Years ago I hired a UX contractor named Udi… a super cool guy who taught me a lot about UX. UX is “user experience,” and refers to what you see on a page, with the goal of helping you do what you need to do. We’re not talking as much about graphics, colors, or graphical design as we are talking about how we simplify the user experience so that you can do what you want to do without being distracted or overwhelmed.
An example: on the homepage, the signup form had too many form fields to fill out. Udi said that we want to reduce the number of choices a user has to make… and every field was a choice. Interesting, isn’t it?
Another thing Udi told me was “I’ll be taking out more than I’ll be putting in.” Because JibberJobber was about eight years old back then, and we didn’t design with UX at a central focus (our focus was functionality). There was a bunch of clutter (there still is too much clutter :p).
Sometimes removing things is… good.
So, we’ve been on a journey to clean, and simplify. As I think about this, I can’t help but thinking about how this applies to my users. As job seekers, we sometimes have things we need to remove. Have you ever heard a thirty second pitch that has so much unnecessary information that it doesn’t do anything good for the job seeker? REMOVE the stuff that isn’t important! Please, go through your thirty second pitch and figure out what is important and what is a distraction!
Furthermore, what are you doing in your systems and processes that are not getting the hoped-for results? Are you doing things that are wasting your time? Are you doing things that are not productive? Are there things in your process that you should simplify? Apply some UX concepts to your job search and focus on the most important results you want, and then work backwards from that.
I hope that the changes we roll out are not too noticeable. My hope is that people just say “JibberJobber is easy to use” and “I know what I’m doing.” If they say “wow, this is a lot cleaner than it has been” then we’ll know how far off the mark we’ve been :p Many of the changes are subtle, but that subtleness reduces what I call “mental friction.” The goal, as Udi says, is to reduce choices. At first that rubbed be wrong, but really, using JibberJobber should be easy and intuitive (even if what we accomplish on the back end is not easy).
Your goal, as a job seeker, should be communicating the right messages to the right people and getting closer and closer to your next job. Now, what can you simplify?