Chip Trout doesn’t fish, incidentally, but as Snagajob’s manager of visual design, he has helped to develop a new product that changes the way employers fill hourly positions.  It’s called Snagajob Mobile, and in principle it’s like the unobtrusive, reliable and trusted Alfred to Batman hiring managers – on hand to support their heroic efforts to find right-fit hourly workers.

Here, Chip lends his expertise on designing an enjoyable user experience to fill in some blanks.

How did Snagajob Mobile get rolling for employers?

We knew from day one that it was something we had to do. Not only from a competitive standpoint but, more importantly, because we knew our employers needed to be mobile. Even as we designed the desktop version of the Snagajob product, we constantly kept mobile in mind – knowing that many of the features would have to translate to a small handheld device.

Why was it important to insist that form meet function with this product?

We wanted the visual experience of hiring through Snagajob to be consistently pleasing and the functional experience to be consistently effective whether employers were accessing Snagajob from desktop computers or smart phones. We didn’t want them to have to learn a new interface and way of doing things when we rolled out the mobile site and apps. As part of our process, we designed and built a prototype of what everything would look like and how it would function. We tested it with hiring managers and took away valuable information that helped us refine the product before we went live.

What makes the Snagajob brand of on-the-go hiring so appealing to users?

After dozens of preliminary interviews with hiring managers, one thing became abundantly clear: these folks are on the go. Many have to travel between multiple locations, and all of them contribute to the daily operation of the business. When asked when they took time to review applications, most hiring managers responded that they do it at home after work. Our intent became to make life easier for these folks and add some time back to their day – time they could spend enjoying their personal lives and/or being more productive during work hours as they roam the store improving the customer experience and hiring at the same time.

If Snagajob Mobile was a person, who would it be?

We use the Alfred/Batman analogy as one of our Product Principles. Snagajob Mobile is the unobtrusive, reliable, trusted Alfred there to support the heroic efforts of our Batman hiring managers to find right-fit hourly workers. We’re there to help when they need it while not detracting in any way from their efforts.

If you were a Snagajob Mobile feature, what would you be?

I would have to say the dashboard. It’s a serious repository of information: who, where and how many applicants are in the system, interview schedules and the like. You should see my desk and the variety of requests I get on a daily basis. However, my dashboard would look far less useful to employers (mesh of work and personal calendar items, random movie quotes, my daughter’s latest time in the 50-meter freestyle) –  but, hey, that’s why there isn’t a mobile version of my life.