PayScale Basic.png



Human Resources


2017 - 2018

Project type

PayScale was founded in 2002 to help employees and employers obtain accurate information on job market compensation. Since its founding, it has become one of the leading competitors in compensation data and software.

They came to our team in need of a site redesign. Their primary goal was to increase engagement and conversion for two different user types: employers and employees. For us to succeed, we had to clean up the current UX to guide employees and employers through the appropriate flows.

Mark Nader

Primary UX designer & researcher

Jeff Bick

Creative director

Chris Woodhouse

Project manager


Multiple stakeholders

2 primary users

HR professional

am performing compensation reviews,

When I

know that the salary we are offering to employees matches their market worth,

I want to
so I can

save our company money while keeping employees happy.


am having compensation reviews,

When I

know that the salary I am getting paid is what I am worth,

I want to
so I can

be sure that I am getting paid fairly.

Original site

PayScale’s original site required users to select one of the two main Calls-to-Action in order to access the navigation. Some of the company’s resources were available below the fold, so there was somewhat of a split in the experience.

We recommended two things immediately: Never hide the navigation, and if the site needs to guide users into one of two directions, make that dichotomy a lot more clear.

Before jumping into the redesign, we focused on the information architecture and site map. Our guiding question was:

“How can we guide HR professionals to the B2B products and employees to the B2C content?”

Original information architecture

PayScale’s original navigation was split into 3 sections. Laying out their site map helped us realize where a lot of confusion was happening.

Vague headers unclear to first-time users, repeated content in disconnected sections, and a large cognitive load of disparate links made it difficult for users to find their way to what they were looking for.

A new information architecture:
two sections for two users

Our proposed site map organized the existing content into two categories, matching the navigation and structure to our users.

1 color palette,

2 different users

PayScale is an exciting and energetic brand, so we wanted to capture that while maintaining the professionalism that would be expected from a company that handles a large amount of important data.

HR professional

A darker, cooler, yet modern palette encourages HR professionals to know that the software they are purchasing is accurate and legitimate.

A brighter and warmer palette invites employees to engage with PayScale’s content, and carries the energetic nature of PayScale’s brand.

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© 2020 Mark Nader