Product designer (individual project)
This prototype is the flow for getting a mentor through the app
Students have a hard time connecting with mentors outside of their Immediate network. How might we get them connected with people in their dream career field while not increasing the amount of stress involved?
Key focus: on-boarding and orientation to the mentorship experience
How can existing mentorship platforms be improved?
The main starting point for this project was card sorting with the core demographic (students aged 16- 24) and usability testing of existing competitors.
- Rather than wanting an all-in-one solution for career needs, users found it much more straightforward to use a site with a clear focus on mentorship
- Users preferred to be closely guided during the process of being matched with a mentor, rather than searching for and arranging sessions themselves
- Having other supplementary content, like quizzes and articles was identified as a positive draw to keep users coming back.
What do users need from a mentorship platform?
- Users need a straight-forward flow from sign up to first mentor session. Too much lag time or difficulty with matching will cause users to drop off
- Building out the different components of the site as custom features would be overly complex, and would also add too much complexity to user on-boarding.
- Integrating existing platforms e.g. Google Hangouts, Skype, would make the site leaner to develop, as well as provide familiarity to users.
The mentorship journey
Users of mentorship sites fall into two distinct categories: mentor and mentee.
For this app, I chose to focus on the flow for find mentor through the app. Key insights into pain points from research included the need for more on-boarding and transparency during the process, and more robust tools for searching and filtering mentors.
This journey map pictured below is for the journey of finding a mentor in existing competitors to identify design & experience opportunities in the current pain points of these applications.
Mentorship site structure
The final prototype is based on 3 different user flows to guide the experience. The web app was designed around two key experiences, the mentor's and the mentee's, which form different initial on-boarding pathways.
Finding a mentor
Mentor Search Flow
Wireframing and prototyping
The web-app went through several stages of wire framing and prototyping. During this process, screens were added and eliminated based on revisions to user flows and additional research.
For instance, an integration with external video systems (e.g. Hangouts) was added, rather than building out a system just for the app.
The end product for Altitude is a web app. Below are some selected final screens from the app, from the mentee sign-up flow.
Mentor matching tailored to personal goals
Easy searching for mentors across a range of different criteria, with no commitments upfront
Straightforward form flows to get to the first session quicker
- One of the main challenges was that the initial scope was too broad
- As a result, the original site map and information architecture had dense pages to sort through and was confusing for users to determine the purpose of the site.
- To fix this, I dove deeper into interviewing to eliminate pages that weren't serving the user's goals (e.g. a post-secondary search tool, which could be it's own experience).
- Research and talk to users throughout the process and not just at the beginning; this can drive visual design and UX changes that make the application more usable
- It's often better to scrap features to make an application less complex, rather than try to add value in too many areas
- When working on a solo project, it's essential to get input from both users and other designers to eliminate as many assumptions and cognitive biases as possible