ABOUT MENTOR BUDDIES
Design Buddies’ offshoot Mentor Buddies app lets a designer pair up with a more experienced mentor for 15 minutes to answer the mentee's questions, after they donate to a charity of the mentor’s choice.
Mentor Buddies has the idea that a major barrier to designers learning and overcoming design problems is having instant access to a mentor in their field and expertise interest. Often a search of Google provides too little, and sometimes too much information, and an existing mentor might not be reachable at the time that the answer is needed. So we sought to provide this way to get instant advice to the inquiring designer for a low cost, and in an easy to use design.
Our goal was to increase the amount of designers pairing up with a mentor during a key stage of the app’s onboarding process. After seeing a significant drop off rate where the new user chooses a mentor, we dug deeper to give Mentor Buddies a better chance of snagging more designers to use the app.
I analyzed and integrated business metrics and questions about why users weren’t moving forward in the app at a key point, into the needs and frustrations of the new user. The result was, after ideating visually, a redo of the section of the onboarding process that lets the user explore a list of potential mentors.
Sketch, Figma, InVision
MAKE OF THE TEAM
Two other designers, as well as a product manager, reporting to the founder.
Lower the drop off rate in a key area of the onboarding process.
As a UX Designer on a team of two other designers as well as a product manager, I got the chance to work with Mentor Buddies founder Grace Ling as well as its product director.
UNDERSTANDING THE USER
The user is a designer who is looking for advice in their field, specifically from other more seasoned designers. They are looking for advice in all sorts of areas, in design topics like UI Design, freelancing, and UX Research, as well as others.
INTERVIEW WITH FOUNDER GRACE LING
I interviewed Grace Ling, who is the founder and innovator behind Mentor Buddies. I was able to gather various insights into what was going on with the current state of the app, and brainstormed those insights into possible solutions.
Users thought that it was a service they needed, with over 12,500 members
Users enjoyed using the app, and got their questions answered
People were getting stuck at key points in the app, and quitting
Simplifying the onboarding process
Improve the way that the user chooses which mentor to pick, improve the criteria that they have within the app to base their choice on
DATA & ANALYTICS
The data confirmed Grace’s concerns about the onboarding process as being improvable. Here, I analyzed time spent on each screen, and where the user left the screen.
There was a significant drop off rate especially at the point where the user picks a mentor from a list. A more in-depth look was called for at this point in the onboarding experience.
The amount of mentors in the suggested mentors list was overwhelming, with too many mentors.
The user was confused on where to start the chat, where to click.
During this closer look, I interviewed several Design Buddies users who had participated in Mentor Buddies’ beta launch.
The user wanted to filter through the list on a higher level.
It seemed that the user wanted some control over which mentor they wanted to choose, to feel confident in their choice, and to know how to proceed with their choice clearly once they were sure of their choice. The user wanted a greater sense of certainty in their journey through picking their mentor.
How might our team through design help the user feel more confident in their choosing and proceeding to chat with a mentor in the app’s onboarding process?
MENTOR LIST SCREEN (before)
Based on extensive user interviews and stakeholder interviews, I decided to focus on the mentor list screen in the onboarding experience.
In previous screens, Mentor Buddies asks the user to choose topics of interest for their mentor needs, but the mentor list doesn’t specify which interests each mentor specializes in, making the user click within each listing in order to get more specifics. There is no way to filter, as the users wanted to do during user interviews.
Accordingly, I sketched out some initial designs that clearly denoted categories which the mentee can explore, in order to quickly and successfully pick their mentor.
Here, mentees were concerned about filtering by charity, so there is a section where they can choose by charity. The mentee also can choose by rating and specialties of the mentor, such as UI Design, freelancing, and Information Architecture.
To build the user’s confidence and sense of control in moving forward in their choice, we decided to include a list of interests at the top of the list of suggested mentors, that, once clicked on, narrows down the mentors exactly to the topic that the user wants to discuss with them.
We believe that once the user sees mentors listed that clearly reflects the topic of their question, they will be more likely to click on the mentor and engage during a mentor session with them.
TITLE OF THE CALLOUT BLOCK
In the end, we had a polished design ready for testing. The new screens will be A/B tested to see which one mode makes users more confident about picking out a mentor.
The users tested will be completely new to Mentor Buddies, and drop-off rates will be re-evaluated to see how these new users react to the new design.