Customer Tip Sheets

With most any website, you’re eventually forced to consider the question of usability and how much help customers need to ensure they can effectively use the site. Of course websites are built with the intention of being obviously intuitive, but even the best intentions don’t always get you where you need to be. WorkInTexas.com is no different, and in some respects maybe even a little worse due to government and program regulations and requirements.

Recognizing this, we’ve always tried to think a little bit harder about intuitive usability, as well as develop extra page tips, help pages, an online tutorial, and even a FAQ. However, even with that effort, we still have sections of the system that customers find cumbersome and confusing.

The most common complaint is about occupations; how they’re picked, what’s missing from the list, which one applies to what I do, I don’t match because I didn’t pick the right one, etc. And to address that we are working on a project to redesign how job seekers describe what they want to do and can do, how employers describe what they need, and how those two things match.

The second most common complaint is not knowing or being able to easily grasp the basics: the few things you really need to know to make the system work for you. And so to help with that, we’ve created two TIPS sheets; one for employers and one for job seekers. There is much more to the system than what’s listed in these, but if all we have is an elevator speech to help folks with how to use WorkInTexas.com, well then, here is our elevator speech.

We hope this information helps and welcome any comments on them you might have.

4 thoughts on “Customer Tip Sheets

  1. Jared June 29, 2012 / 2:14 pm

    The tip sheets are a start. Having a tip sheet is ok, but will it get read or even found on the website.

    My question is,
    Why doesn’t Work In Texas have any video tutorials on the website to assist Employers and Job Seekers alike in more effectively completing their registration?

    My suggestion would be to have a short video that plays prior to each of the 5 Job Seeker Registration steps. These brief videos could contain the suggestions, tips and purpose that the individual is filling in the information. This would also help to explain the benefits of being specific and thorough while filling out the necessary information.
    Having these videos play prior to each step would also help to minimize the people who do the bare minimum while registering with WorkInTexas and give both Employers and Job Seekers the results they desire, which is quality Job Matches.

    Work In Texas is a great system in theory, but without proper education on how to use the system effectively the true potential of Work In Texas is going untapped by many who are using it.
    Having these educational videos during the registration process may just be a solution that will create a win win situation for both Employers and Job Seekers, while maintaining a consistent message on how to use the basics of the system to achieve Quality Job Matches.

    Back to my original question,
    Why doesn’t Work In Texas have any video tutorials on the website to assist Employers and Job Seekers alike in more effectively completing their registration?

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  2. Scott Eychner July 2, 2012 / 5:32 pm

    Thank you for your comment. You’re right, WorkInTexas does need video tutorials, and we have the capability to do it, so why haven’t we? I don’t really have an answer, but I can assure you this is something we’re changing. The tip sheets are the first in a series of things we’re doing to put out more information, in different formats, about how to use the system. In addition to these sheets, we’re working on videos for different customer types to call out different functions and modules of the system, modifying brochures to include system use tips, updating some online help information, and modifying some online functions to be more straight-forward and simple. And that’s not all, but it’s where we’re starting. And as you allude to, we believe these efforts will pay off big.

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  3. Robert July 29, 2012 / 5:37 am

    WorkInTexas is a horrible website that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Retiring from military and went there to look for jobs anywhere in Texas. I’m pretty flexible. But you can’t select all of Texas, you have to pick an area. Alright, I’ll pick Dallas, no biggie. Then I have to pick a sub-area….OK, I’ll pick Dallas again. Then you have to pick out of every damn suburb an town in the Dallas area. But only 30, so you can’t pick them all.

    It’s ridiculous that you have to drop all the way down to each individual area, most of which I’ve never even heard of. I have to break out a map to even figure out what areas are around Dallas. There needs to be an option to select Top-level areas as an option. A user should be able to pick all of Texas, or all of Dallas or Houston, and be done with it. In order to look for jobs around Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Ft Worth, it’s about 600 mouse clicks, and that’s not an exaggeration. It’s horrible.

    On top of that, I found a great job I was qualified for, but the website wouldn’t let me apply for some unknown reason. It tells me because it’s out of my area, and in the wrong field, and it requires 12-years of experience. All of that is wrong. I don’t need some computer algorithm deciding to deny a chance to apply. Let ME decide what I want to apply for.

    End result, I’m never going back, it’s an exercise in futility and frankly it would be more efficient to go door to door an hope you get lucky.

    /rant off.

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  4. Scott Eychner July 30, 2012 / 9:23 pm

    Thank you for your comments. I’m sorry your experience was less than stellar, and to that end let me offer a few information points. I understand they do not fix your experience and we need to look at both from an intuitive usability standpoint, but hopefully they can help to make any future experiences easier and more productive.

    Specific to location selection, there are a couple of things you might consider.
    1. Only the first level of location selection is required, that being the REGION level. The AREA and CITY levels are both optional, and the REGION level does include all the cities in that region so that if you want to look in that large geographic location, you can. In this case, the REGION is Dallas/Ft Worth Region and includes Dallas, Ft Worth, Denton, Plano, Terrell, Waxahachie, Stephenville, et al. Following is a link to our map of what each Region encompasses: https://wit.twc.state.tx.us/WORKINTEXAS/web/css/images/map_region.gif.
    2. From the home page under Job Seeker Registration click the SEARCH ALL JOBS link, or if you’re logged on click the BROWSE JOBS tab in the top navigation bar. Both default to the JOB POSTING BROWSE-TEXT page, but there are multiple search options available on that top navigation tab. Find the one that says BY OCCUPATION. This search option lets you look for any job, anywhere in the state, regardless of location.

    Specific to being able to apply for jobs, I can offer one tip and an explanation.
    1. Tip: If you find a job that you like but the system won’t let you apply for it, it’s generally due to one of two things. Either you don’t have the qualifications the employer is looking for and in those cases we do limit your ability to contact the employer anyway; or you do have the qualifications but they are not reflected on your application in such a way as to match what the employer has said they’re seeking. If your situation is the latter, the first thing to do is click COMPARE YOURSELF TO THIS JOB POSTING link. This feature will compare what the employer has asked for to what you’ve said you have and show you where the differences area. From here, you can then go back, update your profile, and then you should be able to get that job contact information.
    2. Explanation: We get a number of questions about this, about why we don’t let people screen themselves for jobs. And we don’t pretend to be “right” in our answer, we don’t believe there to be a right or wrong, rather we only try to be up front about why we do things the way we do. That explanation is detailed here: http://witsense101.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/why-cant-i-apply-for-any-job-i-want/.

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