CCA MyMentor

A student mentor system for new students to find their student mentors, and for experienced students show their experience and gain mentees.

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2020 Google design challenge

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California College of the Arts (CCA)

Keywords:

System Design / App Design / User-centerd Design / UX Design

Time &Duration:

Jan. 2020 / 1 week

Skills:

UX Research / UX Design / User Interface Design / Prototype / Persona / Scenario

/Qualitative research

Type of the project:

Individual work

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PROBLEM STATEMENT

01

Many new students of CCA feel anxious and confuse about their new campus life. As the second-year graduate student in CCA, I've helped some new students deal with their problems, such as which class is better? How to change the course selected? Where could they get a good place to live around CCA? 

03

Like the fact that CCA didn’t have long-period, professional student mentor, my school wants to build a system to strengthen the community by encouraging experienced students to connect with new students and help them adjust to campus life. 

02

However, there were many problems new students asked before which were not related to my major. I cannot help them with myself.  Also, there are still other students who didn't find the right person to ask and get help for their problems.

04

I’m designing an experience that allows mentors and mentees to discover each other. California College of the Arts is an art and design school. My design will base on the specialty of my school.

DESIGN OBJECTIVE

Design a system that could help mentees (new students) find their mentors (experienced students) efficiently.

USER INTERFACE

&FINAL SOLUTION

Register system

Students could use CCA account to register the mentor system. Meanwhile, the system will trace the academic information through their CCA account. When students uses the CCA account to register the system, the system will provide some hashtags based on their major.

# Hashtag

Students could find the questions they interested and answers through the hashtags. Also, they could add hashtags when they publish the questions.

Emergency questions

Students could ask questions and add the emergency #hashtag on it. When a student publishes an emergency question, others will receive a notice from the App. Also, in the home page, users students could find the latest and emergency questions directly.

Find your mentor & Become a mentor

The new student could find an experienced student as their mentor. Also, students could apply to become a mentor when they become experienced. Students could see the rates of mentors. They also could find the mentor’s questions and answers easily and communicate with mentors directly through the mentor’s profiles.

 

RESEARCH PROCESS

Existing School mentor system

001 Academic Advisor

Connecting with students for guidance in tracking students’  progress, accessing resources, and selecting courses for registration. Each major has one advisor ( Also called program manager in the graduate program). For undergraduate students, they also have professional advisors to help them solve learning, mental, and career problems.

Hard to give advice through students' perspective

003 Coach of learning

School provides skilled technical coaches for learning strategies, writings, digital softwares, programming, math, and science.

Only provide learning skill service

It's hard to make an appointment

Would not give students

specific advice and suggestions of school life

002 Aluminum Mentor

School provides the alumni mentor program. Students could choose skilled alumni on roaster to guide them for learning and career. The school will help students get to connect with alumni. However, the program is only for undergraduate students.

Only for undergraduate students

.Need to apply through

complex system

How do students think about the existing mentor system?

Primary research plan

Whom will I talk with?

What do I want to know about them?

New student 

What kinds of problem did they have of campus life? 

How could they solve the problem? Did they find some help from experienced students?

How could they connect with experienced students? What methods?

What are they worrying about?

Experienced student

What kinds of experience do they want to share with others? 

Whom have they shared with? 

How could they share their experience? What methods?

What are they expecting for the future sharing experience?

How do they think of the existing mentor system?

Interviews

Knowledge of the mentor system

I don’t know there is any mentor service in CCA. We only have an academic advisor. The academic advisor helps me with my class registration and courses plan.

001 Zoe 

BFA Industrial Design, 

the 3rd-year in CCA 

Problems

How to solve problems?

I don’t know if the class is too intense or too loose for students, or I don’t know if the professor is friendly or not? especially in my first semester.

When I have a problem with my class like how to fix my 3D printer, it’s hard to get support in time.

My mom joined a CCA student communication group online when I was a freshman. However, we didn’t use it anymore. Now I talk with my classmates to solve problems.

