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MoMent dashboard screenMoMent available mentor/mentee boards screen
MoMent logo

Overview

MoMent is an app concept designed to help connect younger students with older, more experienced students in their program, developing lasting mentorships and strengthening community. To understand how such an app would work, this solution focuses on the graphic design program here at Auburn University, but it is designed in such a way that it would work for any program at any university. This was my first experience doing a rapid design sprint; the entire project being completed solo in just seven days.

The Problem

With no mentorship system in place, younger students in the graphic design program at Auburn rarely connect with older, more experienced students, leading to a weak community.

Target Audience

Both underclassmen and upperclassmen in Auburn's graphic design program who have an interest in student mentorship.

My ROle

Product Designer (Research, User Testing, Visual Design, Prototyping)

Tools Used

Figma, Protopie, Illustrator, Rotato

Time Frame

February 2020 (7 days)

Research

Defining the problem + Interviews

In order to better understand the problem, I focused on five key questions during my research.

We have tried mentorship programs in the past; why haven’t they worked?
How do you make sure mentors/mentees maintain interaction after their initial meeting?
What defines a successful mentorship?
Why is mentorship so important in the first place?
How can technology be used to foster human relationships?

I analyzed any existing apps related to mentorship I could find to see what solutions other designers have come up with, but none of them attempted to develop lasting relationships amongst their users like I wanted to. These relationships, both professional or friendly, were missing in my program. While I had some hunches, I interviewed students at every level of the program to see why they didn't interact with many people outside of their cohort. I also spoke with a handful of professors about student mentorships they had observed in the past. I made some insightful discoveries.

Almost everyone wants to meet students outside of their cohort, but typically end up not doing so.
The few mentorships that have happened evolve naturally through friendship.
Maintaining contact after meeting new people is the best way to develop a relationship.
The lack of interaction between older and younger students is the root of the problem.
If mentors are too much older than their mentee, there is not enough time for a relationship to form before they graduate.
Compatibility often determines whether a mentorship can form.

From these findings I determined that the root of the problem was that students have little interaction with those outside of their cohorts, leading to a lack of mentorship and community. To combat this systemic problem, my app would need to achieve three goals:

  1. Help match compatible mentors with mentees
  2. Encourage mentors to maintain communication with their mentees
  3. Create a positive feedback loop of inter-cohort interaction

The results of the user interviews were summarized into four personas, each presenting different needs and opportunities that would need to be considered in the solution.

Personas created of possible mentors and mentees.

ideation

user flows + wireframes

Considering the task oriented nature of the project goal, user flow charts helped develop how the app would be laid out. By drawing out the way a user might complete different tasks or achieve different goals, a loose framework of screens emerged.

User flow sketches for MoMent

Low-fidelity wireframes were sketched out based on the user flow screens that had been established. The goal of this step was to get a general idea of the elements housed on each screen that would allow the user to navigate the app and complete the set tasks.

Wireframe sketches of MoMent

validation

prototyping + user testing

From my wireframe sketches, I designed a mid-fidelity prototype that would allow me to test my concept with potential users. I focused mainly on the flow and information architecture, not paying too much attention to colors, typography, or styles.

Mid-fidelity prototype of MoMent
Users testing the prototype

I had three underclassmen and three upperclassmen test my mid-fidelity prototype. Their primary task was to find a mentor and set up a meeting, but I also had them just explore the app and its other features. I asked them to think out loud as they made their way through the app in addition to a few followup questions once they completed the tasks. With the feedback I received from user testing, I made several changes to the prototype to alleviate some of the pain points that were uncovered during testing.

Implementation

Final Design + Prototype

Onboarding

The onboarding process and profile creation help ensure users will be connected with compatible mentors/mentees.

Finding a Mentor

Rather than randomly pairing students together, users can sort through potential mentors/mentees to make sure they find someone with similar interests.

Other Resources

To foster a greater sense of community within the program, MoMent also provides users with helpful resources like program-specific FAQs and an Event Calendar.

Retrospective

What I Learned + Final Thoughts

This was one of my favorite projects I've done. I am very passionate about building community with others and I am very involved in my design program, so coming up with a concept that would foster mentorship was very meaningful to me. Going through the entire design process in just seven days (in the midst of a full course load) was a challenge, but it forced me to be very intentional with my strategy and time management. I learned how to rapidly prototype and get a product in users' hands in just a few short days, allowing me to get the important insights I needed to develop the final prototype.

check out another project

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Copyright © 2020 Jake Martin