Mentorship is a pivotal component of our educational process here at Fusion Media, and is an integral part of the student experience. Not only does it give our students an opportunity to chat with and seek guidance from an industry professional, it also helps them gain knowledge, grow as a designer, and gather constructive feedback on their work to assist in the UI/UX design learning process.
Since students work so closely with their mentors throughout their journey with us, a question we’re often asked is who our mentors are and how we know they’ll be suitable to support them through UX Academy.What It Takes to Become a UI/UX Design Mentor:
To begin, anyone hoping to become a top UI/UX design mentor must have knowledge of the UI/UX design space, and a portfolio of work to showcase it.Relevant UI/UX Design Industry Experience:
One of the beauties of the UI/UX industry is that the designers involved come from such diverse backgrounds. Regardless of where you’ve started out, to become a top UI/UX design mentor, you’ll need to ensure your skill set, knowledge, and insights are on par with what would be expected of someone required to provide high-level, detailed, and industry-specific feedback to students. That being said, UX Academy mentors are typically required to have at least 4–6 years of hands-on, UI/UX design experience.
The level of design experience needed to become a mentor also depends on what you were doing previously. For instance, an individual may be eligible to become a mentor sooner if they transitioned into the UI/UX design industry from a closely related industry where they’ve already been working with designers — such as front-end development. This is because, despite being in a different niche, they’re usually still familiar with a lot of the concepts and practices that go into UI/UX designA Solid UI/UX Design Portfolio:
It’s also essential that your portfolio showcases your best work and aligns with your time in the field. Since the UI/UX design field is so diverse, with so many avenues to go down, portfolios can look vastly different from one another, but they still need to demonstrate the necessary skill set. When we’re assessing the portfolios of potential new mentors, we look for evidence of their understanding of the UI/UX design process, and whether there’s a deep and comprehensive knowledge of that process demonstrated through their work.
For example, a designer who’s been working in the UI/UX design field for an educational institution might have a portfolio that looks visually disconnected from an individual who’s been designing for a sportswear company. However, both will be equally valuable and qualified to become a mentor, as long as they have a clear and in-depth knowledge of the UI/UX design process showcased through their various case studies.A Genuine Interest in Student Success:
Just because you’re an expert UI/UX designer, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be an expert mentor to students trying to learn your craft. Working with students is a completely different ball-game to technically designing something, and you have to be able to do both to be an effective mentor. When we’re considering prospective mentors to join the team here at Designlab, it’s important that the conversation on their end reflects soft skills such as: Empathy, inclusivity, and care for all students
For example, a designer who’s been working in the UI/UX design field for an educational institution might have a portfolio that looks visually disconnected from an individual who’s been designing for a sportswear company. However, both will be equally valuable and qualified to become a mentor, as long as they have a clear and in-depth knowledge of the UI/UX design process showcased through their various case studies.