Scout Jobs

Scout is an online jobs board which sells listings to employers in the hospitality and creative industries. The service is run by Broadsheet, one of Australia’s most popular city guides.

The team wanted to increase employer retention within their platform and improve ease of navigation.

Note: All details in the screenshots have been replaced for confidentiality.
Applicants page of the Scout Jobs platform

The challenge

In order to generate more revenue, the team at Scout wanted to increase the retention rate of existing employers through improving  their experience on the platform. Having a small team and a limited development budget, they wanted to find the biggest bang-for-buck solution to achieve this.

As the platform had not received any major updates in the last 5 years, the team had concerns over how intuitive the platform was for its employers to use, and suggested we look into the usability of the dashboard.

Scout’s old dashboard page
Scout’s existing dashboard page, which employers see on sign-in
  • UX research data
  • Key personas and journey maps
  • Usability testing
  • UI prototype
Chris Wood
UX Designer
John Chaimberlain
UX Designer
Aomi Ito
UX Designer
Rachel Falco
Sales Manager at Scout Jobs
Jarrad McLean
Product Manager at Scout Jobs

2 weeks



Following on from our briefing, we identified 3 types of employer to focus our research on: Hiring Managers in Design, HR staff in Hospitality, and Restaurant Managers.

survey respondents
Competitor analysis

Clustering employer survey data

Clustering the results from the employer survey

Scout had conducted a survey 2 months earlier with 101 employers who use their platform, and we were given access to the results. The survey focused on the employers’ experience using the platform and how they thought it could be improved.

We clustered the data, separating the responses by industry to identify trends in the design and creative sectors versus trends in hospitality.

Describing their experience with Scout

  • Ease of navigation was the 2nd most common response for hospitality and creative hiring managers

Feature requests

  • Hospitality conglomerates had the fewest feature requests (66% had none)
  • The top request from small hospitality companies was easier filtering of candidates (20%)
  • 17% of design industry hirers wanted to be able to proactively headhunt candidates


We used our personal networks and conducted intercept interviews to speak to 3 Hiring Managers in Design, 2 Managers in Hospitality and 1 Recruiter.

Sharing with us their processes, needs, and pain points, our interviewees painted a picture of their challenges when looking for new staff.

“Return on investment is key.”
“I’ll look to my personal network and my employees’ networks first"
“It’s hard to find someone who will stay.”


We installed Hotjar on the platform and set up heatmap tracking on the 13 main pages. Over the next 2 weeks, the tool would collect data on where each user clicked and how far down the page they scrolled. This would let us see which features and pages were the most heavily used.

We recorded over 1400 page views during this period.

Competitor analysis

Creating employer accounts on Pedestrian, Urban List and Seek, we researched what kind of experiences employers are used to when they post on competing jobs boards.


Hospitality worker working in their restaurant

Hiring hospitality staff

Finding someone who will stay
Hospitality hiring managers’ biggest priority was getting the best return on investment. They judged this based on the cost of the hiring and training process vs how long the new employee stays in the role.
small hospitality companies on Scout
70% of businesses in Melbourne
6-12 months
Frequency of looking for new staff
35% cited as way of retaining employees
hospitality conglomerates on Scout
72% of businesses in Melbourne
1-3 months
Frequency of looking for new staff
Career development
38% cited as way of retaining employees
Creative staff member

Hiring creative staff

Finding the right culture fit
Creative industry hiring managers look for staff who have a specific attitude and personality in addition to the correct skillset and experience. They proactively look for candidates throughout the year who meet these stringent criteria.
Creative companies on Scout
50% of businesses in Melbourne, 50% in Sydney
30% said always  looking for new staff
Flexible work arrangements
22% cited as way of retaining employees
“Sometimes I find superstars, but they're just not a good culture fit.”

Identifying opportunities

Collating our research insights, we sought to identify which personas have contact with Scout, what their most significant pain points are, and which opportunities existed to add value to their journey.

journey maps

Defining personas

By reviewing our research insights, we identified 2 personas who represent employers in different industries currently using Scout’s platform.

This allowed us to better understand their needs, behaviours and pain points, enabling us to produce solutions which are relevant and helpful for them.

View personas:

Preview of the personas for “David” and Michelle”

Focusing on David’s journey

With David accounting for 53% of the survey responses and the client indicating hospitality as the industry which used the platform the most, we were ready to dive deeper into David’s hiring process. We began mapping out how David hires a new staff member via Scout.

Photo of Aomi drawing a customer journey map on a whiteboard
Jose’s journey
Scout was looking to attract more creative employers: Michelle was the priority

Pivoting from David to Michelle

We met with the client to present the personas and explained our rationale for focusing on David’s problem areas and opportunities.

While the client understood our reasoning, they were interested in taking a different direction.

Scout said that their primary jobseeking audience was readers of their parent company’s magazine, Broadsheet. The readers were interested in finding work in design and architecture. They wanted to focus on improving Michelle’s experience on the platform so that they could tap into additional revenue in this market.

Michelle’s journey and opportunities

We shifted our focus to Michelle to help cater for Scouts’s creative employers’ needs and grow their business in this area.

