Buoy is a web app for crew and hirers working in the yachting industry

Buoy is a new web-app revolutionising the recruitment process within the luxury yachting industry. Buoy serves as a comprehensive platform tailored for both crew members and hirers, addressing critical gaps prevalent in the industry. For crew members, Buoy offers seamless CV management, providing easy access to editable resumes online and tailored to mobile devices, ensuring convenience and accessibility. Buoy streamlines the hiring process by offering a tailored list of verified crew members, job posting capabilities, and direct communication with crew members outside of job listings. With a strong focus on usability, user experience and visual design, Buoy sets itself apart by prioritising data protection, a crucial aspect often overlooked in the industry. 

Company Buoy
Role Principal Product Designer
Requirements User Research, Strategy, End-To-End Design, Project Management
Year 2024

B efore starting work on Buoy it was necessary to become familiar with the market. Market research uncovered a sleuth of luxury yachting agencies, each with their own website asking users to fill in identical, lengthy and badly formatted forms. It was clear that usability wasn’t a factor in this world. We were also curious as to whether individuals in yachting were experiencing the same pain points that we had identified. With a small survey of 15 industry participants, it became clear that the industry was failing these crew members and hirers. Crew were frustrated at having to use Word or Google docs to create their CV, with complicated template designs that weren’t easily editable. They were also often caught off guard, wanting to send their CV from their smartphones and unable to make quick changes to send immediately. Hirers were looking for ways to avoid using agencies (turning to social media and Whatsapp groups), with the high fees and reems of paperwork associated with one opening.

I designed high-fidelity sitemaps to clearly show the steps users needed to take in order to sign up, create a CV, verify documents, apply, save and share jobs. Hirers needed to be able to sign up, create a job post, view, save and disqualify applicants, share profiles and make contact with crew. Research clearly showed that crew wanted to be able to be visible to hirers, but not have their contact details open to the public. The solution we created was a ‘request contact’ feature on crew CVs that hadn’t applied to jobs. This was an impactful solution and a new concept for yachting professionals and the industry as a whole. 

Initial high fidelity wireframes were an improvement from the lengthy forms of current agency sites, but after testing with another 15 participants (independent from the previous participants) the onboarding and CV management flow were still too dense. Too many input fields on each page resulted in participants experiencing fatigue. The end result is a refined version of the initial, with form sections grouped together by theme/related content to bring down the total number of pages. In addition we formatted the form inputs to have quick access drawers where possible, allowing users to move through the form as quickly and possible.