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At a glance

Problem 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.


Summer 2023


Figma & Figjam

Microsoft Office 


Impacting Over 2,000,000 Job Seekers

This work was presented at the Tech-to-Gov Conference as an example of excellent design work in the Government. It was also selected out of over 100 fellows to be presented at the Coding it Forward Public Demo Day.

What is

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 


User Research

Secondary Research 

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:

  • Listening sessions

  • 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

2.33/5  Usability

3.33/5  Recentness of Postings

In-Depth Interviews

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 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, 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 

Old Version.png


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





Final Designs:

Job Finder.png

Explore Federal Apprenticeships 

A place for career seekers to see the benefits of working for the federal government through apprenticeship

Start a Federal Apprenticeship

A resource for federal staff to start apprenticeships in the federal government
Start a Federal Apprenticeship1xefg.png
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