The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) was tasked by the US Department of Labor to create a website that would help unemployed Americans find applications for their existing skills and talents in new jobs. The site needed to connect dozens of databases in a simple search process to help people identify new career directions, find gaps in their skill sets and learn how and where to get training.
Azul 7 was selected to lead design of the project after our success on an earlier collaboration for the US Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website redesign. Our responsibility on this project was to represent job seekers’ needs throughout the design process. From naming and identity to simplifying the process with UI, UX, design and programming, Azul 7 kept the voice of the job seeker at the front of the decision-making process.
Building the bridge.
Expanding on earlier thoughts and ideas from CareerOneStop, Azul 7 envisioned this tool as a way to help people bridge the gap between their existing skills and their future potential. Our first task was to create an identity for the program, including a name, logo and image system.
We drew naming ideas from the Azul 7 team, DEED staff and our target job-searching audiences, finally choosing mySkills myFuture for its straightforward, almost literal explanation of the program. The logo and brand identity maintained the straightforward approach, continuing the bridge theme and favoring simplicity to allow the job seeker to focus on the program’s content.
Keeping it simple.
Because our audiences could range drastically in age, education, literacy levels and English skills, we needed to operate on the simplest, most universal terms possible. The tool needed to function as easily for high school students researching careers as a laid off mechanic looking for a new way to leverage their skills.
Following the emphasis on clarity, our content and design strategies are straightforward and simple. The writing style allows for easy translation and a video introduction helps users get started on their job search as quickly as possible. Throughout the site we worked hard to keep the experience easy and understandable; complex information on job descriptions, salaries, live job listings and statistics are presented in a simple grid.
When design and production was finished, Azul 7 handed off mySkills myFuture to the development team for implementation. After receiving a Tekne Award for the CareerOneStop site, Azul 7 is honored to once again be named, along with the entire mySkills myFuture team, as a finalist for Minnesota’s Tekne Award, which recognizes those who discover new technologies that educate and improve the lifestyles and futures of people in Minnesota and around the world.
A complex program, simplified for easy use.
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