At a glance
Apprenticeship.gov struggles to promote apprenticeships in the Federal Government.
In addition, the job search board on the site fails to show these federal apprenticeships.
How can we promote federal apprenticeships and fix the job search so users can find these roles?
Promote apprenticeships within the Federal Government, drive interest in those roles, and improve the user journey of job seekers for those positions.
Figma & Figjam
Impacting 2,000,000 Job Seekers
What is Apprenticeship.gov?
A site run by the Office of Apprenticeship within the U.S. Department of Labor
Who do they serve?
Employers and other organizations to develop quality, accessible Registered Apprenticeships
Career Seekers looking for higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs
Educators providing structured training
Benefits of Registered Apprenticeships:
There are 115,000+ Registered Apprentices Across the Federal Government
My time at the DOL started with reading through hundreds of pages of documents to understand the context of what problems I’m solving.
What previous research I had:
A previous UX Research Fellow's documents
A previous "Excellence in Government" Team's findings
An "Apprenticeship Accelerator" session with senior leadership of agencies with Registered Apprenticeships
Dozens of internal documents
Usability Testing (Search Feature)
Career-seeking users in their early 20s familiar with job search boards were asked to use the apprenticeship job finder and complete two tasks while thinking out loud.
Find an apprenticeship relevant to your chosen position posted in the last month
Find a Federal Registered Apprenticeship
A Post-Usability-Test Survey was also collected for quantitative findings
100% of users failed to find an apprenticeship with a Federal Agency
2.00/5 Ease of reading job descriptions
3.33/5 Recentness of Postings
Federal staff were accessed via In-Depth Interviews
Retention was a key benefit to agencies
In highly specialized technician roles within NASA apprenticeship is one of the only effective ways to train
Showing examples at each step would be helpful
Users found resources on apprenticeship.gov unhelpful for their specific usecase in the Federal Government
How I presented a heuristic evaluation to non-technical stakeholders
A definition of what a hueristic evaluation is in addition to a link to read more in the slides after the meeting
Clearly defining and linking to resources throughout the slides
Providing the current design for reference
Video walkthrough illustrating how we fail to meet the best practice and why that negatively impacts users
Highlighting problem areas clearly and providing explanation
Showing design solutions that clearly address issues
Career Seeker Pain Points
There is no centralized resource to find what apprenticeships the federal government offers for interested career seekers
It is difficult to use the Apprenticeship Job Finder to find Registered Apprenticeships in the Federal Government
There is a lack of visibility into what positions are available as clear & up to date information is rare
Some information like wording addressing upskilling the workforce is irrelevant and confusing
Federal Staff Pain Points
Setting up a federal apprenticeship is a new and difficult process for this user set: familiarity is low
When going to apprenticeship.gov, federal agency staff find many resources for employers but not Federal Government specific resources
This is important to note as the Federal hiring process is very different from private sector hiring
The current site offers her little to take back to her leadership to convince them to buy-in to registered apprenticeships
What did we start with?
The current page was buried under Resources and hard to find
0-2% of users clicked on case studies and either of the fact sheets
Large paragraph, very hard to skim
Wording specific to Fed Staff like "workforce development" that confuses career seekers
18.5% clicked through the active programs
Primary call to action is buried at the bottom and looks like the footer