January 18, 2018

Two designs for the same MVP idea — which do you like?

Rejecty is my attempt to solve the problem of getting earnest, constructive feedback for job applicants after job interviews with a negative outcome 🚧. It’s very much inspired by my personal experiences: reaching final-round interviews with several companies (6 or 7 interviews per company) with nothing to show for other than a few generic, impersonal rejection emails ✉️ and no idea what to improve 😳.

I’ve built two prototype designs. A fully-fledged, friendly site (version 1) with emphasis on the jobseeker, and a totally brutalist, wikileaks-style site (version 2) with focus on employers.

My question: which of these two designs has more potential — and why? Your feedback is paramount! 🙏


  1. 4

    Hey Alex! Glad to see Rejecty on Indie Hackers 🚀

    I've looked at both designs now and clicked and played with them. Personally I think that neither of the two is the perfect way to go.

    The positive things about the first page are that it seems very approachable, has many great options for companies to provide feedback on and it really makes them think about the fit of the candidate.

    However I feel like it may be a bit to cute for some recruiters to use. I love the style, personally, but sadly not everyone enjoys the bubble gum life. Also given that a candidate can submit a company they applied at it seems like one could at least roughly deduce the company which the feedback comes from.

    __

    The second design seems wonderful from a more serious recruiter perspective and the more focused approach makes it easy to obscure which company sent which feedback. Big plus there!

    On the other hand the options are now very reduced and there's not much to go by in terms of ideas or a rough guideline.

    I think the way to go here is to strike a balance between the two utilizing the design and appeal of the second version, while keeping some options from the first version.

    Your mileage may vary, of course. Just my 2¢.

    See ya!

    1. 2

      Hmm! This is interesting... there's definitely something to what you're saying. So the bubble-gum approach was obviously intentional: trying to soften (perhaps to the extreme) the sort of negative feelings associated with getting turned down from a job.

      The second design is perhaps then an over-reaction to the thought that version 1 was too complicated, too much.

      My next step — probably the most important — is to contact individual companies and see what recruitment managers have to say about such an idea.

      I'm quite certain that lots of job applicants would love more tips to improve themselves. And I don't buy the argument that companies are too busy to provide any feedback. The companies I've been with often write copious notes on candidates. And if you've spent 7+ hours interviewing a person, filling in a 5-minute feedback form isn't going to break the camel's back.

      I think your idea is a good one. Thank you!!! 👏

  2. 2

    Alex hi.

    I Really like your idea.

    Content wise I think v1 is almost perfect. I instantly understood what service is about. I'm just going to repeat what others said about design, you should change it. I get it that you wanted to make it more playful, but current design doesn't suit your service.

    Also I would to see an example how email will look. If I'm going to send something this personal to some "random" person I want to know what I'm sending.

    Wish you all best with it

    1. 2

      Hi tine — Great suggestion. So you'd like to see a mockup of the email that goes out to companies. Will definitely include that in the final version. Thanks! Ps. Love Slovenia — hope you're not too cold down there at the moment!

      1. 1

        Yes, exactly.

        Let me know if/when you get down here.

  3. 2

    A personal suggestion box! sounds great if you can navigate all the negativity that implies. Some companies do have policies not to release critical reviews and for some people it can take lots of time to nicefy that kind of stuff.

    1. 1

      Negativity isn't a problem. Just filter for actionable content. If you receive a remark like Your website is the most disgusting I've ever seen in my life I can't use it the blue buttons are way too bright just note it down as a -1 for blue buttons, and skip the rest! 😎

      Actually — if people hate on you — that's a good sign. Literally better than nothing.

  4. 2

    IMO the first version could be way more effective since HR departments can't simply send anonymous feedback (well, they can but..) because of internal policies or other limitations within the company. So they will need to get some approval before implementing this on their process and usually, this involves a lot of planning and convincing decision makers internally.

    That why I think the version 1 is a better approach, but I would go with a cleaner designer that portraits more confidence, since this is kind of a serius think for a job seeker, his image is on the line when his name is tied to the feedback request.

    1. 1

      You're suggesting a candidate wouldn't request feedback if they don't like the design. Fair enough, that's probably true. Although I'm not sure exactly to what extent is their image is on the line — if he/she is requesting feedback, it was most likely a negative outcome, in which case they've already suffered a little dent in their ego.

      What I gather from your comment when you say that ver. 1 should have a cleaner / more confident design is that it should be more professional, less personal. Which is ironic, since it's "professional" conduct that's put us here in the first place.

      I'm still trying to digest the root cause of the problem. Imagine if professors at universities start to implement no-feedback policies!

      1. 1

        "should be more professional, less personal." - Almost there, what I mean is that the design needs to look more professional to portrait that the tool is reliable and formal and that the feedback request is going to be treated as such.

        My thinking is:

        • Oh this tool does something interesting, but it looks too informal.

        • What if my request for feedback is going to be send with emojis and a funny wording/design? - Idk if I want that

        I disagree on the part of more professional is less personal. Professional can be personal but not "funny looking".

        A redesign and a more formal wording will definitly increase the confidence level on submiting the request.

        Edit: I would also separeted the About part on a different page.

        1. 2

          Professional can be personal but not "funny looking".

