This is Google 2020 UX Design Challenge. I completed the challenge in 7 days :)
understanding the prompt
When I got the design prompt, I started with analyzing what the client is actually asking for in the final solution, so that I can have the basic directions in mind.
In the context of this challenge, both sides of our main users - mentors and mentees, should be students only. Thus, we need to provide solutions for peer-to-peer mentorships inside an institution, differentiating from the professional mentorships offered elsewhere.
The prompt also pointed out the tasks that our client want the users to complete are:
2. Relationship formation
Finally, the ultimate theme/content that the whole solution should build on, campus life (However, we need further research on how the users define such broad term).
My research began with both interviewing and sending out surveys to my fellow students at Ga Tech. By gathering both quantitative and qualitative data of their past experiences with mentorships, I wanted to understand their needs as well as important pain points under the described tasks and content.
I first created a survey with a mix of closed- and open-ended questions, and gathered results from 14 Ga Tech students (Among them, 9 have had mentorship experiences before, 5 never involved in one).
Taking the results of the surveys, I then conducted three half-hour interviews with chosen survey participants to dig deeper into the hidden "why" problems. Below are some aspiring quotes.
With all collected data in hand, I used affinity mapping to figure out what are the high order needs and pain points.
Based on the user research and affinity mapping, I synthesized (3) major insights and (9) detailed insights.
Inefficient match process between mentors and mentees.
Low touch in the mentorship period.
Sense of overly structured.
I created task flows for steps a first-time user typically goes through in order to match with a mentor. I focused more on the two tasks that were mentioned in the prompt:
1. Connection - Mentorship matching
2. Relationship formation - Mentorship hub & Events
Based on the established pain points and task flow, I sketched out some low-fi screens using pen and paper. My goal was to bring in the task flow and transfer them into wireframes.
Once finished, I decided to conduct one round of user testing to bring the users into the scenario I ideated.
Considering the feedbacks that I collected from user testing, I started to put more thoughts into design for accessibility. Visually speaking, I wanted to design an interface that is friendly to color blindness, by testing color contrast combinations, font size, and incorporate groups of icons with text indication.
Matchmaking and User Profile
By embedding Google calendar into the app, it allows mentors to set available meeting slots, and mentees to view overlays of potential meetings, which will automatically fill in the event time when creating an event. It also contributes to find a time for all members in the mentorship, by the choice of viewing other mentee's calendar as well.
This iterated version does not need to be updated weekly, and allows both mentees and mentors to find proper times and ways to connect.
There will be different notice generated based on any accessibility issue that the current mentorship is facing, and will pop up as a reminder for the other member onsite. For example, while this mentor needs a ramp for wheelchair access, the notice will pop up within the event creating site, suggesting accommodations for adding location.
Due to the short time for implementation, there are additional insights uncovered in the research study stay unsolved. I also believe there are some improvements that can be done in the future.
Calendar system/Available time slots: Time conflict stays to be one remaining concern of both mentors and mentees. Incorporating Google Calendar to sync with the app might be one way to go.
Mentor background validation: As all mentors are students as well, how might we set up a standard for mentor qualifications? Should we introduce third-party users to take charge of the mentor application&validation process?
From this 7-day design sprint, I learned how to:
- Come up with a plan and conduct an end-to-end research study on my own.
Within a short period of time, I was able to create surveys, conduct interviews, perform affinity mapping, synthesize, and do one round of user testing.
- Rapid ideating and prototyping.
It's a great exercise for me to bring ideas on, transit them to low-fi sketches, and finally design an interactive hi-fi prototype in Adobe XD.