • Increase more revenue from directory profiles;
  • Converting new users to returning users;
  • Increase newsletter sign-ups.
    User goals
  • Read and stay up-to-date with recruitment news;
  • Browse resources from the company directory.

During this step, I also made sure to answer the questions below to keep everything
tracked and under the scope of the re-design. This also facilitated communication and collaboration with stakeholders and all persons involved in the project.

  • Why are we re-designing the website?
  • For whom are we building this for?
  • What are the business and user goals?
  • What are we building exactly?

Branding

Since the brand is an essential layer of the user experience, I conducted a quick session with the main stakeholder to define the brand attributes of Onrec. This step was rather important for me as it gave me an indication about the way the content and the visual language of the website should appear, look and feel. A good user experience starts at the core with a solid strategy and a great understanding of the brand we are working with.

The following words described perfectly the brand Onrec

  • Social
  • Friendly
  • Relevant
  • Dynamic
  • Authentic
  • Exclusive

Information Architecture

Once the research and the strategy process was done I had a better idea on how to approach the problem. Before sketching and wireframing a few concepts I decided to make an inventory of the content we would reuse and rewrite for the new website. I did this work with a publisher.  In parallel to this task, I defined the main user flows and sitemap of the website.

Sketches and wireframing

The next step was to create several concepts with a different approach on how to solve the problem. Based on my research and goals, I created several concepts of the main pages on pen and paper. At the end with the main stakeholder, we retained one concept that we wanted to develop further and test with a few users. At this stage, In order to share clearly my concept with the stakeholder, I increased the fidelity of the sketch on paper into low-fidelity mock-ups in sketch.

Prototyping

I then created a prototype in HTML of the retained concept in order to test it with users and refine it according to the feedback and iterations. Since the beginning of the project I insisted on this part. It is only at this stage where the main stakeholder and the publisher was able to figure out how every page and section where linked together. They had a better understanding about the product and how it’s was taking shape.

User testing

I ran a quick test with five users in order to see how they were interacting with the prototype I built in HTML. By receiving and analysing their feedbacks, I was able to create the prototype over time and got sign-off by the client. We learnt a lot through this step and understood more why we should think about people first when we work on digital products. It was rewarding at some point to see and understand that our redesign made their interactions with the website and brand much easier than before. At this stage, my assumptions were validated and I was able to see that my proposed solution could answer correctly the initial problem.

Visual Design

In order to have a better representation of how the final product would look, I created hi-fidelity static mock-ups of the main pages with the main features of the website so the stakeholders could have understood the general look and feel of the website.

Development

The development of this new website has not been done yet. The project is still in progress.

Impact & results

This project was one of the most exciting I have been working on. I succeeded in delivering clear interfaces and prototypes involving the stakeholders through my process. Collaborating with everyone helped me to deliver a solution which has answered the initial goals.

I loved re-branding Onrec and creating designs based on clear goals and people first. The initial strategy helped the main stakeholder to understand our direction. In addition, the survey added more weight to my preferances and explanations. In the end, despite difficulties, we initially encountered, this phase of the re-design has been successful.

Onrec mockups article and homepage
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ABOUT ME

Hi! I am a Designer specialised in creating digital products. My passion is to solve design problems and deliver solutions that address business and user's goals. In addition to that, I have good skills working with SASS, CSS3, JQuery, and HTML5. I also have experience working with the CMS Drupal 8. During my free time, I love developing my skills, reading books. For any enquiries, feel free to email me at contact@jerome-kalumbu.com. Thanks!