Millie is a social enterprise in the EdTech space supporting the global community of
international school students to take the next step towards the future they dream of.
Millie’s biz dev team members who conduct research on mentors
This is an internal tool, so can’t think of a competitor in this sense. But general
competitors as a company are: Crimson Education, Oppidan, Synkers.
Millie holds weekly career panels and webinars to help high school and college students hear from professionals in a variety of fields. The Business Development team typically uses LinkedIn to source many of these panelists. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to find, filter and contact LinkedIn users that fit different criteria, especially because many users might not be available or interested in a Millie panel.
THE START OF RESEARCH
To begin my team and I decided the best first step would be to sit with the people most knowledgeable of the current process Millie uses. This way we can make the best choices in improving this process with a new proposed tool. We conducted User Interviews via Zoom with, one of the Founders, and new member of the Business Development Team and an Intern who actively uses their current process. We were hoping to find as many pain points as possible so that we can truly answer to their actual problem.
Key Insights | User Interviews
From user testing, we found that it is difficult to search for specific criteria because LinkedIn does not currently have those kind of filters
Millie needs diverse and younger mentors because they want mentors and students to be able to connect easily
Current process does not have any way to track activity or data
The current process is manual which can be time consuming in a task where time has to be used wisely
The search process to find mentors initially its difficult, finding niche careers is hard
The New Guy
On my end I was able to find people easily but it could've been more efficiant, going through each profile messaging individually, it could be faster. We need a way to keep track of people who have been already contacted. It would be convenient for another way of noting that
The time it takes importing and uploading and cleaning it up to create an excel is long, It is not easy to track relevance of findings
NOW WE KNOW THE ACTUAL PROBLEM
Millie needs a search function that ranks prospective mentors automatically so they can save time reaching out and vetting to the correct people that meets their criteria
Millie needs a search tool that scrapes LinkedIn profiles based on specific criteria but functions like Google so they don't have to manually review and rank every prospect.
HOW MIGHT WE APPROACH THIS
How Might we search more than just LinkedIn for results?
How might we make the current flow more efficient?
How might we automate the messaging process?
How might we have the top results available without manually clicking on each profile?
THE DESIGN ITERATIONS
After finalizing sketches during Design Studio with my team we followed up with the Founders to go over our sketches and with their ok, we began producing our first prototype, keeping in mind needed features and a minimalistic approach while designing. UX Designer Kara and myself tackled the Mid-Fidelity Prototype, taking turns and at moments working virtually at the same time within Figma together to meet the needs of the users in hope to hit on each key insight. To make their experience less manual and more time effective.
We then conducted a round of Usability Testing with Millie staff members to validate our choices or to make needed pivots.
Noticed History menu at the top later maybe it would be bigger/more prominent?
The New Guy
Events Page should be included somewhere that can be accessed we need to see that while searching
Biz Team Member
The duplicates pop up confused me, wasn’t sure what was a duplicate or where it came from..
ANALYSIS: Users understood the purpose of the Navigation bar, but needed clarity on most titles like Messages and Resources.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Choose titles that can be quickly understood, light descriptive words can be used on actual pages buttons lead to, to quickly inform user of buttons purpose to provide needed clarity while in use.
ANALYSIS: Users successfully completed the task, but had suggestions that would improve their search results.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Add year graduated (could possibly auto-add years out of school?). Add calendar for better event visibility for time zone when mentors would be available for webinars.
ANALYSIS: While users thought this was a great tool, they weren’t sure what information was in certain places.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Identify what information is in what section by using more descriptive language.
ANALYSIS: There was an important element missing in order to make the users experience easier and time effective
Add in an accessible calendar that users can always access.
After our usability test we learned a few key picots that were needed in order for the Hi-Fidelity prototype to truly meet the needs of its user.
The first change that had to happen was making better filter choices that can better fit to what Millie staff and interns search for
Millie shared that access to a calendar is extremely important and we decided an overlay would be the best way to have continued access at all times
If our tool was to truly make the experience simpler, we have to compliment the things that already work.
OUTCOMES | IMPACT
Overall Millie Group was appeased by the prototypes and findings.
And want to move to now implement the tool.
There also may be some tech development issues but they will meet with their team to discuss. They would like to continue working on this after the project ends and were thrilled to inform us that the use of our proposed tool Is highly desired.
Millie is in need of a database. They currently use .csv files to upload to Monday,which is a project management system, which again is not what they need.
The focus now needs to be on the tech team creating and internal database.
We also learned that Linked In routinely changes their coding to avoid bots from scraping their database.
Which ends up breaking tech’s scraping program so they have to
continuesly update their program which is not time effective.