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Here’s how it went
The Product Lab kicked off with a workshop to understand the problem, set the desired outcomes & align the team. After interviewing the founders, we found out what they wanted to achieve long term: One million people would plan their career with Opus.
Then, we focused on the solutions and started defining a prototype. The founders wanted to test an idea for a career-planning mobile app tool, to see if there was a potential market for it, how they could position themselves and what the users' reaction to it would be. After presenting several examples that could serve as possible sources of inspiration, we decided what features our prototype would and would not have and how we could best show the customers what the idea was about.
🛠 Innovation #1 - From 60,000 to 3
Opus app has incredible potential - it gives anyone access to 60,000 career paths across the UK and provides them with data-driven next steps. The challenge that we identified is that users don’t always understand the full range of product benefits and often fail to discover and understand the paths available to them. Therefore our goal was to design an experience that helps the user go from 60,000 possible career paths to the few most relevant, exciting and eye-opening ones, in 5 minutes or less.
🛠 Innovation #2 - ‘Tinder for Careers’
To give good recommendations, most career advice platforms use a long, complex skill test in order to assess what possible careers would suit the user best. But the team found from experience that most of these tests aren’t very useful or reliable. Instead, we created a personalised onboarding process with just a few short questions and a swipe-able card interface, familiar to most mobile app users through apps like Tinder. The choices made by the user would then be reflected inside the platform.
Next, we focused on creating the wireframe and design for the app onboarding process, the paywall and a simple dashboard page that showed the user what they would get after signing up. From the first moment the user opens the app, they are presented with encouraging messages followed by simple questions that will help Opus recommend the most relevant careers. They can choose the career that interests them the most and a pathway will show up. After this brief demonstration of what Opus can offer, the user is offered a monthly or yearly subscription in order to access the app. Once they choose the plan that best suits them they will be welcomed to the dashboard where they can finish completing their profile, start exploring careers and even get suggestions of possible apprenticeship and internship opportunities.
Once the prototype was complete, our team proceeded to put it to the test by interviewing nine people. They ranged in backgrounds, ages and career paths - from career changers to people reentering the workforce to young people just starting in the job market. The interviews were conducted and recorded through Zoom
We adjusted the designs based on key feedback and at the end presented Opus with our results as well as conclusions from users. The customer interviews revealed that 8 out of 9 people we spoke to were ready to purchase the product based on what they’d seen.
🤔 Learnings & summary
In under 2 weeks, we were able to understand Opus’ team, values, business model and priorities really well, then connect the core benefits the app provided to their customers' needs. With that, we were able to:
- Test a new product direction & business model
- Identify & resolve usability issues in the onboarding process
- Verify that the new process flowed in a logical way and helps people get quick value from the product
- Discover a customer group that finds the product valuable enough to pay today
- Verify that our innovations around career paths were considered a valuable tool as our interviewees understood it right away, without thinking or explanations required
- Identify what parts of the platform people found the most useful, plus how to best serve Opus’ ideal customer segments
- Introduced the team to core startup concepts they could now use in their company
- Propose next steps for the Opus app and get the team excited about the product again