Case Study

YouScience

YouScience

Helping Students Identify Their Future

YouScience is an online aptitude assessment that identifies students’ strengths and weaknesses and helps them chart their educational and career paths accordingly. Each student receives an extremely detailed analysis and summation of their results after completing an aptitude assessment. The YouScience team realized that results were not resonating in the way they had hoped; students were struggling to consume and make sense of overly detailed and academically composed reports.

They partnered with Handsome to deeply understand the students they were trying to reach and to re-design their product in a way that facilitated a rich dialogue between the student and the YouScience platform.

Understanding context

To help students fully understand the results of this assessment, we had to not only think about what was being communicated to them, but we also needed to know the context in which students would take the assessment and receive the results.

We did in-depth research with students in high school and college to understand their current experience with the product and where the breakdown in understanding was occurring. We developed rich personas and storyboards about how a new experience could work. Early and frequent user testing helped us understand how we could create a more ideal user experience.

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One-on-one interviews were conducted with college students

Creating “Me Statements”

A key component to optimizing the YouScience user experience was framing the conversation in a new way. Rather than giving the user the definition of an aptitude and how it relates to them, we framed the conversation around how the aptitude affected them from a social and work environment perspective. We also offered statements they could use to help them describe themselves to others. This gave users context through real world examples rather than overly academic definitions.

Me Statements pictured above

This discovery also led students to being able to better speak about themselves and what they are good at in a way that could easily transfer to professional or educational contexts; one of the goals the YouScience team set for the platform early on.

Understanding becomes actionable

Through research, we uncovered that the Youscience “results” experience lacked these three primary qualities:

Buy In

  • Even though the results of YouScience felt accurate to users, not every statement resonated strongly. Users wanted the data they related to the most, to be readily available; to best support students in forging the career path most suited to them.

Curation

  • One of YouScience’s biggest and least leveraged assets was a discussion guide breakdown of aptitude highlights that users could download as a PDF. The statements included were meant to support the user in easily creating resumes, college essays, and provide talking points to facilitate discussion with others. This tool had a lot of potential that wasn’t being realized in its current state because the system was automatically generating the bulky report for users, and they were again overwhelmed by the dense amount of data to comb through.

Clarity

  • YouScience has the ability to facilitate students gaining clarity and focus around a more actionable path for their future. Although the current results experience was so confusing and overwhelming for users that it was undermining the ability of the tool. Users felt so underwater trying to digest the plethora of information, that clear paths forward did not manifest easily.

 

The Solution

Turn Aptitudes into Action. The solution was clear and derived from the design criteria generated during research; the new experience facilitated users selecting and curating the statements that they truly felt described them. This curation replaced the bloated PDF and provided users with a more simplified and digestible discussion guide. In return this created buy in and clarity by giving a sense of ownership in how a user wants to present them selves to the world.

Building a framework

Reflections

Most of us can reflect on a time in early adulthood where we weren’t sure which path to take. For a long time, the majority of students have relied on peer and parental reflection as well as standardized test results to give them information about what their aptitudes are.

We were floored by the power and accuracy of YouScience and loved working with their passionate team to re-imagine how we could make YouScience an even better tool of understanding for students. By giving users the ability to respond to their aptitudes and build their own results profile, the YouScience experience transcends aptitude assessment. It provides a vehicle for guidance and clarity for their future. Many thanks for the YouScience team for exploring and playing with us to reimagine a better experience for your users.