The Government Operations Agency (GovOps) and the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) were in need of a partner to help modernize the CA Jobs website. The CA Jobs is the site that everyone in the state of California uses to apply for jobs in state service.
CalHR selected Kiefer Consulting to help with the design, branding, usability, information architecture, and implementation of the CA jobs site.
According to GovOps and CalHR, there were a few critical areas that would be addressed in the redesign of the CA Jobs site.
- Audiencing: Both agencies felt that it was necessary to tailor the user experience to help visitors find jobs that match their skill set. Audiencing would be important to helping users that may not be familiar with the process of applying for a position in state service.
- Search: Improved search would allow visitors to the site to search for jobs using broader parameters than permitted on the legacy CA Jobs site. Visitors to CA Jobs were unable to perform relevancy sorting on the search results and couldn’t search the Job Description and Duties field of the job posting. The legacy CA Jobs did not allow visitors to sort and filter your search results.
- Responsiveness: The legacy CA Jobs site was responsive in design, however, the design of the site needed to be updated and optimized for mobile.
In working with the client, it became clear that the new site should be welcoming and less bureaucratic than traditional state of California websites. The website needed to be easy for users to get to information quickly and be more user-centric in design. In order to become more user-friendly, the site would have to accommodate users that were unfamiliar with common acronyms in state service and may not clearly understand the process of applying for a job with the state.
Modernizing a legacy website is a major undertaking and requires a team with expertise in project management, analysis, branding, usability, information architecture, automated workflows, personalization, social media, and modern web programming for current browsers and mobile devices. The Kiefer team was selected to help modernize the site and make the site more inviting to job seekers that are interested in working for the state agency.
Kiefer worked closely with CalHR to develop a responsive and accessible CA Jobs website.
Project highlights include:
- Kiefer leveraged best practices and technology accelerators that were at the core of other successful website redesign projects. This allowed CalHR to get a working site up quickly. The approach was iterative and leveraged agile methodologies in order to deliver a working site in less time than traditional development methods. The phased approach to the design of the site allows us to adapt and improve the site based on user experience and feedback. In addition, the agile approach allowed CalHR to achieve near term goals and establish a foundation for long term success
- Kiefer worked closely with CalHR to gather requirements across traditional departmental boundaries. This approach allowed CalHR to establish a shared vision for project success.
- Usability testing helped Kiefer and CalHR design a user experience that matched the audiences that were visiting the CA Jobs website. The site now allows visitors to identify as a current state employee, new to state service, veteran, person with disability, or state retiree. By self-identifying, the experience can be customized to meet the specific needs of the audience.
- Broader search allows users to now search for jobs by title, classification, description, career or Industry, or geographic location. The improved search helps visitors by matching their skill set to available jobs within the state.
- Reducing the number of clicks that are required to get to key information on the CA Jobs site. The goal was to make it easy for users to get to information quickly and for the experience to be intuitive.
- A site that is designed to attract audiences that are harder to recruit into state service. The new site allows CalHR to connect potential applicants with jobs that are more technical in nature. Specifically state jobs in healthcare, IT and science.
- Governance plans and detailed design documents.
The CA Jobs website is easier to use, offers features that were previously unavailable and is compliant with State of California web accessibility requirements. Kiefer’s use of web development accelerators allowed Kiefer to deliver broad functionality in less time than it would have taken to build the site from scratch.
The modernized site delivers an improved user-experience by removing acronyms and disposing of the bureaucratic feel of the legacy CA Jobs site.
Audiencing and improved search capabilities deliver a better user experience that helps visitors find job openings that meet their skill set faster.
The new CA Jobs website is currently in beta with more users are being presented the new CA Jobs site. CalHR and the Kiefer Consulting team continue to solicit more feedback from site visitors and are making improvements based on their feedback. Additional capabilities and site features will be addressed in future releases of the CA Jobs re-design project.