The Student Job Search website has been relaunched, but at first glance you wouldn’t notice much of a difference…

While the visual design has largely remained untouched – most of the work has gone in to turning a potentially arduous registration process in to something digestable and usable for both students and employers.

Provoke’s ethos for the registration forms was to practise “defensive design” – an interaction design method where you work to prevent errors happening in the first place – but when they do occur you are up-front and proactive in helping the user to resolve them.

For SJS the error and validation messages go the extra mile – by highlighting the issues in an alert module (top of page), linking to the fields which need fixing, and also highlighting the field.

The website, while fairly robust usability-wise, still needs more work (the biggest issue being an archaic database running the system behind the scenes – which did place many limitations on creating the ‘perfect’ user experience).

But the team at Provoke think it’s a great start and a good example of a better design for online forms…