We propose to perform a needs assessment and interface design for a vertical search engine (VertSearch Project) aimed at efficiently storing, retrieving, and presenting information related to employment matching. A vertical search engine deals with information from a specific domain of knowledge and has well-defined criteria in terms of needs and usability.
We will perform a needs assessment using standard methodologies to understand users' needs and practices, both job seekers and job providers, and to translate them into design decisions that influence both the user interface and general system design. We will also prototype and test a web-based user interface using the methodologies taught at SIMS. In addition, we will perform market research to study the business potential and competitive challenges facing our new application.
The project will be primarily but not narrowly focused on the US market. We will also look at markets outside the US, especially the Asian market, to explore innovative opportunities. We are interested in three Asian countries: China, Japan and Korea. We will perform needs assessment, usability test, and market research on both the US and the three Asian countries. We will interview and survey people from each country and also will research the competitor's Web site to figure out/reinforce core functions for our system.