Design mentoring app
1:1 Design Mentoring

Helping designers to reach their professional goals


The 1:1 Design Mentoring is a platform that connect design people, mainly design students with qualified mentors.


Target users of this platform are designers and design students who want to be connected with qualified mentors that support them through their professional career.


The goal is to design a responsive website with a request mentoring flow that is easy, friendly and accessible.

My role

I was the user experience designer for this project.
What does this mean? I was responsible for both concept and visual design, through a structured process in different stages and playing different roles for each one of them: user researcher, interaction designer, data analyst, visual designer.

Methods & tools

I used the Design Thinking framework to carry out all the activities needed to structure this project, from the problem to a design solution. Through the Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test phases, I could use some tools and methods to helped me to achieve the goal: Competitive audit, Persona, Interviews, User journey map, Empathy map, Wireframing, Sketching, Sketching, Mockups, Usability study, Prototypes.


User research summary

I conducted interviews and created empathy maps to understand the users I’m designing for and their needs. A primary user groups identified was final year design students who want to be prepared for the labor field, the other group was professionals who want to improve their specific design skills.

Main user's pain points

A bunch of information

To have to analyze a bunch of information about different mentors and doesn’t know who is the best fit mentor to them.

To have to send a blind request

Users can’t figure it out mentors availability. So they must send some mentoring request and to wait for responses.

Need guidance

Users know they need a mentor, but they don’t necessarily know the path they need to follow to accomplish their goals.

User research summary

We design personas based on research, to help us to understand user’s needs, experiences, behaviours and goals.

Persona Kate: a designer
Persona Thomas: a final year design student

User journey map

Scenario: Thomas is trying to find available mentors to send request and get response quickly.

Thomas' journey map
Starting the design


Time to start to shape the solution, information architecture helped me to draw the path of users on the platform to reach their goal on this platform.

Design mentoring app sitemap


Put ideas on paper is key to quickly materialize ideas and analyze the flow.

Homepage ideas

I sketched out ideas, keeping the user’s pain points about navigation and browsing in mind. These home screen paper wireframe variations help to keep the focus on optimizing the browsing experience.

Sketches for homepage

I kept the best ideas of each one: assistant or step by step search

Sketches for homepage

And, simple search bar focused and designed on user goal.

Screen size variations

My priorities were to keep the focus on the criteria to search a mentor, and help users to know how to start.

Mobile wireframe
– Home page
– Hamburger menu
– One screen to set the filters

Mobile homepage sketch
Desktop homepage sketch

Desktop wireframe
Home page with big search bar above the fold

Time to digitalize ideas and to test them

Digital wireframes

I tried to keep the page clean, focusing the attention on the search bar.

Search bar with four basic fields to help to define the user needs.

Search bar wireframe

I thought to establish date and time ranges would be easy to select and to match with more available mentors.

Date range selector

Low fidelity prototype

This lo-fi prototype simulates searching mentor flow, to get system suggestions based on users preferences and send the mentoring request.

Low fidelity prototype in acton

Usability study

Study type

Unmoderated usability study


United States, Remote


10 participants


20-30 minutes

The low fidelity prototype was tested with 10 users, at this level, we can uncover the most common issues and learn how our designs perform with sufficient participants for accurate results. The findings are listed below:

1. Search bar
7 of 10 users prefer search bar over navigation.

2. Users lost
2 of 10 users felt lost in the task to find a mentor.
“Wasn’t aware how to approach it in the first place”

3. Calendar
3 of 10 users felt out of control with the 3 hours interval range on the calendar.

4. First clicks
Most users prefer to click the first search field, to the left side of the search bar.

Refining the design

Thanks to usability study findings, I could notice some unclear elements on the design. So it was necessary to take some decisions

1. Include better cues to users to know what to do on the website. Numbers from 1 to 4 to follow a path.

2. Modify the search button to make it more visible and related with the search bar.

Better cues to guide users

3. On the search bar date selector, I included a calendar to select a specific date and time to find a mentor, instead of a range of dates.

Specific date and time selector

4. Prioritize the items in the search bar, to help users follow a logic path. Why? Users tryed to find something first on the left side of the search bar. See heat map, that shows users interactions (clicks) on the home screen.

Heat map of search bar

Desktop screen size mockups

Desktop screen size mockups

Mobile screen size mockups

See in action the web site

Design mentoring website flow in action - Desktop

See in action the mobile version

Design mentoring mobile version flow in action


Our target users shared that the design is intuitive to navigate through, demonstrated a clear visual hierarchy and flow, they also felt comfortable with the ‘clean and modern design’.

What I learned
I had to heed while users tested the flow, that’s why I could learn more about users preferences and first impressions with the product, to make it more acquaintance with their expectations.

Next steps
– Conduct follow-up usability testing on the website.

– Continue with design of additional flows on the website, like login or to see other mentors different to suggested.

Thanks for read this summary for the project:

Design mentoring app logo

Helping designers
to reach their professional goals

YC icon black