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Job Application Builder

Crafted + TalentReef


Let's give customers the tools to post jobs in minutes!


TalentReef is a talent management platform that automates processes and optimizes workflows to remove friction for candidates and hiring managers.

How can Talent Reef enable their customers to create job applications based on the specific needs of each position and streamline the posting of new job openings?

  • Reduce the time it takes for TR customers to create and post job applications

  • Allow TR customers to create the shortest possible application for each position that still gathers all necessary candidate information

  • Simplify the job application workflow through organization tools and leveraging re-usable components

  • Introduce the Balanced Team approach to TalentReef and establish a more refined design process.

Challenges & Constraints
Learnings & My Experience
  • Integrating with a legacy tech stack led to difficult decisions about which experiences to redesign and rebuild

  • Existing customer workflows couldn't be disrupted so we needed to launch new products in a phased manner

  • Finding the balance between unmanageable customization options on the backend and too little flexibility on the front end

  • I was a total research geek on this project using creative and fast methods to get the data and direction we needed to build the right product for the customers

  • The team had fun building relationships with the TR Customer Advisory Board and co-creating with valued customers

  • I enjoyed working closely with the launch team on product education and implementing customer tools like Pendo to ensure successful customer adoption

My Role
Team Members
Stakeholders & Departments

Lead Designer

  • Conducting user research & testing

  • Creating design assets

  • Implementing UCD strategy & practices for Balanced Team

  • Collaborating with cross-functional teams on launch strategy

  • Directing & mentoring junior designers

Crafted Balanced Team:

  • Product Manager

  • Designer

  • Engineers

  • Paired with the client Balanced Team (~6 total) 

  • VP of Product Management

  • Director of Product Management

  • EVP of Engineering

  • Marketing

  • Customer Success 

  • Data 

  • Customer Advisory Board

How Did We Do It?

Design Strategy
Ideate & Sketch
Prototype & Test
Build & Launch

This project started with an undeveloped idea from stakeholders that we should create a product to allow customers more hands-on customization of their applications. That is quite a broad initiative to start with so we began with a Molecule Map workshop to clearly define a realistically scoped user-centered problem statement. By mapping out the various components, interactions, and pain points, it becomes easier to identify the core problems that users are facing. This ensures that the subsequent design and development efforts are aligned with user-centric solutions.

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Molecule Map & Problem Statement Brainstorm

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We conducted interviews with a variety of TalentReef customers to gain a deeper understanding of their needs for creating job applications for different types of positions. We also surveyed customers to gather more information on their needs and pain points around creating and posting job applications. These conversations helped us clarify the personas for the product moving forward to make data-driven product decisions. 

Important Takeaways from TalentReef Customers: 

  • Current process required a lot of hands on support and time from TR Customer Success team

  • Existing tool didn't allow for TR customer self-service application customization

  • There are 3 basic applications needed for most roles at TR customer companies (short, medium and long)

  • The survey showed us what information and questions were needed in each of the 3 application types

  • Using application templates would save TR customers a lot of time posting job openings

  • Ultimately TR customers wanted complete freedom to customize and manage their applications

  • There could be no downtime for TR customers as we moved from the existing technology to a new product

  • Each persona at the TR customer company had a different role in the hiring process meaning we would need a strategy for product permissions & authentication

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Surveys are an excellent Discovery tool for fast qualitative data.

Design Strategy

We reviewed the existing application creation experience and established two parallel paths to production. The first was adding simple customization features to be phased into the current tool. This could be done to meet the most urgent customer needs while the the new full featured Application Builder platform was being designed and developed as the long-term solution. At the same time we scoped an entirely new user journey for complete application customization. 

Original Solution

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Short-term Solution

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In order to build out a complete user journey we needed first to determine all the tasks a user may need to complete with the new product. Instead of solely analyzing demographics or traditional user personas, the Jobs to Be Done framework delves deeper into the specific tasks (jobs) users are trying to accomplish. This exercise informs a more precise prompt for the design studio so we can guide participants to realistic solutions within the scoped problem statement and incorporate user research learnings. This approach results in more usable sketches for the next stages of testing and prototyping rather than concepts that are too broad to be immediately workable. 

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Jobs to be Done Framework

Ideate & Sketch

Next I facilitated a design studio with stakeholders and the Balanced Team. After presenting the research findings we sketched multiple ideas for the new App Builder product. This collaborative process allowed for the exploration of different possibilities and the refinement of concepts with SMEs in real time.

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Design studios with a specific prompt result in more realistic visual ideas to be tested.

