Resume-Now Usability Study

BOLD

Goal:

In order to understand user needs and opportunities for improvement in Resume-Now's resume building platform.

Process:

Conducted an expert review and usability study to measure the overall user experience of Resume-Now.

Client

BOLD

Methods

Expert Review, Usability Test
(Recruiting, Screening, & Moderating)

Role

UX Researcher

Overview

BOLD’s Resume-Now is a resume builder with a step-by-step design to guide job seekers through the process of creating a resume. Resume-Now possesses a unique approach that is tailored for the job with prompts, writing tips, industry-specific guidelines, and custom tools and features. 

In order to understand user needs and identify opportunities for improvement in Resume-Now, our team conduced an expert review and a task-based usability study. Our goal was to answer the following questions with the focus on the undergraduate and graduate students' experience with Resume-Now : 

  • Where and why might customers drop off when using the product?

  • Where does and doesn’t the product provide value?

  • What is the optimal user “happy path” for the product?

  • Where do user pain points exist with the product? 

My Role

My role during this project was as a UX Researcher on a team of 5.

I was involved with each stage of the process, which included: ​

  • Expert review

  • Participant screening and outreach

  • Usability testing and moderating 

  • Post-test questionnaire

  • Data analysis

  • Presenting findings to larger team at BOLD

Methodology

1. Expert Review 

After the SWOT analysis, the team conducted an expert review using Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristics and Nielsen's severity ratings.

Once the findings for each conducted task was listed and consolidated, the findings’ severity ratings were then averaged and prioritized. This list of prioritized findings helped determine areas in the resume building process that had room for improvement. These findings also gave the team insight into what areas to pay special attention to in the usability study.


 

2. Participant screening and outreach

Prior to conducting the usability study, the team sent out a recruiting screener to recruit participants. In order to reach the target audience of undergraduate and graduate students, the primary recruitment channels were:
 

  • Student groups on Facebook

  • LinkedIn

  • Personal network
     

The team ended up recruiting 10 participants, with 6 being enrolled in an undergraduate program and 4 in a graduate program. All participants were asked to share a completed resume.
 

3. Usability Testing and Moderation

With all of the participants scheduled, the team conducted 10 usability sessions. Due to COVID-19, each session was conducted via remote screen-sharing technology (e.g. Zoom).

Participants completed 11 tasks over a period of 1 hour and were encouraged to think aloud during task completion. Upon completion of the tasks, all participants were asked 4 post-test questions to collect quantitative feedback.

All participants received a $100 gift card as compensation for their time.

4. Post-Test Questionnaire

After each usability test, participants were asked the following questions to gauge their overall experience and collect their feedback.
 

  • On a scale from 1-5, how easy was it to create a resume?

  • On a scale from 1-5, how would you rate your satisfaction with your experience of creating a resume?

  • On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to recommend Resume-Now to your friends and classmates?

  • Overall, what was your impression of Resume-Now? 

     

5. Data Analysis

After conducting 10 usability tests, we analyzed and synthesized our findings. Based on our analysis, we concluded that:
 

  • Resume-Now provided a clear roadmap and helpful support for participants to complete a resume.

  • Formatting is a hurdle and Resume-Now alleviated this burden.

  • Uploaded resumes were not totally accurate.

  • Participants expected more personalization.

  • Participants wanted a higher level of customization.
     

6. Client Presentation

At the end of the project, we created a presentation for the larger team at BOLD  to communicate our findings as well as provide recommendations.

Limitations and Challenges

Throughout the project, especially during the usability testing, limitations arose:
 

  • Possible Sampling Bias 
    Limited diversity in educational degrees (majority of participants in business and engineering).

     

  • Remote Testing
    Some participants were reluctant to turn on the video so that the moderator could not observe their facial expressions or gestures. In addition, the testing environment might not be the actual place where participants would build their resumes. 

     

  • COVID-19 Influence
    Needed to alter study plans from in-person to remote only.

Results and Reflection

The final report was presented to the stakeholders at BOLD. Our clients were very pleased with our findings and actionable insights from the expert review and usability tests, saying that they provided the evidence needed to make product changes. The BOLD team planned to incorporate our recommendations into their product roadmap.

If the team were to continue the project past the final deliverable, some next steps would include:

  • Moderate additional usability tests that include a wider range of student majors (e.g. humanities and life sciences).

  • Evaluate the resume building process for alternative countries and geographical areas.

  • Conduct a deep-dive on Resume-Now's suggestion engine in the 'Skills' portion of the resume building process.

  • Do further research on what users expect from a resume template.