Alison Owen
by Alison Owen
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The key in UX design is to balance form with function 

Creating an outstanding user experience (UX) doesn’t happen by chance - your website must achieve your brand design goals, while, critically, delivering an outstanding user experience that matches the candidate’s expectations.

Critical for success in a recruitment website UX is to first of all attract the candidate to your site, get them to register and complete an application and encourage them to recommend and share your details and content.

1. Lead the candidate to your chosen destination 

A research-led approach will help contextualise your thinking and pinpoint your target audience. Your candidate profile will inform the UX design, as different demographics will have different expectations from their experience, whether in terms of lifestage, location, profile type and preferred application style (eg via mobile, PC, etc). Optimising the UX design to suit preferred format can have a dramatic influence on candidate behaviour towards the chosen outcome.

An outstanding user experience leads the visitor along a predetermined path - without them even realising - and delivers strong results in terms of candidate registrations, applications and conversions.

2. Set design goals

With nearly half (48 percent) of all visitors considering a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the business’ credibility, your website must convey the right message to build trust between yourself and your audience. And with between just four and six seconds to make an impact, your site design must be interactive in order to convert visitors into applicants. It goes without saying that a site with outdated functionality and tech gives an impression of the business being outdated too.

Your site designer should challenge your thinking to give them a clear understanding of your pain points and your objectives - which will inform your design, your content and your success metrics.

3. Mobile first

With 48 percent of users saying that if they arrive on a business site that doesn’t work well on mobile, they feel the business is outdated and doesn’t care, make sure that your provider works to mobile-first design - responsive designing before taking it to bigger screens - as long as it’s relevant to your candidate profile. Starting with a full size site for a demographic that expects to use mobile only is less likely to work successfully.

More than 1.2 billion use mobile devices to access the web and this figure is only set to rise, and it’s worth remembering that, currently, no single screen size has more than 20 percent market share.

4. Effective signposting

Since a whopping 94 percent of a user’s first impressions are design-related, and because it takes just 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website, it’s critical to get your design right.

A good way of engaging people is through influencer tactics that signpost the user towards specified outcomes, including directional calls to action, prominent job search by keyword and location and a personalised logged-in page, all supported by relevant content.

"An outstanding user experience leads the visitor along a predetermined path."

5. Plan, monitor and refine

Creating the right experience takes planning. Planning out the entire user journey from when the visitor first lands on the site to the actions they take throughout their visit can pre-determine their path through the site, depending on your goals.

Heat-mapping and A/B testing verifies the approach and allows you to refine the navigation for consistency in line with the desired user flow.

UX design experts in recruitment 

Volcanic has delivered more than 700 websites in the global recruitment sector and, in 2017, nearly two million candidate registrations. Our wealth of experience combines our extensive experience in UX design for the recruitment sector with best industry practice for successful candidate conversions. Get in touch to join the Volcanic success story.

Read more about the Volcanic SEO strategy to help boost your search rankings Download our Recruiter's Guide to SEO


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