Mentor Connect

Problem Area

Mentoring can be a great way to share knowledge and help someone be successful in their personal or professional life. But many potential mentors are often too busy to commit to regular meetings, or they have a hard time connecting with people seeking help.

Problem Statement

Experienced professionals inherently want to help others entering a field in which they have expertise. This is especially true for professionals that have received mentorship in the past. Discovering and identifying individuals that need guidance has been a challenge along with scheduling time to meet with them.

How might we create a way for professionals to connect with these individuals in a way that fits into their daily lives?

skills used

Concept development, secondary research, persona development, user flows, wireframing, visual design and prototype.


Tools Used: Sketch, OmniGraffle, Marvel


Team: 1
Timeline: 10 days


To create a mobile application that will facilitate connecting professionals with individuals that align with their area of expertise and quickly be able to schedule a time for them to meet.


The above prototype has been glitchy, if it appears to shake a lot please use the link below for a better experience.

Link to Prototype

Light Research - Identifying the Problem

I reached out to a few mentors and mentees to understand the relationship between the two.  From the mentors’ perspective, they are typically always willing to help and provide any guidance that they can.  Many of the mentors used the term, “pay-it-forward” mainly due to the fact that they were mentored in the past and therefore are experiencing the benefits mentorship offers.

Potential mentees on the other hand, may be aware of the term “mentoring” but do not know exactly what it means to have a mentor.  Some wrestle with the challenge of not knowing who they can reach out to or where to look for advice. They know they want to live a better life and grow in their careers but haven’t yet discovered the networks to get them there in a timely fashion.

Promoters + Inhibitors for Mentors + Mentees

Understanding what drives people to perform certain actions and what prohibits them was crucial to figuring out the relationship between the two. Identifying what are the commonalities and blockers are made it easier to spot where the problem lie.

Market Analysis

With these problems in mind, I wanted to learn if platforms were available that enabled mentors to connect with potential mentees and vice versa. I learned that most platforms were primarily targeted toward youths and had strict times that would be allocated for mentoring. This regimented type of scheduling would not be ideal for working adults.

2x2 Matrix: Mentoring Market

Audience + Business

After completing a round of research and seeing what the market current has to offer I am able to define the audience for this application along with some business opportunities.

The market is already over saturated with programs that cater to youths, this application would better serve those either:

  • Entering their career
  • Already in their career and seeking growth
  • Looking to switch careers

Business Opportunity

Since this application is more focused around career building and growth it would be useful to:

  • Have companies advertise job postings
  • Sponsor workshops

Scope & Constraint

Mentorship can be a broad area. After speaking with a few mentors I decided not to focus on the matching aspect of the relationship. I believe that many programs can be misguided having that as a primary element. I pictured having a mentor is much like getting a therapist; once you’ve had your first session you have an idea if they are someone that you can be open with or not. Therefore, I decided to focus on the scheduling section. It is more about securing a person’s time that causes a challenge in mentorship programs.

Persona Creation

Using the research data, I created two personas; one of a mentor and the other of a mentee. Moving forward I decided to focus on the mentor’s perspective as they appear to have less flexible schedules.

Jeffery - Mentor


To help under represented minorities advance in their career.

Samantha - Mentee


To be promoted at work and take on new challenges.

Persona - Mentor - Jeffery Foster
Persona - Mentee - Samantha Howell


After I began defining the  idea of what I was about to create, I tried to get some rough sketches out on paper. These eventually resulted in how I created some screens.

P.S. Sketches below are really messy

Solution Expanded

By using this solution it will connect mentors with individuals and help both parties schedule a time to meet. It will also aid to reduce the back and forth with emails/text. The application is expected to integrate with the phone’s native calendar, helping to keep track of mentoring commitments.


1. Registration

Hi-Fi Mockups

I later added a bit of visual treatment to the wireframes. This helped to embody what the application could look like. This demonstrates the path a mentor would take to connect with a mentee. I also included the alternate user view of the mentee to show how their response affects the mentors’ alerts/notifications.

2. Schedule Mentorship Session

As the mentor is the primary focus, the screens below demonstrate from a mentor’s view how they would set up a meeting with a potential mentee.

solution highlight

Mentee View - Accept Session Request

Invitation for Mentoring Session

Since my focus was on mentors, I only created one screen for the mentee view. This is what a request would look like coming in from a mentor. The mentee has the option to accept it or suggest a time that also works with their schedule.

Using the app myself

After designing this application and imagining myself using it, I thought that even though the channel was made available to connect with a mentor there could still be some hurdles in reaching out.

  • It would be a good idea to have pre-defined templated messages when initially connecting with a mentor/mentee to reduce the awkwardness.
  • I also thought about security issues that could arise. I believe that mentors and mentees would need to go through a thorough verification process if the application  will be the medium they use to set up initial meetings. If not, we would need a very good legal team to craft a policy that protects the creators.

What I’d change:

Given more time, I’d want to not only focus on the mentor but to design out the full interaction of the mentee as well.

  • Add a feature for mentors to refer a colleague/friend if they believed the individual can better benefit from their knowledge.
  • I’d also want to make it more thorough, i.e. possibly have mentees upload their resume to give mentors an in-depth look at what other skill they may have.
  • Create a companion web version, especially for those that aren’t very versed with mobile devices.

Lessons Learnt

  • It’s very important to define your scope early on in the process. I found myself straying out too often and struggling to bring it back in to focus on my initial goal. I felt like my design is missing the voice of the mentees because mentoring is a two-way street.
  • I also learned that it can be difficult to curate an application that is geared more about user-generated content. You’ll need to ensure that your design solutions also work at scale because you can never predict the amount of data that it will need to support.