Helping job seekers find their needle in a haystack.

Here’s how I helped completely rebuilt our entire job search from the ground up, helping our communities connect and re-hire talent.

A screen capture of the updated job module on Conenza's platform All images are owned by Conenza and used by permission.

Project Overview

With potentially tens of thousands of jobs within an alumni community, how can we help users with contextually relevant results? Everyone says they just want it to work like Google. Sigh...

The ROI for using the Conenza platform is to lower recruitment costs. It's cheaper to re-hire than hire. For some companies, it amounts to millions of dollars each year in potential savings. The Conenza social platform helps foster relationships with former employees as a means for re-recruitment. I helped design a new UX that helps people find the right job for them.

My Role

  • UX/UI Design
  • Front-End Development
  • Stakeholder Interviews

Pain Points

  • Search results were often not relevant. Someone looking for a job in Seattle would see results in India.
  • Filtering results was complicated. Filters were obfuscated, poorly organize and confusing.
  • Not mobile accessible. The new module is completely responsive.
  • Design & code base were outdated. When users perceive an interface to be dated, it can trigger persistent negative emotions (Halo Effect).


Developing a UX research process is something I’m currently working on integrating into our dev cycles. There can be challenges when user research is not part of a company’s DNA. Luckily, each project we’ve been devoting more and more time to talking with users about their problems.

In this case, there are two parallel threads of research:

First, talking with our clients who were on the frontline with engaging with their community. I developed a simple 5-point scale survey that explored features, functionality and use cases to assess importance. I conducted surveys as a one-on-one phone interviews since most stakeholders were not in the Seattle area. I allowed for deeper explorations into particular areas as needed. The survey's helped prioritize features into a task matrix later used in the UX design phase.

Second, a significant body of precedence exists for job hunters. I ran a competitive audit for sites such as Dice, Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Accenture’s job board to better understand common dimensions that users employ. Feature parity was also a consideration, as well as how we could differentiate our offering.

Based on the research, requirements and UX ideas were consolidated into wireframes:

A wireframe mockup of Conenza's job moduleA wireframe mockup of Conenza's job moduleA wireframe mockup of Conenza's job module

I skipping the high-fidelity mockups phase, typically present on previous projects, and went straight from wireframes to coding…using it as an opportunity to prototype and test ideas.


  • Unlike the previous iteration of the jobs module, a user is presented with latest job postings located within 100 miles of their geolocated IP address once the page loads (not on search).
  • The UX support both models of information seeking: searching and exploring. A large dominate space with a search input is a metaphorical nod to Google, implying simplicity. While the filters allow exploration and narrowing of results in real time.
  • Tabs across the top exposed saved searches and jobs, jobs that a person has applied to, and any jobs they've posted themselves. These features were previously either unavailable or not frequently exposed.
  • Filter tags were added to reinforce active filters, and it's effect on the narrowing results. A person can simply remove a filter at any time.
  • A brief content teaser for each position was also surfaced, so a person can get a sense (optimal eye scanning) for the position before selecting a relevant position.
  • Filters are completely customizable by our clients based on data available.
  • The entire experience is brandable, using variable abstractions within SASS. Don't like the heaviness of the filters, no problem there's a setting for that.

Micro Interactions

I continue to pursue interactions that are more lively than many of our static modules. Doing so helps produce a more favorable, modern experience that is akin to current patterns.

The save for later button changes states after a user clicks on it to reinforce its action.When a person taps on the search icon, the search input decends and the search button animates in a sequence.

Thank you

Obviously this project was not done by one person, so special thank you to David Bickley (Java Backend), Jeremy Kluklan (JS + more), Shawn O'Neil (QA), and Bec Murphy (QA).