UI & Art Direction

Project Overview
Glydr is a job search iOS application for college students who are looking for fast ways to make money, and employers who are looking to hire someone quickly.
The platform offers jobs that can be filtered by location, distance, industry, compensation, employer rating, and date range. It also allows employers to publish opportunities and chat directly with students who apply to them. 

I worked on the user experience for this project, researching competitors, conducting user interviews, creating personas, and conceiving wireframes. I was also responsible for designing the entire application, starting with the visual research and creation of mood boards, and moving forward to presenting to the client different design directions that could be adopted. Once the art direction was established, I designed all of the screens using Adobe XD. ​​​​​​​
The Challenge
The Glydr application is divided in two primary user journeys. The first targets college students who will be searching and applying for jobs. The second focuses on employers who will be publishing opportunities and hiring candidates. The goal was to design two different platforms within the same one, as well as to allow users to switch from one to the other (so a student can become an employer at will, and vice-versa). 

In order to address that, I structured the sign up process to allow the user to choose between one or the other. Depending on their choice, they would see the platform structured in a certain way. Once they are inside of the platform, seeing either the student or employer view, they can go to settings and create an additional account that will link them to their alternative profile. Every user can have one student and one employer profile. Both platforms are very similar, to avoid confusion, with the exception of a few key items. There was the option of having one single platform that would allow the users to act as both employers and students, however, that idea seemed overwhelming as we wanted to keep the application as simple as possible and the majority of users would not need more than one account.
UX Research
Once the main goals of the application were defined with the client, the user research happened smoothly. I interviewed potential users from both the student and employer side and structured the application to address their wants and needs. During the interviews, some of the main topics that kept on coming up were safety and customization. Both types of users felt very strongly that user ratings was an important feature for the application, so that they could see whether the person they were speaking to was reliable or not. The college students emphasized their desire for a customized search flow, that included a location and salary filter, while potential employers seemed to place great care on having a number of candidate options available to them before hiring someone. They were concerned about receiving too many messages, which was solved by them having to accept a candidate's application before the candidate being allowed to send them messages in the chat. 
Mood Boards & Style Exploration
Based on the competitive and audience research, as well as established personas, I worked on three distinct mood boards to present to the client. The idea behind them wasn't to establish a design style, but simply to understand better client expectations regarding the final product. 

Initially, the client leaned towards the more conservative approach presented on the first mood board (blue). After taking into consideration the target audience composed by a younger generation, however, it was decided that Glydr should be a combination of two mood boards. The first one being the professional and composed one, that appeals to older employers, and the second one being the more unique one which can be seen below.
Based on the client's choices, I also explored a variety of design styles for the application. The mock-ups below — which are three variations of the same screen — were not based on wireframes. They were just a creative exercise done with the intention of experimenting with different design directions. That exercise benefited both UI and UX exploration, and encouraged me to try out more than one solution to the same problem.

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