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Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

Client Analysis
General Information
Team 3's task is to redesign the FSU Career Center's employer's website. The Career Center is an oncampus organization that assists students, alumni and employers who are seeking employment or employees. The Career Center also provides services such as rsum workshops, career days and job listings for employers. The mission of the Career Center is to establish their services and brand as worldclass, according to Career Center staff. Currently, we are looking to reorganize information based on categories, cut outdated or otherwise unnecessary content and rework site navigation. The Career Center's site will be hosted by FSU's IT department. We are rebranding the current site based on comments and concerns from Career Center staff and employers. The aim of this project is to revise their web presence, located at http://www.career.fsu.edu/, under the Employers menu. We do not envision a URL change, as we are reworking existing content. Team 3's contact is Myrna Hoover, Program Director for Employer Relations and Services. Her office is located on-campus in the Career Center. She will be working for us as a consultant, relaying what both the Career Center staff and employers desire from the redesigned web site. Her e-mail address is mhoover@fsu.edu and her phone number is 6444023. In addition to Ms. Hoover, our secondary contacts are Natalie Jean and Tex Hudgens. Ms. Jean is responsible for information delivery, web accessibility and servers as a Career Counselor and Advisor. Ms. Jean's e-mail address is mjeans@fsu.edu and her phone number is 644-9779. Mr. Hudgens coordinates meetings with the Career Center staff and serves as the primary web coordinator. Mr. Hudgen's e-mail address is thudgens@fsu.edu and his phone number is 644-3085. Our primary deliverable is a prototype version of the Career Center's employers site. This prototype will be tested by Career Center staff and prospective audience members. The project will move to another set of students who will create the final version during Spring 2012. As of now, our timeline estimates that the prototype will be completed at the end of the Fall 2011 semester. The Career Center staff is aware of our schedule and is prepared to wait until Spring 2012 for the final project. This date is tentative, as issues such as prototype redesigns, student schedules and a desire to implement a new content management system must be taken into account. The budget for this project is not a factor, as the work will be provided by students, which means no material costs. Our only cost is labor, which will take the form of research, developing, testing, and finalizing the prototype for the Career Center.

Reasons for redesign


Expounding upon our initial explanation, the reasons for the redesign are numerous. The client's main reasons for the redesign are to rebrand the Career Center, explain the various services and opportunities that the Career Centers offers in a concise and informative format, and establish a professional appearance to prospective audience members, be they students, alumni or employers. Much of the content on the site is either uninformative, outdated, or both. The client has stated that informing the audience of their organization is a challenge since there are a myriad of services offered by the Career Center. The primary objective of the redesign is to revamp navigation and information placement on the site. The current model requires users to dig and sift through links without any semblance of positioning. Information is only grouped by questions and needs, rather than by categories. Secondary goals of the redesign include fewer service calls from employers and increased usage of Career Center services. The effectiveness of Page 1 of 10

Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

the redesign will be measured through the amount of service calls received, as well as services such as Google Analytics. To meet this goal, new business policies are to be instated. Currently, maintenance of the web site falls upon various staff who are led by Mr. Hudgens. Should the Career Center move to a new Content Management System, maintenance and update privileges will be granted to department heads, with final approval coming from either Mr. Hudgens or the Web Site Task Force Committee. Web staff will also perform housekeeping duties such as the removal of dead links, culling outdated information and creating an archive of information deemed relevant for safekeeping. Much of the current information is either outdated, broken or both. Career Center staff acknowledges the need to maintain current, up-to-date information is essential to improving the organization's web presence. The Career Center staff is looking for a website that is world-class, professional and informative, yet easy to use. This is in stark contrast to how the Career Center claims employers perceive their site, which has been described as frustrating, agonizing, and broken. The organization as a whole considers themselves to be successful, helpful and respected. What separates the FSU Career Center from others is not only the multitude of services offered, but how they are offered. For employers, services such as job postings and career fairs are appreciated, but the Career Center maintains a dialogue with partners. The 10 employer relations staff meets with employers to discuss their needs, take feedback and, perhaps most importantly, inform employers of how to get involved. What we are here to do is to incorporate the best aspects of the Career Center, such as their services and expertise, and showcase those to prospective partners through the web site.

Current Site

Picture of the FSU Career Centers main webpage (Fig. 1)

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Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

The FSU Career Center has an existing site that we are working to renovate. The URL for the site is http://www.career.fsu.edu/. The aspect we are specifically focusing on is the employers site, which is broken up into several sections based on need.

