Empowering U.S. veterans to create their professional identities
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.
Responsive Web App
UX Researcher and Designer
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 start from lower ranks. Most join the Military right after high school, leaving them with little to no civilian work experience.
Officers are the managers of enlisted soldiers. Most join after undergraduate degrees while some has worked in the private sector prior.
Users can create professional profiles using the GuideOn Profile Builder and export them as resumes.
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.
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
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.