In an effort to practice my design skills during the Covid–19 pandemic and keep sharp I decided to invest in “Solving Product Design Exercises” by Artiom Dashinsky. My goal for this first challenge was to focus a bit more on the problem solving rather than on the actual digital design side.
"LinkedIn decided to build a marketplace for freelancers. Design a flow for hiring a professional."
User flow and any accompanying notes
Starting the prompt, I used the problem-solving framework explained by Dashinsky in his book.
The 5 W's & How
1. Why am I building this?
2. Who am I building it for?
3. When & Where will it be used?
4. What am I building?
5. How could I measure it?
I feel that no matter what framework you’re using, it is always important to understand the why aspect of what you're building to help ensure that it has a purpose and to help your understanding of the problem.
The Why for me was to more easily connect freelancers with potential work opportunities & clients. This can result in less financial worry & more consistent work patterns. I also looked at the why from the view of the professional seeking a freelancer which was that this would help create a more accessible “workforce” for clients/businesses who may need freelancers to fill the gaps. Additionally, I thought of the possible result of LinkedIn introducing a freelancer marketplace which could possibly help promote a boom in freelancing as both parties could have an efficient and dependable method of discovery and contact.
The Who for this task are both the freelancers and the professionals looking to hire them. I focused on the professional side of freelancing, the clients. Clients can be in need of a freelancer for a variety of reasons ranging from just need an additional person to support to the team to maybe needing to fill a role for a task that currently nobody can fill adequately. Freelancers can also be a way for a client to save money and get what they need for less cost than hiring a full-time employee the associated expenses that may come with. The Professionals I am focusing on are likely familiar with LinkedIn and have an understanding of how to use it however this is an assumption as I have not had the capability to conduct research into this matter.
The When & Where for my users were indicated with assumptions since I have not done research on this matter. I’ve made the assumption that this flow will primarily be accessed through the desktop browser version of LinkedIn and more rarely the mobile application. For this task however I will be focusing on the desktop website. Some frustrations they may be encountering currently are :
1. Finding reputable freelancers to do the job
2. Managing different forms of hiring and various platforms to seek suitable candidates may be time consuming
3. Finding the right fit for the job in terms of skill, field, rate etc...
The What for this task has already been defined for me. I will be designing a flow for hiring professionals.
Finally the How of how I would measure success would be by analyzing my target users and finding the percentages of those who are successfully using the freelancer marketplace to hire freelance employees, the % of users (both professionals and freelancers) who are are satisfied with the process and arrangements between each party and finally by measuring the increase or possibly even decrease of usage in this flow.
Below are the rough sketches of the flow I brainstormed for users. Again, since I’ve never been on the hiring side and have no research to go off of, I am designing these flows with a few assumptions. The first image is the initial sketch and then I iterated upon it further with the next sketch.
I've uploaded the notes I created in order to organize my thoughts and clearly parse out 5 W's & How. With this challenge I initially considered both Freelancers and those seeking to hire them and for the first 5 W's. I eventually decided on designing the flow for the Professional who is seeking to hire a Freelancer, as I am a Freelance Designer, to avoid any bias.
This is the "finalized" flow I created for this design challenge. I say finalized because I did not have a chance to test it with users and therefore its still subject to change (we know nothing in design is ever final).I also didn't design any wireframes because I only gave myself 45 minutes and wanted to stay true to the challenge of doing it right there on the spot.