Understanding the opportunity to extend a leading jobsite to mobile

Totaljobs Group runs some of the UK’s leading jobsites. To help maintain their lead and gain competitive advantage they wished to explore the opportunity for extending their Salestarget.co.uk brand from web to mobile. They developed a prototype mobile site and service to trial and asked us to conduct research and usability testing to understand more about how their subscribers would incorporate a mobile service into their job-seeking experience. The service provided users with daily WAP messages with personalised job listings from which they could link to the mobile site to view job descriptions in detail, send them to their email, and initiate a new search. The prototype service would not let people actually apply for a job on their mobile, although the feature appeared to work.

Trial, diary keeping and usability testing sessions

We recruited as participants people who were actively looking for a new job and who subscribed to Salestarget.co.uk. For a three-day trial period users received the WAP messages in addition to jobs by email that they were already receiving. We gave each participant a diary to record their use of the service as well as their feelings about it. At the end of the trial participants came in to our studios for follow-up research sessions where we discussed their experience of the trial and conducted usability testing around some specific use cases.

Understanding different types of usage to clarify the opportunity

Participants responded well to the mobile service and in fact a couple ‘applied’ for jobs from their mobile forgetting that the functionality wasn’t live. From the data it became clear that while some users were keen to appy for jobs direct from their mobile others found the service most useful as a means of screening and filtering potenial jobs. Using the send to my email feature they could then spend more time researching the most promising looking jobs at home in the evening on their PC. The real benefit for these participants was that they could use downtime during the day to make an initial selection so saving themselves time later at that they’d rather be spending with their families. Understanding these two types of usage in detail was crucial to helping Totaljobs Group shape and evaluate the opportunity for mobile.

Specific usability challenges for jobsites going mobile

As well as helping Totaljobs Group understand the opportunity for mobile the research and testing uncovered some specific usability challenges for mobile. Not least it was clear that job specifications written for the web are not suitable for mobile without redesign and editing. The slower speed of mobile, along with restricted screen and input mean that design must reduce to a minimum the number of clicks and amount of scrolling required by a user to determine whether or not a job is of interest.

What Totaljobs Group had to say about the trial, research and testing

"new experience delivered over and above my expectations by contributing their expertise in the mobile industry and demonstrating a superb customer focus and ability to listen carefully to our requirements. The new experience team worked proactively with all project stakeholders to deliver a rigorous and compelling piece of research of invaluable use to our business" Sandra Carosi, Group Marketing Manager, Totaljobs Group