Softgarden - Taloom
Throughout 2013, I worked for Softgarden as UX Designer to lead a redesign of their „taloom“ product, a powerful recruiting application.
The original version of Taloom had an interface far more focused on packing lots of functionality into the application than on usability or UX. Because the tool had been developed over some length of time, many available functions were added on later without considering the impact on the entire system. As a result, the tool was very powerful but not easy to understand or use.
In order to begin solving the usability and UX issues, we decided to take a mobile first approach and distill the product down to its core functionality in order to refine the red-routes.
A look at the original interface
In order to begin solving the usability and UX issues, we decided to take a mobile first approach and distill the product down to its core functionality through the lens of its customers.
Personas - A Redesign Begins
As the previous version of softgarden’s application, taloom, had been live for some time, we had a great deal of data to work with. Together with the CEO and the sales/customer management team, we were able to define a number of personas around which to base our design goals and assumptions. We spent a day going through various exercises to define and refine 5 different user personas. These remained hanging in the office throughout the entire development process.
In order to focus the overblown functionality back down to its core and help define that “Minimum Awesome Product”, the decision was made to begin with a mobile-first redesign. While it was unknown if a mobile-app would be the final goal, the exercise was extremely beneficial in helping to frame the thought processes and make critical decisions about what is truly important to the system.
I created initial designs in the form of paper prototypes that were then tested internally. These were then turned into somewhat more detailed wireframes.
The Red Route
Initial Wireframes for the most important red route — posting a job
After finalizing the base wireframes, I created some more polished screens to convey the full feeling of what this application would be like in the real world. After reaching this point, it was decided to take all of the findings and apply them to a redesign to the web application.
I created more polished mockups to better convey how the app would feel in real life
With all of the information I gained from the mobile-app UX design, starting for the web went quickly. First was to redefine the mobile flows for web. Next I considered interaction paradigms that would make the system even more pleasant to use. After some basic wireframes, I decided to make an interactive prototype.
Given my background developing websites, I decided to build the prototype using HTML, CSS, and jQuery. This gave me a lot of control over animations as well as the niceties of the interaction and system. The prototype used localStorage to allow some state saving. While functionality wasn’t implemented for all sections of the prototype, it allowed me to refine and test the “candidate management” side of the interaction. Take a look at the prototype below!
(Note, that this was built as quickly as possible and was thus not tested in any browsers outside of Chrome). Functionality is only enabled for Jean Luc Picard (because, really, who else would you want to hire).
An web prototype for testing interactions
Based on the learnings from the prototype the development quickly moved to wireframing the rest of the application. As I finished working with Softgarden, the final wireframes were being converted into final mockups and being delivered to developers to begin development of the all new software. The new platform can be seen in full on softgarden’s website.
The final product
A look at the final system, live today