CloudSEK’s UX Designer hiring challenge and the victors

CloudSEK’s UX Designer hiring challenge and the victors

We recently decided to host a UX design challenge for an open UX Designer position.

What was the challenge and what was going to be measured?

The initial idea of welcoming candidates to our hiring process was to collect their portfolios to identify the right fit for CloudSEK’s designer position. This plan was finalized expecting less than 50 applicants. But to our surprise, we received more than 800 applicants. While we were highly pleased with the interest people demonstrated to work with CloudSEK, the enormous applicant pool became another problem for us to solve. How would we proceed with reviewing 800+ portfolios/ resumes, where most people are coming from diverse backgrounds with very different problem solving skills?   To solve this problem, we broke down the exact purpose of reviewing the portfolios/ resumes into detailed, specific requirements; which were:
  • Identify skills of the candidate – turning problems into opportunities and how the person thinks about the problem to find possible solutions.
  • Create a common scale so that each of the submissions can be compared to identify the highlights and drawbacks.
After a few brainstorming sessions, we decided to proceed with the CloudSEK design challenge. Our inspiration for the challenge was the Adobe daily creative challenges, where they give out small problems to resolve and design enthusiasts take them up to improve their skills. We also wanted all the participants to showcase their skills and maybe even learn something new from the task assigned.   These were the steps we followed in creating the design challenge:
  1. We came up with a very short concept/ problem to be implemented as a UI: the Kanban board concept. We chose the Kanban board because of multiple implementations and reference materials available across the internet, which makes research relatively easier. Also because it’s a common term in a corporate agile workflow.
  2. We defined our expectation of the problems that had to be solved with the implementation, providing ample scope for creative designers to identify and implement more solutions.
  3. We determined some base constraints around the problem to build the solution in the same context.
  After multiple iterations and brainstorming, we created the final challenge and shared it with the applicants. These were the attributes we had intended for the solutions as a measure to review:
  • Documented research on existing solutions and problems.
  • Defining personas and how well the solution could solve self-fulfilment needs, psychological needs, basic needs from a user perspective.
  • A defined set of use cases and task flows.
  • Usability checks: Least/ no dead-ends or blockers in task flows to ensure a properly tested solution.
  • Solution aesthetics and documentation.

How many people submitted and how many got shortlisted?

79 people submitted responses to this design challenge and out of that 32 got shortlisted for a discussion based on their challenge-response. We measured the candidates along the following verticals (including challenges and interactions with them):
  1. Ease of interaction, brainstorm participation and creative inputs.
  2. Passion towards solving problems and implementing them.
  3. Being customer-centric and keen on implementing ideas that would solve pain points.
  After a challenging session of discussions with the designers we finalized three favourite solutions. Each of the candidates had their own creativity and had put in effort towards building a stable, reliable solution. Top 3 solutions we shortlisted were from:
  1. Kriti Arora
  2. Nivedhitha Sathish
  3. Yash Parmar
All the three solutions were competing with unique features, but the following were some highlighting common features they had:
  • A well tested solution, completing most use cases and flows.
  • A very well thought out presentation which also reflected design skills and conveyed the whole challenge outcome in a clear manner.
  • Detailed creative solutions brought into designs while also considering corner case scenarios.
  Out of these three finalists, Nivedhitha’s solution stood out. So, it is our pleasure to announce that she will be joining us at CloudSEK as a Product Designer. Here is her solution to the design challenge that was set. We thank every single participant who took the time to solve the challenge. We truly appreciate the interest you have shown in CloudSEK. We also congratulate Nivedhitha for acing the challenge and wish the others all the very best!
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September 3, 2020