User Experience Design Students Create New Job Search Portal for City of Kingston

On an open laptop screen, the Possible Made Here website landing page is displayed.

As part of a client project, students in the User Experience Design program (UX) created a new way for job seekers to find employment opportunities in the City of Kingston.

The client, Craig Desjardins, Director of Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships for the City of Kingston, wanted to create a new, enhanced job seeking portal based on a site he’d seen in use for Windsor-Essex, Ontario. After purchasing the software, Craig approached the UX students to work on improvements and customization for Kingston.

"My interactions with the UX program students on this project have opened my eyes to the critical role of user experience testing in government," Craig said. "As the City of Kingston expands the use of human-centred design of program and services, the skills and tools being taught in the SLC UX Program will be central to our success. I can’t say enough positive things about the faculty and students of this program."

Students were split up into two teams based on the type of users targeted:

  • Active Job Seekers (unemployed looking for work)
  • Passive Job Seekers (employed but looking for something new/better)

The students conducted thorough research and created several methods and tools to help guide their design, including personas, scenarios, journey maps, and site maps. They designed the wireframes which were tested, and after receiving and implementing feedback from the City of Kingston, final design of the site was presented.   
The results were so well received, that more than 80% of the student work was implemented, according to Craig, who also shared the results with his colleagues in Windsor-Essex who were "blown away" by the UX work students had done, and they are working to implement many of the proposed changes.

"The project was very special as it allowed me to follow the entire UX process, from start to finish, with an actual client," said student Ronil Upadhyay. "We were given the freedom to ask questions directly to the client and build on his vision. Executing the project in a systematic way, conducting usability tests and providing evidence-driven recommendations made it a very satisfying experience."

The Job Board and Job Map for the City of Kingston

User Experience Design is a one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate open to students with a degree or diploma. UX design is one of Canada's fastest-growing fields and UX designers are in high demand. UX designers and consultants work in diverse industry sectors including media and design, financial services and banking; healthcare and medical services; technology services; computer software development; business and professional services; human resources and organizational development; government and public sector; and manufacturing. 

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