As you know we started rollout of the new and improved News and Links sections in CareerHub. We don’t often decide to re-invent things just for fun (sometimes we do), but in this case obviously we want to start the process of moving the Resources sections in CareerHub into a new direction.
One driving force behind this is because we’re in the process of redesigning the student interface. While looking at really good ideas to make CareerHub work better for students, we have identified a few changes that we need to the core structure of the data in the resources area. And, as one thing always leads to another, we are taking the opportunity to make things work better all round.
What needs improving?
Currently everything in the student interface is organised for them firstly by the resources ‘type’ (News, FAQs, Info Sheets, Websites) then by a series of categories including a resource specific category then Service, Discipline and finally Campus.
Not only is it a lot of work to add these items with all the categories , but it is also a lot of work for students to find them.
Consider this situation:
I am a student looking for information and help on ‘resume writing’. Currently I would need to look to see if there are any News items then.. find the appropriate category (or closest one) that I expect I might find resume writing help in and then after I get a perhaps somewhat relevant list of News items I need to read them.
I might get frustrated because I didn’t find anything and decide to just Google it. Or if I am persistent then I could now do the exact process above for FAQ’s, Info Sheets and Websites.
This seems a bit tedious when all the student wanted was anything you had to help me with Resume Writing
Making it better
So if we think about this process, the motivation for the student is to find help on the topic of ‘resume writing’. It doesn’t really matter what type of resource it is so long as it helps with the topic.
So… to make it better we can remove the layer in front of them where they have to choose a resource type first, and just let them look for ‘topics’. We don’t need to ask them to look at resource names such as ‘websites, info sheets etc.
The resource ‘type’ is really an admin function because you need to navigate to add different types of resources because they each have different processes for adding them.
How do ‘topics work’
By now most of will probably be familiar with the concept of ‘labelling’ in CareerHub or even in your Gmail account, or ‘tagging’ in Facebook. ‘Topics’ are similar, it is a free form tool where within a few words you can summarise what the resource you are adding is about. Of course you can add multiple ‘topics’ to any resource if it is useful to to this. Unlike ‘labels’, ’topics’ are visible to students.
In our observations most resources are suitable for any student. So they are literally categorised under all Discipline, Service and Campus categories too. In the upcoming model you only need to add topics where appropriate, so you may add ‘resume writing’ and ‘science’ as topics to a resource.
If a science student looks under the ‘science’ topic they will find all resources you have directly related to ‘science’ including the ‘resume writing’. If they look under ‘resume writing’ they will find all the help you have on this topic + the specific one you have which also has a topic of ‘science’
If they search ‘resume writing for science students’ they will get the specific resource at the top of their results.
By changing to this model we no longer need to think about everything in terms of Service, Discipline and Campus.
This model has served us well in the past but… times change and so do expectations and needs. Once we transition all the resources away form the current restrictions of categories we are then free to re-think how job searching and categorisations work and make some improvement in that area.
For all UK universities, and an increasing number of Australian and New Zealand universities, we now have the benefit of direct student system synchronisation. This means we can move forward to target jobs directly to students based on this what they are known to be studying rather than a summarised listing of Disciplines. There are also other advantages that this method will bring - but more about this later ;)
As always if you want to find out more ask on the CareerHub LinkedIn group or send as an email or call.