A mentorship exploration, connection and development app for students in college.
Your school wants to strengthen the community by encouraging experienced students to connect with new students and help them adjust to campus life. Design an experience that allows mentors and mentees to discover each other.
Individual Project 7 days sprint -- Feb 2020
Should users setup their preference and needs during onboarding to save efforts?
Users are required to register with an active institution student acount to create an acount. This ensures all users within the platform are enrolling student US institutions.
The questionaire help users quickly set up accounts by filling out personal and academic information, which also can be used for mentor/mentee matching system.
Privacy setting is moved to the profile setting in order to simplify the onboarding process.
SEARCHING & MATCHING What if users do not know what type of mentor they want exactly yet? I designed two options with the search function where users can use either keywords or questionnaire to find the matching mentor. Users can start with a simple keyword for top level overview, and further filter the returned results by the side filters to narrow down matches along their exploration.
Users can use the visualization of personal tags in the mentor profile to better make their decisions (it is the result of data visualization of the rating system that I will mention in later sections).
MENTORSHIP DEVELOPMENT How users can develope and evaluate mentorship with their mentors with the platform, such as setting up a call or in-person meeting? Or provide feecback on ther mentor/mentee experience? The calendar feature embedded within the chat room give users a visual view of combined schedule to better achieve time coordination between mentee and mentor. I removed this feature from the main bottom navigation because I believed that it is mainly needed for coordination instead of personal planning.
The system will bring up notification about incoming survey that is necessary for evaluating platform efficiency and community engagement. Meanwhile, it gathers data for visualization on both mentees' and mentors' profile page to enhance the matching process.
TRANSITION TO MENTOR Is it possible for mentees to become mentors? Can a student be mentee and mentor at the same time? On the profile page, users can change their account status between mentee and mentor by tapping on the switch. The application process for transition to mentor is also embedded here. If a user registered as a mentee and is trying to tap to switch to mentor status, the system will send a popup text syaing the account is not properly registered and ask whether user is trying to apply for mentor status.
After getting the prompt, I started with background research with keywords to explore the design space of this challenge and gather some initial thoughts about the problem.
Some keywords I focused from the prompt iscampus life, mentee and mentor, and discover.
What types of mentorships should be covered for Campus Life?
How to match Mentee and Mentor to meet expectation of both sides?
How to ensure a quality mentorship experience to further promote mentees to become mentors?
I put down some notes about how I think the structure of the system should be, the relationship between students and college with the system, and how some other similar products and programs out there take their approaches.
After conducting background research and several short interviews sessions with Georgia Tech students, I finalized my finding into a high level affinity map that can help me pin down what features the system would provide, and how college/university should get involved to help maintain the quality of service. To list some finding from the process:
All mentees and mentors all have different needs, preference and expectation on how the mentorship should be
A rating system is crucial to evaluate efficiency of the system and increase mentor retention and encourage mentees to become mentors
Apply screening process on mentor application to ensure mentorship quality
Design a mobile platform that where mentors and mentees can connect and offers high-quality mentorships.
I decide to achieve this goal through these approaches:
Design a feature that let mentors and mentees to form mentorships that match their demands and preference through faceted filters
Provide high-quality mentorship by requesting application and screenig for applying to be a mentor
Encourage more mentors to join by providing satisfying mentorship experience, evaluation and affirmation of their efforts
Have flexibility within the system that let a student be mentor and mentee at the same time
WIREFRAME & USER FLOW
Since mose of the needed features and structure were defined in the previous stage, so I jumped into developing some wireframes within Figma and defining some basic user flows after several iterations.
I used bottom navigation for major functions, including Discovery, Chatroom, Search, Calendar, Profile. The layout is derived from conventions used by social medias and other online social platforms. The two main focus of the system during developing wireframes are the onboarding process and the search for match process. At the same time, the rating system and privacy, notification control within account setting, profile visualization are something important to consider. With these user preference settings, it is easier to provide better mentorship experience for both mentors and mentees and to control the quality of the mentorship service.
I conducted 2 usability testing sessions with final clickable prototype and got some in-depth feedback for the overall system and minor design problems as well.
The wording of progress bar for the onboarding processs and step ordering are confusing.
Preference questions in onboarding seems out of place.
Questionaire for the search might be overwhelming if users are just trying to explore for some options.
Calendar doesn’t feel like a major function that fit in the bottom navigation.
Reorganize the onboarding with choosing type of mentorship in front and redesign the progress bar with different visualization for skipped and completed steps.
Keep preference questions in profile setting,
Give two options for search allow both exploration and specific searching.
Merge the calendar function into the chat room.
There are several things I considered during the brainstorming and researching process, but did not have the time to include within the prototype. If I have a longer time span to thinking and working further on this design project, these are several things I would look into:
Admin Portal for Institution within the Platform
Provide institution with visualized data of how the platform is working
Ability to surveil and receive reports on student activities within the platform
Standardize screening process for mentor applications
How to Promote students to Become Mentors
Leverage the linkage between the platform and social medias and give mentors ability to share their efforts and growth in mentorship
Better management of mentorship, such as group mentorship with several mentees to reduce time devotion
Thanks for checking out my work.
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