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The Value of Mentorship in UX Design: How Guidance and Support Can Help Foster Success – by Michael Alexander Holker

Mentorship is essential, not just for sharing information and skills but also for establishing a culture of personal and professional development. For mentees, having a reliable and experienced mentor can help them deal with a wide range of work situations. This relationship can also produce crucial benefits for mentors. Michael Alexander Holker thinks it’s important to help people who are new to UX figure out what their needs are, and keep an eye on their progress throughout the program. 

With CareerFoundry, students get personalized feedback from their mentors. Mentors provide guidance on how to improve in areas such as information architecture, user interface design, prototyping, and usability testing. The mentors are also available for advice on portfolio building and career development opportunities.

In addition to the tutor’s guidance, students can take advantage of access to resources like webinars, course materials, and online forums. They have opportunities to connect with successful UX professionals and learn first-hand about the challenges they faced during their journey. With the support of experienced UX mentors, students can get a better understanding of what it takes to become a successful UX designer or product manager in today’s world.

Micheal Holker started mentoring while he was living in Seoul, South Korea. At the time Holker got to know many incredible UI and UX protegees who were outside of his standard time zone. Thanks to that he was able to build a network in 6+ countries within South East Asia.

Beginning with an introduction video call, it’s time to understand what individual goals a student has in the field of design. Keeping that in mind it’s getting sorted out what will make a successful resume. It is often the case that students have worked in completely different jobs and want to try something new. This can make the resume more interesting because students tend to take a look at UI & UX from a different perspective.

To optimize the future resume, questions such as what kind of content should be included, how case studies should be organized and formatted, and how keywords can be used to make sure recruiters see the resume will be discussed. Students will get helpful tips on which skills are important, and how to write a compelling analysis, or describe a user’s journey.

After the introduction students can get started working on different materials. Covering the fundamentals of design theory while creating case studies that later get used on their portfolio website. Things that get covered in every case study are understanding users and their needs, goals, and motivations. Holker and his team does a deep dive into user research for that, comparing competitors’ products to one another and creating personas. A fair amount of planning goes into the process before starting to create an actual solution. But once the underlying logic is set it’s time to prepare wireframes and quickly iterate on concepts. A favorite tool used by UX designers for this matter is Figma since it allows them to work together with what possible features might look like. The power here lies in the collaborative aspect of Figma. Being able to work on a file together in real time gives mentors and students the possibility to work along together. Figma is a bit like Google Docs but for UI & UX design. 

A big question often asked is, “What does the future of UI and UX look like, and is this profession future-proof?” There is no guaranteed answer but nothing stays as it is. With new developments in AI technology, a lot of things might change but in Michaels’s opinion probably for the better. AI can generate whole websites and write scripts, but it is often somewhat generic and not specific enough for individual business needs. Michael says that AI is going to function as a suggestive tool to build up the basics and designers are going to spend more time on customizations and usability testing to tailor solutions to the needs of customers.

You can check out what CareerFoundry is offering yourself. In some locations, you even get a job guarantee if you have finalized the course. 

Michael thinks UX design is an excellent career choice for technically brilliant and creatively gifted folks. It takes a lot of patience, determination, hard work, and a willingness to continually develop to become a good UX designer. His advice for aspiring UX designers is to listen attentively to the client and develop empathy, which is essential in helping a designer comprehend and feel people’s emotions. According to him, the objective of UX is to deliver a great client experience. Designing genuinely engaging and incredible products demands a thorough understanding of end customers. That’s why the finest UX designers pay attention to how people act. 

Want to learn more about Michael Alexander Holkera and what he does? Find out more here.