how to be a ux mentor

How To Become A Great UX Mentor?

What is UX Mentorship?

Becoming a UX mentor requires a lot of effort, hard work, and experience in the field.

“Mentors do not need to be working in some senior executive role, but they should be able to help the mentees in growing their careers using their personal and work experience.”

The role of a mentor is a combination of multiple skills.

A mentor behaves like a teacher, a coach, an adviser, a therapist, and a counselor at the same time. A mentor inspires mentees through his words and actions.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” — William Arthur Ward

How To Become A Great UX Mentor?

To become a great UX mentor, you must have certain qualities that make your job easier for you and effective for your mentees.

A list of such qualities is mentioned below.

№1. Ask About Interest

If you are going to mentor someone outside of your work environment, the first thing is to ask about their interest.

“UX is a field that requires an interest in solving design problems.”

If you are a UX mentor within your organization, it is obvious that UX designers are hired based on their interests.

However, if you feel that your mentee is not very passionate about UX design, then raise the point at your earliest.

№2. Explain Your Process

Most organizations follow the standard design process to deliver product design. However, there can be customization in the process based on particular requirements.

“It is essential to explain to junior members about the process being followed within your organization. Introduce them to stakeholders that are involved in the process.”

Tell them about your customers and their problems.

“They should be able to learn how to deal with customers and how to understand their requirements.”

№3. Explain Guidelines and Trends

Each organization follows a set of UX guidelines, standards, and trends while designing its products.

Provide your guidelines to junior members, and explain to them the importance of consistent experience throughout your products.

Ask them to follow the guidelines while working on design tasks.

“Welcome their feedback and suggestions that you may like to incorporate within your standards.”

№4. Develop Research Interest

Research is very important for the growth of your mentees.

“Try hard to develop a research interest in your mentees. This will help them to make their vision broader, and think beyond limitations.”

Looking around and taking inspiration from multiple sources will enhance their key skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

“A good mentor pushes their mentee to get creative with what they already know.” — Anne Higgins

№5. Don’t Give a Solution

Discuss design problems with your mentees, but never give them a solution.

“Let them dive into thinking and exploring the problem. This will improve their analytical and problem-solving skills.”

Do brainstorming sessions with them. Share your own experiences and ask them to come up with different ideas.

№6. Be Available

When you have given some tasks to team members, make sure to remain available for them.

“Show your support and care about them.”

Be there when they need you, this will help you gain their trust and loyalty. Believe me, they will perform beyond their specific duties if they feel valued and supported.

№7. Develop Patience

Designing is an iterative process and it requires patience.

Most of the time you will have to ask them to go and refine their work.

“Teach them to remain patient at certain points during their job.”

It is not possible to design something impressive just in one go. They have to design again and again. Help them in increasing their patience level.

№8. Give Ownership

Let them take ownership of their work. Ask them to present their work to relevant stakeholders and defend their ideas.

This will give them a feeling of responsibility. And they will try hard to provide the best possible solution to the given problem.

№9. Share Knowledge

It is correct that you don’t have to spoon-feed them, but you should be open to helping them in response to their queries and confusions.

Do knowledge-sharing sessions with them.

“Share your experience with them and provide them essential resources and guidance.”

№10. Give Appreciation

“Appreciation is a fundamental human need.”

It is the key to keep your mentees motivated. Show genuine appreciation to your mentees.

“Praise their ideas and admire them. Give them credit for their work. And you will be surprised with the positive results.”

№11. Be Patient

A mentor should remain patient while working with junior members. You may have to describe things again and again.

“Listen and ask questions in a positive way. Correct their mistakes politely. Be gentle and strict at the same time.”

№12. Evaluate

It is a common practice to evaluate the work of team members. Always try to do it positively.

“Set your expectations as per their expertise, and evaluate them as per their level of experience.”

Identify their shortcomings politely. Do not judge them or discourage them. Respect their opinions and ideas.

№13. Learn From Mentees

That’s true. There is much more for you to learn from your mentees.

“They have fresh minds and thoughts. They can identify improvements in your process as well as in your way of thinking and viewing things. “

UX is a very subjective field. Anyone can give you a new insight into things.

“Never underestimate the ideas of fresh UX designers in the industry.”

№14. Connect With Other Mentors

As a mentor, you need to connect with other experts in the field. Share your experience and exchange useful resources with them.

Collaborating with your peers and getting help from them is a great example for your mentees.

“It will develop an overall supportive environment where everyone learns from others.”

Final Thoughts…

UX mentorship is essential for junior UX designers to help them succeed in their careers.

Being a UX mentor, you have a huge responsibility to deliver your knowledge and advice to the next generation and give your time to listen to their issues and resolve them.

“Investing deeply in their learning and growth will eventually make you more successful and satisfied.”

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