SOLUTION INTERVIEW & Task scenario: Dream Square

Jul 2014 to Sep 2014

 

Dream Square is a big-data-based talent analysis solution for college juniors and seniors. I have been part of this startup team since June 2014 as a part-time service designer. By the time I started working with Dream Square, it already had a minimum viable product (or MVP) for preparing investment evaluation. We will continue to modify the MVP until our official launch date in January 2015.

  The as-is version of Dream Square minimum viable product (  http://www.idreamsquare.com/  )

The as-is version of Dream Square minimum viable product (http://www.idreamsquare.com/)

 

Solution Interview

In order to collect outside opinions, I met 10 potential customers every weekend for two months, either face to face or via Skype. Since Dream Square is targeting both South Korean and American college students, interviewees are consisted of five Korean college students and another five students studying in the State. Referring to Eric Rise's Lean Startup methodology, I conducted casual solution interviews with each potential customer.

Solution interviews are mainly focused on gathering opinions from potential customers about the overall image of the products, expected problems, and their willingness to pay for the service. Since no recording facility or moderator was used during the interviews, I watched interviewees’ browsing paths and noted their remarks while they used the MVP instead.

  Interviewees from Korean Universities

Interviewees from Korean Universities

  Interviewees from US Universities

Interviewees from US Universities

It was intersting to note that even if their nationalities are all same, their way of behaviors related to seeking job were quite different. While students in Korea tend to search job opening information on job information service websites, those who are seeking job in the State prefer to find a job from various social networks and their professors. The common thing was, neither of them answered that they do not use LinkedIn unless they upadate their profile and CV. Because we use LinkedIn API for loading personal information primarily, it can be inferred that we have to focus on non-LinkedIn visitors when re-designing signup process.

 

Brainstorming: Using Cart Sorting Method

Our service design team reviewed the interview result and then brainstormed about key questions, such as, “Why do college students use job posting sites?” We first wrote everyone’s ideas on yellow post-its and then classified them by their characteristics, forming five categories. Next, we used blue post-its and added “motivations” at the top of each category. After a brief discussion, we separated the ideas into those involving feelings about the service (pink) and those focused on the ultimate goal of using the service (yellow-green).

Starting from these ideas, we made a “mind” hierarchy of students who use career information services. The higher the level is, the deeper the user's way of thinking.

I summarized the mind hierarchy above. During the sorting process, we found that while college students want to win the job-finding "competition", they also want to share their experiences and feelings with each other.Consequently, concluded that these conflicting feelings are caused by the desire to reduce the stress of finding a job. Spending a lot of time searching for information also reflects the psychological status of users who want to avoid the stress that comes from uncertainty about their future.


So, our conclusion about our service concept was that we wanted to:


A. Help our customers “win the race,” while encouraging them to pursue their dreams.
B. Provide suitable, personalized information based on each customer’s talents and personal traits.

 

Later on, I made other clusters for each motivation, then added more specific tasks that can be done by users. (See the orange cards below.) These tasks indicate what our future customers want to do when using a job posting service.

 

  Additional tasks related to the needs to find a suitable career

Additional tasks related to the needs to find a suitable career

  Additional tasks related to the needs of examining one's qualification and its current status

Additional tasks related to the needs of examining one's qualification and its current status

  Additional tasks related to the needs of interacting with other jobseekers

Additional tasks related to the needs of interacting with other jobseekers

 

Setting Persona & Making Task Scenarios

With the result of card sorting, our team created a persona who is most likely to use Dream Square and listed specific tasks based on his tendencies. Our persona is a 27-year old senior college student who wants to be a designer, but he does not know what and how to prepare for starting his career. 

 

While investor relations were undergoing, our service design team made a final draft of our task scenario list. We combined this persona with the results of sorting out our ideas and made a full list of tasks. Requirements for each task will be reflected in user interface and feature.

 

Summary
These were very interesting processes in the way that we listened to various opinions from potential customers by face to face. Surprisingly, we could find more intriguing facts and insights during solution interviews and brainstorming session than we initially expected. Sad thing is, these processes are easily being ignored when working for big companies with a tight schedule. To avoid failure as much as possible, service designers should participate in collecting opinions from customers and reflect them in the improvement plan.