This was originally published by Alastair Simpson on July 23rd, 2014. This has been republished on this platform for archiving purposes with the author’s permission.
Design your mentor experience…The Mentor Canvas
I was recently fortunate enough to participate in the IxDA mentor program, which provides mentoring and advice to up and coming UX Designers. It is a great program, so any mentors out there please sign up. As part of this, I created the mentor canvas to help my mentee and I get the most out of the program.
Not…A Personal development program
Who remembers personal development programs (PDPs)? Usually lengthy documents with silly questions and long empty boxes for you to vaguely stare at and try to write something useful. The Mentor Canvas is not one of those long documents. It is a way for you and your mentee to quickly get onto the same page about how you as a mentor can add value during the 12 week program (Or longer).
The Mentor Canvas is unashamedly based on the Business Model Canvas and the Experience Canvas that was created at Atlassian. The Mentor Canvas is trying to apply a little bit of design thinking to the mentoring process. The emphasis is on getting to a shared understanding of the problem space, and then creating a hypothesis that becomes the aim for the mentor program.
The canvas is broken into different boxes, with the size of the boxes indicating how much effort should go into filling in each one. The canvas should be filled out with your mentor as a shared exercise and if possible using a post-up activity (Everyone loves post-its!). The canvas should be seen as a means to an end, not a final deliverable, see it as a talking point to continually checkpoint your progress against.
The canvas is a starting point, feel free to modify or amend some of the boxes as you see fit. Any feedback or amendments would be welcome and really appreciated.
Download the Mentor Canvas now.