Re-designing the user interface of a rising tech startup
Most great startups start with a great idea. But great ideas on their own are not enough. Sometimes, when a winning idea is not connecting with users in the way it should, you need a little expert help.
That’s why Singaporean social platform LifeVitae joined forces with ThinkPlace to revisit and redesign the user interface and user experience for a site which offers revolutionary and much-needed improvements to how job seekers and employers connect with each other.
LifeVitae was created to fill a clear gap in an employment market that features multiple platforms, including industry leader LinkedIn, that allow employers to view the qualifications and work histories of potential employees.
Despite the growth of such platforms, many employers report that they increasingly value and look for “soft skills” such as communication, empathy or collaboration. Finding these traits in job applicants has traditionally been attempted during the interview process. LifeVitae sets out to change that.
LifeVitae’s platform asked applicants to answer a series of diagnostic questions, building a profile and connecting them with like-minded members of the global workforce. The aim was to help jobseekers identify soft skills that they possess and those they might work to improve. It provides resources, via short courses, and connections that help to facilitate that improvement.
It is a great idea that meets an obvious need. But despite making early progress LifeVitae realised they needed to make changes in order to maximise their impact. The sheer volume of information needed to compile a useful profile meant that signups for new members were lengthy (20-30 minutes). Many potential platform users sampled the landing page but abandoned the signup process before completing it. Users reported an experience of “form filling” that neither delighted nor engaged them.
All of this meant that signup rates did not reflect the platform’s potential. Churn on the site was higher than desired and repeat visits much lower. LifeVitae wanted users to visit the site more often and spend longer on it when they did.
ThinkPlace collaborated with LifeVitae as part of the Singapore Government’s IMDA PIXEL project-based coaching program, through which eligible businesses receive funding and are matched with expert coaches and changemakers.
ThinkPlace quickly realised this challenge required innovative approaches. We needed to integrate a strong aspect of business strategy into the processes of user experience design (focusing not on user experience as positive or negative in isolation but including value to the business as a part of that equation).
Our design team also understood and responded to the urgency of the situation. Close collaboration with the project’s Development Lead allowed a dynamic understanding of development constraints, allowing for designs that would be more easily implementable. This enabled the new site to be rapidly built and sent live.
What we did
Our Singapore-based design team began by hosting an intent workshop, to make sure all involved had a clear sense of the project and an opportunity to collaboratively shape the desired outcomes.
ThinkPlace designers and analysts conducted a heuristic evaluation of the current website before gathering stakeholders for an ideation session using our wholly online Airlabs approach.
This session began by process mapping the current state, evaluating target demographics and building personas. It identified key requirements for the site and 'jobs to be done'. The combination of these led to creation of a process map for the desired future state.
Realising that many of the project aims could be delivered by introducing a gamification approach to the platform, ThinkPlace also ran an ‘introduction to gamification’ workshop led by world-leading expert Kerstin Oberprieler from PentaQuest.
Then followed a rigorous but pragmatic process of wireframe development, user testing and repeated iteration of proposed new designs. Having understood how users would engage with the new design and made improvements based on that evidence we proceeded to a high-fidelity prototype. To accompany the design and speed implementation we created a style guide and blueprint documenting design decisions and recommending next steps forward.
Working with ThinkPlace helped us translate business objectives and customer feedback into tangible product design features. They helped us strengthen our offering through superior design thinking, translating it into a better user-centric design. It was a wonderful and eye-opening experience working with the ThinkPlace team, especially Scott and Jervenne. Despite our project being run remotely, the team was always on the ball and found innovative, effective, and efficient ways to ensure that all activities ran smoothly - Priya Sengupta, CEO & Founder of LifeVitae
Having comprehensively overhauled their user interface to create a more engaging user experience LifeVitae launched its redesigned platform in June 2020.
The new platform installs a gamification-based approach that incentivises users to build their profile incrementally in order to “level up” and gain access to walled-off rewards, resources and privileges. This has created a more engaging user experience while also reducing the volume of information that needs to be submitted upfront, allowing for a streamlined signup process that does not act as a barrier to user retention.
LifeVitae reports a hugely positive response from users to the changes.
I had created my profile on the older platform and I absolutely love the changes that have been made.” said one user from Singapore. “It has a better look and feel, with a sleeker design. Making edits to my profile is much easier now and I feel more confident about sharing my profile with recruiters.- LifeVitae Singapore User
I like that I can easily access and bookmark courses that I am interested in. Every time I log into my profile, I get reminded about the resources I have bookmarked which encourages me to explore them.- LifeViate Indonesia User