Island Free

Web browser low-fidelity mockup for an online freelancer marketplace

Overview

Problem

Tech-forward businesses and freelancers on Vancouver Island do not have an easy way to connect with each other. As a result, businesses struggle to find talent to fulfill a short term need and may incur the cost of a full time hire or miss out on opportunities to grow their business at key moments. Additionally, freelancers feel dissatisfied with their quantity of work.

Status

I am currently in the develop and test phase of this project testing low-fidelity mockups remotely with our freelancer user group.

My Contribution

As the lead UX Designer and Researcher, I advocated for user research and brainstorming sessions to ensure we were not tied to solutions before understanding the problem deeper. During the research phase I built surveys, conducted user interviews, and synthesized findings. We collaboratively brainstormed potential solutions and I led the design by developing low-fidelity mockups which I am currently testing remotely with users.


My Role
UX Designer & Researcher

Tools
Sketch, Figma, Invision


Timeline
January 2020 - Ongoing

Team Members

Caitlin Sowers,
Tony Nielsen

Discovery

The goal of the research was to describe the general experience of businesses and freelancers when working together. Uncovering what features would make both businesses and freelancers excited about using the solution was identified as a key outcome.

Surveys and Interviews

We developed two surveys to find out 1) the pain points between both user groups, and 2) why businesses may be opposed to hiring a freelancer.

I conducted three semi-structured in person interviews with local freelancers.

Affinity Mapping

From the qualitative interview data and survey results, I grouped themes and common experiences using affinity mapping.

Survey Findings

A detailed survey and interview analysis can be found here.

Competitive Analysis

Both direct and indirect competitors were investigated and I performed a SWOT analysis to understand the breadth of their offerings and competitive advantage, which can be viewed in full here.

Define

Adopting a “Jobs To Be Done” mindset helped me dig deeper into core user motivations and empathize with the unique needs of users.

We identified four main freelance users for the product:

And four main business users for the product:

User Personas

Freelancers

Businesses

User Journeys

Freelancers

Businesses

User journey of a businessUser journey of a businessUser journey of a businessUser journey of a business

Goal

Build an online web app with 200 freelancers advertising their services and make the platform the go to place for local businesses finding freelancers to work with, with a focus on mid size and start-up businesses and new, established, and part-time freelancers.

Develop

Brainstorming

We separately brainstormed many "How might we? (HMW)" questions to our defined goal and together agreed on the three most important HMW's.

Design Alternatives

Performing a Crazy 8's exercise allowed me to rapidly generated a variety of web app ideas. I developed two low-fidelity concepts for initial testing based off of my ideas.

Concept 1

Concept 1 is an efficient and minimal version of our web app. It includes the most important features of a job search and public profile, with the option for a private profile and bespoke job results sent directly to your email inbox.

A unique feature of this concept is it generates all freelance opportunities worldwide, with an option to choose only local, ensuring there is a supply of jobs on the platform.

Concept 2

Concept 2 is more focused on brand identity and local community, offering additional value outside of job sourcing. This concept includes a signup local coffee referral program and a community feature where freelancers can share professional and personal support, in addition to monthly coffee events in conjunction with local coworking spaces.

Concept 2 Low-Fidelity Mockup

User Feedback

I am currently gathering feedback remotely from user testing with freelancers regarding these two concepts. This project is on going and will continue to be updated.

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Contact
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