New student perspective

Pain points

Don't know how the professor or class is as a new student.

Not familiar with the existing mentor system 

It's hard to get support of emergency problems

No efficient way to find experienced students for help

Knowledge of the mentor system

I don't know about the system. I use the social media to find experienced students help me with my problems.

002 Chai - MFA 

IxD design, 

the 1st - year in CCA 

Problems

As a new student and international student, I had a lot of problems with both CCA and living in SF, like how can I get a phone number? Where can I buy material for my class?

How to solve problems?

I found the CCA student group on douban.com and connect with experienced students on WeChat. 

It’s hard to connect with the academic advisor and professors. Also, they cannot give me advice through students' perspective. It's hard to get right answers.

Pain points

As an international student, I have a lot of worries and problems. 

Don't know the existing mentor system 

Hard to get good answers of professional problems through students' perspec

Use social media to find some experienced students to get help

Worry about bothering other students if ask too many questions.

New student perspective

I'm afraid that I would bother other students if I ask too many questions.

Knowledge of the mentor system

I don't know CCA has a mentor system for students. I didn't use something like mentor service before. I know there is some service, but I don't trust those faculty could provide me with useful information.

003 Zeu - MFA 

IxD design, 

the thesis - year in CCA 

How to share her experience?

I’d like to share the recommended class and great professors. Also, I have some design experience, tools, websites that I want to share with my classmates and new students. 

Problems

I can only share with my friends and my classmates. There is no public way for me to share my experience with more unfamiliar students. I also had some bad experience with my former courses. Some of the professors were not friendly and responsible.

The online rating system is not working for CCA. Therefore I cannot count on my school or another website like rateMyProfessor.com

Pain points

The information is not transparent in CCA

Don't trust the school faculties' service.  

No public platform for her to share experience and knowledge.

There is no efficient way for CCA students to figure out which professor is reliable.

Experienced student perspective

Synthesis of the research

Specific problems they need to solve

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New students

001

Problem and questions about classes and professors of different majors.

002

Emergency problems which need

quick reply.

003

004

Some common questions.

Communicate with mentors directly.

Experienced students

001

002

Public platform to share their experience.

Need to show their reliable experience and confidence to new students.

003

Some new students' problems need them to cost much more time to solve.

User needs hierarchy

​Persona

New student

​Mentee

​Experienced student

Mentor

IDEATION

Design opportunities

Affinity diagram

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The information is not transparent in CCA

The original system user flow is slow

Common questions need a platform to share the solutions

How to solve the time cost of mentors and mentees?

HMW questions

HMW let mentees could rate the mentors and give them comments?

HMW let mentors could show their experience and knowledge on a public platform?

HMW let mentees could talk to mentors directly?

HMW build a system to let mentees could search for questions and answers they interested?

HMW build a 1 on 1 meeting reservation system which could let mentees have long-time guidance from their mentors?

HWM build a school business mode to let experienced students could get the payback based on their time cost?

HMW let mentees could highlight their emergency problems and could find a mentor as soon as possible? 

Problems set

 There is no objective information about coaches (mentors) 

Students don't trust the coaches (mentors)

The information is not transparent in CCA

Mentees cannot know if the regular time slot that mentors post on the school website is really available

The information is not transparent in CCA

Time wast

New students have some common questions. They could only find experienced students to ask similar questions.

Common problems

Time wast

Some complex questions of mentees need professional and long-time guidance.

Experienced students may cost a lot of time to help new students solve their problems.

Complex problems

Time wast

Students may have emergency problems that need to be solved immediately. 

Emergency problem

Time wast

Design solution

Design a platform which could let mentees ask questions and talk with mentors directly.

Functions

01 / Ask questions in public and get answers.

02/ Talk to mentors and mentees directly.

03/ Find the problems and answers quickly.

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FINAL DELIVER

Information architecture

User flow

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Wireframe

Logo & Visual Identity