SVA x Citi Ventures Studio

Worthi™ by Citi: Explore, Learn and Grow. Build your Worth.

Winner of Strategic Innovation in Product/Service Design, SVA IxD 2020

Project duration: SEP, 2020 - DEC, 2020
(Please note this prototype is built as a progressive web app)

SVA students collaborate with Citi Ventures studio team to tackle a design challenge using the techniques learned in "Strategic Innovation in Product/Service Design" class. Our goal was to Redesign Worthi™ by Citi. This online tool helps you to explore qualitative & quantitative data insights on job titles and calculate your market worth. Then understand your current skills and connect with online courses to grow your career or see which existing skills can transfer to new roles.

Team: Cyan Guan, Sarah Ann Jump, Nikhil Singh and Yuxuan Hou.

My Role: Led the project as a principal product designer and product manager.

Recently, Citi Ventures Studio launched Worthi, a free tool that leverages data on 1,800+ roles and 17,000+ skills to provide users with personalized insights that can help them confidently pursue their career goals. While Worthi generates some market-level insights on skills, Citi Ventures studio teamed up with SVA students to drive this even further.

Currently, no marketplace allows users to see the demand for specific jobs and skills. The student team was tasked with designing a new marketplace and user journey that incorporates market data & metrics of jobs, skills, comparative metrics and learning skills online.

We framed our problem statement in the format:

- Subject: Job seekers and working professionals: Students and Entry level, Mid-level, Senior-level workers.

- Needs: market insights into workforce data: salaries, career trends, skills in demand, industry job benefits, location, etc.

- To: make informed decisions to achieve upward mobility in their career(personal growth, career satisfaction and financial well-being).

- Because: currently, no platform provides data insights and connects them with the online resources.

Before we had set to understand the user needs, we wanted to know the opportunity in the current market through secondary research. Some of these facts below validate the need for such a platform in the market:

158 Million

People in the formal workforce in the US, as per US BLS report of February 2020.

120 Million

People in the world's 12 largest economies may need to be retrained/reskilled as a result of AI enabled automation in next 3-5 years (IBM report).

11.7 Jobs

Average number of job switch in a career. About 27% of them were more prone to hop, holding >=15 jobs, while 10% held 0-4 jobs (US BLS Data, age 18-48).


People who change jobs each year. US BLS stats show that more than 41 million americans are searching for jobs and being recruited every single year.

We interviewed six people from six different cities to understand their needs and study common behaviour patterns. Our interviewees ranged from age 18 to 52 including Undergraduate and Graduate students, people pivoting careers due to pandemic or seeking career advancement, people of colour, Immigrants, First-Gen Americans, LGBTQ+ people and an Army veteran.

User Interview: Dave Ellis, 52 yrs, Army Veteran

Card sorting activity for Dave Ellis

After concluding our 3 week long user interviews and research activity, we moved to the affinity mapping exercise to cluster the raw data under several different themes. That led us to highlight some common user pain points and list our design principles to tackle them.

Job Search, Industry/Market Data

- Keywords, search results are inaccurate. Feel frustrated & lost

- Lack of general response & feedback from the job poster

- Job market data is daunting. Not enticing and helpful enough

- Job search is an exhausting experience. Overwhelmed by so many search platforms

- Job listings are full of jargon

Suggested Design Principles

- Web optimization: contextual search and keyword suggestions

- Incorporate application tracking and feedback system

- Humanize job data with more qualitative factors

- Single, Integrated platform with simple navigation and easy user experience

- Verify and vet employers and job postings

Learning & Acquiring new skills

- Tend to be laid-back. It's not rigorous enough. Challenge with motivation

- Fatigue from the video lecture

- Unclear how useful skills are in the workplace

- Weighing cost and time of learning skills vs earning potential in future

Suggested Design Principles

- Maintain motivation: Provide constant feedback & build a reward system

- Mix different rich media types: Interactive quiz, Visual documents etc.

- Tooltips and insights from industry experts

- Visualize earning potential based on a skill's cost and time to learn

Career support & other job factors

- Lack of professional career support. Need feedback on Resume

- Hard to learn about workplace culture, job stability and flexibility

Suggested Design Principles

- Offer support from career coaches. Analyze & score the resumes using AI

- Include indicators of job stability, work-life balance and workplace culture

After discussing these insights with Citi Ventures, we further refined the scope of our project into three key areas:

Humanized job data and Personal worth calculator

Explore online courses and new roles through skills

Basic profile capabilities with a bookmark feature

Insights from user interviews had informed us that our product should serve three customer type: an explorer, an advancer and a switcher. We documented these personas and mapped a customer journey using the 5E model, i.e. Enter, Entice, Engage, Exit and Extend.

Persona: Ethan, a college student exploring different career options and skills needed

Persona: Ellie, a mid level professional who wants to advance her skills

Persona: Jennifer, a senior level professional who wants to transfer her skills to new roles

Customer Journey for Jennifer using the 5E model

We created the architecture to organize our proposed features as product's functional elements and understand how these elements would interact within & outside a section. This strategy helped us in mapping the function to form.

This product architecture includes various sub levels within the humanized job data, find courses & explore new roles via skills and a basic profile section.

User Interface Design

We started building our final prototype as a progressive web app that is geared for a mobile-first web audience. Our choice of colour palette draws inspiration from the Citi brand ecosystem, whereas the other UI elements are in line with the best industry practices in UX Design.

Prototype: Explore section

Prototype: Grow section

Prototype: Profile section

Key screens: Explore humanized data for any job title

Key screens: Calculate your personal market worth

Key screens: Grow your skills with online courses

Key screens: Find new roles via your current skills.

Key screens: Profile section

As a part of our design challenge, we worked on a business model which covered the estimated cost to launch and market the product, revenue model, projected growth, market map to analyze against our competitors and an innovation framework (Based on Doblin: Ten types of Innovation)

We conducted a qualitative test on 4 different users by providing them a task scenario. Some insights we captured were:

- While the product felt easy to use & navigate through, users felt confused with immediate purpose of the worthi platform as the information on the landing page wasn't clear.

- The entire form field and set up process for "Calculating personal worth" felt like a daunting task. Users also felt uncomfortable sharing sensitive information like salary.

- Product copies felt unclear at times. Clicking on "Start the course" button opened an external link(Users felt this as an unexpected behaviour).

Due to a limited timeframe, we couldn't incorporate the feedback to improve our designs. My ideal approach would be to analyze customer dropoffs by creating funnels in platforms like contentsquare/hotjar and conduct focused group usability testing sessions to understand the problems. Then list down design iterations on the scale of engineering effort(low <--> high) to improve conversions(or reduce dropoffs).

Down the product roadmap, we wish to expand our current offering to include new features like a learning tracker, resume scoring/feedback, professional career coach, Linkedin job integration etc. They would be a part of our premium product offering compared to a freemium model that we've built currently.

Key learnings and takeaways:

It is still a fragmented market with an opportunity for a new player to dominate. Although there are key players like Glassdoor, Linkedin, Coursera etc., who are trying to solve a part of the problem, none of them seems to focus on the more significant objective: "Help people achieve upward mobility in their career".

User research shook up my preconceived notions about how people look for jobs, what factors influences their decisions and the frustrations they encounter. What we achieved in this 12-week long product design exercise felt like the tip of the iceberg compared to all the insights that we received through research.

I learned that skills could be further classified into: necessary, distinguishing and salary boosting. Acquiring new skills is key to remaining relevant in a rapidly changing workforce. Our traditional e-learning platforms must include a way to help users maintain motivation while learning and acquiring a new skill.

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