AgileTA Platform

Candidate Recruitment Application • Design Lead from Oct 2017 – Apr 2019  (1y 7m)
Project Overview
The AgileTA Platform is IBM’s tool for applying Agile methodologies to talent acquisition. Following the IBM AgileTA framework, teams of recruiters, sourcers, and hiring managers work within dedicated scrum teams to optimize the time spent between identifying a need for a new hire to finding the most qualified candidate for the job. With an underlying applicant tracking system as the primary data source, the AgileTA Platform serves as a simplified gateway to managing requisitions, candidates, and scrum project teams.
My Contributions
I joined the IBM Talent Acquisition team as the first dedicated UX designer in charge of improving the existing experience to the AgileTA Platform, in addition to leading the MVP designs of 2 new product ideas to form an integrated product suite that compliments the sourcing, recruiting and interviewing touch points of a candidate’s journey. A few months after joining as TA Design Lead, the team scaled to include two contract designers based in Dalian, China, one full time designer and one design co-op based in Cambridge, MA with me.
A kanban view of a single job requisition in a project.
AgileTA Platform is the sourcing and recruiting touchpoint in the candidate hiring experience, with the primary target audience being IBM Talent Acquisition Partners. Also sharing integrated features with its two sister offerings, Cognitive Interview Concierge (since renamed to "Select for IBM") and Proactive Sourcer (since renamed to "Demand for IBM"). The candidate profile is the anchor feature that is consistent in design and data across platforms, with interaction patterns designed cross-suite for consistency and automation.
The TA Suite

Final designs

UI designs last completed by me in April 2019.
Resemblant of the Agile development practices, as a Talent Acquisition Partner you can use this space to assign job requisitions to your project team and plan 6 week TA sprints to focus your deliverables.
Plan your backlog and sprint commitments
When working in an active sprint, focus on the success of each job requisition in depth with individual kanban lists of candidates in review. When screening candidates, this view ties with another TA Suite offering called Proactive Sourcer to suggest candidates in the pipeline based on their matching qualifications.
Track candidate progress per requisition
A list of all requisitions in your active sprint.
When tracking candidate progress, the profile is designed to provide comprehensive information across the lifecycle of a candidate's journey (when sourcing, recruiting, and interviewing) while also heavily focusing on avoiding unconscious bias in the decision makers at key moments.
View inclusive-first candidate profiles
View your progress at a glance during active sprints, or after your sprint ends view an analysis of how efficiently you and your hiring team completed your original sprint plan.
Report on your sprint progress
Sprint reports page in TA Platform.
Create and manage projects around related hiring goals, such as around the needs of particular business units, job roles to be filled, geographies, or nature of the project timelines (agile vs. evergreen).
Create mission-aligned project teams
Creating a new mission-aligned project team in the TA Platform.Dropdowns open when creating a new project team.
Also available as a standalone product specifically targeted for Talent Acquisition Sourcers called Demand for IBM, hiring teams can kickoff their screening process per job by running a match algorithm to rapidly shortlist candidates to the job kanban board.
Cut down candidate screening time with the match algorithm
Candidate sourcing algorithm matches listed out in the TA Platform.

Dig deeper...

In my time on the project team, the site went through 3 major iterations over the course of a year and a half. After the launch of the MVP, the second iteration centered around optimizing the site for responsive and mobile screens, and the third iteration focused on adopting the newly evolved IBM design language and Carbon Design System.

The MVP designs and information architecture were established by the original design lead and product owner, and the second and third versions were initiated and led by me.
Design progression
I primarily planned and conducted the user research studies, with evaluative studies focusing on feature enhancements and overall ease of use through objective usability testing, 5-second click testing, and card sorting. Due to AgileTA Platform serving as one touch point in a greater journey, the majority of generative user research (user interviews, diary studies, surveys) was performed looking across the suite of offerings.

As the design team grew, I began experimenting with ways to split up research plans across facilitators, and speed up synthesis across the team through observation guides and debrief worksheets. Due to our team being distributed globally and serving global audiences with diverse needs, the majority of our research and collaborative activities were facilitated remotely.
User research
In order establish ongoing relationships with users and better connect the whole product team members (product stakeholders, designers, engineers) collaboration, I designed a sponsor user 12 week cohort program drawing inspiration from mentors and using the IBM Enterprise Design Thinking framework as the core foundation. The outcome resulted in updated and detailed personas, defined functional requirements and needs statements, cross-functional design ideation sessions, and priority participation in usability testing, diary studies, and user acceptance testing.

Before onboarding our first cohort of 8 participants across 3 countries (U.S., Ireland, India), I facilitated a planning workshop with our product teams and key stakeholders across the suite to align on hopes & fears, research goals, and prioritized uncertainties to explore over 3 months.

Learn more about EDT
Sponsor User Program
Soon after joining the team, I documenting the existing IA in a site map and after conducting initial research through stakeholder and user interviews proposed some page name changes and order of user task flows in order to ease the flow from planning sprints, tracking work, and reporting progress upline.

For features shared across the TA Suite such as the candidate profile, I defined display logic with the development teams so that users would see the most relevant information of a candidate based on what step of the service journey they were at.
Information Architecture
For the majority of my time as the TA Design Lead, I led a team of 4 other designers—including 2 contract designers based in Dalian, China, 1 full time designer and 1 design co-op based in Cambridge, MA with me. Due to the time zone differences, our collaboration happened virtually through our tools (Airtable, Mural, Github, Box) or in sessions outside of normal office hours based on personal preferences and flexibility.

This remote setting brought it’s challenges, but it prompted me to regularly experiment with new methods that expedited our hand off times on projects and gave every team member an equal opportunity to apply their expertise towards shared design challenges.
Design Collaboration
I had the pleasure to have Beth as my delegated manager / mentor during my time as a Product Design Intern at IBM. She is a talented designer and an inspiring mentor. Since before I joined, Beth put in a lot of effort to ensure that I had a fruitful internship experience. One of the many things she did was preparing me a Trello board with links to design resources and opportunities for stretch projects, which made the on-boarding experience to the team very exciting. I worked on several projects during my time at IBM, and Beth gave with me a clear overview of the purpose of every task. I appreciate her effort in making sure I know how my work would contribute to the team’s goals. Furthermore, whether it was helping me outline my summer goals or spending every other Friday to reflect, Beth made sure to give 100% to being approachable and transparent about my performance since the beginning. Without Beth's mentorship, I can confidently say that I wouldn't have learned and grown as much as I did in 10 weeks.
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