Empowering U.S. veterans to create their professional identities

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Empowering U.S. veterans to create professional identities

GuideOn provides a solution for veterans to create professional profiles and find job matches by helping them recognize and effectively communicate transferrable skills to employers.

As the sole full-time UX designer, I was responsible for user research, ideation, high fidelity prototypes, and product requirements development. Due to an NDA, I’m not able to disclose full details of the product.


Product Type
Responsive Web App

My Role
UX Researcher and Designer

Timeline
Sep 2015 – Feb 2017

Military Experience Is Not Recognized

Both statements below describe what the same veteran did, but one is more comprehensible. Inability to recognize and describe transferrable skills in terms that employers can understand leads to military experience regarded as irrelevant.

I was a First Lieutenant in the 67J Medivac Company — flying helicopters to pick up injured soldiers in Iraq.

I led a project team of 30, employing a process to visualize solutions and iteratively assess the team’s implementation and output.

GuideOn creates professional identities for veterans by translating military positions to civilian-equivalent skills and experience. The translation results in professional profiles and qualifying job matches.

Military Users at a Glance

Military Users at a Glance

Enlisted Soldiers

Enlisted soldiers start from lower ranks. Most join the Military right after high school, leaving them with little to no civilian work experience.

Officers

Officers are the managers of enlisted soldiers. Most join after undergraduate degrees while some has worked in the private sector prior.

Military User Features

Experience and Skill Translation

By simply entering their ranks, military job titles, and areas of focus, users get civilian-equivalent job titles, resume bullets, and skills. The skills are ranked based on GuideOn correlation scores.

Editing Collaboration

Users can collaborate with GuideOn coaches to tailor their translated profiles and make them unique to their experiences.

Professional Profile

Users can create professional profiles using the GuideOn Profile Builder and export them as resumes.

“Clicking on ‘Export as Resume’ is like a breath of fresh air. Just the formatting alone would have saved me 6 hours of Googling.” — an enilsted soldier

Professional Profile

Users can create professional profiles using the GuideOn Profile Builder and export them as resumes.

Clicking on ‘Export as Resume’ is like a breath of fresh air. Just the formatting alone would have saved me 6 hours of Googling.

– An enlisted soldier

Recruiter Features

Candidate Analysis

In addition to the profile, recruiters have access to recommended job matches and an analysis of the user’s military responsibilities and performance.

*Proprietary information is redacted (gray boxes).

Recruiter Features

Candidate Analysis

In addition to the profile, recruiters have access to recommended job matches and an analysis of the user’s military responsibilities and performance.

*Proprietary information is redacted (gray boxes).

User Feedback and Insights

A First Time Experience for Many Enlisted Soldiers

The majority of enlisted soldiers has never created a resume because they joined the Military right after high school. This section presents a few insights about this subset of users and their experience using the product.


Not a Magic Moment for Everyone

In an earlier version of the onboarding flow (left), a resume output is shown after one military position is entered. Officers were excited — some called it ‘a magic moment’. However, enlisted soldiers felt overwhelmed with new information including the resume layout, the translation, and the empty resume sections.

The preview was later replaced by a translation card (right) to show only the translated job title and resume bullets. The revision made it more digestible for enlisted soldiers while still offering values to the officers.

In an earlier version of the onboarding flow (top), a resume output is shown after one military position is entered. Officers were excited — some called it ‘a magic moment’. However, enlisted soldiers felt overwhelmed with new information including the resume layout, the translation, and the empty resume sections.

The preview was later replaced by a translation card (bottom) to show only the translated job title and resume bullets. The revision made it more digestible for enlisted soldiers while still offering values to the officers.


Similar Feelings to Filing Taxes

The experience of creating resumes to many enlisted soldiers is similar to the experience of filing taxes online — feeling unsure of what to do.

The original left nav (left) representing sections of the resume, which enlisted soldiers felt uncomfortable clicking around to explore during testing.

The next iteration (right) incorporated a numbered list, which soldiers felt more confident using because of their routines of following steps and instructions.

“We are very used to filling in forms — following step 1,2,3. It doesn’t matter if it’s tedious as long as we know what the next step is.” — an enlisted soldier

Red, White, and Blue

The red, white, and blue color palette is common among military software products. Veterans, though proud of their services, do not want to be constantly reminded of the Military. I used this fact to influence color palette choices, with the bright blue being the primary color, and red, navy blue, and gold as accent colors.

GuideOn color palette

Ongoing Work

The current product lets veterans create resumes and professional profiles and allows GuideOn to place veterans with employers. We are currently working on building a community and tools for employers.