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An ideal UX/UI design mentor for Springboard students possesses a combination of skills, experience, qualifications and qualities that contribute to effective guidance and support. Below I list some of the key attributes that make someone me an ideal mentor:
Professional Experience: As a UX/UI Mentor I have practical experience working in the field of UX/UI design, as a Senior Principal Product Designer, and Lead Researcher and UX/UI Designer, both across start-ups and big tech giants. I also have multiple excellent experiences in the Tutor and Mentor role, both in UX and UI, including as a career strategic coach. My highest degree is a Master of Arts in Design for Change with specifications in UX/UI, Human Centred Design, Strategic Applied Research Design, Visual Communication Design etc, with previous Bachelor Honours in Computer Graphics, Graphic Design, Visual Communication Design, etc. This real-world experience provides insights into industry practices, challenges, and emerging trends.
Strong Communication Skills, both verbal and written: I possess effective communication, which is crucial for a mentor to convey complex design concepts, provide constructive feedback, and engage in meaningful discussions. I communicate with clear and concise communication to help mentees and students grasp concepts and apply them effectively.
Passion for Teaching and Mentoring: An ideal mentor is not only knowledgeable but also passionate about sharing their knowledge and helping others succeed. This enthusiasm can inspire my students to foster a positive learning environment and let them grow in their chosen career path. I am mentoring and teaching through the example of my own success as a woman in the tech field.
Empathy and Patience: Understanding the challenges and struggles of learners is essential. I am a mentor who is empathetic, patient, and supportive, creating an environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and seeking guidance.
Adaptability: The field of UX research and UX/UI design is dynamic, with evolving tools, methodologies, and technologies. I am a mentor who should be adaptable and stay updated on industry changes to provide relevant and timely advice.
Portfolio and Demonstrated Expertise: My strong portfolio showcasing design projects and outcomes indicates my expertise. This helps students gain confidence in my mentor's abilities and understand the practical application of design principles.
Problem-Solving Skills: UX/UI design often involves solving complex problems. I am a mentor with strong problem-solving skills who can guide students in approaching design challenges systematically and creatively.
Networking and Industry Connections: Mentors with a network of industry connections can provide valuable opportunities for students, such as introductions to professionals, networking events, or even job placements. I constantly engage with tech networks, belong to tech groups and attend events not only in UX/UI, Visual Communication Design, and Marketing but also emerging technology of AI, Ethics of AI, Cyberpsychology and Cybersecurity in European Silicon Valley, Dublin and other countries when I travel for work.
Commitment to Continuous Learning: The design field is continuously evolving, and a mentor committed to their own ongoing learning can serve as a role model for students. This commitment also ensures that the mentor stays informed about the latest industry developments. I constantly learn, explore, stay curious and learn without various education paths, from formal education, MA in 2023 in Design at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology to UX/UI courses at Career Foundry. I am looking forward to maybe one day also staying at Springboard with the courses focused on AI.
Structured Guidance: Providing a structured learning path, setting goals, and offering clear guidance on how to progress are important mentoring qualities. A mentor should help students set realistic expectations and guide them through a curriculum that aligns with industry standards. I am definitely helpful and well-organised, and with the UX and UI programs at Springboard I will set up realistic expectations for our students so they succeed themselves and overall it will bring Springboard success, to me as a UX/UI Design Mentor at Springboard.
In summary, an ideal UX/UI design mentor possesses a balance of technical expertise, teaching skills, empathy, and a commitment to staying current in the ever-evolving field of design. This combination contributes to a positive and impactful learning experience for Springboard students. I possess the above skills and I am looking forward to mentoring Springboard's students in UX and UI Design as well in their career path.