Why Choose Us?


Designing the ideal job board experience for diversity equity and inclusion.


  • Strategy
  • Web Design
  • UX Research


Building high-performing, diverse teams is a business imperative for today’s employers. No matter how large or small the organization, numerous studies show that businesses with a diverse workforce—those with employees of different backgrounds, experiences and skills—out-perform their competition, make better decisions and have higher profitability. Moreover, meeting diversity goals is a requirement for organizations that do business with public agencies and other entities with DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives.

Milwaukee, Wisc.-based Circa is a market leader in helping organizations find diverse candidates for their open positions and comply with government and corporate DEI requirements. Founded in 1994, Circa provides SaaS-based solutions to employers and connects them with a variety of talent pools to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce through its network of 20,000 community-based organizations and 600 employment and diversity sites throughout the US.

The Challenge

In 2021, Circa acquired DiversityJobs, a local jobs board catering to companies with DEI mandates. The acquisition would allow Circa to consolidate its hundreds of niche microsites under one umbrella and allow DEI-focused employers to access a broader, larger and more diverse pool of candidates in one place, for one fee.

Circa needed a digital marketing expert that could help it launch a major repositioning of the brand and overhaul the existing website to engage job seekers more deeply with the brand, and give employers seeking to hire a diverse workforce a sampling of Circa's other powerful products.

Diversity goes beyond skin color and includes women, people over 50, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQIA+, Veterans, religious backgrounds and more. As a leader, you can guide your organization to set policies so all employees can thrive and are valued for the different perspectives they bring to the workforce.
Patrick Sheahan

Circa CEO, President

Our Strategy

Circa found the Usman Group the way the majority of our leads come to us—via a word-of-mouth referral from a former client. They first engaged us to develop new brand standards for Diversity Jobs and then revamp the website (both UI and UX) to provide a more robust experience and reflect its more universal inclusivity of both employers and candidates.

As with every client we work with, our team approach employs design thinking. What that means, simply, is that we design around the needs and wants of the user. To accomplish that, we need to empathize with the user, and that requires a deep dive into the audience (customers) our client is aiming to serve.

Keep it Simple!
We kick off every new project with a Discovery phase. We learn everything about the client, their business, their pain points, their aspirations and what they are as well as what they are not. With this knowledge, we clearly define and reaffirm the scope of the project, to avoid “mission creep” (e.g., trying to be all things to all users) in order to stay on track and within budget.

Interview the Stakeholders
To design a truly empathetic website, get to know who is going to use it. We started by conducting half-hour telephone interviews with individual stakeholders who were willing to answer questions about their experiences with the existing site: what worked for them, what didn’t, what they would like to have the site do for them, and their challenges (pain points) in seeking jobs or filling jobs. Stakeholders included a diverse array of job seekers (different ethnicities, ages, genders and abilities) who had used the site in the past, and HR personnel who advertised open positions on the site as part of their recruiting efforts.

Develop Personas
From our stakeholder interviews, we created three categories of users (personas):

  1. those who feel Diversity Jobs “really gets me!”
  2. job seekers who apply for jobs only with companies that truly care about DEI
  3. employers that want a site that fulfills all their DEI recruitment needs

The personas we developed incorporated the motivations that would drive users to the site; how those motivations (as well as frustrations) overlapped; and how the site could lead them on a journey to a solution—that is, finding a great job opportunity to apply for, or a great candidate to interview.

With this qualitative data and the client’s existing quantitative data of the site’s user activity (e.g., heat maps and A/B testing), we then had the information we needed to proceed with the visualization of the new site’s structure (wireframes) and design.

Develop the Wireframes and Design Concepts
In examining the competitive landscape, we noticed that other employment sites were either too “cold” or generic, or relied heavily on tired tropes and cliched stock photos that were obviously posed and inauthentic. Our designers went in a completely different direction. We leaned on abstract artwork and dynamic colors as a universal language, as well as an intentional branding device that would conceptually unify diverse groups of people regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender or physical ability. And while people who are visually challenged make up a small percentage of users, we included in the design the ability for screen readers to verbally read text for navigating the site.

Collaborate and Iterate
We work closely with our clients on the presentation and refinement of our ideas. Our matra: Review. Refine. Repeat. And then, launch!

The Outcome

The new is a Wordpress site that provides a more streamlined experience and allows the client to easily integrate new imagery and content. The design maximizes space “above the fold” to make new content easy to see. We also provided the client with visual guidelines so that their website administrators can ensure visual consistency throughout the site.

We are proud that the new site recently received a Web Excellence Award for web redesign from The Web Academy of Digital Arts and Media. As the client continues to monitor user behavior, we stand ready to make more “surgical” enhancements to the site. For example, within a 12-month time span, we achieved a:


increase in organic traffic


increase in new users


increase in sessions


increase in request a demos