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Cultivate was an independent research project created in order to connect marketers, designers, and developers in mentorship relationships. The goal of this project was to increase the likelihood of accurate mentorship pairings by automating meetups using data derived from experience, emotional intelligence, and areas of focus. 


Diagnose

The first stage of diagnosis required a proper definition of mentorship. After the initial round of customer interviews it became clear that the industry was confused about the definitions of volunteer, intern, fellow, apprentice, mentor, or skilled hire. After stepping back to properly define each term I examined the areas in which they overlapped and assembled them according along two matrixes; duration of relationship and depth of expertise.

 

 


Once I had identified each customer demographic I drafted unique personas—there were three in total. These personas were created in order to understand each customers background, needs, and preferences. Throughout the process these personas were used as validation tool for how a customer would interact with the brand. 


Prescribe

Using the personas I drafted a long-form list of possible use, project, and relationship scenarios that a potential customer might encounter. (left)

From the overall theme of the product I deduced three experience goals and drafted corresponding signals that could confirm a goal was "in-progress" and finite metrics that could measure the success of each goal. (right)

Then, from both the goals and scenarios I compiled a "wishlist" of possible features that would enhance a customers probability of finding a successful pairing. (centre)  

 


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Working towards a minimum viable product (MVP), I created a simple brand package and wireframes of a website. This site flow told the story of input and reward for each potential customer. Every customer input—such as email address, salary expectation, availability, or social profiles—was matched with industry statistics. For example, if a customer wanted to work in web or social media and had incomplete social profiles they were prompted to improve their web presence with concise tips.


Apply

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The project was cancelled in September 2013 and is currently being translated into an open-source six-step mentorship guide.

Role

Project Developer, Researcher, Designer