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pivvot: A Web Application Design Challenge to help users find their Dream Career

Did you know that 49% of people have made a dramatic career shift in their lifetime? In addition, 24% of career transitioners are unsure what avenue to pursue. Many people endure a stressful journey to identify their perfect career path, not knowing what they are qualified to do with their previous experience.

A mockup of the web app pivvot.
A mockup of the web app pivvot depicting a live webinar video.

My Role:

Research Lead

The Team:

  • Diana B. (Project Lead)

  • Zachary J. (Design Lead)


November 18, 2022 - December 8, 2022

Tools used:

Figma, Miro, Google Suite, Zoom, Slack, Pen and Paper

The Design Challenge Problem:

As lifelong learners, users need a platform to develop new career skills and locate meaningful resources because it can be overwhelming to narrow down their options.

Design Challenge Goal:

Create a platform that offers a sense of community, support, and personalized resources/tools because each individual has a unique background, learning style, and needs during a career transition.

Building the Foundation

Most of us remember our childhood dream career; as a child, I wanted to be a veterinarian (but allergies to dogs and cats changed that). So I redirected my focus towards healthcare with the intention of making a positive difference in the lives of other people. Little did I know that this too was not quite the right fit, so after completing my Master's and working almost five years professionally I decided to make a pivot.

How can a tool like pivvot assist people with identifying suitable career paths?

Every individual has a unique story, background and skills. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify how these past experiences can carryover into a different career or industry. A tool like pivvot could help career pivoters identify new professional paths that align with their work goals and past experiences.


Over the course of three weeks, my team of three designers was tasked to create a web application prototype that helps connect people with resources, education, and mentorship to identify a new professional path.

What are the project goals for our three week sprint?

  1. Conduct user research to identify how career changers found their new path

  2. Analyze current resources in the market

  3. Investigate user pain points and needs when pivoting careers

  4. Identify a clear project scope for our three week sprint

  5. Design an easy-to-use interface that prioritizes  community engagement

User Feedback Matters

We needed to speak with people who were interested, actively in, or had successfully transitioned careers. We also wanted to speak to people in their dream career to understand how they found it. We posted a survey to social media groups and polled 123 people about their unique career journeys and learning habits. 

Where are you on your career journey?

I am unhappy with my current career and am not ready/wanting to make a change

I'm very happy with my career and consider it my "dream job"

Pie chart detailing survey results.

1.) I am very happy with my career and consider it my "dream job" - 14.6%
2.) I am satisfied with my career and will not change fields at this time - 23.6%
3.) I am satisfied with my career because I pursued a new profession - 18.7%
4.) I am unhappy with my current career and am currently/planning to make a change - 37.4%
5.) I am unhappy with my current career and am not ready/wanting to make a change - 5.7%

I am satisfied with my career because I pursued a new profession

I am unhappy with my current career and am currently/planning to make a change

I am satisfied with my career and will not change fields at this time

Five identified groups

Our survey filtered participants into five different groups based on where they were in their career journey. We targeted three of those groups to ask additional questions and provided the opportunity to participate in a follow-up interview.

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Dream job - 14.6%

Switched Careers - 18.7%

Planning/currently switching careers - 37.4%

The three groups targeted for interviews

What questions were we trying to answer?

  • How people identified their perfect career path or why they made a switch.

  • What their journey has been like to achieve their dream career

  • What learning preferences and resources people utilized or wished they had to support their learning

Key Research Insights

An infographic breaking down statistics of who we interviewed 

-10 people - 3 males and 7 females
- Education level - 5 Undergraduate, 4 Masters, 1 Doctorate
- Age range was 24-55 years
-Career stage - 3 dream career, 4 changed careers, 3 currently changing careers
- Study habits - 5-7 hours on average

Demographics of interview participants

  • Lack of community and support during the career transition

  • Unsure where to start/how to narrow options

  • Users described the career transition process as an emotionally and financially difficult experience

  • Participants had diverse learning styles and preferences

  • All participants were actively learning at the time of the interview

“I needed to lean on others when transitioning careers”

“The hardest part of the career switch was figuring out what to do and what jobs I was qualified for.”

“I enjoy learning with others. It helps me bounce ideas off of them and ask questions.”

Designing the Path to Success

What are some potential solutions to user pain points?

From these insights, we iterated on possible solutions that would address these needs. This also helped us identify priorities, plan, and a scope for our design sprint.

  • Create opportunities for social interaction and collaboration

  • Help users narrow down their options to find the right career

  • Reduce user stress by providing tools and a network to assist in discovering career options and learning opportunities

  • Provide options for diverse learning needs and preferences


To generate a lot of ideas quickly, we each began sketching possible design solutions for the following:

  • Information architecture to fit diverse preferences and needs

  • An onboarding flow and personalized user homepage to help narrow down information/options

  • Community focused and collaborative pages like groups and mentorships for gaining or providing advice

Holly's sketches of the onboarding and skills quiz.

My rapid sketches mainly focused on the onboarding process and introductory quiz for the homepage algorithm

Style Matters

Many people we talked to during research interviews felt stressed and isolated during their career transition. We wanted to create a design where users felt welcome and secure. We utilized a green color scheme and custom cartoon images to create a relaxed and not so serious environment.

Holly's style tile

My individual style tile focused on greens and neutral colors with a pop of salmon. Green is linked to new beginnings and growth while salmon encouraged action and confidence.

The final collaborative style tile

The final collaborative style tile focused on a green/teal palate with digitally drawn characters and items to make pivvot feel approachable and friendly.

