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Mentoring the Next Generation of UX Designers

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Any company with a user experience design team knows how hard it is to find people to grow that team. A quick search of Indeed.com reveals nearly 17,000 open user experience design related positions …

Any company with a user experience design team knows how hard it is to find people to grow that team. A quick search of Indeed.com reveals nearly 17,000 open user experience design related positions in the United States alone. There are many ways to solve this problem, but one of the most accessible is mentorship. Every practicing UX designer is capable of mentoring someone who has the passion and mindset required for UX design into the field.

During the summer and fall of 2013, The Nerdery took eight potential UX designers through an intense 12-week apprenticeship that relied heavily on mentorship. During that time, we learned a lot about mentoring and being mentored. This presentation will share these lessons from the perspective of both mentors and mentees. This presentation provides a comprehensive set of tools for you to use to begin mentoring potential designers today.

Co-presented with Claire Bailey (http://sloozoo.com/) & Heather Wydeven (http://heatherwydeven.com/)


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  • 1. MENTORING THE NEXT GENERATION… of UX Designers
  • 2. 16,380 ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 3. Heather @heatherwyd Fred @fred_beecher Claire @clairevsbailey
  • 4. design school vocational school hack(er) school apprenticeship mentorship ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 5. mentorship a relationship supporting skill development in others through instruction, advice, practice, and feedback ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 6. doesn’t realize he’s mentoring pushes me out of my comfort zone tells a lot of stories asks for my feedback ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 7. doesn’t realize he’s mentoring pushes me out of my comfort zone INFORMAL MENTORSHIP tells a lot of stories asks for my feedback ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 8. i want to be a ux designer awareness of roles well-defined goals timeline ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 9. i want to be a ux designer awareness of roles well-defined goals timeline FORMAL MENTORSHIP ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 10. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 11. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen Principal Mentor Apprentices Large Design Team
  • 12. Accountability Observation Assistance Mentorship Oversight ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 13. MENTORSHIP FAILS ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 14. non-constructive critique. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 15. no feedback. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 16. lack of communication. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 17. limited time. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 18. ! low commitment. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 19. MENTORSHIP WINS ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 20. show interest. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 21. understand learning styles. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 22. challenge them. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 23. trust. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 24. collaborate. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 25. BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE MENTOR ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 26. You haven’t really mastered your craft until you’ve taught it. - Kim Goodwin ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen “
  • 27. listen. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 28. guide. don’t teach. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 29. allow failure. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 30. support. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 31. confront. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 32. GETTING THE MOST OUT OF MENTORSHIP ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 33. identify & communicate. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 34. r-e-s-p-e-c-t. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 35. show your passion. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 36. it’s not personal. it’s mentorship. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 37. be honest & open. ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen
  • 38. find a mentor • who’s mentoring you now? • who could mentor you? • analyze their styles reflect • what’s your motivation? • what can you invest? • how have you been mentored? get involved • IAI mentorship program • uxmentors.com • UXPAMN (fall 2014) ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen mentors
  • 39. get out there • who do you know? • co-workers • instructors • friends stay relevant • follow UXDs on twitter • interact with UX community on twitter • follow UX blogs get involved • IAI mentorship program • uxmentors.com • UXPAMN (fall 2014) ©2014 :: @clairevsbailey @heatherwyd @fred_beecher :: #uxnextgen mentees
  • 40. MENTORING THE NEXT GENERATION OF UX DESIGNERS Fred Beecher UX Apprenticeship Lead ! fbeecher@nerdery.com nerdery.com/fb @fred_beecher ! slideshare.net/fred_beecher/ Claire Bailey Associate UX Designer ! cbailey@nerdery.com nerdery.com/cj @clairevsbailey ! Heather Wydeven Associate UX Designer ! hwydeven@nerdery.com nerdery.com/wd @heatherwyd !