Mentorship vs. Online Communities/Online Courses


Hi guys,
I know this may not 100% match with the topic mentoring but I was thinking:
A mentor is cool to have but what about feedback in online communities, isn´t that crucial as well?

I recently had this experience of the HCI MOOC of Coursera and I can tell you I really enjoyed the experience.
It was so helpful to share experiences with a lot of persons online who have experiences in the UX world.
Fortunately we are in an area where people love to share knowledge, what is great because I think that is
what brings UX step by step forward into the minds of companies.
The more we are, the more professional we work, the more chances are for UX to be a standard part in product development processes.

Think about a mentor: You´ll get deep understanding of practical knowledge in many years.
The issue is that you need up to build up a strong friendship to keep up with your mentor. But how many friends do you have in life?
Just some will keep on track with you … I´ve your able to set up a continous contact and relationship with your mentor I think thats great
but in reality I think not lot´s of people have mentors …

Think about an online community: You get 100´s of fresh ideas, multiple answers to question that you are dealing with and lot´s of times
there are people who really think about your question and answer it right away.
Think about online courses: Is this also a kind of mentorship?

So what do you think about that topic? What do you love or think about mentors, what do you love or think about online communities or online courses?

Curious about your answers :slight_smile:


Awesome post Georg. I suspect my answer is a given, considering the career that I’ve chosen.

I have never had a personal mentor as such, so I can’t disregard the value of it, but I do know that I have grown in many ways, both personally and professionally, as a result of my experiences with online forums. I think the most value lies in the fact that you are exposed to so many differing opinions and ideas.


Yep, totally agree Georg, and part of the reason why we launched this forum in the first place.

I find that, personally, I have gotten a lot out of both online and in-person mentors. It’s definitely true that it can be difficult to make time with one person, especially if they are busy, so crowd-sourcing your professional growth makes a lot of sense!

There is a mid-point that bridges the two, and that’s the concept of a mastermind group. I’ve discovered recently that this kind of thing is common amongst business entrepreneurs—a bunch of people who meet regularly to share, in confidence, their ideas, challenges, wins, and get feedback from the group. Sometimes this happens in person, but more often than not it’s a group Skype call or Google Hangout.

It may be something we could trial for this forum—perhaps a benefit of Gold Membership could be that you get to participate in a regular UX mastermind chat. Now I’m getting off topic! :slight_smile:


Mastermind group sounds really interesting. Never heard about somethin like that but the concept really sounds interesting.
As you know UX people are generally really open and love to share, so let´s keep on going :slight_smile:

I´m sure those group relationships can be build as well in online communities maybe even better than in real life.
The reason is that it fit´s better to the calendary of each person, it´s faster, can include links to knowledge bases and so on …

But I agree also that some personal connection, having mentors in real life could also help.
At the end we need to communicate value UX to companies and the world, that why real life ux conferences and bootcamps are also great


We’re in the midst of planning an online webinar for UX Mastery Gold Members, to be held in about 3 weeks time.

It’ll be mostly freeform, so bring along anything you’d like to talk about, questions on UX techniques, careers, experiences you’ve had, ideas for feedback, or just your ears (we have some good stuff to share too).

Hawk, Kim, Matt and I are all super keen to give some good value back to people who make it to Gold Member status. If it becomes like a regular mastermind chat then that’s fine with me. =)

Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement in the next few days!


This is late, but I finished the HCI coursera MOOC in August. I think the forums were helpful during the project work, but everyone was a student in an introductory class. So, we were all pretty new to the subject.

I think having a mentor who is experienced in the field could be a great help.