People have been sharing mentorship posts on LinkedIn, which generate a lot of engagement and help potential mentors and mentees connect. LinkedIn currently lacks a dedicated mentorship finding service. I wanted to explore how people find mentorship and assess the potential of LinkedIn for connecting mentors and mentees
"Give mentees and mentors an opportunity to connect through LinkedIn"
People who were recently graduated and juniors.
I followed the double diamond design method and ran two iterations.
Starting from the mentorship posts I came across on LinkedIn, I wanted to examine the various types of posts related to mentorship and explore the ways mentors and mentees interact within that space.
After analysing these posts, and my findings were:
► Mentorship is offered in three structures:
- 1:1 mentorship
- Group mentorship
- Mentorship programs
- 1:1 mentorship
- Group mentorship
- Mentorship programs
► Mentorship is offered based on various topics, such as specific areas of expertise, career levels, race, and more.
► People have different criteria when seeking mentorship, such as finding someone experienced in their field.
► Many individuals claim that finding a mentor, even within the workplace, is difficult and they find these posts to be useful.
After conducting online research, I proceeded to create a survey with the aim of understanding the following:► On which platforms has the target group searched for and found mentorship?
► What are the pain points associated with finding mentorship?
► What do they need in their search for mentorship?
I received 19 responses.
I wanted to identify why majority of people (71.4%) preferred social media as the primary source to find a mentor.
Users: 5 users
1. Users easily connect with experts on social media, particularly LinkedIn. They value finding experts based on a criteria (e.g. expertise, location etc.) and connecting them. They hesitate to reach out to ask if they are providing mentorship.
2. Two key approaches: Users either message experts they follow to inquire about mentorship or stumble upon mentorship posts while actively searching.
3. People experience concerns and worries during the process of finding a mentor because it lacks structure, guidance, and a clear pathway. The overall process is perceived as complicated and lacking proper guidance.
4. Users have different criteria to trust someone as a mentor:
- Inexperienced mentees place trust in others' positive reviews.
- Experienced mentees establish trust based on the mentor's years of expertise, previous company affiliations, expertise in specific areas of work, or specific skills.
Based on the research I conducted, I identified two user personas.
"How might we provide structure and guidance for the mentorship process on LinkedIn?"
I identified my vision for the product as follows:
"The app will provide users with a structured and end-to-end process to search for mentorship, filter based on their criteria, and book sessions without feeling lost or overwhelmed."
After establishing this vision, I began the ideation process.
When I started the project, I was aware that LinkedIn offered services beyond being a social platform for professionals and job searching. These additional services were grouped under the 'Work' section in the navigation bar, which included features like 'Learning' and 'Services Marketplace.'
During the ideation phase, I considered that 'Mentorship' could be a suitable addition within this section for the following reasons:
1. Mentorship aligns with the other services provided by LinkedIn, making it consistent with the platform's overall environment. Placing it in the 'Work' section maintains this coherence.
2. Users who visit the 'Learning' section may have an interest in finding mentorship related to the topics they are learning about. Adding a mentorship feature would cater to this need.
Currently, there is no direct access to the services in the 'Work' page on the LinkedIn app. In light of this, I have made the decision to improve the discoverability of the 'Mentorship' service by integrating it into the app. This integration will ensure that users can easily access and utilise the mentorship feature within the LinkedIn app.
Before delving into ideation, I made the decision to conduct an A/B test to determine the most intuitive and discoverable way to integrate the 'Work' page into the home page.
I designed two variations of the home page. In both versions, I relocated the notifications to the top to make space for the inclusion of the 'Work' page. Considering that the 'Work' page encompasses more of LinkedIn's services, it seemed logical to test its placement under the title of 'More.' This way, I aimed to evaluate which variation would be more intuitive and discoverable for users in their search for mentorship.
In the A/B test, naming the services page "Work" as "More" in Variation B came out as more discoverable by users in the rate of 74%. So, I proceeded the ideation with Variation B.
Low Fidelity Design (1st Iteration)
Mentorship can be searched for in two ways:
► Through the 'More' option in the bottom navigation
► By utilising the search bar and applying relevant filters.
► Out of the research it came out that the users have criteria for the mentorship, so they can filter mentorship.
► The Mentorship Page consists of two sections for users to navigate:
1. "Discover" section: Users can explore and discover available mentorships.
2. "My Sessions" section: Users can view and manage their scheduled mentorship sessions.
► One of LinkedIn's unique selling points would be its ability to personalise mentorship recommendations more effectively compared to other mentorship platforms. This personalisation is enabled by leveraging the wealth of background information available on LinkedIn user profiles.
► In addition to individual mentorships, the Mentorship Page also caters to users who prefer group mentorship sessions and mentorship programs. Research insights revealed that some users prefer joining these group settings as they provide structure and a sense of freedom to participate.
I aimed to maintain design consistency within the app. LinkedIn users have the option to create an additional profile parallel to their main LinkedIn profile for selling services. I implemented a similar structure for mentors to set up their mentorship services. Here, users can find the following information:
► About section for mentor's mentorship service
► Access to mentor's main profile through the link on the mentor's page to get more detailed information about the mentor.
► Location - Price for the mentorship
► Topics which mentors are providing mentorship for
► On the mentor's main profile, it is denoted that the expert is mentoring. It invites visitors to their mentorship profile. This approach aims to make the mentor seem more approachable, addressing the hesitation reported by mentees who were hesitant to ask experts online for mentorship.
I conducted user tests with 4 users.
► All users were able to successfully locate the mentorship service, with 3 finding it in the "More" section and 1 through the "Search bar."
► All users were able to successfully search for a mentor.
► All users recognised that the mentorship page was personalised for their needs.
► All users found the mentorship page and filters to be intuitive and understandable.
► All users understood the three mentorship structures available: 1:1, group, and program.
► 3 out of the 4 users immediately looked at the ratings of mentors, indicating the importance of reviews to users.
► All 4 users were able to successfully complete the booking process.
I made further design iterations based on the findings from the user tests and conducted a second round of prototype testing with two additional users. This allowed me to gather more insights and validate the effectiveness of the design changes.
► All users were able to successfully search for mentorship opportunities.
► All users were able to find mentorship options that matched their specific criteria.
► Users did not encounter any confusion with the CTA buttons and the booking process.
► All users were able to successfully complete the booking process.
You can now test the product demo here.
To fully experience the journey, you can search for mentorship opportunities, explore the available options, view the mentor's profile (Conor), and book sessions for Product Development and Career Management on April 20th at 7 PM. Additionally, you have the option to view the mentor's main profile.
Reflection & Next Steps
The UX Tree Mentorship Program significantly boosted my design skills and personal growth. I refined research and design abilities, gaining invaluable insights. Guided by my mentor, I enhanced my skills to extract actionable insights from research, leading to user-centred design decisions that improved functionality.
Designing for a major platform exposed me to diverse user needs, showcasing effective solutions. The journey was rich in discoveries, highlighting the challenges of broad user design.
Towards the end of my project, LinkedIn updated its "Work" section to "For Business," aligning with user feedback from my tests. I'm excited to see how they might integrate a mentorship service to meet user needs.
For future direction, I would like to conduct further testing on group sessions and programs within the service. I intend to ideate on and thoroughly test how these features would function.
Additionally, the mentorship service caters to two types of users: mentees and mentors. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I was unable to explore the perspective of mentors. However, it is highly significant to observe the mentor's side as well. Given more time, I would conduct user research, ideation, and design specifically tailored to the mentor's experience.