Disrupting the Polish jobs market: designing a new strategy for OLX using qualitative and quantitative data.

A project ran in Berlin and Poznan with an international team from a global client, with Koosjes from Amsterdam and Lisbon and an external data analytics partner from London? Let’s go!

Who is this global client?

OLX is a global online marketplace and market leader in more than 30 countries. You may know them from their own brand, or one of their local brands like Autotrader, Otomoto or Property24. In this case study, you will get to know how OLX has set up a global design and research team and how design has been used to drive a customer-centric way of working in such a primarily tech-driven organisation.

Sounds interesting, tell me more…

The project was about one of OLX’s newest products, namely a revolutionary job market platform. To design and develop this new product, a deep-dive into the needs and dreams of both target groups was needed. This would lead to a better understanding of the future of the jobs market, and the role of this new platform in it.

A unique challenge, as the value is created by matching the needs of two target groups: Seekers and Employers.

But wait, how do you tackle this challenge?

At OLX, business metrics and KPI’s were already used throughout all touchpoints, resulting in a huge amount of data. However, we found that many of the key moments in the journeys of Seekers and Employers were not happening on the platform. So even with all the data they gathered, OLX was still unable to truly understand its users. We needed more data!

What followed was an extensive research chapter in Poland, the pilot market for the platform. Together with interpreters, we spoke to many job seekers and business owners looking for new employees. Using Morphological Psychology, we created Tension Models and Need Based Personas for both Seekers and Employers. This gave OLX an understanding of who was using their platform, and why.

Often, we only use static models, where people always behave in a certain way. One of the things that I love about this tension model is the flexibility. But, more than that, it can explain the complexity of the human mind in such a simple slide. You consider all the needs, tensions and drivers that people use to make a choice.

— Jorge Carlos Head of Market and Customer Insights Europe, OLX Group

But wait, there’s more! Together with data analysts from Equal Experts, we were able to quantify these Need Based Persona’s. The response to our questionnaire was over 9000! These numbers laid the foundation for strategic choices for the future platform. Who should it serve? What should it do?

This combination of exploratory, qualitative research and quantitative validation helped to build internal support within the different OLX departments and make important strategic decisions. 

Okay, now what?

As Winston Churchill once said “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”, it is time to take action on what has been found.

The solid foundation of insights into the needs and wants of both target groups is used to further build and expand the platform with both strategic and business targets in mind as well as the perspective of Seekers and Employers. Concrete propositions give a clear direction to where the platform will move in the near and onward future. 

Moreover, it was a wake-up call for senior management to start giving design a more strategic role within the organisation. It resulted in new initiatives where service designers and data scientists work together to solve complex challenges of today and tomorrow.

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