Ment.it is career mentoring service tailored to first generation immigrants and others looking for career mentoring. The service does not compete with others in this space and is offered free of charge to users. Ment.it focuses matching users (mentees) with mentors via cultural factors and career goals. The product is a combination of native app and responsive website, both of which allow users to access the career mentoring service.
Design a dedicated native app and responsive website for Ment.it that will allow mentees to be matched with mentors in their career field.
Who are the users?
In order to understand user needs, interviews with a variety potential mentors and mentees were conducted via Zoom. Finding users was a challenge because of the age range and experience of mentees. Volunteer mentors were identified via contacts in community outreach services. The Zoom based interviews allowed me to focus in on their individual needs which formed the two primary user groups.
The first group was comprised of the mentees which ranged in ages from 19 to 33, with different professional experiences.
Mentor comprised the second group and ranged from 40 to retirees. Primary focus was on professionals in various programing and engineering fields (people I had easy access to, myself being a first generation immigrant).
What’s the competition doing?
Locally I did not find any existing digital platforms that offer this type of service, however more traditional services exist. These are either run by local community outreach groups, or are state funded initiatives.
- Word of mouth
Mentors are typically approached by friends or friends of friends with requests for advice for their children. Mentors and mentees both want opportunities to connect on a broader scale.
- Balancing act
Mentors can’t be available at all hours and need a way to schedule their availability to mentees.
- Access point
Financial profiles of mentors and mentees can vary greatly. This can mean access to only a mobile device or computer. The service must be available across devices.
Two use cases were uncovered in the research: access via a dedicated mobile app and access via a web browser. Both use cases should be addressed by either modality however the app was more likely to be used by the mentee and the web based dashboard by the mentor.
The app’s wireframe focused on connecting the user (mentee) with a mentor based on their profile.
The site’s wireframe focused on creating a dashboard view for the mentor.
The unmoderated usability study was conducted via Figma and recorded in Zoom. Participants shared their screens and followed a script. The study showed that the process to select a mentor was easy to follow for the app and while the web based dashboard proved to have features users found confusing.
The inbox and messages features confused users as to when one would be used over the other. Additionally users indicated that they did not want to maintain an additional email inbox to the multitude they already had.
The primary refinement focused on the dashboard to consolidate the messages and inbox into one feature. This created a chat or post system similar to that project management platforms like Slack and Wrike. On the mobile app users indicated the desire to know the mentors availability to take on mentees while also having the option of contacting them if they were not available.
The app actually seems like a “nice to have” since there isn’t a reliance on specific device features. However the dedicated app’s use case is better suited for mentees as they could access the service from anywhere.
In a mentor use case the site is preferable as it can be access from a device that they may already be using in a professional setting.