Picture of Recruiting Talent (Employers), FSU Career Center (Fig. 2) The site is being constantly updated with new events, job offers from employers and news. Main areas, such as those in the employer pages, are seldom updated, leading to broken, outdated and useless information. The site was designed by the Career Center staff and is updated by maintenance staff. The only aspect of the site that the Career Center would like to retain during the redesign is the color scheme. We also agree that the color scheme is salvageable, as it not only conforms to FSU design guidelines, but also lends a pleasing aesthetic to the site. However, the client is open to a new color scheme, as long as it meets design guidelines and is a noticeable improvement over the current scheme. As for perceived shortcomings, the client is unhappy with nearly every aspect of the site. The largest complaint is the way information is structured. Information is categorized by phrases describing a need, such as Recruit talent, or Plan your travel. Even when the audience is able to find a phrase matching their specific need, they must view a page filled with links, some of which are either broken or out of date. This requires users to spend copious amounts of time viewing the links, hoping to stumble upon information matching their need. The client also expressed concern over the amount of dead links littering the site, many of which either show no information or outdated information. The client has not conducted any usability tests, but receives feedback from employers on a consistent basis through service calls. The calls from employers often touch upon subjects such as how to post a job, where to find information such as student statistics, and who to contact regarding on-campus promotions. These service calls were described by the client as numerous, stressful, and frustrating for both the client and the audience. Page 3 of 10

Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

If the client could choose three things to change about the site to accommodate employers, their picks would include: Reorganize the information structure of the site, clean up dead or unnecessary links and place greater prominence on features that employers ask for, such as job postings and on-campus opportunities.

Competitive Benchmark Analysis


Benchmark #1 University of Central Florida Career Services (http://www.career.ucf.edu/Default.aspx) The first website Team 3 evaluated was the University of Central Florida's Career Services page. This website connects not only students, alumni and employers, but also provides information for faculty and families looking for information regarding post-graduate education or what prospective employers are seeking. Some of the positives of this site include pictures designating each category, easy navigation and the ability to access information quickly through a drop down menu. The features that an employer would need, such as posting jobs/internships, contacting Career Services staff and recruiting, are readily available through this menu. The aspects that we did not like include the lack main header graphics and the cluttered home page. The news and events should be displayed front and center instead of relegated to a corner. There was also red text near the bottom that clashed with the background and felt out of place. We would like to adopt the way that UCF Career Services grouped their information by subject, rather than need.

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Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

Picture of UCF Career Services (Fig. 3) Benchmark #2 University of Miami Toppel Career Center (http://www.sa.miami.edu/toppel/mainsite/employers/Default.aspx) The second website our team benchmarked was the University of Miami's Toppel Career Center. This site has nice, attractive graphics such as a cycling main header graphic, an easy to read gray on white motif and tabs at the top to switch between groups. The aspects of this site Team 3 liked were the main header graphic and prominent features displayed on the homepage such as the recruiter handbook. What bothered us was the fact that many of the pictures in the main header were not linked to anything specific. There was also a lack of news and upcoming events posted on the page. The search bar is also too small and Page 5 of 10

Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

place inconspicuously, whereas the boxes displaying the log-in and Student Spotlight were too large. For our prototype, we would like to incorporate a scrolling header tailored to employers needs and provide easy access for partners to log-in.

Picture of UF Toppel Career Center (Fig. 4)

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Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

Content
In developing our prototype, we must address concerns regarding content. As of now, Team 3 is planning on receiving access to site content through the Website Task Force committee, with additional content placed on the SharePoint server. The committee will oversee approval of the content, with final approval reserved for Mr. Hudgens. The content will be audited and edited by staff members from the employers department. Content will be created and managed in-house. The content of the site is still TBD. The current maintenance staff needs to sort through the current content, determine its relevance and allow us access to content deemed acceptable. As it stands now, the basic structure of the employers site is divided into five pages in a menu, with additional links on each of the five pages. These five pages are organized by need, with links regarding each need placed on individual pages. The employer login is accessible from the home page on the right hand side under Our Tools. The client is expecting a complete overhaul of the site layout and organization. The visual elements the client wishes to retain are the logo, color scheme, and main header graphics. The client explained that many of the visual elements meet the FSU design guidelines, such as a garnet background, the FSU logo on display and gold borders. However, the client mentioned that, if possible, they were willing to support a color scheme redesign if time permits.

Technology/Infrastructure
During our meeting with Myrna Hoover, employer relations coordinator for the Career Center, our team asked several questions regarding the technology and infrastructure. We also ask several of these questions to Tex Hudgens, head of the Web Site Task Force Committee, in a prior meeting. The client's current users are primarily Windows users using Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. For the redesign, Ms. Hoover told us that an increasing number of users are visiting the site using the Apple Macintosh platform. She also expressed interest in tailoring specific features of the site, such as the job posting board, for mobile device users. The site currently uses a scrolling header image, which was coded in JavaScript. We would like to retain this feature in our redesign. It presents news, events and other related materials in a dynamic fashion. The Career Center is also interested in installing a new content management system, such as WordPress. This would allow various staff members to quickly post news, events and information to employers without the assistance of a web staff member. Should a content management system be adopted, posts would be approved and placed on the website by the maintenance staff. The client also has a database in place for employer logins. The software currently installed is called Career Services Manager by Symplicity. The Career Services Manager contains a calendar, job posting controls, room and booking management and file sharing capabilties. Content is stored on a MySQL back end server. The client said they were content with this solution, so we do not foresee a need to develop a new back end in the future. Secure transactions already occur on the current site. Employers log in to the Career Services Manager software via a secure link. A server-side application verifies the account information when an employer logs in. Cookies on the client side can be used to store log in information should security not be a concern. As for other technologies, the client asked us to retain the search function in the redesign. The search is currently powered by Google, using custom search on entries on the website.

