Project overview

Problem

Many young graduates, students, and entrepreneurs face significant challenges when seeking guidance and mentorship to navigate the complex landscape of their chosen fields. The lack of accessible and tailored mentorship often hinders their personal and professional growth, leading to missed opportunities, stunted development, and a lack of confidence in their career or business pursuits. Additionally, potential mentors who are eager to share their knowledge and experiences may struggle to connect with mentees due to geographical barriers, time constraints, and a lack of structured platforms for mentorship.

The Product

Techmentor is a online platform that connects young graduates, students, entrepreneurs with mentors around the world, enabling valuable knowledge exchange, skill development, and guidance.

Project duration

Feb 2022 (3 weeks)

Project goal

To design a solution that will connect new college graduates with experienced industry professionals for mentoring and career guidance.

My role

Product designer leading the app design from concept to delivery

Responsibilities

Branding
Visual design
User research
Recruiting users & conducting interviews & usability studies
Wireframing (paper and digital )
Prototyping (low and high-fidelity)
accounting for accessibility
iterating on designs

Project kickoff: Research

User research: Introduction

I focused on using research to gather user insights and preferences in order to create a user-centered and effective mentorship platform for young graduates, students, and entrepreneurs.

Methodology

The research phase utilized a combination of qualitative methods, including user interviews and surveys. Participants were selected from the target user groups, ensuring a diverse and representative sample. The collected data provided valuable insights that will guide the design and development process.

Research questions:

How do potential users perceive the concept of a mentorship app connecting them with mentors globally?
What are the primary motivations for users seeking mentorship?
What features and functionalities do users expect from a mentorship app?
How do users envision the mentor-mentee interaction process within the app?
What design elements and visual styles resonate with potential users?

Findings
(1.) Clear Motivations for Mentorship among target audience:

"I want guidance from experienced professionals who have navigated the challenges I'm facing in my field."
"Mentorship can provide valuable insights and shortcuts to success that I might not get elsewhere."

(2.) Positive perception of a digital solution:

"The idea of a mentorship app connecting me with mentors worldwide sounds exciting and promising. It would offer a broader perspective and more diverse learning opportunities."
"I like the concept, but I hope the app makes it easy to find mentors who align with my interests and goals."

(3.) Desired Mentor-Mentee Interaction Process:

"I envision a platform where I can schedule virtual meetings with my mentor and share progress updates."
"Having access to mentor profiles and their expertise will help me make informed choices about who to connect with."

(4.) Expected Features and Functionalities of a digital solution:

"I expect the app to offer personalized mentor recommendations based on my interests and career goals."
"It would be great if the app provides a secure messaging platform for easy communication with mentors."

Creating personas
Persona 1: Emily the Ambitious Student

Problem Statement: Emily is a determined college student aspiring to launch her own tech startup. However, she lacks real-world business experience and is unsure about the steps to take. She is searching for a mentor who can guide her through the intricacies of entrepreneurship and help her make informed decisions.

Persona 2: Marcus the Recent Graduate

Problem Statement: Marcus recently graduated with a degree in marketing and has landed his first job. He is eager to excel in his career but feels overwhelmed by the transition from academics to the professional world. He's seeking a mentor who can offer career guidance, help him navigate office dynamics, and build his confidence.

Persona 3: Olivia the Seasoned Entrepreneur

Problem Statement: Olivia is an experienced businesswoman who has successfully run her own fashion brand for years. She is passionate about giving back and believes in the power of mentorship. However, she often finds it challenging to identify mentees who truly value her expertise and are committed to learning from her.

Ideation

Digital wireframes

I created the initial designs for the solution focusing on the insights from the user research on connecting mentors with mentees through a digital platform.

Low fidelity prototype

I created a low fidelity prototype in preparation for a usability study to gather feedback on the initial design iteration of our solution. This low-fidelity prototype was tested by a group of five participants to identify usability issues, gather insights, and inform improvements for the next design

View Techmentor's low fidelity prototype

Conducted a Usability study on the low-fidelity prototype
Study type:

Moderated usability study

Location:

Lagos, Nigeria

Participants:

Participant 1: Male, 28, Software Engineer
Participant 2: Female, 35, Marketing Manager
Participant 3: Non-binary, 22, Student
Participant 4: Male, 40, Entrepreneur
Participant 5: Female, 26, Graphic Designer

Length:

15-30 minutes

Findings
Navigation:

(1.) Participants found the main navigation intuitive and straightforward.
(2.) There was confusion about the purpose of the "Mentors" tab, which participants expected to be a community-related content area.

Mentor Matching:

(1.) Participants appreciated the variety of mentors available and the ability to filter them by expertise.
(2.) A few participants expressed uncertainty about how the mentor matching algorithm worked and whether it considered their preferences.

Mentorship Request:

Participants understood the process of sending a mentorship request, but a couple of them missed the option to add a personalized message, which they felt was important.

Task Completion:

(1.) Participants generally managed to complete the core tasks, such as searching for mentors, and sending a mentorship request.
(2.) Some participants initially struggled to discover the explore to find mentors, suggesting that its placement needs to be more prominent.
(3.) The "Send Mentorship Request" button label was confusing to a few participants, who expected it to be more action-oriented (e.g., "Connect with Mentor").

Refining the design

Mockups

Based on the insights from the usability studies, I applied design changes like providing a clear search suggestion section on the home screen and a guide to view mentor suggestions and further explore from the homescreen.











High-fidelity Prototype

The high-fidelity prototype followed the same user flow as the low-fidelity prototype, including design changes made after the usability study.

View the Techmentor's high fidelity prototype






Accessibility considerations
(1.)

Clear labels for interactive elements that can be read by screen readers.

(2.)

Contrast and Visual Legibility: I used sufficient contrast between text and background colors to ensure readability for users with low vision.

(3.)

Provided clear and consistent navigation options.

(4.)

Used headings and spacing to group the related content together.

Going forward

Key Takeaways
What I learned

Usability Testing: The case study highlights the importance of usability testing, revealing valuable insights that informed design decisions and resulted in a more intuitive user experience.

Importance of User-Centered Design: By incoporating user feedback and iteratively improving the app's usability based on real-world testing.

Impact

Enhanced User Experience: Further testing with users showed that The accessibility considerations ensured that out techmentor app is usable by a wider range of users, contributing to a more inclusive and positive user experience.

My Learning and Growth: The case study afforded me as the sole designer the ability to adapt and learn from user feedback, contributing to my professional growth and expertise in designing accessible interfaces.

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© Akin Adeleke 2022|Designer