UX IxDA Mentorship Program

IxDA is a community of people in the UX industry. Part of their service is to run a mentorship program for people in the UX industry.

The Basics

The Challenge

IxDA was finding it hard to match the large number of Mentees to the small pool of Mentors in their mentorship program.

The Solution

Create a minimal viable product in 2 weeks for Mentees and Mentors to connect with one another based on their goals, industry, skills and experience.

My Role

As part of a team of 3 UXers, I conducted user interviews and created surveys to gain insights on people in the UX industry. Based on those insights I constructed 4 key types of people to base our prototype on.

Tools Used

User Interviews
Surveys
Affinity Mapping
Empathy Mapping
User Jorneys
Personas
Deign Studio
Wireframing
Sketch
Invision

Research Methods

To gather insights as to why it was hard for IxDA to find mentors and why some matches were unsuccessfull I decided to go out and ask questions.
I did this using the following methods

8 User Interviews

I conducted user Interviews along with my team members including 3 mentors and 5 mentees.

Why I chose this method

Given the subject matter was very much focused on relationships and people’s attitudes and opinions of other people, user interviews were most appropriate as I was able to get indepth qualitative feedback on users pain points.

42 Survey Respondents

After developing our survey we had 42 Respondents. Our questions were mainly based around peoples attitudes around mentors and the mentorship program. We also gathered information on peoples technological habbits to see if a mobile solution was the most appropriate.

Why I chose this method

Surveys were a good and quick way to get a response from the wider UX community and to validate our findings from the user interviews.

Research Insights

From the above research I began to see trends and gained the following insights.

Personas

From the above insights I developed 4 personas. 2 Mentors – An experienced and less experienced mentor. And 2 Mentees – An experienced and less experienced mentee.

Mentors

Mentees

More Experienced

Martin

Working in the UX industry for 8 years. He prefers to meet people in person but has no time lately as he goes to the gym now instead of having a beer.

Pain Points

  • Lack of Mentees requesting for mentorship
  • Too tired from work, too much effort
  • Hard to commit to a set schedule
  • Mentees are not prepared with goals and questions

Gains / Motivations

  • Giving back to the UX community
  • Developing a real connection with a mentee that goes beyond just casual talks at meet ups.

Less Experienced

Jenny

Jenny is new to the UX industry and has been working for a creative digital agency for a year. She loves working for a creative industry and it is a big change coming from the corporate environment of a recruitment firm where she use to work.

Pain Points

  • Meet-up events are too loud and noisy
  • People are too clicky –
hard to meet new people
  • Don’t get a long with mentee

Gains / Motivations

  • Personal Growth
  • Learning both ways
  • Relating to people who have been through a career change

More Experienced

Alex

Alex has 4 years experience in UX and wants to improve her UI skills, being a mum and juggling kids she doesn’t like set schedules

Pain Points

  • Not sure where to find mentors
  • Finding compatible mentors in terms of UX Skills
  • “Sometimes mentors speak too much they need to listen to what I need!”

Gains / Motivations

  • Validate or get assurance for ideas and directions.
  • Learn specific UX skills and techniques to apply at work from experienced UX’ers.

Less Experienced

Daniel

Daniel is currently interested and new to the UX industry. Though he has experience and skills from working in customer service at a bank, he is unsure of how to deal with people in his clients industry.

Pain Points

  • Unsure of available mentorship programs
  • Don’t want to be seen as
a job seeker
  • Shy in approaching potential mentors face to face

Gains / Motivations

  • Learn more about the UX Industry
  • Gain industry experience
  • Get advice on working with clients in the recruitment industry.

User Journey

Initially we created a user flow diagram but we found this did not convey enough information to us about the thinking and feeling process that our users were going through.
I then decided to map out a user journey and walked through it as my personas.
This allowed us to see their emotional pain points much more clearly. From this I saw opportunities that were crucial amongst all our personas.

MoSCoW Analysis

From the opportunities found above I paired this up with our clients needs to develop a Must, Should, Could and Won’t have feature analysis for a mininmal viable product.

Programs Needs User Needs Features
Pairing up mentors and mentees Meet mentors that can help guide them in their goals and caereer based on their sector / industry, UX skills, values, experience, personanilty and availablity A way of pairing mentors and mentees together where they can set preferences on who they want to be matched with based on skills, experience, personality, industry and availability Must Have
Increasing mentors Meet mentees that are goal oriented and organised in their time A way to set goals and expectations from both mentors and mentees
Setting up an initial meeting time Initiate a first point of contact between menots and mentees as meet ups A way that mentors and mentees can communicate with each other to set up an initial meeting Should Have
  Building and developing a relationship between mentors and mentees through regular meetings A way to schedule on going meetings Could Have
Overseeing the mentoring program and monitoring progress A way to make friends and general connections in the UX community   Wont Have

Comparative Analysis

“It’s like tinder but for UX professionals”

Mentor Me Team

Before doing research our team had the idea of making a dating style app to pair up mentors and mentees, but after our research findings we decided not to use some of its core concepts for the following reasons:

Platform Concept / Features What we changed
Tinder
  • People can only speak to each other if they both mutually express they want to.
  • You can view people’s hobbies and interests.
  • Chat functionality.
  • We used the idea of a ‘match’ but added an overall compatibility percentage.
  • Mentees only being able to speak to mentors if a mentor expresses interest in them first seemed inappropriate. Mentors usually wait to be approached and rarely look for a mentee themselves.
LinkedIn
  • Ability to connect to people and send messages.
  • See a short professional description at a glance
  • See Skills and Experience as tags
  • Browse profiles without logging in
  • Instead of seeing a short professional description we changed this to a person’s GOALS, as transparency of this was important to both mentors and mentees.
  • We liked the idea of not having to log in to view profiles as this broke down a barrier of entry for mentors who are time poor and less likely to sign up to another platform to view potential mentees.

From this we decided to offer a responsive mobile website as our minimal viable product. We wanted to increase the chance of mentor engagement by eliminating the need for them to download another app.

We also found from our research that many of our users used desktops so it was important that our solution was scalable to a desktop website in the future.

Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

Design Studio

To design our MVP we ran a design studio where each of us had 15 minutes to draw up as many wireframes as we could of different screens. We then shared our ideas, by combining and eliminating screen based off our research findings to create the first sketch for our mobile solution.

Wireframing and Usability Testing

We created a low fidelity sketch on paper for our first iteration and did some guerilla usability testing as we were surrounded by mentors and mentees studying at General assembly.

Final Prototype

Final Prototype

Key Learnings and Next Steps

  • Adding a way to have Mentors and Mentees review each other so IxDA can have a means of measuring the success of a mentorship engagement.
  • A way to have IxDA oversee and monitor interactions between mentors and Mentees through the solution.
  • Have more specific search filters on peoples values. We need more research to determine what ‘values’ are.
  • Make the mobile site responsive to adjust to a desktop screen as our research shows most of our users use desktop.
  • Used LinkedIn API’s to allow users to login through their linkedin account.
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