Looking for a Mentor

ui
ux

#1

Hi,

As the title suggests, I’m looking for a patient person with lots of knowledge to help me start my professional career in UX.

Few words of introduction:

I’m 29 and recently switched to UX. I have started a job month ago as a one team UX. And this is exactly why I need a senior person to guide me a little bit.

I believe that my employers chose me because of my potential and the hard work I’ve done to get where I am now, but I very well aware of my shortcomings.

I am working at a startyup, with no senior people to help me in the process. The job I do is not strictly UX - it’s everything, including branding, or creating infographics.

I would love to have a good soul to talk to about the most stupid of concerns I’d have a my job. Somebody with patience and the need to share their knowledge.

The reason I’m not looking locally is that I have just moved to a new city and don’t know anyone, and it’s always the easiest way to ask at the forums.

Thanks!


#2

Well, as I’m a UX student myself, I am in no way in a position to be able to mentor somebody else.

That said, if you have any specific questions you want more opinions on, feel free to ask me or this community on this forum. I’ve found (and given) a lot of help using these guys.

What kind of project are you working on? (Are you able to talk about it?)

-braydn


#3

I just think that having one person watching over you is much simpler and more effective. But I obviously only hope to find a Master, not require that. So that said… you can count on me when it comes to tormenting you all with my questions.

The first is… we’re going into a phase of designing the actual Tool (Platform/ Console/Dashboard -no name yet). Dev Guys created some kind of a dashboard, it has a visual representation. Now it’s the time to actually make it beautiful, intelligible, and obviously usable. I want to start from actually playing with this thing, asking ton of questions to the Dev team about the underlying mechanisms, how it works, why it works, etc, collecting input and output data (at the same time fighting with my boss who wants to have the graphic design first).

Any more hints? What should I focus on at this point in time? Wherse should I start? What should I read? Who should I talk to?


#4

@mag_sobieszuk and @BraydnDegraw

Check out http://designmentors.org/ for finding a mentor.


#5

@mag_sobieszuk, Ideally you should have been involved before the coding started. It is much harder to do UX after the fact and it will require an uphill battle.

You will need to do usability testing on the existing dashboard to find what the problems are for users first. You want to get the mechanics right before doing visual design.

Hope that helps.


#6

I’m in the same boat as you! One (wo)man UX team- started earlier this year. There have been many times I had doubted myself, but I have just kept up with reading and learning outside of work everyday tackling questions relevant to the current and next stage of the project.


#7

I kind of disagree with you. The mechanics will not alter that much after changing the visuals. Without the visuals they already have I wouldn’t have been able to understand what the Console does. There is no need in usability testing of the Console as it is today, as… it’s not useful to the users at all. This is the “working copy”. And the working copy is like… 10% of the whole Console.


#8

Good to hear there are more such ambitious people :wink: Have you ever had anything to do with UX?


#9

@mag_sobieszuk Sorry, I disagree with you too. :slight_smile: That’s great that there is only 10% of the console is finished. It gives you a lot more freedom. But as a UX Designer, you should be deciding the flows and interactions, not the developers. The tool should be based on the final end users’ mental models, not the system being developed.
It’s like deciding on a tool and then being forced to change your process to work with the way that tool is constructed. The usage will not be intuitive. Even if only 10% is completed, there are still concept and validation tests you can do to make sure the system is being designed for users and not the developers.


#10

Not until I started my role this year. I found out about UX in Jan, got a job in April which I turned into a partly UX position and now learning as I go. I do have a degree in psyc and some architectural design experience that feed into my interests with UX (all about people and human-environment interactions). I’m also doing IDF courses weekly and completing my honours year in Human Factors psychology :grin:


#11

They are not reinventing the wheel. Neither are they creating ‘upload files’ under ‘downloading’. They are developers but you need to believe that they understand basic social concepts and know how things work. Being UX is not only about “Let’s do it like this because this is what users want”. This is about “Let’s do this because this is the closest to what users want while keeping it feasible on the tech side”.


#12

Hi @mag_sobieszuk, I am not sure why you are being so defensive. You were asking for advice and I did my best to give it to you. It’s your prerogative if you take it or not. It is a UX Designer’s job to balance the needs of the users, the business, and the technology. I don’t have the full context so I did my best with the information provided. There are a few books on dashboard design… Without knowing the details of the tool being built it is hard to give concrete advice. You can always do more user research.


#13

So. much. this. :slight_smile: This is the heart of what we do - one big balancing act!


#14

I appreciate all kinds of constructive advice. True that I was defensive. Pretty tough time trying cooperate with my Team (not the Dashboard though) took it’s toll, so I am sorry if I offended you in any way. But let me give you good advice too. When somebody asks for a piece of advice, you don’t tell them it would’ve been easier to start working on it two months earlier, because it was not their choice to start working on it so late and it brings no value to the solution of the problem. Neither did the “you need to do usability testing”. If you don’t know the context and see that I am responsive, you could’ve asked more questions to understand the problem better. I guess that this is what good UX Designers do. :slight_smile:


#15

I am a little bit tired with this ping pong above, so let me switch the focus to my problem again. I really need a good helping hand.
At the very beginning:

  1. I am going to play with the Console, write down all the observations on what works, what doesn’t, trying to understand the mechanics,
  2. create the existing flow,
  3. List all the user inputs and outputs.

Is this a good plan for the beginning? Would you recommend something else? Would you recommend preparation of some kind of specific documentation? If what I’m planning to do is ok, what do I do next?

Thanks in advance for advice.


#16

As you mentioned above, there is a lot of back and forth on this thread. Which is why you should look for either someone to talk to in person or remotely, whichever is most convenient for you. My first response to your original post was to give an example of a site that does exactly that.
There is also Out of Office Hours, which gives you a 30 minute chat with a senior UX Designer for free if you sign up.
Using a forum thread for advice on a problem specific to your work is not conducive to a shared community conversation in my opinion. There are specific forums for that, such as UX.stackoverflow.com and others.
I am trying to be helpful with the context available, but this is just my view point.


#17

Thank you for the recommendations!

I am aware of everything you pinpointed. I created a thread in which someone with more experience might volunteer to help me. That was the main purpose of the thread.


#18

I just signed up. It looks like they’re in early beta but it should be an awesome platform. Thanks for sharing!!