Find My Career
Your perfect career is one text away…
Hritik Aggarwal — Lead UX Designer
Jay Tanaka Grinols — Lead Researcher
Mark Lei — Lead Concept Designer
One of the biggest responsibilities for adulting is for students to choose a suitable career path that can lead to financial stability and personal happiness. This important decision-making is done, most of the time, in one’s early years of college. Thus, college students who don’t know what they want to do after school, end up in a difficult situation as they choose their college coursework. Any student who makes a wrong choice of classes can either experience a setback in years of progress or land an unfruitful career. Thus, students don’t always get enough opportunities to explore their options and instead experience immense pressure in choosing the right classes that would fit their ‘undeclared’ career path. We found in our research that 95% of participants were willing to try a tool that helps them find the right classes based on their interests.
Our solution, Find My Career, is a chatbot application that helps users choose their major based on their personal interests, and once they have a general idea of what’s a fitting major for them and what future path this major leads to, Allen (our chatbot’s name) will suggest courses that will benefit them the most and lead them to succeed. Furthermore, if users have any additional concerns, Allen will also connect them with experts and coursemates in the field to help them out.
Paper Prototype, Testing Process, and Results
Fig 1. Overview of our paper prototype.
Our paper prototype describes a mobile application, of which there are 5 different general areas:
- Login/Onboarding pages
- Chatbot window
- Course/major manual browsing system
- Personal information and interests
We first tested our paper prototype with three UW freshmen/sophomores who were uncertain about their classes/majors. During this process, we had two notable incidents that drove us to make some changes to our prototype.
Incident 2: Option for interest outside of Chatbox
Our first iteration of our prototype prompted users to input their interests without any limitation, which was problematic. Some people don’t have a clear image of what they enjoy doing, so our testers noted it would be helpful to give them options here — in addition to that, by providing options, it would make backend work and calculation much easier too, as it limits “troll” inputs by user to mess up the AI and database.
Resulting changes: Instead of manually typing responses, users are now prompted to select interests with our varieties of choices. With this change in mind, we provide users the ability to browse options and pick what works best for them, and we also eliminate the possibility of unwanted responses which could potentially mess up the AI.
Incident 4: Concern regarding class’s rating
Users noticed how our end of quarter poll is similar to RateMyProfessor, and are concerned that people will simply leave bad reviews for a class due to grading. It might make challenging classes look less appealing and discourages future students from taking them.
Resulting changes: Our solution to the problem is that in our end of quarter poll, we will limit user’s input to 4 questions: One being like, neutral, or dislike the class, another being reason to take this class, 3rd being what core concept did you learn from it, the last one being how does this class lead to your career goal. By limiting space and questions for feedback, we think users will be more likely to just answer the questions that are relevant to the course, instead of just using the blank space as a room to complain.
Interactive demo of our digital mockup: https://www.figma.com/proto/1tqgsFIdNU5m0a7qHGJ2qJ/Preliminary-Mockup?node-id=9%3A3&scaling=scale-down&page-id=0%3A1&starting-point-node-id=9%3A3&show-proto-sidebar=1
Our solution aimed to handle two major tasks:
- Choosing courses based off of other people’s reviews/ratings
Oftentimes students are unaware about the overall course experience that they are going to gain from a given course. This causes a lot of students to choose courses that they aren’t really interested in or the learning curve doesn’t match up with their current skills. Thus, it becomes important to know more about any course they are planning to take. Something that may be useful to current students is the ability to look at other students’ reviews and ratings of courses that are being offered.
- Discussing with people about degree and career plans
Currently, most people talk to their peers and family directly about potential careers and useful courses leading to those careers out of convenience. However, many people don’t have the time to talk about this with people outside of these groups that they are close to. We would like to give students the option to conveniently discuss course choices and career plans while further diversifying the people and advice they can get.
Changes: Added more screens to show better workflow of the chats. Furthermore, we also changed our prototype to add more interactivity and allow the user to navigate between screens easily.
Fig 2. Rate courses and view other course ratings
Fig 3. Connect with industry expects and learn more from them
Fig 4. Find majors and courses that fit your interests
Through our initial user research, we found out that many students at UW are looking for a better way to find an ideal and catered path to their future. With further investigation — through countless iterations of interviews, surveys, and gaining feedback from students — we were able to narrow down on certain features that will allow our users to best succeed in achieving this goal. Our app — FindMyCareer — helps users by finding majors/courses that fit their unique needs/interests, connect them with industry experts for 1:1 conversations, and even allow them to rate and view ratings on different courses at UW. With a combination of these three important skills, we believe our users can make better informed decisions about their future plans and thus lead a successful life.