re:Linked | Masters Capstone Project

hero.jpg

Problem Space

A prolonged absence from work as a stay-at-home mom can make returning to the workplace difficult.

“Only about three-quarters of the women who wanted to return to the workforce were able to secure employment… Notably only 40 percent returned to full time paid work.”
— Glass Ceilings & 100-Hour Couples, Karin Moe & Diana Shandy
 

Goal

To discuss the difficulties mothers who want to return to the workforce face & present a technological solution to help them in the re-entry process.

 

Research Findings

  1. The difficulty of relaunching a career after motherhood is not common knowledge.
    “It’s a little surprising. I haven’t really thought about the fact that getting into work might be hard. It’s definitely something I should think about. I didn’t think about it because I didn’t think I’d be out of work that long. The thing is, my situation is that anything can change at anytime for me. I do have to be flexible, which is hard” 
    — Julie, expecting mother

  2. Many of the qualified women who opt-out of the workforce had not planned on becoming stay at home mothers.
    “Going through my MBA I didn’t consider the impact kids would have on my career" 
    — Jennifer, mother of 3

  3. Relaunching women who are engaged in job hunt are often discouraged.
    “Interviewers question a gap on your resume. You can tell in their tone. I think they assume you’re having financial problems” 
    — Claire, mother of 3

  4. Relaunching mothers make great employees.
    “Over the course of a 30-year career, mothers outperformed women without children at almost every stage of the game. In fact, mothers with at least two kids were the most productive of all.” 
     Study: Women with More Children are More Productive at Work, Ylan Mui, The Washington Post  

  5. There are stigmas and biases towards relaunching mothers that can hold them back.
    "Half of the highly educated women who had “stepped out” from work to raise a family reported feeling discouraged by employers regarding opportunities to return to full-time employment." 
    — Glass Ceilings & 100-Hour Couples, Moe & Shandy

 

User Journey of Women Who Opt-out & Relaunch

 

 

The Design

jansen4.jpg

“re:Linked” is a hypothetical design within LinkedIn for stay at home moms who aspire to return to work. Leveraging LinkedIn’s professional expertise & their recent acquisition of Lynda.com, an online learning platform, re:Linked creates a personalized experience based on current industry hiring standards to keep women as up-to-speed as possible during their absence from the workplace.

My hypothesis is that the optimal point of intervention would be at the moment women leave the workplace for motherhood, when they are most confident. Because many women do not know getting back into the workforce after opting-out is difficult, I've chosen to incorporate this design into LinkedIn, a place where 300 million professionals already are.

 

How it Works

1.
When a user updates their title on LinkedIn to "Stay at home mom"...

 

 

2.
They are transported into the re:Linked experience for “motivated full-time mothers with strong aspirations to return to the workforce”. 

 

3.
Upon scrolling down, users can see re:Linked's core offerings and why this experience is relevant to them.

 

4.
Upon login, re:Linked members will see their personalized re:Linked home page. It showcases their industry's news, a snapshot of a "Plan" they have developed for relaunching, keeps them updated on their chosen sponsors (strong advocates and connections from the workplace), and displays a skill "meter" of how their skills compare to the current industry. 

 

5.

The Learn page offers up recommended lessons from Lynda.com to take to in order to keep up with industry standards. 

 

6.

Once a user has completed a Lynda lesson, Lynda endorses the skill on their LinkedIn page.

 

Project Type

  • User Research
  • Experience Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Strategy

Methods

  • Interviews
  • Journey Mapping
  • Collection

Tools

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Indesign
  • Adobe Photoshop

Duration

1 semester, Spring 2015

My Role

This project was done individually as my Masters Capstone project.

More

Download my full report (34.2 MB)
Download an abbreviated poster (4.4 MB)