Handshake Homepage Redesign

What is Handshake?

Handshake was created to ensure that all college students have equal access to meaningful careers.
Handshake’s community includes 20 million students and young alumni around the world from 1,400 educational institutions, including four-year colleges, community colleges, boot camps, and 290+ minority-serving institutions. The platform connects up-and-coming talent with 650,000+ employers.

The Problem 

Handshake’s student mobile product was built as a 1-to-1 of the web product. As such the mobile product lacked a strategic focus to suit mobile users.
Handshake was perceived to be just a job board and users had a low awareness level of the robust events offerings and opportunities to meet with and message employers and recruiters on the platform.

My Role

As the lead designer on the project I worked closely with a project manager, copywriter and a team of 6 engineers. I ran a design sprint with cross-functional partners to understand the business needs across our three sided marketplace.

Design Sprint Northstar Principles

Engaging/Connecting: Easy and approachable, engaging UI, exploratory & broad collections to drive discovery with fresh content.
Empathizing with all users: How do we shorten time to value for first time users vs returning/experienced users?
Scalable: works across different all different types of students and level of career experience.
Human: communicate there are people on our product that care about helping students find opportunities.

Redesign Goals

1. Communicate that the platform is not a static job board, but rather a healthy marketplace with people ready to engage.
2. Help students be successful in their early career by recommending they attend events, message recruiters, and meet people on the platform.
3. Show the marketplace is healthy through updated content and increased recommendation accuracy.
4. Clearer visual hierarchy, scrollable homepage to suit the hunter/gatherer behavior.

The Solution

We believe that we can truly differentiate ourselves from other job boards by helping students understand the value of building relationships, and connecting with employers on the platform to learn more about relevant job opportunities.

By surfacing relationship opportunities on the home screen of our mobile app, we will shift the perception of Handshake from a job board to a relationship platform.

By updating our mobile homepage to focus on relationships, we can shift the perception of Handshake to a relationships platform and the best place to find full time jobs.

  • Clearly communicate the value of Handshake beyond just jobs
  • Surface opportunities for 1-on-1 chats with employers, recruiters open to messages, group session opportunities and events where they can get facetime with employers.
  • Provide context for where the relationships come from. Layer in the human elements and tie jobs and events to people (e.g. ambassadors, people you’ve met/talked to)
  • Include social proof and meta data to elements ( e.g. show # of students in your major/school who are attending events, viewed the same job, share jobs/events with your classmates)

User Testing

Users had an intuitive grasp of the benefits of the relationship connections even if they didn’t thoroughly read the copy. The perceived benefits were: direct communication with recruiters, ability to assess fit more effectively, and making connections.
Positive design feedback – The way the information is presented was clear and the design created excitement for VICs feature with users:

“Kind of like a mix of LinkedIn and Facebook, because LinkedIn and it has a more professional, you know, edge or aspect to it. Facebook is more social, you know, telling a little bit more about yourself and I felt like it was kind of like a combined mix of the two.”

“It is just very aesthetically pleasing. I really like the way that it is also divided up. It’s not overwhelming with information either, which is great.”


36% increase in WAU from same time last year.

16% increase of weekly active users on native.

48% increase in mobile installs same time last year.

10.8% lift in empolyer follows.