How to tackle at-home design tasks when applying for jobs

Fig. 1. Emphatize with the brand, users and competitors

The set-up for a design task

  1. Search for reviews of the company and/or reach out on LinkedIn or on other professional networks to some people that work there; ask if they would recommend it.
  2. Ask the person you are in contact with, if you are allowed to use the task results in your portfolio.
  3. Ask any questions related to the brief that you need clarified in order to gain more context on the task.
  • Context — Challenge — Generative research & results — Evaluative research & results — Solution (Typography, Color palette, Business perspective, Visual design, Prototype & results) — Take away
  • Context — Challenge — Research — Solution (Design logic, Typography, Colors) — Testing results — Lessons
  • Context — Challenge — Ideal features — Process with 4 iterations that encompass (a) research, (b) findings and © implementation — Enlighten
  • High fidelity desktop design ready for a developer to turn into a workable page.
  • Document explaining all your design decisions and showing any research and analysis.”

Follow your process and fill in your template

  • What the brand stands for: List of 3 adjectives that can be associated with it based on the brief or the recruiter’s answer to your question or your own perception after checking the website and the ”About” section.
  • Style guide: typography, palette, iconography etc.
  • Profile: location, age, interests, life stage, needs or any other elements that you consider relevant for your context (simplified personas).
  • Jobs to be done & interaction with the website: ask a few friends/colleagues to give you feedback on how easy it is to find the needed information, to decide to take action or to attain other goals connected with the re-design.
  • Look up 2–3 competitors in the same field.
  • List them and notice how they deal with the problem you are trying to solve.
Fig. 2. UI & UX Analysis of website
Fig. 3. Design decisions for website conversion

Prepare the epilogue of design-tasks

  • Test the new design with potential users.
  • Test if a certain image or word gets better results (in this case, for eg. testing ’award’ versus ’certification’ and the original hero image versus the new one).
  • Test the flow and iterate on the feedback.
  • Do a card sorting activity to determine intuitive top navigation categories.
  • What is confusing?
  • What is memorable?
  • What is missing?
  • What could be removed?
  • What could I have done better?
  • Please comment on my choice for navigation.
  • Do you feel this layout will allow potential customers to easy access the most important information?
  • Did I grasp the brand identity right?
  • Have I identified the issues correctly?
  • Would a different visual direction have more appeal?
  • Why do you think so?

Bottom line

  1. Get information on the credibility of the company asking for the task.
  2. Ask for consent to using the result in your portfolio.
  3. Clarify any questions related to the brief and the goal of the task.
  4. Decide on the process you will follow and create a template.
  5. State the goal concisely and determine best visualisation and best text-support.
  6. Prepare the end: what you would do next & questions that will help you improve.

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Curious about human behaviour, technology and their mix. Passionate about learning and always looking for opportunities to connect.

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Catalina Mueller

Catalina Mueller

Curious about human behaviour, technology and their mix. Passionate about learning and always looking for opportunities to connect.

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