Next we consolidate the outcomes and solution ideas from the Jobs to Be Done workshop and the Design Studio to create a full featured User Journey Map putting all of the steps in order. This is an extremely important step and a valuable asset for the entire Balanced Team to work from and stakeholders to refer to. This map is the bridge from interesting but incomplete sketches to initial versions of a complete prototype for user testing. 

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Long-term Feature Complete User Journey

We selected the best ideas from the design studio and I created paper sketches which we discussed as a balanced team and were then evaluated with several customers on the TR Customer Advisory Board. They loved being brought into the creation process from the start and were invaluable to finding the best solutions. It is crucial to save the entire Balance Team time and effort in the long-run by experimenting and testing ideas early and often.


Sketching is the most efficient way to evaluate ideas and rapidly iterate.

Prototype & Test

We continued to leverage the CAB for testing many iterations of the App Builder prototypes. Through each round we gathered the key takeaways and incorporated changes into the next round of testing. Meanwhile we were also continuing to explore which functionality would be required for the first launch of the product and what features could be layered on incrementally over time. This is another way the Balanced Team excels with quick feedback loops and constant collaboration to prioritize needs and design short- and long-term solutions. 

Application Questions

We started out by determining all the necessary question types and creating the forms and answer scoring schema for each (i.e. multiple-choice, short answer, true/false, etc). This allowed the engineers to get started on developing logic for those parts while we continued to iterate on more complex aspects like the navigation and the scoring visualizations.

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Each question type required a unique answer scoring schema.

Application Scoring

There was an existing scoring schema for applications in the legacy product. However, users told us repeatedly how important custom scoring settings were for the new App Builder product. We did continuous testing and iteration on this feature until we were confident the new tool gave users the desired level of autonomy. Of course, there must be a balance when creating tools that allow for customization because there will always be a limit to the amount of development work that is reasonable; the more flexibility for the user the more technical and design challenges for the Balanced Team.


The scoring for each question can be changed per application because some roles will require a different answer for the same question. The scoring per question is then used to create a cumulative score for the entire application. This application score gives hiring managers an easy and fast way to evaluate candidates. Custom scoring also allows for conditional logic which makes the application "smarter" so neither candidates or TR customers waste time. 

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Applications could be posted for multiple positions at once, saving TalentReef users time.

Application Templates

The hierarchy and organization of the App Builder components was crucial to get right during testing so that engineers didn't have to rework the foundation of the product later which would be very complicated and disruptive to users. Many questions are used repeatedly and many applications require the same set of questions, sometimes with little or no changes. This led us to design Question and Template Banks saving TR users hours of duplicate work which was a major pain point of the legacy process. TalentReef as industry experts created several standard application templates that TR customers could start with which is a big selling point for quick onboarding. As their needs expanded TR customers could also create their own templates for reuse.

As example of how we managed changing product requirements and new information surfacing throughout the design process, we learned after our initial round of testing that users would need to post the same job application in languages other than English.  However, using an integrated translation tool was out of scope for the initial build so we added in fields for the translations of questions and answers in the App Builder product and tested it in the next round.

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The Question Bank is organized into custom sections to streamline application creation.

Build & Launch

I provided ongoing support and direction to the team throughout the development and launch phases. We maintained close cooperation with Marketing, Operations, Customer Service, and other TR teams to develop a comprehensive launch strategy that included effective product education to ensure successful customer adoption. As part of the launch, we implemented Pendo as a training and feedback tool for users. We secured sign-off from stakeholders and the Customer Advisory Board (CAB) for the designs and go-to-market plan. The collaborative effort ensured that all parties were aligned and the path from the Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) interim solution to the complete release of App Builder was a company-wide effort led by our incredible Balanced Team.

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What Does Success Look Like?

Key Performance Metrics

TalentReef customers creating and posting a new job application for an open position

Time to Completion

Legacy Product

1-10 days

New Product

5 minutes

Customer Adoption

100% Customer Advisory Board Buy-In 

Client Satisfaction

"We were behind the times and they helped us invest in the product and invest in the [User-Centered Design] methodology moving forward."

- TalentReef VP of Product Management

  • Competitive Analysis

  • User Personas

  • Generative Research Reports

  • User Journey

  • Design System Specs

  • Interactive Prototypes

  • Usability Test Reports

  • High Fidelity Mockups

  • Release Strategy and Content

Tools & Technology
  • Figma

  • Jira

  • Survey Monkey

  • Pendo

  • Material Design Library

  • Miro

  • Zoom

- See more of my work -

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