Equipped with our research insights, we mapped out the steps Michelle takes when an employee resigns, and she needs to find a new suitable team member.

We saw the lowest point in the journey as the greatest area of opportunity for helping Michelle and selected the opportunity most relevant to the brief of improving usability.
Lowest point
Michelle spends hours sifting through the applicants’ resumes and portfolios and shortlists the most appropriate
Greatest Opportunity
How might we make filtering out unsuitable applicants more efficient?

Understanding behaviours

Before ideating, we needed to better understand Michelle’s behaviour and expectations when using the site to filter candidates.

This would show us which features were inefficient for Michelle to use and where we could make the most significant improvements.

Heatmap sessions
Information architecture testers
Current state testers

Identifying most used features

We reviewed the data collected from the 13 heatmaps from we had set up on Hotjar the week before. By sorting the features on each page by how often users clicked on them, we could paint a picture of which features Michelle and David were using most frequently and how they were accessing them.

Sorting the most used features using post it notes based on heatmap click data

Testing information architecture

We then set up a remote card sorting activity and invited 5 Davids and Michelles to group the most used features of the platform into categories. This would show us on which pages they expected to find these features.

The results confirmed that the current site hierarchy matched Michelle and David’s existing mental model, albeit with one small change: they would choose to call the “Jobs” section “My Jobs” instead, and call the “Applicants” section “Applications”.

Testing information architecture using a remote card sorting tool

Current state testing



Possessing an in-depth knowledge of Michelle’s goals, behaviours, pain points and expectations, we then moved onto ideation to see how we could make her task of filtering candidates more efficient on Scout.

Crazy eights
Ideation workshop sketches


How might we help Michelle filter out unsuitable applicants more efficiently?

We conducted 2 rounds of “Crazy Eights” we each sketched 8 ideas on paper before presenting them, then voted on our favourites. In the second round, we merged the best ideas from the first round into a solution before presenting and voting again.

Winning solution

A new dashboard where Michelle can process candidates without having to sift through menus

During current state testing, we found that the dashboard was not meeting Michelle’s expectations. We identified this as a key opportunity to provide her with an interface to review candidates more efficiently.


Prototyping & testing

We sourced testers who fit Miguel’s persona and conducted current state testing with them. Using their insights, we were able to identify Miguel’s pain points on the platform and how it could be improved to help him find relevant work.

We produced a Figma prototype to improve the jobs board experience for Miguel, testing and iterating until validated.

pages modified

Prototype concept

We set out to create a new dashboard which showed Michelle the candidates she had to review in a gamified card format, her shortlisted candidates, and quick links to manage her job advert. She could also switch between different active job adverts.

We set out to test whether this would:

  • Speed up the candidate review process
  • Help communicate the candidates' personality
  • Improve access to Michelle's most-used features
  • Show helpful at-a-glance data

We sketched out the concept on paper before building a low-fidelity prototype in Figma.

Paper dashboard wireframe
A sketched wireframe of the new dashboard, featuring a gamified card-based candidate review feature, easy access to the shortlist, and analytics data.

Testing the concept

We tested this new dashboard concept with 3 testers and were met with a mixed reception.

Only 1 out of 3 testers interacted with the card review feature

The other 2 testers used the “My jobs” navigation menu link and the existing functionality. 1 tester incorrectly thought that the shortlisting was done automatically by the system.

We concluded that our lo-fi prototype was not clearly communicating the feature and iterated it.

Low-fidelity prototype - iteration 1
Iteration 1 of the new dasboard

Simplifying the layout

“I want to see the date they applied and how much experience they have"

To see if we could increase the amount of interaction with the new dashboard, we tried making the candidate card view more prominent and adding in more information which Michelle said she would find useful from the last round of testing.

Testing the new layout

“I’d prefer to deal with the candidates in a list"
4 out of 4 testers used the current list functionality to review candidates.

Our testers had a positive first impression of this page and 2 out of 4 of them interacted with the cards; however, they still ended up looking for a list view. Evidently, we needed to rethink this "quick review” feature to make it more valuable to Michelle.

Low-fidelity prototype
Iteration 2 of the new dasboard, featuring a simplified layout and a more prominent card-based candidate review feature.

Adding list view

To verify whether Michelle would find a list of candidates more useful than the quick review card system on the dashboard, we added a toggle to switch between the two views.

3 out of 3 testers preferred the list view
“I don’t see the value in the card view"

We came to the conclusion that while the new dashboard was helping Michelle access her most used parts of the site more quickly, this card view functionality was not helping her filter candidates more effectively.

We removed card view altogether, as Michelle saw much more value in list view
Adding a switch from card view to list view
Iteration 3, containing a switch to toggle between list view and card view.

Validating the prototype

The final dashboard prototype


Dashboard video walkthrough


"Your hard work hasn't gone unnoticed and we will look to make these ideas come to life!"
Rachel Falco
Sales Manager at Scout Jobs

The client has added the development of the new dashboard prototype into their timeline and will implement it once the company sees through turbulence from to the covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to stay in touch to hear how the platform progresses.

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