UX research - Product Design

Won "Crowd Favourite" Award at Sheffield Start-up Weekend

3rd – 5th June  2017



This particular app was for a  Startup Weekend challenge at Sheffield University. Students had a weekend to build an app that scales for a large audience.



After the assembly of the team, the team leader came up with the idea of a job board for autism sufferers.

  • Web research found a negative stigma around mental health has made it difficult for people with autism to find work.

  • Those with autism tend to be too nervous to apply for roles, leaving potential talent underutilized (only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time work).

  • Persistent lack of autistic people in work over the last decade means the current one-size-fits-all government employment programs are not working. As such, there is a need to raise employers’ awareness of the skills and potential of autistic people by bringing employers and autistic people together.



Create a job portal that allows job seekers with autism to connect directly with employers who are looking to fill positions in their company, and also allows employers learn about mental health issues and how to deal with them. 



My role

  • Perform user research by interviewing autism sufferers on how they search for jobs, and what they want to see from the app.

  • Research apps that autism sufferers use daily and what they find appealing about them.

  • Interview local employers to find out they’re basic expectations from a recruitment app.

  • Create wireframes using pen and paper and mockups using Photoshop of the new job site application and test with both audiences (employers and job seekers).



Output(s) required

  • Thematic analysis of interviews identifying basic expectations of the recruitment app.

  • Wireframes and mockups of home page, job search, candidate search, mental health resources page for employers.

Fair Minded Jobs UX Design by Marc Bonne


Job seekers example: 

  • Due to time constraints, a convenience sample of three participants with autism were sourced, consisting of local students from the area of the Startup Weekend in Sheffield. These were students the team leader knew from previous events discussing autism.

  • Demographic data, such as name, age, gender, employment status was recorded using a questionnaire.

  • Participants aged from 22-27 years old.

  • 2 females and 1 male

  • All full-time students, 1 working part time.

  • Names were kept anonymous to protect the identity of the participants.

  • A semi structured interview was conducted asking participants, how they normally search for jobs. Opinions on the types of apps participants use daily and what they like about them were audio recorded and written notes taken.

  • Data transcribed and coded. Themes regarding the research questions identified using thematic analysis on transcriptions.



Job seekers example:

  • Participants search for jobs using job boards, the most popular being indeed.co.uk due to what participants suggested was a simplistic interface.

  • Additionally, the less social interaction required by job boards made participants more comfortable sharing their CV’s online.

  • The app should be accessible/easy to read as possible.

  • Favourite apps included:

    • Mini-games such as Candy Crush due to being able to control an environment, escape reality and constantly receive for actions, and rewards for goals.

    • Drawing apps, as they could get feelings down on paper without using words.

    • Video apps such as Youtube, where they could watch educational channels. Participants preferred video over text when it came to educational content.



Job seeker example: 

  • Users expected to have their own accounts. 

  • They wanted to upload a CV and have it shared with employers without interacting directly with employers.

  • Users expected to be able search for jobs without signing in. 

  • They want wanted to way to contact the company via email (preferred communication method) if they came across technical issues with the site.



It was decided to skip wireframing due to time constraints, however normally the landing page, CV uploading, job board and employer resource list would have been tested as they are basic requirements of the site for job seekers and employers. 


  • Colour scheme taken from existing autism website http://www.autism.org.uk/)  to create a sense of familiarity with the autism community. Furthermore, the site already complied with W3C’s WAI accessibility (Level AA)

  • The website would also have an easy-to-read version to help those who’s first language isn’t English, who may have learning difficulties, or just require information to be simplified.

  • Would also include screen reader version and browser adaptations



  • Job search layout borrowed from indeed.co.uk, in line with the audience’s UI preferences.

  • Minimal text information provided as suggested in user research. However, the option for user’s to view “More info” about a role seemed necessary in order to view further details without causing information overload.



Resources List

  • As per user research with employers, a separate page was created where companies could learn more about different mental health issues and how to deal with them in the workplace.

  • One issue with the page is the “Contact us” link is not immediately and may confuse audiences as to where to click. This would later highlighted change to blue and underlined in the final version.



  • Due to time constraints from the Start-up weekend the finished prototypes could not be tested with the target audience. However, a panel of judges (consisting of a number company owners) at the Start-up Weekend felt the design looked ideal for the cases involved.

  • The Fair-Minded Jobs app won crowd favourite for the best business concept and product prototype.