Yangyi, Sonam, Candice, Yash, Guru


Aug. - Dec.2019


In this project, our team did research on the experience of Georgia Tech graduate students in finding on-campus jobs and uncovered needs during this process. Evidently, we designed Waggle, a mobile app that helps simplify the process of finding on-campus jobs and prepares students better for the positions they are interested in.

My Role

UX designer & researcher. I worked with another designer on interaction and visual design. Later on, I took the innitiative to redesign the whole app based on user feedback.

Currently, finding graduate assistantships (GRA and GTA) is often an arduous and tedious process with high chances of unpredictability and failure.
the challenge
How might we simplify the process of finding assistantships(GRA/GTA) for graduate students at Georgia Tech?
A mobile app that provides profile-based job recommendations, easy application management, and centralized resources for users to prepare better.
Profile-based job recommendations

Your interests and skillsets will be used to find matched jobs. The tags that match your profile will be highlighted, helping you find the positions that suit you the best.

Efficient application process and management

Save yourself time by uploading application materials beforehand. Manage your applications in a more intuitive and organized way.

Prepare better for the job

Want to prepare better for a job? Take a look at the related courses or get involved in the lab events you are interested in.

Motivation for this project

In the beginning, we were brainstorming possible problems Georgia Tech students will encounter in their daily life. We realized many of our friends, cohort, and even ourselves were suffering from the process of finding graduate assistantships(GRA&GTA).

What is a graduate assistantship?

It’s a kind of on-campus job. There are two kinds of graduate assistantships:
GRA - graduate research assistant, work for labs on research.
GTA - graduate teaching assistant, work for professor who teaches a class.

🤔Why do students want to get a graduate assistantship job?

There are many benefits, saving tuition, getting paid, adding experiences to the resume, etc.

It seems almost everyone would wan a graduate assistantship(GTA/GRA) and many people are struggled to find it. Is it so as we assumed? We conducted surveys and interviews to find out...⬇️

is there a problem?
Almost every graduate student wants a GRA/GTA, but only 35.3% have one.

From our survey targeting at Georgia Tech graduate students, 100% of the 51 respondents are either actively looking for or already have GRA/GTA positions. Among all the respondents, 35.3% already have an assistantship position(GRA or GTA), the rest 64.5% are either actively looking for one or interested.

The process of finding a GRA/GTA is tough for the majority of students, and 82% of them would like assistance.

68% of respondents rate the difficulty of this process as moderate to very tough.( Scale from very easy, easy, moderate, tough to very tough). ~82% of respondents would have liked help or assistance with the process of finding and securing graduate assistantship positions.

Find painpoints
Why is finding a GRA/GTA job a tough process?
How about the successful cases? What’s the key to success?
Synthesize the user needs across three stages of landing on campus jobs
An app that provides a centralized experience for students to find and apply for on campus jobs, manage applications, and prepare for interviews.
Early solution
Information architecture
Testing sessions & Results
Major usability problem: the design was not self-explanatory

To identify potential issues and usability errors, we conducted both user testing(3 participants) and heuristic evaluation(5 experts in HCI and UX) with our clickable prototype. One major problem we found from testing sessions is: it was difficult for users to understand the logic we set up in our design.

refinement #1
Revamp the navigation and hierarchy to help user focus on main tasks

As shown in the diagram below, the design of the bottom navigation bar caused the unsmooth user flow of many tasks. For example, searching for a position/course when browsing positions/courses, viewing applications when viewing inbox. Users have to switch to another tab to complete associated tasks, which does not fit the user’s mental model. Specifically, the entry of applications is too tiny considering the importance of this functionality.

Action1: Removed search tab, added search icon/box in other screens
Intend: Smooth the user flow so the user does not have to jump out of the current task/tab. task/tab. Make users search in the context.

Action2: Redesigned ‘Jobs’ tab, removed ‘Inbox’ tab, added ‘Applications’ tab
Intend: Separate positions and application to provide a clearer entry to manage applications.

Action3: Added home screen with three sections for reminders/courses and upcoming events respectively
Intend: Provide adjacent entries to all features. Content of the modular would be able to change according to the action and preferences of the user.

refinement #2
How to find matched positions and apply?

In the usability testing, tasks associated with job positions(find/save a position, apply for a position) got the lowest SUS score, I realized it’s important to:

- Further utilize the preferences of users to help filter the best fit positions
- Improve the page hierarchy for a more intuitive task flow to apply for and save a job

Action1: Moved the ‘Apply’ button to the bottom of job description screen
Intend: Lead users to read full description before applying; make it more comfortable to reach for thumbs

Action2: Changed job preview from single card to card list
Intend: Highlight important information in job preview and increase the number of cards that could be shown in the screen

Action3: Changed ’saved jobs’ entry from button to tab
Intend: Allow users to view saved jobs without jumping to a new page, make the experience more focused

refinement #3
How to manage and track application status?

Action1: Added filters based on status tags to help users better manage applications at different stages respectively

Action2: Made ‘update status’ button easier to access, since the application tracking is based on the update of the user.

Action3: Optimized the information shown in the application preview, added status tag for each application, and a quick entry to update status

Final Design