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Job Application Redesign

Crafted + TalentReef


Let's help hourly employees apply for jobs faster!


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

How can TalentReef design a new application process that is faster and more user-friendly for prospective hourly employees to complete? 

  • Increase application inflow and speed up the hiring process for TalentReef's customers (companies who hire hourly workers)

  • 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 

  • Large technical hurdles to consolidating existing and new user databases

  • I became a stronger design leader by defending a very important design decision for the users because it was also a very challenging technical problem to solve and there was strong resistance to the proposed solution

  • I'm proud that in the end the Balanced Team came together and launched a product that has had very positive outcomes for the company, their customers and the end users

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 (~10 total) 

  • VP of Product Management

  • Director of Product Management

  • EVP of Engineering

  • Marketing

  • Customer Success 

  • Data 

  • Customer Advisory Board

How Did We Do It?

User Journey
Prototype & Test
Build & Launch

We conducted extensive interviews with TalentReef customers to gain a deeper understanding of their needs for job applications for different types of positions. We identified their pain points with the existing application and dreams for a redesigned applicant experience. It was also crucial to talk directly to job seekers to learn about their experiences completing online job applications. By identifying the challenges and friction points that candidates face when applying for jobs online, we were able to develop solutions that address the needs of both employers and job seekers.

Important Takeaways from Applicants: 

  • Applicants are frustrated and confused by having too many different accounts across various application websites (ie. LinkedIn, Springboard, Indeed, company specific, etc) 

  • Many hourly employees don't have a resume to upload and upload tools are difficult to use

  • Applicants get overwhelmed by long applications with irrelevant questions and quit before finishing 

Important Takeaways from TalentReef Customers: 

  • Application drop off is a closely tracked metric and a major pain point for hiring

  • For many hourly positions only the basic information is needed from an applicant to get started in the hiring process 

  • Most applications are unnecessarily lengthy 

  • They dream of the ability to customize application questions and build applications themselves 

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Surveys are an excellent Discovery tool for fast qualitative data.

User Journey

The next steps were to review TalentReef's existing application flow and identify areas where structural and visual changes were needed based on the results of our interviews, a competitive analysis and a heuristic evaluation. Early engagement with engineers revealed technical challenges with proposed updates, particularly with removing required user authentication at the beginning of the application, due to hurdles in TalentReef's user database. Collaboration continued throughout the design process to find a solution that addressed business goals, user needs, and technical challenges.

By considering factors such as user needs, business goals, technical feasibility, and market trends, feature prioritization enables product teams to make informed decisions about which features to develop and release first. This iterative process helps optimize product development, aligning with user expectations and driving overall product success.

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A great Product Designer can take back-end complexity and create a simple but effective experience for users.

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2x2 Feature Prioritization 

Prototype & Test

Using a new design system to increase efficiencies for design and development, we created a clickable prototype to test with job seekers. We continued to iterate and incorporate changes to the prototype through several rounds of testing until we felt confident our assumptions and hypotheses were validated. We tested both mobile and desktop, moderated and unmoderated.

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Legacy Apply

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New Apply

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A simple aesthetic can greatly reduce cognitive load for a user completing multiple forms in the same product journey.

Iterate with Balanced Team

Through each round of testing we involved the engineers to ensure our ideal UX was technically feasible within our project timeline. Results of this user testing were reviewed with TalentReef Customer Advisory Board to gather additional feedback and ensure that the new designs were meeting their needs as well. 

Design System & Branding

The new Apply had to have clean, simple aesthetics as the Application has to accommodate the duel branding of TalentReef and the TR Customer Company. There were many debates about the best way to handle this complicated UI experience. However, we moved forward with this design after testing it with all interested parties and we determined each had their appropriate placement for branding that met their business goals but didn't confuse the end user.

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App Section 1 (contact info) - mobile v3.jpg
App Section 3 (schedule) - mobile v3.jpg
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We designed with a mobile-first approach since a large portion of prospective hourly workers search for and apply to jobs on their phones.

Application Steps

During our research we received feedback about the existing application flow that led us to make adjustments to the order of the application steps and build in some basic customization of those steps for TR Customers. For more details on that part of the engagement read my case study on the App Builder we created. Based on user input and design best practices we added a "Review Application" step to our user flow which decreases user errors in the application. It allows users to read their answers, make changes and confirm their submissions before the application is sent to the hiring company.

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User Authentication

The most crucial change to the user journey was moving the "Create Account" step for new users to the end of the application. This reduced friction at the start of the application process and greatly reduced drop-off rates by not gate-keeping the application. User Accounts for the new Apply needed to be re-built due to an issue with the user database and legacy authentication software that allowed the same user to create duplicate accounts. This had caused great confusion with Applicants and TR Customers which led to an increase in customer service inquiries. It cannot be understated what a massively positive impact this choice had on TalentReef's product and users.

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We needed to design for a variety of user account states and required application next steps. 

User Account Merge Tool

User Accounts for the new Apply needed to be re-built due to an issue with the user database and legacy authentication software that allowed the same user to create duplicate accounts. This had caused great confusion with Applicants and TR Customers which led to an increase in customer service inquiries. While the authentication rebuild would prevent this problem from occurring in the future we still needed to give TR Customer Service a tool to resolve the user account issues from the past. We created the Account Merge Tool in conjunction with the rest of the new Apply using the same design and Balanced Team process.

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Legacy User Account Management

New User Account Merge Tool

Build & Launch

TalentReef strategized a launch plan for the new application to minimize disruption to existing workflows. The strategy was designed to ensure a smooth transition to the new platform. The Balanced Team was supported through development and launch with sign-off from stakeholders and CAB for the designs and go-to-market plan that ensured successful implementation by customers. Several KPIs were tracked such as drop-off and completion rates and time to completion. Every KPI saw a positive change after launch.

What Does Success Look Like?

Key Performance Metrics

Job applicants completing a job application for an open position

Time to Completion

Legacy Product

10+ minutes

Applicant Flow
Client Satisfaction

New Product

< 3 minutes

Drop-off Rate

Director of Product, TalentReef

"When Crafted started we didn't have product designers within the team, we have three of them now. That was night and day for us."

VP of Product, TalentReef

"Fast Apply hit the market at the perfect time to really start driving applicant flow for our customers and reduce the time to apply."

EVP of Engineering, TalentReef

"We're interviewing, we're testing, we're prototyping designs all before we get into the development cycle. Crafted is a great partner."
  • 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

- See more of my work -

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