Looking for a UX mentor


#1

Hi UXers,

I have a few years of experience as a designer, but I want to work on my UX experience and knowledge. There are some areas that I’m quite comfortable with, but there are other areas that I really need to work on.

Any help would be more than welcomed.


#2

Welcome to the community! If you want to let us know a little more about you head over to introduce yourself in the UX Stories section!
Where abouts are you located? and are you looking for a mentor that you can get together in person and chat with or is online alright as well?


#3

Hey ginmau, welcome on board. :slight_smile:
You might find this article to be helpful read. There is a section on mentors.


#4

Hawk mentioned our getting started article, which although you’re not a beginner does indeed contain sound advice on mentoring (there are loads more detail and steps to follow in the ebook).

A few highlights, off the top of my head:

• You should have multiple mentors. You will learn something different from each of them as they’ll each have different strengths and experiences
• You should build relationships with people you respect and trust, rather than putting out a call-out to randoms and hoping that someone will be a good fit. When you have a strong relationship with someone, you’ll not only be in a position to hit them up for advice/guidance, but there will also be networking opportunities that might arise from that contact. And you’re more likely to also be in a position to help them out, with contacts, skills or advice.
• You mentioned there are specific things you want a mentor for. You shouldn’t get too hung up on “I need this person to guide me on this topic”. The mentoring relationship needs to work both ways, and can be surprising in what you get from it. One of my mentors, who I respected as an interaction designer and was hoping would give me guidance on particular solutions when solving design problems, ended up being instrumental as someone who challenged me professionally, pushing me to pursue public speaking, go freelance, and instilled confidence in how I marketed myself and the goals I set. I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m eternally grateful that he did.


#5

This is very true. I have three and it is my former boss (from a very corporate environment) that is the one encourgaing me to go freelance and speak at conferences! Good mentors come from the most unexpected places and I tend to pick them up as I go. All three of my mentors have just come from existing relationships that I built because I thought they were cool people and I wanted to get to know them. The mentoring relationship just evolved on its own.


#6

Thanks to all for the great feedback, thank goodness I signed up for the forum :slight_smile:

Since I decided I wanted to transition into UX, I’ve been living and breathing UX. I researched everything possible inlcuding the UX Mastery site and added a long list of them to my news reader. I also connected to people on twitter, signed up for the TNW Udemy bundle of 6 courses on UX. Wanting to network even further I’ve connected to UXers on Linked and then went on to create UXDiscuss to be able to discuss various aspects of UX.

I also started using UX processes in my day to day job and even steared my team to think more about UX as a whole and the results have been positive so far.

I do to a sense have a “digital” mentor through Rob Whiting (http://twitter.com/whitingx) who runs UXDiscuss with me and it’s been educational. I guess I’m now looking for more mentors to help me fill gaps especially in the area of User research and having a mentor I could get together with would be interesting.

Natalie Eustace - Will write my story. Digital or physical mentor, either would be welcomed
HAWK - Thanks!
mattymscg - Thanks for the run down. Gives me some great stuff think about
ASHM - I’ve managed to build some good relationships, but nowdays I seem to be mentoring juniors more than me being mentored myself. Most of mentoring is coming from online communities, people and sources.


#7

Sounds like you’re doing everything you should be and then some - well done! :slight_smile:

I’m a user researcher! I do some design work but about 80% of my day job and all of my blogging for Optimal Workshop is user research based. Happy to answer any questions/ brainstorm etc here with you :slight_smile:


#8

I definately feel like I’m doing a lot, but just need a little something to become a full fledged UXer.

Thanks so much for the offer! Any help or feedback would be incredible!

I’ve been told that in my portfolio/site I’m missing some of the more important explanations of my work. I’ve tried to make up for that by having a blog section as well as case studies… But how does one get experience working on user research when the company won’t let you near customers? :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

I went through something similar. My workplace lets me talk to users but I work for a government department and I can’t share my work outside of the department! I got around it by blogging too! :slight_smile: And at the time I was using the Optimal Workshop suite of tools and I wrote a blog post on Treejack and I shared it with Optimal Workshop via Twitter because I really wanted to work with them and they loved it! A few days later they offered me the chance to guest write for them and six months later I am now one of their regular guest writers (that is not an oxymoron) :slight_smile: What that means is I get to do user research using their tools and then write about it, get published and I get paid. So it’s those pieces that go in my portfolio :slight_smile:

Can you share the link to your site with us?


#10

My personal site is very easy http://hugofroes.com would be great to get feedback :smiley: I’m working on another article right now. Just putting together the supporting content before it goes live.