Job Search Platform Relaunch

Job platform product shots

Web App


We had the opportunity to redesign and rebuild RiseSmart's B2B2C product.

RiseSmart specializes in helping laid off workers transition to their next role. Their team of transition coaches provide advice, training and encouragement for the laid off workers.

Over the years, the transition coach team developed and refined their methods while the product stagnated. We took this opportunity to begin "productizing" the most effective transition coaching methods.

The Users

Users of this platform are laid off employees. Platform access is part of their former employer's severance package.

We categorized users in three levels based on networking skills and recent job search experience. The MVP version focuses on levels 1 and 2.

User level description
3 (advanced) Actively networks, has reached out to their network and may be interviewing. Confident.
2 Hasn't looked for some time, but has a fairly up-to-date resume and occasionally networks. May have ego or less confident.
1 Hasn't looked for a new job in years. No resume, never used LinkedIn. Less confident.

User Lv 1 & 2 needs:

  • I need to find my next job
  • I need a new resume
  • I need to get unstuck (i.e. find more opportunities, get replies)
  • I need to figure out what I can do

Problem + Goals

The existing product was stagnant and did not fit the coaching methodologies. User login rates were low and users said they found little value in the product.

Feedback about the current product indicated a lot of users expected the web app to be similar to a job posting site (e.g. Indeed).

Goals included:

  • Focus the product on important job search behaviors (e.g. networking)
  • Simplify feature set
  • Introduce a SAAS version
  • Help job seekers find their next job faster (this was a KPI called "Days to next job")

The Product

I'll present this product in the chunks below.

Chunk Notes
High level flows Basic task models which describe what coaches and users do and feel. I like to add user quotes.
Design system I did a basic brand and component system. I helped dev with some HTML and CSS so this helped us stay consistent. 95% of components were from Bootstrap 3.
UI The UI focuses on content such as job leads and the resume builder. The coach module supplements the content.


We first gathered feedback from coaches and users (past and current). I wanted to understand what works and what users actually do in successful job searches. I created some basic task models based on the research.

Flow: Typical Slow and Stressful Job Search Process

Level 1 and 2 users generally get stuck at some point and often develop negative feelings. Generally their search begins by: 1. Digging up their old resume, 2. Updating their resume, 3. Searching and applying to jobs online.


  1. I try to add user quotes and emojis to bring attention to happy and sad parts of an experience.
Flow outlining an unhappy job seeker experience

Flow: Coaching Level 1 and 2 Job Seekers

Coaches need to push level 1 and 2 job seekers to network. This is challenging because the seeker must break old habits and try something new.

Flow outlining a common transition coach intro and first session call

Flow: Happy Path Product Experience

Below is the ideal product experience which helps a level 1 or 2 job seeker quickly find their role. The MVP version supplements human coaching.

Flow outlining ideal app experience for seekers

Design System

I created a page summarizing branding and very common components. Due to time constraints and the fact I was working on the HTML and CSS, the design system was maintained in code and we would check the Bootstrap 3 docs for additional info. This isn’t the best practice, but it worked.


  1. Red text are the LESS variable names
Sample of Searchlight UI kit - colors, typography, branding


Product: Coach Module

Throughout the app we include coaching content to steer the user towards best practices. e user can click on a step to view content (e.g. article or video) about this step.


  1. A condensed plan is available on the jobs page
  2. Contextual tips are available in other features, such as the cover letter builder
Coach module examples

Outside of the app we planned to have automated "coaching" emails sent to the user. The goal was to remind the user of important things and keep them on task.


  1. Email example - If the user didn't sign up using LinkedIn or use it to load their work history, the coach tells the user networking on LinkedIn is valuable.
Whiteboard with printed mocks showing Coach experience

Product: Job Leads

Users provide job preferences (e.g. title, location) to receive job posts. While not original content, the job posts were easily sourced, provide ongoing new content, and lead the user to discover more coaching tips.

Quick functionality overview:
  1. A user may click on a job title to view more information and features.
  2. If the user has connected their LinkedIn account, their connections at this company are shown.
  3. A user may save a job posting. These postings go into a separate tab.
Mock of the job listings page

Clicking on a job title takes the user to a page with its details. For each posting, we provided content to help the user successfully network-in and apply.

Quick functionality overview:

  1. For each post, additional tips are provided to help them land this role (e.g. research the company, network with people at the company).
  2. The user may track their application progress.
Mock of the job details page

Product: Personal Branding - Resume Builder

The rebuild introduced a resume builder. The coach provides tips and examples to help the user write effective content.

Note - Some users had access to professional resume writing services. The resume builder was intended for users of the SaaS version.

The ideal flow for building a resume was:

  1. The user quickly adds info via LinkedIn or uploading a resume.
  2. The user edits content using the coach’s tips and examples.
  3. The user downloads a copy.
UI for uploading a resume or linking LinkedIn
UI for editing resume information
UI of resume builder in non-edit state

Product: Personal Branding - Cover Letter Builder

A cover letter builder and personal statement builder were also introduced. Both features have an easy to use fill in the blank experience. According to feedback from our coaches, writing a simple cover letter or personal statement is a great way to realize your strengths and achievements.

UI of cover letter tool


No Takeaways?

We invited 8 people to come in for rapid iterative testing. Our initital tests focused on a few things:

  1. Onboarding
  2. First time experience
  3. Content

The testing was led by the senior UX designer. I sat in on testing, created the prototypes and edited the prototypes based on testing results.


The MVP launch was successful from a business point of view. A deal for the SAAS version brought in the company's first recurring revenue contract. I left the company before users transitioned to the new web app.



I was the product designer and worked alongside the senior UX designer.

I worked on the flows, wires, prototyping (html/less/jquery), UI design, research, user testing, content creation, and front-end development.


Looking back we could have simplified the coach's approach to starting a search. I feel like we had the case of a lot of features with a loose framework of how everything ties together.

Example of a simplified approach:

  1. Think about what you're good at and what you enjoy.
  2. Make or polish your cover letter and resume.
  3. Start networking to find opportunities and share your pitch.

I left the company right after the product had its first buyers. Unfortunately I wasn't around to see if the KPIs improved and how users used the product.