Blueprint for the Future

Users would have the option to complete an onboarding questionnaire and explore pivvot before creating a profile to elicit buy-in as some users did not want to sign up for a platform without seeing the product first. Actions like saving quiz results and commenting on posts were only allowed once a profile was created. 

As part of the onboarding process, I focused on designing a personalized quiz for users to identify their unique skill sets, areas of interest, and preferences. This tool could guide users towards meaningful career options and relevant resources, tailored to their individual needs.

As my teammates finalized our component library and continued wireframing in Figma, I began running card sorts to validate our information architecture.

Early wireframes of the prototype.

Wireframes show the home page and part of the onboarding quiz.

Early wireframes of the prototype.

Testing to Improve

Card sorting helped us label and determine locations for our features on the global navigation bar. We had a diverse pool of participants, which helped us confirm if the language for our navigation was clear and understandable to native and non-native English speakers.

Open card sort results

Card sorting chart showing how different features for pivvot were grouped together by users. Words like "Learning, Social connections, and groups" were recommended at overarching navigation terms for our site map.

Activities & Events

Entertainment, E-Education, Resources

Online Community, Communicate, Messaging, Networking

Grow, Development, Learning, Courses

Social Connections, Groups, Connect

Additional user comments: 

  • Add a profile feature

  • Make Messages its own element

Suggested words for our main navigation from testing

The open card sorting results showcased how users grouped our features together and what they would title each category. From here, we selected four main navigation titles to further test. Those categories were Community, Learning, Events, and Profile.

Though our team agreed on the main navigation titles, we had some differing opinions as to where secondary/tertiary navigation should go. By conducting a closed card sort, we gained valuable insights into how users group and categorize information, allowing us to shift our focus away from our own assumptions and prioritize user preferences.

A chart from closed card sorting. This helped us decide where to place secondary navigation choices and confirm the terms we selected for primary navigation.

Closed card sort results

An image of the site map for the prototype. 

Primary Nav terms - Learning, Community, Events, Profile, and a Messaging feature

Secondary terms included features like courses, videos, webinars, groups, meetups, and favorites.

Finalized Site Map for this iteration of the prototype

Usability Testing

User feedback was critical to the design of our prototype as it helped us improve the overall design and user experience.

Users selected the wrong button on the home page initially so we increased the visibility of the key buttons and moved them closer to the top of the page.



Changed buttons to grayscale to highlight buttons we wanted users to interact with

Before and after screenshots of changes we made based on usability testing. 

In this example we repositioned important buttons to the top of the page for visibility and changed less important buttons to grayscale.

Repositioned important buttons to the top of page for better visibility

Users liked the personalization of the application but wished there was an option to skip the quiz as well as progress monitoring throughout to indicate the length of the onboarding process.

  • We removed the navigation bar from the user questionnaire pages to ensure focus on the intended flow



Removed navigation bar from onboarding pages to maintain focus on the intended flow

Added “back” option and progress monitoring for user control

Before and after screenshots of changes we made based on usability testing. 

In this example we added "back" and progress monitoring for user control and removed the navigation bar from the onboarding process to maintain focus on the intended flow.

Users were initially confused without a notification that their questionnaire was completed, so we added one with an explanation of what to expect on the personalized home page

A screenshot of the added confirmation page after onboarding was completed. It also tells users what to expect on the personalized homepage.

Users wanted to read about the webinar before the pop up reminding them to create a profile for exclusive content; removing this warning until users clicked “play” alleviated this issue


Users did not expect a pop up to appear when they selected a webinar to explore

Users wanted to be able to read about the webinar before getting a pop up

Before and after screenshots of changes we made based on usability testing. 

In this example we removed a pop-up when users initially clicked on a webinar to explore. We added a description of the event below. The pop up only appeared when users without a profile tried to play the content as a webinar was an exclusive feature for members.


Removing this warning until they clicked “play” alleviated the issue


Learning about career support resources that currently exist on the market as well as hearing areas of need from our users helped us fill some of the gaps in the current market.



Gathering user information during the onboarding process would likely streamline the career exploration phase by helping the user identify relevant career choices that match their unique skillset and interests.

Unlocking Future Potential

With more time, what would our design team address next?

With a limited timeline, future iteration of pivvot should:

  • Complete additional usability testing to improve accessibility within the design because we want to ensure this tool is inclusive and could meet every user's unique needs

  • Develop a mobile app to reach additional users and increase availability

  • Build out the remainder of the pages/features to provide a more realistic example of the features pivvot could offer

  • Develop and testing designs to track app traffic, engagement, and better understand features users are most interested in accessing.

Lessons Learned

This design challenge not only provided a rapid exercise in the UX design process, but it was a crash course in design collaboration. Though I have worked professionally on many interdisciplinary teams, this project allowed me to practice a new way of thinking and analyzing problems. With a focus on learning new skills, it was necessary to take time to reflect and humble myself to ensure the best outcome in this new process.

Coming from years of traditional academic learning and feeling confident in my previous career, it can be easy to rely on methods that worked in other scenarios. I consciously tried to take a step back and open myself to new ideas, concepts, and suggestions of my teammates to further my learning. I know that working together and considering all options lead to a better overall project and outcome. I look forward to continued collaboration with others to better my knowledge and skillset in this ever growing field.

A mockup of the "pivvot" web application opening page. This image acts as a link to the pivvot case study.

How can we help users identify a new career path that utilizes their current skillset to meet future goals?

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