2014 Australian Mobile & App Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage




Project Overview

Looking for work is one of the toughest jobs around. Reading Room worked in collaboration with the Department of Employment to empower the +700,000 job seekers in Australia to take control of their job seeking through an interconnected set of digital tools. The power and organisational efficiency of self-service job seeking is at the heart a fresh and revitalised responsive web app that looks stunning and works superbly across all screens.

Project Commissioner

Department of Employment

Project Creator

Adelphi Digital - Reading Room Australia


Rachel Ratcliffe - Project Director
Nick Trembath - Project Manager
Paul Corbett - User Experience
Mark Payne - Design
Leonie Witten - Design

Project Brief

Competition is fierce in the job search website market. Reading Room and the Department of Employment needed to find a way to cut through the clutter and bring a self-service concept to job seeking on a scale not yet seen in a Government context. Together we executed and utilised our user research to design an experience that:

• Is driven by intuitive and minimalist search
• Feeds relevant information to job seekers in an accessible way
• Allows job seekers end to end control over the process of looking and applying for work
• Facilitates job seekers in communicating their skills and value to potential employers.

The Department saw that a large number of users were attempting to access jobsearch.gov.au on mobile devices – with little success.

The previous site did little to cater for the mobile jobseeker and provided a clunky user experience. We created a user driven experience that began with user research and lead to the intuitive, multi device compatible responsive site now at jobsearch.gov.au

We did this by:

• Overhauling site design to establish a modern “appy” feel well ahead of the curve of other government sites,
• Adapting the modern design to a smartphone, tablet or any another device in a way that ensured accessibility, ease of use, intuition and practicality of use,
• Establishing recognisable, unique and consistent branding for JobSearch.gov.au.

And ultimately demonstrating JobSearch as the first port of call for Australian job seekers.

Project Need

Through speaking to the end users of job seeking websites, Reading Room discovered that there was an apathy in the audience. Few could get excited about job seeking sites. Adding to this barrier, job seekers indicated that despite attempts, the mobile experience available to them across all job sites at best failed to engage, and in many cases was downright unusable.

The Department of Employment and Reading Room sought to fill this space by providing:

• a fully responsive web application
• the ability to access and action job opportunities and information on the fly
• a site designed both visually and technically with mobile users in mind

With this in mind, functions such as applying for work, connecting with employers, looking for jobs and managing resumes were baked in with tablet and phone users in the very front of our minds.
The result is a responsive site that takes on an “appy” feel as the screen size reduces. All functions take on a format appropriate to the tablet or mobile phone that a user has in their hands as opposed to cramming a desktop experience down their throats.

User Experience

From the homepage to the user’s customised JobSearch Dashboard and the sophisticated job matching process, the user experience was the driver of form and function for jobsearch.gov.au.

We did not just guess what our users wanted; we asked them in a robust research phase. Finding out when, where, how and what job seekers valued and used in a job search site was critical in guiding the proceeding design.

One of the guiding requirements of the site was for it to be a “self-service” portal where job seekers could take control of their own job seeking efforts. This was integral to engaging users in the site across multiple platforms and for job seekers to have a home on the site.
To meet this need, Reading Room designers went to work creating a modular dashboard that would feed relevant information to job seekers in a structure that is equally as engaging on an Xperia, Galaxy tab, iPad or anything else.

Job seekers can now get job matches as they are available and apply for the job with a resume built on their mobile device without being chained to the desktop.

Project Marketing

With little funds to draw on, promotional activities took place through the government contracted JobSeach providers. This includes live meet-ups to showcase the functionality of the site and print collateral to drive disengaged job seekers back to the digital channel.

Analytics indicate a significant increase in the areas of the site designed to engage and empower, and anecdotally the site was rapidly adopted by jobseekers and promoted by the JobSeach providers.

Project Privacy

Privacy is at the core of engaging users in the process. If a job seeker or an employer does not feel their privacy is assured the matching and interaction between the two breaks down.

All personal information collected by the Department of Employment is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act). The department’s contracted service providers are also required to comply with the Privacy Act.

This is clearly stated on the site to ensure that all parties can feel confident in the security of their personal information.

This category recognises applications developed for all levels of government services.
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