Most designs were created solely by myself, but often conceptualised with the startup's co-founder.
Context | After two years of development, Arbejd.com was finally ready to launch their MVP. Though they were happy with the technical foundation, they felt they needed a design refresh to match it. From a freelance position, I joined in on what turned out to be a close collaboration for 4+ months. My services spanned strategy, design, social media and business development, working mostly with the founding partner.
Target group | Arbejd.com targets trained workers more so than academics. The everyday John Doe of Denmark who’s seeking a job or workings for their business. The UX should be crystal clear as most don’t work with computers daily.
Situation | No time for nudging pixels; having just launched, updates were expected to be implemented as soon as possible. My designs and proposed strategies were therefore always based on this premise.
the website and visual identity | Lately I've started creating visual identities by coding. There are definitely pros and cons of this method, but for circumstances like this, with Arbejd.com, it made perfect sense. Instead of spending weeks or months creating a design system, I went ahead and figured it out as I developed their website. The brand color was already decided, but I found it too vague (the logo color), so I updated it with a more expressive green (buttons, green sections). To match it, the buttons got an even brighter drop shadow to spice things up a bit. Job seeking is serious, but it was important for me to make a bold statement: this platform is much more playful than the existing old mastodonts.
using illustrations | The team had already worked with an illustrator in creating a serie that showcases various parts of Denmark. I found these to be under utilised, but too dominant displayed on their own. The design solution was clear to me: they perform perfectly as low opacity backdrops, striking the balance of playful and serious I knew was important for this company. This became a core element in the identity.
Animations | Subtle animations can provide value for a company in helping them come off as modern. Frontrunners in web design work with animations. Having a website that does the same puts you in the same category, which creates trust and thus more potential customers because they like what they see. The basis of this is the halo effect; if you're succesful in creating a modern design, users might also perceive you as successful in creating a good product.
If you overdo it you're distracting users from their jobs-to-be-done. My design solution for this platform was simple staggered intro animations, mainly on the splash section.
fonts | Google Fonts recently added Suez One. A perfect font for this use case; geometric but with a slightly playful aspect to it.
poster design | The Suez font, the faded illustrations, the brighter green, overlapping Phone elements and the white bordered green sections. The core identity was in place.
This allowed me to quickly expand on other tasks, like this poster design. It reads: “Turn job seeking upside down and let the companies come to you”. I found this tongue-in-cheek framing to be suiting the brand. And have the bicycling crowd of Copenhagen turn their heads to figure out what the heading says.
Regional based post | Highlighting how many jobs there currently are in a specific profession in the regions across Denmark. The illustrations persist every week but the numbers and professions change. Bundled in a Facebook post, you can still see the content without having to click further. With this concept I wanted Arbejd.com to be able to post something regularly without having an established job posting database just yet.
Bundles | I came up with this concept of highlighting certain positions or showcase how many positions the job platform has at any given time. For LinkedIn the image background could be replaced by a video (highly compressed as you can see, but it allowed us to post multiple GIFS at once on LinkedIn, which pretty much no one else does. Which makes it an attention seeker).
everyday heroes campaign | Highlighting the everyday heroes; truck drivers, sales assistants, waiters, all those who make the cogwheels spin every day. Illustrations by Patrick Steptoe, speak by Per Vers.
banner ads | How do you stand out on a busy website? Yell even louder or be provocatively minimalistic? This exploration of banner ad designs had this exact premise. The final design was the minimalistic one, aiming to capture attention by being clean.
presentation design | Presentation design developed both as PDF and web presentation.
mailchimp template | Email template to accommodate the startup’s ongoing feature updates. Mailchimp doesn’t allow you to use custom fonts (wisely so as the support in email clients is horrible) so matching the visual identity wasn’t possible. Similarly it wasn’t possible to create overlapping elements, styling the divider and add button shadows. I decided, though, to go ahead with a fully designed email that users will still associate with the brand without lifting too many eyebrows.
Stories | Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. That offers brands an important credibility boost, since most people say less than half of brands create authentic content. Therefore I came up with the concept of "Stories" for Arbejd.com. Authentic, quick and simple knowledge sharing between the two target groups of Arbejd.com.
In short, 1-2 minute bite-sized videos recorded with smartphones. The format is vertical (mobile first, 1080x1920) with a catching visual style to associate it with Arbejd.com. Recordings are made by job seekers and suppliers based on a paper or call from Arbejd.com.
Job seekers can learn from company recruiters what they value in a candidate, how to prepare and other hands-on advice. Among the initial themes are "Your resume", "The application", "Guerilla application tricks" and "Millennials". The format is authentic, engaging video content, bite-sized and on-point without ever having to leave your Facebook feed. Job seekers also gain promotion by creating similar videos themselves aimed at job suppliers with name and link to their profile. Companies can learn from job seekers what they seek in a workplace, in order to stay attractive for the best talents. Getting an outsider’s perspective on this is hard to come by.
The format caught attention of popular Danish brands like Gaffa and Global Wind Systems who recorded and shared their video advice to feature on Arbejd.com's social media channels.
I conceptualised it, outlined a strategy for Arbejd.com to follow, designed the video format and created the backend and frontend framework for the website, so themes can be published scaleable for years to come. You can watch one of the videos here. And its promotion video here.
The importance of launching | Real learnings come from launching. It can be devastating to see your beautiful ideas be crushed to dust by reality; but now you know. Working with Arbejd.com we shared an audacious fuck-it-ship-it approach that made managing every project a breeze and showed the client immediate results. Launch and see what happens. Iterate.
People are busy | One of the flagship campaigns we created was Stories, asking business owners and job seekers to share advice over 1-2min vertical videos. Great concept, but (as expected) challenged by how most people think they’re too busy, even when the incentives are high. The morale is this: getting strangers to do X is really difficult. That doesn't mean it's not the right path to pursue, but your stamina has to be kept high both in the initial phases and in the long run.