Skills: Management, UX, Digital Strategy
Team: Visual designer, UX designer


The Advisory is an early stage business seeking to innovate within the recruitment industry.  Self funded and urgent, I worked with them to map and prototype the service proposition.

The founder had significant domain expertise from a career in recruitment. They had carried out field research with potential customers and outlined business case. 



Business Challenge

To change the way executive hiring happens.

Customer Insight

The hiring model isn’t delivering value to the executive market due to high percentage fees, lack of transparency and slow response times and whilst hiring managers now have access to the same widely available tools as recruitment agencies, these lack focus and quality.

Service Vision 

The ultimate little-black-book. An intelligent, non-intrusive platform for hiring executives and being hired; one that combines the rigour of candidate selection achieved by recruitment specialists with the trusted curation of highly regarded peers.




Through a series of a workshops I collaborated with the client to unpack their vision for the service. This involved:
• Mapping their business model canvas
• Mapping the customer journey
• Defining hypothesis
• Prototyping service moments

Mapping the customer journey

Mapping the customer journey

Visualising target customer attributes  

Visualising target customer attributes  

Sketching the business model

Sketching the business model


Research indicated that employers who do not constantly nurture their talent network, the need for recruitment services is something that becomes an urgent requirement very quickly, suggesting a typical employer lifecycle would peak and trough.

We identified this as an opportunity to provide services that would smooth out the lifecycle so that it would remain relevant to the customers when they are not in hiring mode. 

One service moment we identified was through a syndicated content platform. This would act for the talent by raising their profile and increasing employment opportunities. For employers it provided curated insights from leading experts.

Private lists make access to a personal target pool simple

Private lists make access to a personal target pool simple

Service moment

Service moment


The service targets executive level professionals which meant that quality over quantity was an important measure of success. This imposed considerable constraints on the other side of the model, the talent, who would need to not simply be available but highly relevant.

As a result the talent pool becomes very small very quickly. We hypothesized that by making the small pool of talent more accessible across touchpoints it would  enable closer ties between the employer and talent and make scheduling less chaotic. 

Switching to a self-serve model meant that it would require more time investment by the employer, with research indicating that this was time they were unlikely to commit to. This meant the service would initially need to be something that could provide value with minimal input and operate in the background. This balance could potentially change once value has been established. We identified executive emails, onboarding and saved searches as key opportunities to deliver high value with minimum input.


Following the expansive phase of discovery and mapping we narrowed in on the heartbeat of the proposition, clarifying what areas of the service would need to be de-­risked first. 

For initial validation we put a simple prototype together as a way to gather feedback on the service flow. 

By creating a click­-through of key service moments we were able to test the usability of the product with a group of end users and also give the client a powerful tool to engage with potential customers as part of their ongoing business development efforts.


Iterating in higher fidelity


Sometimes to get the authentic feedback the fidelity of the prototype needs to be dialed up so that it feels more real to the end customer.

As the experience lead I oversaw the visual design work (sample below) to create a visual identity system comprising a logo, business cards, typefaces and colour palette. Two options were tested with professionals in our clients market and we used this insight to refine the final output. I also worked with a video production company to maintain the brand coherency across candidate profiles.

Following customer feedback the prototype was updated with mockups of key interface screens across mobile, tablet and desktop devices. These were used for further testing and iterations.




In a short period of time I was able to provide the client with a clear demonstration of how the service could be brought to life. The mapping, strategic planning and prototyping moved the idea from a powerpoint deck to a tangible service that enabled the client to pursue further investment.



Stakeholder interviews
Business model canvas
Customer journey map
Usability testing
Hypothesis led design
Wireframes & prototyping