Block Connect

Block Connect is a website leveraging education, online community, and principles of the decentralized internet to combat the challenges of recruiting top-tier talent in Web3

    What is "Web3"?

    Web3 is a blockchain-based worldwide web including cryptocurrencies, DAOs, NFTs, and other applications

    Web3 vs. Web2
    Web3 is known as the "read/write/own" version of the internet, giving users unique control over the online communities and spaces they are members of. in Web2 (the current version of the internet), most of this control lies within big tech companies.

      Connecting job seekers and recruiters in web3

      Block Connect was conceptualized to address unique issues around recruiting top-tier talent that I identified as a Talent Partner for the NFT Marketplace Sweet in 2022.
      The infancy, volatility, and negative reputation of Web3 translates into the use of non-traditional methods to find the best talent for recruiters of Web3 companies.

      Why is this important?
      Critical roles remain vacant for months as recruiters look for ideal cultural and professional fits. These roles are integral to the success of Web3 projects.
      Simultaneously, the most qualified but interested candidates don’t understand Web3 technology and feel reluctant to enter a volatile industry.

      My Solution
      Designing and prototyping a website featuring:

      • Opportunities for Web3 recruiters to instill trust in job seekers.
      • Capabilities to browse and search online Web3 communities for recruiters and job seekers
      • Educational resources and quizzes on Web3 topics for job seekers.
      • Breakdown of the primary “perks” of entering Web3 professionally.

      VIEW FINAL SOLUTION -->

        SUMMARY

        Design Process

        SECONDARY RESEARCH

        First, I sought to understand...

        • How members of the Web3 recruiters leverage the unique perks of working in the industry to attract job seekers
        • How Web3 principles such as ownership and open ideation can aid in the search for top-tier talent

        PRIMARY RESEARCH

        User Interviews

        I conducted seven user interviews with Web3 recruiters and job seekers, formulating insights aligning with my secondary research.

        Feedback from interviews enabled me to organize and categorize findings, using an affinity mapping exercise that revealed the following major insights

        PERSONAS

        Validating and refining target users

        I further synthesized the common themes from affinity mapping through the creation of two personas:

        Committed Catherine: Creative and outgoing Web3 recruiter

        Inquisitive Irene: Career-oriented yet cautious job seeker

        USER STORIES

        To ensure Block Connect addresses the most pressing needs of Catherine and Irene,

        I used the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) modal to prioritize user stories.
        Highlights:

        View All User Stories

        USER FLOWS

        I mapped out user flows to represent navigation through Block Connect's MVP

        Highlights:

        (1) Catherine (recruiter persona) seeks out strong candidates with a demonstrated interested in Web3 by engaging in online Web3 communities

        (2) Irene (job seeker persona) learns more about the perks of working for a Web3 company

        View All User Flows

        SKETCHES AND GUERILLA USABILITY TESTING

        Sketching my user flows for guerilla usability testing

        This research method was used to validate and challenge the website's current design. Testing with real users identified gaps in my design, and opportunities for improvement.
        Examples of feedback received during testing:

        Users don't understand the interaction patterns on the Perks of a Career in Web3 page

        Users initially confused by the purpose of downloading popular chat applications, but otherwise followed the route of the following sketch easily.

        WIREFRAMING

        Implementing necessary changes after usability testing, I created wireframes

        These established a foundation for the higher-fidelity mockups and eventually, interactive prototype for my design - prior to making major visual design decisions.

        Examples of wireframes and solutions following usability testing:

        Addressing users confusion around the interaction patterns of the Perks of a Career in Web3 page on my sketches, I added a header in my wireframes. The header clarifies the interactions available on this screen.

        View All Wireframes

        HIGH FIDELITY MOCKUPS

        I brought my solution (Block Connect) to life with the creation of mockups.

        These represented the critical journeys my personas Catherine and Irene venture on to find talent and jobs in Web3.

        View More High-Fidelity Mockups

        PROTOTYPING AND USABILITY TESTING

        Next, I created a prototype from my mockups for another round of usability testing.

        To validate the prototype's design and ability to help users achieve their goals...
        Web3 recruiters: connect with and hire top-tier talent
        Web3 job seekers: find a job in the industry
        ...I conducted two rounds of usability testing.

        The following issues stood out after testing:

        (1) Posting a job was originally accessed from the “Explore Jobs and Companies” page, confusing recruiters who are accustomed to posting directly from their account pages on other websites. Since posting a job requires account login anyway, this created an unnecessary extra step for users. I relocated posting a job to internal account dashboards.

        (2) Users read the subheader of the Perks of a Career in Web3 Explainers page - indicating there will be future updates - and asked when and how frequently the page is updated. It would be advisable in a further iteration of the website to include a subscribe or notification option.

        View More High-Fidelity Mockups

        TAKEAWAYS AND CONCLUSION

        Here's what I learned through the design of Block Connect.

        I emerged from this project with a more informed understanding of realistic UX Research and Design Processes.

        My primary takeaways:

        Importance of User Personas
        Consistently referencing personas throughout the design process is instrumental to the creation of products with seamless and intuitive functionality.

        Challenging Biases
        Despite my expertise in recruiting, I did maintain biases that were misaligned with the mental models of Block Connect’s users. Guerilla and moderated usability testing exercises were humbling in this way, and challenged me to iterate upon designs I previously considered to be set in stone.