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For people looking to get into UX, what mentoring programmes are out there? Have you tried any and if so, what were/are they like?

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3 Answers 3

HI Philip

IAI have a mentoring program for members. Not used it myself but have seen some good feedback.

I'm hoping to work with Chris Avore from UX Show and Tell to arrange some events which could act as a mentoring type program based on practical skills.

What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

Matt

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Matt, I believe Jane Austin from IG Index is also looking to get UX Show & Tell off the ground in London (think she posted to the London IA Ning group the other day) - she hosted a Show & Tell for Personas last year that was great. –  Leisa Reichelt Jan 7 '10 at 13:34
    
That's excellent news - i'll help to promote them here if she sends me over the details. –  Matt Goddard Jan 7 '10 at 13:53

I've been using the IAI mentoring program for the past 3 months. I'm very happy with it so far. I expect that this entirely depends on your mentor, but fortunately mine is very responsive and extremely helpful.

The selection of mentors (at least in the UK) is superb, and I would highly recommend taking advantage of the program.

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Is that programme just for IA though? Does it cover UX as well? –  Philip Morton Jan 13 '10 at 9:17
    
I guess that entirely depends on who you choose as a mentor. In my case, my mentor is a UX Designer, as are most of the mentors in the UK. This may vary in other areas. –  Jeff Van Campen Jan 13 '10 at 21:22

Here are the programs and sources I'd recommend for ux mentoring:

1) Associations:

  • The IAI (mentioned by Matt Goddard above): I worked with a mentor for a short time via the IAI mentor program that Matt Goddard mentioned above. One thing to note about the IAI list is that, though there are quite a few mentors on the list, there may be few or none physically located near you (there was only one for my location at the time I looked) so you may end up having an online or phone mentor relationship rather than in person one if you go that route.
  • IxDA Toronto held a speed mentoring event in Toronto this year. Contact your local ixda group to see if they are/would consider doing the same

2) Networking: Getting involved in ux networking events and groups will allow you to meet other uxers. Through those, you may find someone more experienced who might be willing to mentor you or at least folks whom you could ask for recommendations. For example, here in Toronto, interested uxers have been able to connect with mentors/mentoring groups via the local UXIrregulars group.

3) Educational institutions: Schools, universities, etc that offer ux-related classes and programs may have formal mentor programs or be able to recommend someone.

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