Have you ever been between jobs and got stressed out looking at your bank account going down? Would you Google ‘temp work near me’ or go look at Craigslist postings to find something? I bet it’s been hard for you to navigate through temp job opportunities in your area.
As millennials are looking for a more flexible lifestyle to pursue their passions/interests rather than working the typical 9–5, the gig economy is growing bigger and bigger. People are seeking efficient ways to earn extra cash in their free time without having to go through the hassle of a temp agency or having to deal with unverified employers on Craigslist.
The opportunity here lies in a digital platform that helps connect temp job seekers and businesses in a way that’s quick, convenient, and secured. WorkBriefly is born!
We started by looking at the temp work industries in North America as a whole.
According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s staffing and recruiting industry group represents about 13.6% of the country’s workforce. Deloitte’s latest millennial study (2019) found that 64 percent of full-time workers want to do “side hustles” to make extra money. There has been a shift towards a gig/sharing economy with people seeking a level of autonomy such as deciding when they want to work. This is reflective of the rise in platform-based models such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. However, the staffing and temporary work placement industry has yet to make great progress to innovate and adapt to the changing times.
With millennials comprising the largest portion of today’s workforce, the timing is well suited for an innovative platform that can help connect this generation of temporary job seekers with businesses that require their help.
We took a look at some existing apps for temp work, including Wonolo, Syft, Hyred, and Tempo. The features that the industry is lacking are:
I was involved in crafting the survey questions together and got 30 survey respondents. There were valuable insights that validated our hypotheses:
The survey results gave a direction to the features that are desirable to our users.
I crafted the questions with my team and conducted interviews on both workers and businesses. Some quotes that stuck out from the user interviews were:
The 25 days of nothing between the interviews, getting informally hired, going to formal training and doing training trips are too long.
Please help ensure workers of any capacity are given protection and rights. Sometimes gigs get cancelled.
It takes weeks for me to receive payment.
There’s an opportunity to speed up the hiring process and protect the workers. A process that’s straightforward, fast, and clear is what the users need in this market.
There are two user types for this app: job seekers and businesses. We started out planning for both types of users. However, after discussing with our client about the project time constraint, we got a go ahead to focus on designing solutions for job seekers.
Having a persona was crucial to help represent our target users and make sure that our design decisions are based on our user needs. Jen and I worked on developing the persona together.
The persona is Chase Hamilton, a 27-year-old actor. Chase is passionate about acting and would pursue his career interest. His acting gigs are sporadic and it takes weeks for him to receive the next pay check. He’d like to fill his free time with some quick jobs to get some income in the meantime. His experience of going through temp agencies has been frustrating with long wait and uncertainties. He felt out of control with his current situation and wished there would be an easier way for him to find short term gigs.
We put ourselves into Chase’s shoes and visualize a scenario where Chase would be using the WorkBriefly app. What are the context, reason, and motivation for Chase to use WorkBriefly?
Chase is checking his bank account, it’s running low because he hasn’t gotten paid yet from the last film he did. It’s still 8 days away til his pay day! He’s getting stressed out with upcoming bills that he needs to deal with.
Chase is wondering how he can earn some quick money between now and his acting gig in a couple of weeks. Chase would like to find a temp job in the meantime that he doesn’t have to go out of his way to get to. Time and convenience are of essence for Chase here.
He signs up for WorkBriefly to look for gig, and instantly gets a few gigs lined up. Now he can happily go party with friends and doesn’t have to worry about not having cash flow for the next while!
Based on the scenario above, we created a user flow for Chase using WorkBriefly.
Get on-boarded on the app > Browse for jobs and apply for jobs > Wait on job application decision > Get approved for the job > Clock-in/out for the job > Rate employer > Gets paid for the job done.
From a marketing perspective, I suggested that we let Chase be able skip the sign-up/on-boarding steps to first preview the available gigs on the app. This helps Chase to get excited about potential gigs before having to go through the sign-up/on-boarding process.
Based on the research, persona creation, and user flow, I worked with the team to define the Not Needed, Must Haves, and Nice to Haves for WorkBriefly.
We decided to go with the features below, as our app would fill the gap in the market, and differentiate us from the competitions.
We started our design phase by creating paper prototypes. This allows us to iterate quickly after testing, before moving into digitizing the wireframes. We utilized the ‘design studio’ method to work on some main screens together and split the rest of the screens.
After testing with a few people on both paper and mid-fi prototypes, we had a few realizations.
We referred back to our research and found that to help our users achieve their goals fast, we need to cut down on screens while ensuring clear visual communications.
Initially, we had the Clock In/Out button outside of the job listing card, but we decided to make it simpler by adding the button straight into the card and using an icon to make it quicker to glance at. We simplified the step by just having the "Clock In" feature here, as the user doesn't need to think about clocking out at this point.
We realize that our filters are unclear, and being able to find a gig with proximity is important for our users. So we added titles under each icon and added km radius for location.
We understand that searching for a job could be daunting sometimes. We strive to bring a more delightful experience to the users, by adding encouraging and positive messages throughout the app.
We are collecting various data such as address and payment info, which is private information. Providing clear messages to explain why we collected those data would be necessary to help assure our users about their information privacy.
We achieved our goals of creating a product that fills the gap in the temp market and exceeded our client’s expectations for quality of work. I’m looking forward to testing the developed app very soon.
Due to the 3-week time constraints, we couldn’t design and build the prototype for our business users. To have a fully functioning MVP, I’d like to complete the prototype for business users, with the following features that are unique to them: