PRODUCT DESIGN FOR MENTORING MATCH APP
A mentoring partnership can be rewarding to both people, personally and professionally. It's an opportunity to develop communication skills, expand your viewpoints, and consider new ways of approaching situations. But finding the right mentor is about more than just finding someone you admire and asking them for advice.
This project was created as part of a design exercise I was given.
I led the Product Design - User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) - of this project.
1. Insights & Ideation
2. Building the Project Vision
3. Planning and scope definition
4. User Interface & Experience
I’ve started my research with exploring the mentor–mentee relationship, trying to understand why some mentor relationship are working great while others failed.I’ve read a few articles, dealing with mentor-mentee relationship, and watched some TED videos about the subject.
Successful mentoring relationshipp
Characterized by mutual respect, clear expectations and a good personal connection.
Failed mentoring relationships
Characterized by poor communication, lack of commitment, and personality differences.
The next step was to see what solutions already exist in the market for finding a mentor, joining a mentoring program.
I have found many products, social network groups, forums and platforms trying to tackle this issue and decided on two:
Bumble is a social network that facilitates communication between interested users that looking for dating, friends, or growing your professional network.
Bumble Bizz is a women-focused approach
to networking lives inside Bumble's app.
1. The app is specifically designed to make networking easier and more efficient.
2. Users will enjoy a more positive experience.
3. The app suggesting tips to create a Profile that stands out.
4. Strict verification rules.
LinkedIn mentorship connection
The second solution that I’ve found was LinkedIn mentorship connection.
It’s basically a platform inside LinkedIn, that connects members across their network with
one another for mentorship opportunities.
1. Wide range of knowledge, skills and resources networking easier and more efficient.
2. Straightforward workflow - saves time
3. Reliable - since it’s already linked to the professional information.
Competitive research - Pain points
I did, however, found some problems with those solutions.
First, I think that they missing a “tailor made” matching - so it’s not feeling personal enough.
I also expected to see a holistic process - a good match is not enough.
And finally, an important part that was missing is clear definition of mentor-mentee expectations. A major factor in a success of a relationship.
Related apps research
The insights from the competitive research led me to explore other apps that also dealing with the matching challenge. I looked into dating and traveling apps, searching for takeaways from each platform:
Dating apps: OkCupid
The first thing I thought about were dating apps, matching couples based on personal interests and desires.
Things to notice:
Complex profile system ( your profile is the first thing daters see when they open the app.
The matching algorithm is based on answering personal questions.
Both personal profile and questions play
a big role in matching results.
Ride Sharing Apps: Waze Carpool
I’ve also examine a ride-sharing apps.
Waze carpool is a good example of an app that matches riders and drivers based on expectations and goals.
Things to notice:
Define - the experience starts with defining route.
Explore - Riders can explore optional rides by date, time and drivers.
Connect - Ask for a ride, chat, pay
Insights from similar apps research
In both cases, there is a connection between two people with similar interests.
Users have the ability to choose in order to avoid bad experiences.
Aligned expectations are key to a successful relationship.
After conducting the preliminary research and examine other solutions to the problem, I’ve decided to conduct my own user research, in order to get a first hand insights about problems, pain points, goals and expectations that both mentor and mentees are having.
I interviewed 10 women, working in different areas in the tech industry, all have experience as either mentoring or mentee.
The goal of these interviews was to get a better understanding of mentoring relationships as experienced by the women that I’ve talked to.
Pain points from the interviews
After talking to both mentors and mentees I could easily identify a several pain points:
Mentees talked about how hard it is to find the right mentor,
but also about the lack of clarity about the process.
Mentors most common pain point was mentees who are coming
unprepared to the process.
Insights from the interviews
Expectations - Set up those guidelines in the beginning.
Mentees should come prepared and be proactive.
Measure progress every meeting - Take notes, make checklists, etc.
Open and honest conversation is the key, Both mentor and mentee should come prepared to the process, respect each other time and work together in order to achieve their goal.
Brainstorm & Ideation
My users' interviews raised a number of pain points that I wanted to address.
I know what problems I am facing, so the next step was to make sense
of the information I have gathered.
In order to do so, I have used brainstorming method where I’ve generated my ideas, group them into common themes and finally reviewed them in order to identify principles and ideas, that will later on become the solutions.
For sparking my imagination and aligning with the core insights and user needs, I have used the HMW questions, a method that I’ve found very useful in this case because it helped me break that larger challenge up into smaller actionable pieces.
Problem - Goal - Solution
Mentees are falling-out from mentoring process after a few sessions.
Create a good mentorship experience and to reduce the number of mentees
dropping out of the process.
An app that will match mentors and mentees based on their skills, experience
and motivation, while giving an end to end support during the entire process,
in order to help them build a successful relationship
In order figure out how viable my solution would be, and based on the user research and survey, I created a rough story-line. As part of this user flow, I started to map out the screens they would see:
Wireframes - Sketching & Planing
Building on the brainstorming insights, I started sketching ideas for the app structure.
This process involved a lot of writing and sketching, but eventually I reached the structure
I felt satisfied with.
After a couple of paper iterations I had the general idea ready, so I switched to Axure, where it’s easier to move things around.
This was the final result of the user flow after a couple of iterations in Axure.
I laid out all of the pages so I could visualize how each piece related to one another and how a user would access each section of the app.
Flow №1 -
Signup & match test
ONBOARDING (User story)
Anna used to work as a marketing manager and now she wants to make a career change, and move to Product management. She is looking for a mentor that will guide her throwout this change and that can answer some of her questions.
She is signing up with the app, adding her personal details and is then directed to a page that asks her which track she would like to take.
QUESTIONNAIRE - PART 1 - MENTEE PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
The next step is to answer some questions that would later on help the mentor learn about here professional background. Anna selects the “Corporate employee” options and mention that she specialised in marketing.
The final screen is giving her a quick summary - that she can edit and change.
QUESTIONNAIRE - PART 2 - MENTEE’S EXPECTATIONS
The next step in answering a few questions related to her expectations:
She wants her mentor to be expert in product management - that would be perfect for her goals.
QUESTIONNAIRE - PART 2 - OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS
And finally a few open-ended questions- this is where Anna can add more details and write some text about her goals - using the templates that the app suggesting her.
Flow №2 -
Discover, filter & choose
Anna is browsing through mentor profiles that were matched for her.
She notices that some of the mentors are located far away from her, which will make a face to face meeting hard.
The top of the page has all the necessary information: a photo of the mentor, option to view a short intro video, a button for mentoring request, personal details, etc.
I have ordered the filters categories and values according to importance, to ensuring that
users can easily discover their desired filters.
High-level filter categories at the top of the list, and the more specific ones towards the bottom.
EXPLORING THE MENTORS PROFILE
Anna found Keren, who lives near by.
In order to further look into her details she presses on her card to get more information.
As she reads through her card she thinks it can be an interesting connection.
Before sending out the request, Anna fills out her desired mentorship length,
and elaborates on what she’s looking for and why.
This form is used as a final validation before reaching out to the mentor.
Her mentor will then view her request at his own feed, view her profile and learn more about her - and then decide whether she would approve her request or not.
MENTOR VIEWING REQUESTS
Keren (the mentor) receives Anna’s request.
She finds that Anna’s goals are similar to hers and she feels like she has a lot to offer her.
So she is accepting her request.
Anna (the mentee) receives a match message.
She can now get to know Keren and see if they have a good connection.
The meeting will appear on the top part of the feed, use as a reminder when entering the app
Since mentors have pointed out that the mentees are not sharing enough background information and details when contacting them I’ve decided to protect them, by adding this validation popup.
A mentee that didn’t fail in all the needed sections in his profile will not be able to send a mentoring request.
During the visual design state I really wanted to go further and explore how the app would look.
My aim was to create a highly aesthetic/intuitive bridge to maximize the user experience and the product’s overall appeal.