» UNIVERSITY PROJECT
Mint was my final project. I had free rein to create a new digital 'thing' as long as it was cutting edge. The outcome of this year long project was Mint - a job searching app for people in the creative sector, with a difference.
Product Design, App Design UX, UI, Branding
MAIN PROGRAMS USED
Sketch, Principle + Illustrator
Mint is a brand new job searching app for the creative industries… with a twist.
Simply put in your search criteria and let Mint do the work. As you go about your day, Mint is searching nearby for your next job. No more figuring out how to get to that impossible to reach industrial estate, with Mint you’ll discover your next job round the corner from your favourite coffee shop, or three stops earlier on your bus route.
FYI, this video is best enjoyed with sound.
If you can't watch with sound, there's a transcript below ✌️
Rob's looking for a new job.
He's just got off the metro and is about to walk home.
Unknown to him, his perfect job is in an office - right there.
Under normal circumstances, he'd just walk straight past.
Rob has an app that solves this problem.
The app puts a geofence around the building.
So when Rob walks past...
He gets a notification.
Over the year I interviewed people in the creative sector, people currently job searching and people with recruitment experience.
(For privacy reasons, names have been changed.)
“Reading through all the corporate babble can be an art form!”
- Tim, Designer
“I just hate not getting any feedback. How hard can it be to send a 'thanks but no thanks' email?!”
- Rachel, Currently job searching
“We keep finding that we lose people during the interview process because of how long our vetting process is.”
- Eden, Recruiter
Naming the app
In semster one, the app was called 'Orbit'. I wasn't a massive fan of this name - it lacked something - and is the name of a chewing gum! In the feedback for semester one, my lecturers agreed that the name wasn't quite right and the branding could do with improvement.
After a lot of brainstorming and using a years worth of post-it notes, I had the name. Going right back to the bare bones of the idea, I established some brand values. From there I did word and free associations to generate less literal ideas.
The value of 'fresh' led me to 'fresh food' which eventually led me to 'mint'. As well as the fresh connotations, mint has the added benefit of meaning 'good' in many parts of the UK - and especially Newcastle which is Mint's HQ.
Mint Jobs = fresh jobs
Mint Jobs = good jobs
Sketching it out
As with all design processes, the icon was created by sketching ideas and developing them into bigger concepts.
The final icon is a combination of a location icon and a mint leaf.
Using a limited colour palette meant I could easily keep a consistent theme throughout the design.
The wordmark uses Space Grotesk, an open source sans-serif typface based on Space Mono. Space Grotesk has several alt character forms which create a more unique look.
Throughout this project, I used Agile activities and exercises to develop and prioritise ideas. I had loads of great feature ideas for Mint, but the scope of the project meant I wouldn't be able to implement all the ideas at once. I did a Needs, Wants, Desires activity to establish my MVP.
After deciding on the features for version one of Mint, I made some rough prototypes, which I linked together in Sketch to get an idea of whether the UI structure I had in mind was going in the right direction.
The intended market for the app is people working in the creative sector, so while there was a level of assumed tech literacy, it was important that the app met accessible web standards in terms of type and colour.
Unfortunately the mint green failed all Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WACG) tests. After some adjusting and tweaking it was clear that getting light green to pass the contrast check wasn't going to be possible while also maintaining the brand aesthetic. The good news was that mint green on the dark blue/black background passed all WACG tests. Instead of adjusting the colours any more, I made the choice to design the app in dark mode.
My research told me that because of their unique details and flourishes, grotesk typefaces work really well for headlines but much tricker to read for body copy. For this reason, I opted to use Space Grotesk for titles and the system typeface for body and captions.
Having launched the app, the user can immediately view their recent job matches. They can quickly dismiss or save the role to view later. Or learn more about the role from the home screen.
Mint is always searching for new job opportunities, but the user can do a quick search of their wider immediate area. This would be particularly useful if they’re waiting at a train station and want to see if there are any jobs a walkable distance from them. Or if they simply like a location they’re in and would enjoy working in that general area.
Users are presented with an overview of the job and its suitablity with the job overview feature. They can see where they crossed paths with the job, read a quick summary and view which of their search requirements the role meets.
Companies have customisation options when posting a new role. For example, adding pictures of their office to provide context about the working environment. Or adding a specific contact who applications can direct quesitons to.
Users recieve notifications when their application status changes. This means applicants aren't waiting around for updates that might not come, with just a few clicks they can see what stage of the interview process they're at.
Scheduling interviews and calls is also really easy for both the users and recruiters. Through the app, the user can arrange their interview at a time that works for them.
Fortunately when it came to testing Mint, lockdown had lifted enough to do some in-person testing. With a sanitised phone, the Principal prototype loaded and scenarios to run through, I tested with three potential users - a job seeker, a final year student and a recent grad aged between 20 and 25.
Of the three tasks set, all were completed with relative ease and no prompting from myself. The only minor error (encountered by 1/3) was recoginsing the contact button which would lead to "Emily's" contact information.
Testing Phase 2
With a few adjustments to the UI, I replicated the tests using InVision. This time I tested with five potiential users aged between 21 - 26.
Feedback from both groups of testers was overwhelmingly postive!
(to the point I was asking them for flaws or criticism as it would give me something to write about in my documentation!)
“Excellent app, easy to navigate - feels pretty stupid proof, which is good for me! ”
“I thought it was really intuitive to use - I've used a lot of job searching of apps, and it felt like I was using a 'real' app.”
“I personally don't use dark mode in apps, but I thought it looked really good. I liked that it told me where in the application process I am - I don't think I've seen that before.”
“Big fan of the green highlights! Are you going to actually make this? I want to use it!”
There are so many directions I'd like to take the Mint app and concept in. From an academic and UX point of view, I'd like to investigate the safety and privacy concerns that come along with a product that relies so heavily on location data.
From a commercial perspective it would be interesting to explore and develop a partner product for recruiters to use when advertising jobs and communicating with candidates. I'd also explore the best way to position Mint to appeal to recritment.
And from a product point of view, there are a few features that I'd like to add, such as automatically searching for jobs within a 10min walk radius of train or tube stations.