• Marisa Chentakul

  • Chelsey Pinke

  • Alex Shin

  • Yoyo Zhu


  • Product Designer

  • User Researcher

  • Interaction Designer


2 weeks

What now:

Upsider is recruiting front end developers to implement our designs.

01 Overview

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Upsider is a web application for recruiters to find quality candidates. Its goal is to find a comprehensive pool of high-value candidates quickly and efficiently by applying AI techniques to the traditional process of recruiting.

Upsider, launched in Summer 2018, was trying to reach a wider customer-base. We were challenged to turn trial customers into paying clients

As of December 2018, Upsider was recruiting front end developers to make our redesigns come to life. 

02 Problem


Upsider offers a free trial period that is not intuitive for users. 

The Upsider's conversion rate from prospective to paying clients was scarce because the free trial’s initial experience was not meeting their expectations.

How might we help Upsider turn these trial customers into paying clients by improving the overall user experience?

03 Discover

We divided the interview into two groups (First time and existing users) to understand the recruiter’s pain points, reactions, and behaviors. After interviewing and conducting usability test, we were able to gather Upsider’s defects and strengths that will assist our design decisions. 


Existing users: Existing users agreed that Upsider helps them find new candidates that they can’t find elsewhere. However, they were not utilizing the full functionality of the software due to its lack of intuitiveness.  

First time users: During the task completion, there were multiple drawbacks that the users encountered such as unclear features and perplexing labels and icons.

04 Define

Upsider was concerned with their new clients’ experiences with the software. Keeping that in mind, we prioritized the first time users while redesigning. With the 2 weeks limitation, we laid out 2 design directions for our stakeholder to choose:


2. Let’s redesign the software and improve the user flow to provide the most value to recruiters. 

1. Show them the test results and, for now, let’s focus on changing the small things to optimize what we have  

We were glad that everyone voted for the second direction. We believe that great innovation is built on existing ideas but repurposed with a vision and customers in mind. 

05 Pinpointing existing pain-points

  • Excessive number of steps to complete a search 

Recruiters only need the be able to fill in basic candidate criteria to run a search as time is vital to them and most positions need to be filled in fast.

  • The view result is not intuitive and self explanatory

Recruiters were confused by the listing hierarchy, symbols, color-codes, and symbols on this page. Plus, the way candidates are listed on Upsider was not natural to the way recruiters were used to source candidates.

  • Confusing labels, perplexing icons, and jargons

Recruiters were unclear of the capabilities on some of the global navigation labels and icons. 

  • The process of filtering was daunting and lengthy

Recruiters had to go through multiple windows to filter and edit the pool of candidates. At the labels and organization were confusing and needed improvement. 

06 Redesign & test


The three main components of Upsider that we focused on:

  1. Dash board

  2. Create a search

  3. Filter results 

Low-Fi sketches



Upsider is planning to build the dashboard in early 2019. Based on our interviews, here are recruiters’ expectations of what the dashboard should consist:

  1. Some statics/ data/ analytics of their performance

  2. A shortcut to navigate the site

Because of time constraint, we left out the data driven dashboard for later and focused on creating a navigational dashboard instead. 

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We bolded some frequently used CTAs like: search for candidates, saved searches, my candidates, and engage.

However, we found that this only works well with first time users. To make the dashboard more engaging, we would like to add other features to benefit existing users. 

Based on our feedback from mid-fi usability test, we included snippets from the folder features and saved searches. This is to speed up the recruiter’s workflow so they can easily return to where they left off. 

Create a search

The previous version of Upsider needed an update on the layout of their search engine. A good search engine demands a straightforward search field. Our main focus was to simplify the search process as much as possible.  

We conducted a round of card sorting on how recruiters define a search vs. how they filter the results. The results turned out that job title, location, and years of relevant experience are the most used criteria when defining a search. To streamline the search process, we incorporated those search terms to the form and got rid of the unnecessary ones.

We tweaked the layout of the search form for consistency.

“SAVE + SEARCH” button was added so that they can return to later if they need to make edits to some search criteria. 

Filter results

 From our research, recruiters needed to be able to manipulate the results and refine the sets of candidates they want.

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In the previous version of Upsider, filters were separated into two windows. Users found it extremely hard to navigate and manipulate the filters so we got rid of the old layout. In order for users to see all the filters in a digestible manner, we stacked all filters to the left for better accessibility.

In our final design, we consolidated two filter fields for a more visually balanced filter. We also improved affordances by replacing the plus with a caret icon.

07 Beyond the scope


Landing Site Feature Analysis Matrix 

We conducted a competitive feature analysis on Upsider’s marketing website and its competitors (Entelo, Hiretual, Ziprecruiter Enterprise, Job Diva, and Greenhouse) to determine successful patterns for a marketing site.  What follows are our findings and recommendations. 

Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 2.31.20 PM.png

08 Beyond the pixels


Design thinking and process:

Since the team is not familiar with the process of User Experience design, I introduced the process of design studio to the developer and the stakeholder. This is because they are crucial to the process, the earlier you involve them in the process the better. We taught the developer and stakeholder to sketch rough and abstract ideas into wireframes. Our design studio was a success. We transformed abstract ideas into concrete solutions. We critiqued and fairly evaluated everyone’s concepts and narrowed down to one flow to keep the sprint running.