Loop is a mentorship platform for organisations providing constant learning experience. It allows employees to explore their interests instead of restricting them to the job role they were hired for. The distinctive concept of Loop is "Micro-mentoring". Micro mentoring is a short and intense mentorship with various mentors which is optimized for millennials.
User research, user interview, strategizing, wireframing and prototyping
We started out building empathy as conducting usability testing interviews on a group of users to identify insights and pain points with the existing site. From interviews with mentor, mentee and decision maker in the company, we found that current communication is not aligned to the company's intention. People use Loop as an initial contact and communicate using other communication tools like Microsoft office, Slack, Yammer, Skype and so on that they are already familiar with. From there we gathered a couple of crucial findings.
It’s hard to navigate on the platform. it takes effort to set up a mentorship session. There are two reasons behind it. It is lacking at guidance and a range of functions confuse users.
Mentor and mentee have a whole control over mentorship. If the mentor and mentee hit it off, they could use micro mentoring at its full potential as the product is intended for but the matching does not always guarantee their chemistry which would end up just one awkward session.
“I Only used Loop around 3-4 times, it was mainly during on-boarding and in the beginning of mentorship” - interview with current mentor
Within a narrower focus area, we framed design challenges in 'How Might We' questions.
- How Might We develop more intuitive information architecture?
- How Might We make users revisit the platform?
- How Might We make loop as easy as emailing?
- How Might We make offline mentorship most valuable for both mentors and mentees?
Answering the question opened up the exploration space to a range of possibilities and wild ideas. Out of loads of exploration, two exercises, 'Worst day ever' and 'Future foresight' helped us most to come up with relevant ideas.
1. Worst day ever
We mapped out a journey focused on the process of the first time mentee encounters the platform and book the very first session. We assumed the worst case scenario which is not available of any mentors and mentorship slots and even related activities. We then depicted each phases with mentee's goal, action and emotion.
2. Future foresight
We Identified future opportunities and threats of Loop within the industry in a hypothetical context, Sweden 2030. Trend research is essential to carry out this workshop. Specialised articles, blogs and relevant new laws around education industry and corporate culture gave us a glimpse of the future. We anticipated how Loop's future playground would look like based on that. Then we translate research outcomes into an actionable format by contrasting current scenario with the future. Two major foresights revealed design opportunities.
- Generic to personalized : Targeted content curation on social media like Facebook and LinkedIn ensure personalized content reach rate. The content becomes more and more personalized which aligns with Loops business model.
- Monomath to polymath : In an agile environment with rapidly changing conditions and objectives, the ability to pivot quickly is valuable. In other words, T-shaped people would be needed in the future and to keep up with this trend, you need to keep educating yourself.
The more is less. The abundance of choice leads to unrealistically high expectations and can result in decision making paralysis and increase anxiety. This is called the paradox of choice.
- The “Sweet Spot” of Options : Trust depends on right amount of disclosure.
- Enough context : Providing three questions, guides the user how much to share.
We tend to trust people with common values and beliefs. Mentorship requires the chemistry between two parties. We removed anonymity by transparency.
- Reputation system : Badges and recommendations will ensure a level of engagement.
- Be "mutual friend“: Introducing people to each other and leading them to get to know the platform with humane touch.
We suggested a new journey consists of 5 stages - Onboarding, Matching, Booking, Messaging and Endorsement. The aim was to effectively match the most relevant mentors for the specific mentee every time she or he want to learn something. Based on two design principles, we designed the mentorship by adding tailored data point on top of user's interest. Problem solving style would be a good parameter for choosing the best match. It reflects users' personality and their expected mentorship style. Showing three mentors at once also takes a weigh off from mentees, but they can still discover more as scroll through. We wanted to get an idea of user's reaction, so we tested out different type of layouts with our target group. Further, we had many iterations and changes with the feedback from the users.
What's next? We want loop to be a platform which can challenge, Inspire and enable corporate's cultural growth. Organization should encourage staff to explore interests that may include taking on incremental responsibilities. Loop will be the catalyst to them to grow in the company and will be the channel to ensure continuous and positive change.