VALJU - Do work that matters to you



How might we help people find a job that gives them purpose?


Our work environment is changing. With fewer young people entering the workforce every year, highly skilled workers are increasingly able to choose their employer instead of the other way around.
With this change, young people’s demands are rising. To many of them, work has become much more than a simple means to earn money. Instead, work is a way to personal fulfillment and self-actualization.

In this project we tried to imagine how a job platform might look like in this environment.


Vanessa Kammerbauer
Mona Konietzny
Patrick Muchowski


ux design, usability research, ux research, prototyping

» Work is primarily a way to self-fulfillment for me. «

Survey: 'Work is primarily a way to self-fulfillment for me.' SINUS Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH (2017): Generation What? Europabericht

Fig.: Percentage of young people who have answered ‚yes‘ to the above question in different European countries.
SINUS Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH (2017): Generation What? Europabericht


What makes a job meaningful to somebody?

We looked into the psychological research on motivation and self-actualization. We found out that, while specific motivators are very different for each person, true self-fulfillment is closely linked to so-called intrinsic values. For some people that might be fighting for the environment or helping people, for others it might be learning something new everyday or being able to master a new skill.

Many people are somewhat unaware of their core intrinsic values. They get distracted by extrinsic motivators like money and fame which are short term satisfactions that don’t make them happy in the long run.

Intrinsic and extrinsic values according to Benedikt Heblich, based on the theory of values according to Shalom Schwartz

Building a business

Alongside our UX project we established a business plan for our platform, that contained a 2-year timeline including break-even calculations and analyses using different strategic management tools such as Porter’s Five Forces, SWOT, Value Chain and Business Model Canvas.
Our business model relied on income through sponsored content in our article’s section as well as paid job posts.

Strategic management tools used for the Valju project

Discover your own values - scientifically confirmed!

There already is a well-established psychological test, the so-called Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ), that can help identify people's personal values through a series of 40 questions. We wanted to incorporate this test into our concept and talked to a career coach that also uses the PVQ in his practice.

In our interview, the expert underlined the necessity to thoroughly reflect on your past and keep working on understanding your own values over time.

Excerpt out of the PVQ

User groups

To further outline our platform and it’s features we examined possible user needs from the perspective of four different user groups, also considering our insights from the expert interview.

Young professional


Is starting out in his/her career, recently graduated


Explore his/her own values
Initial orientation
Identify goals

Looking to make a change


Is unsatisfied in his/her current job / has recently lost his/her job and wants to reevaluate


Explore his/her own values
Evaluate options
Reflect on past employments
Receive ideas / recommendations for action



Is happy in his/her occupation but wants to reflect and keep on top of his/her self-fulfillment, is maybe looking for additional activities outside of his/her day job


Regular reflections
Identify potential for improvement
Discover new areas to get involved in

Employer (Secondary User)


Purpose-driven company that is looking for motivated staff


Efficient recruiting
Promote positive image
Attract attention to suitable and motivated applicants
Communicate own mission and goals
Attract volunteers and donors (Non-profits)


We created a prototype to carry out a usability test with our current idea of the platform. The prototype was a clickdummy that included four basic website areas:

Theory and Test area

People are sensitized to the importance of personal values and can explore the science. They can complete the PVQ and receive a detailed test result.

Blog & Job Post Area

Inspiring stories of other people/organizations that are on a purpose-driven journey.
Combined with curated job offerings.

Reflection area / Profile

Location of personal test result (private).
Instructions to mindfulness exercises or methods for reflection in regards to personal values and past employments, option to make your own entries / capture thoughts.

News Feed

Selected Articles and Job posts based on your PVQ result and recent activity. Indication of reflection progress and Link to reflection site.

User Flow for our prototype

User Testing

We tested our prototype with one of the three user groups (young professionals) in three different use scenarios. Our test was set up in the UX Lab of Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart. One person carried out the test while the other two were observing from the adjacent room through video and audio transmission.

Usability test
Usability test

What did we find out?

Information architecture


  • Do people find what the are looking for?


  • Too many different sections and unclear distinctions between them
  • News feed is perceived as unnecessary, gets overlooked

Language / Introduction


  • Do people understand the concept of intrinsic values?
  • Do people understand the value proposition?


  • Too much text at the beginning, video explanation preferred
  • Value proposition is clear
  • Added value in regards to competition should be communicated more strongly
  • Scientific character of the test should be underlined

Website features / areas


  • Do people understand the different website features and how they can use them?


  • Privacy of test results and profile is not clear
  • Instructions on how to complete the test should be more extensive
  • Clarity about sponsored content is demanded
  • Filter option for a specific company needed
  • Ability to save articles and job posts is important


We responded to the test findings by eliminating the news feed section and incorporated its function into existing sections.
The job post area received its own section apart from the blog area. We also adjusted language to remove negative bias and added an additional companies section, where users can browse company profiles. The blog area was equipped with more filter options.


Landing page on iMac
landing page job post
profile page start test page blog article page

Project Highlights

Working a project with designers from different backgrounds and achieving a fruitful team dynamic.
I learned how to conduct a user test involving a clickdummy and how you need to adapt your behaviour and technique as interviewer in comparison to a plain guided interview.
Having to write a functioning business plan for our hypothetical startup and dealing with the harsh realities of the business world was a grounding experience.