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Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

Maintenance will be handled by the current web team at the Career Center. The client will continue updating the site on regular basis, likely twice a week, as news and events change. Technical issues will also be handled by the current web team, as will service calls. If the client does not move to a content management system, the existing update scheme, where updates are forwarded to the web team, will continue. If the client does implement a content management system, staff members will be able to make posts, with the web team approving the posts as they are submitted.

Audience Analysis
Intended primary users of the site
The intended primary users of this site are recruiters, human resources and public relations employees. Our team gathered this data during our interviews with the Career Center staff and independent research. We submitted a survey for employers to answer, but we have yet to receive data from this survey. The following information is what we consider to be our target demographic based off of our interviews: Gender: Male and female, about a even split Age: Mid 20s to early 40s Races: All racesEthnicity: N/A Religion: N/A Marital status: N/A Education: College educated with Bachelor's Degrees, some with post-graduate education (Masters) Occupation: Independent recruiters, Human Resources, Public Relations Socio Economic Status: Middle to Upper Middle class Technological Abilities: Intermediate to high, familiarity with online services

In speaking with our contacts at the Career Center, we were able to pinpoint around three specific tasks these primary users are looking to achieve when they visit the Career Center web site. These tasks are: I. Posting a job listing

The most important task to employers is posting job listings on the employers website. Currently, employers must click an employer login link on the right, input their credentials in the CSM software, then navigate to the job listing board and begin creating the listing. The main complaint the Career Center receives from employers is that the link is too small and insignificant. When employers click the employers section on the website, there is no option to post a job listing. II. Contact the Career Center

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Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

Another important task to employers is contacting the Career Center for more information regarding partnership opportunities, branding information or getting in touch with Career Center staff. Clicking on Partner with the Career Center on the web site takes visitors to a page with 8 links. These links don't immediately meet the need of providing a phone number or e-mail address, whereas our competitor's sites did. III. Access student statistics

Finally, the last important task an employer is looking to fulfill on a website is accessing student statistics. This is clearly marked on the web site as Access statistics on FSU students in the drop menu. The following page lists PDFs containing student statistics from 1999 to 2010. However, these links lack organization and are simply listed on the site. Considerations about our primary audience that we must keep in mind are time and alternate browsing devices. Our primary audience is comprised of employees who do not have the time or patience to navigate a mess of links that may or may not contain the information they're seeking. Our audience needs to be able to easily find what they're seeking with clear, concrete phrases such as Post a job listing or Contact Employer Relations. Finally, as many of our primary audience are busy and on-the-go, devices such as mobile phones and tablets must be able to access the site as well as a standard browser. The current site is described as difficult to navigate using a mobile browser.

Intended secondary users of the site


Our secondary audience for the FSU Career Center website is limited. When conducting our interviews, we learned that nearly most of the services calls are received from our primary audience. A manager simply has little need to post job listings or inquire about branding opportunities. However, we did envision a few scenarios where secondary users would be interested in the employers web site. Our first secondary audience member would be a department head of an employer. The department head, we surmised, skewed a bit to the older side, ranging from mid 30s to late 40s, with a college education. Their understanding of technology is oftentimes weaker than their younger counterparts. A department head may simply be interested in reviewing job listings and understanding how the system works, should changes need to be made. Our second secondary audience member would be a researcher looking to obtain information on the working conditions of a college graduate. We speculate that the researchers age is anywhere from mid 20s to early 40s. Their technical abilities are above average. A researcher may want to obtain data from the student statistic portion of the website to generate reports based on what the average salary is for a college graduate within a certain time span.

Research Process
Methods

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Client & Audience Analysis Greg Maxwell

Our research and information process began with attending meetings with our client at the Career Center, first as a group, then meeting with our individual contact, Myrna Hoover. During these meetings, we asked extensive questions regarding the Career Center, business goals, current issues with the site, expecatation for the revamp and more. Team 3 also constructed a survey for individual employers to complete so we could gain a greater understanding of our audience. Unfortunately, the surveys were not completed in time for this assignment. Therefore, we relied upon the demographic information supplied to us by the Career Center and our contact. Our goals for the remainder of this project are to receive the results from our survey, conduct interviews with several members of our primary audience, perform a card sort exercise and begin testing our prototype. Benchmarking our competitors sites allowed us to develop greater insight regarding what our primary audience is seeking from a career services website. The results of the sites we benchmarked are included in the section above titled Comparative Benchmark Analysis.

Materials Gathered
The materials gathered include a copy of the FSU Career Center Handbook 2011-12, a copy of the Employers Handbook 2011-12, and pending access to the Career Centers SharePoint server.

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