          Arrhh ok! 👌 For example, indiehackers itself has a friendly and mostly professional feel to it. So you're reiterating Keith's comment — the design is too outspoken for the service. I agree, that's definitely valid. And since it's a reoccurring theme in the comments here, I'd be quite silly not to listen to it.

          I would also separeted the About part on a different page.

          Won't be the only change I'll be making, based on the crowdsourced, collective wisdom of the internet! Didn't realise this forum can be such a powerful tool. So much better to fix mistakes before you launch than after.

  5. 2

    Alex, agree with most of the comments that v1 is the best because it just has more content to understand the service with. The value prop is much more clear for the job seeker: get actual meaningful feedback on rejections. For the employer, though, not much value there for them (which is the whole problem in the first place).

    The design itself is very outspoken, and unless you have a clear reason for a way out there design, you're better off being conservative and just sticking with design concepts that people are familiar with and trust. It's a fun look but ultimately is a barrier for potential customers rather than an enhancement. Mostly because you're in the fields of "jobs", which people tend to take pretty seriously.

    1. 1

      For the employer, though, not much value there for them.

      That's the traditional wisdom, yes. Although I might ask you what's the value in replying to this indiehackers thread? 🤔 Directly, probably not much. But indirectly you're contributing to a community, you're expressing yourself, making your name known (to at least one person — me), and if you're in the hacking business, you're paying it forward for the one day you'll want feedback too.

      Perhaps a company leaderboard might work. Companies giving more feedback rank higher than those that don't. Would have to be a part of some content marketing strategy to give kudos 👏 to companies providing feedback.

      You're better off being conservative and just sticking with design concepts that people are familiar with and trust

      Point noted! You're almost certainly correct. If only job interviews came with this much feedback! Thank you.

      1. 1

        Yeah, definitely there's value in the public forum for me, so perhaps continuing that line of thinking about how employers can receive public acknowledgment of their feedback might bring you somewhere useful. For example, it might fit well into a company's hiring strategy if job candidates are more likely to apply to a place they know they will receive feedback if they are rejected.

  6. 2

    Hey Alex,

    Between the two, I'd pick #1. But honestly, I'm not a fan of either. The first one at least explains what the service is all about. The second one doesn't do anything.

    I'd recommend you focus on what the employer wants at this point. You're going to have a massive uphill battle. There has to be some type of incentive for the company to use your service. Most companies don't give feedback because it opens them up to discrimination lawsuits. How do you plan on overcoming that obstacle?

    Good luck with everything!

    1. 1

      You're going to have a massive uphill battle. There has to be some type of incentive for the company to use your service.

      Very true. How about using feedback to differentiate themselves during hiring? Other things being equal, I'd be keen to apply at a company that provides feedback to all 3rd round candidates and above, for example.

      The second one doesn't do anything.

      I'm surprised you're only the first person to make that remark! Thanks for stating the obvious! 😂 Real honesty seems very hard to come by these days.

  7. 2

    I like version 2 more, and agree with some sentiments from other posters. You don't want to sugarcoat anything, so keep it straight and to the point.

  8. 2

    The first one actually explains what the product is. If I were to visit the second one, I wouldn't have any clue what it's for. How do you plan on soliciting feedback from companies? It seems like that's the big issue—they just don't want to provide it, either from lack of time or because they don't want to disclose the reasoning.

    1. 1

      Hi Zeke — I agree that companies are the big question-mark. And I'm quite confident that lack of time is not the problem. The (smaller) companies I've been involved with personally have always written copious notes on job candidates. After 8+ hours of interviewing, I doubt that a 5-minute feedback form will break the camels back for them. They have a lot of information that's valuable to the candidates — it's a question of wanting to share it. Perhaps I should try some sort of positive peer-pressure system to spotlight companies with a good feedback track record.

      Cheers for your thoughts! 🍻

  9. 2

    Both seem to be driven by design/brand/style rather than product focus. If I would to choose, go with Version 1, tone down the brand a bit - why version 1 - the instructions are really helpful for why an applicant should use your product. Nice work! keep it up

    1. 1

      Thanks for having a peek. That's a bit ironic — I wouldn't say that design, brand or style are my strong suite at all! 😂 Especially when I'm talking to a designer! If I take your comment in conjunction with Richard's, it would seem some mix between ver. 1 and ver. 2 is the possible way forward. Cheers for that. Love your sites, btw.

  10. 2

    Yo, I think it can be a good idea! Let's see how it evolves.

    I like both prototypes, v2 conveys more that sense of anonymous feedback to me for some reasons.

    1. 1

      That's understandable. Obviously this is the most minimalist version — and I made sure the inputs are only the absolute essentials!

  11. 1

    Hey Alex,

    Cool idea. As a non-employer I'm biased towards liking version 1.

    However, I would agree with some the comments on here and say that neither is the way to go.

    I didn't truly understand what your application was about until I finished reading the header, subheader, "what" and "how".

    In my opinion that is way too long for, and far too much to read before understanding what your application does.

    I would recommend taking a look at this resource by Julian Shapiro. He wrote an excellent guide to making awesome landing pages.

    https://www.julian.com/learn/growth/landing-pages

    His thoughts on headers: "Here’s the litmus test for having a sufficiently descriptive header: If the visitor reads nothing else on your page, they’d still know who you are and why they should use you."