WHAT I HAVE LEARNT SO FAR AS A MENTEE ON SHE CODE AFRICA MENTORING PROGRAM

image from Freepik.com

I can remember on 25th February 2021 when I got a notification on my email address. Fortunately, it was a congratulatory message from ShecodeAfrica saying I have been selected for her SCA mentoring program. This sparked my excitement because of the impact it’s going to have on my tech career. After going through the mail, I went ahead to follow every instruction. On the 26th of February, a brief onboarding call was held where I and other mentees were formally welcomed and introduced into the program by the founder and program manager.

During the first week, I and the other mentees met with our mentor Ms. Ademorin Ajepe, we also familiarized ourselves with each other, our mentor then asked us asked to pick an accountability partner(someone that we will be responsible for and vice versa) from our WhatsApp group, this was how I came in contact with a beautiful and hard-working young lady called Oluwafunmilayo Obasa.
Then the second week came, I was introduced to Trello.com which I never knew about, it was so cool learning about this task management application, here all our tasks were posted and to be submitted.

On the 1st of March, 2021 my journey as a mentee started fully with a given learning path that would serve as a guide.

his article is a summary of what I’ve learned so far

  • UX design principles and process
  • Storytelling and sketching
  • Hypothetical UX process writing on any niche
  • Collaboration with a team member

UX design principles and process

I learned what design principle meant, the ten types of design principle, and the user experience process. User Experience Principle are the fundamental points of advice for making easy-to-use, pleasurable designs as we select, create, and organize elements and features in our work. Design principles form the heart and soul of UX design. The user experience process usually consists of a series of steps that designers,architects, or scientists follow to solve a specific problem, the scope of solutions they come up with are required to meet the criteria specified in the definition of the problem or perform a specific task.

Image from my google presentation

Hypothetical UX process writing on any niche

For this task, our mentor asked us to pick any niche of our choice and work on it carrying out research.
After a lot of brainstorming, I decided to work on a period tracker app which I later called Bella-period tracker. This application will help female students keep track of their menstrual flow, get notifications for their next menstruation date and also get to book an appointment with doctors for further complaints or health-related concerns.
At first, I doubted if I could do it since I have never started, worked, or carried out research on any project in the past., but with the help of our mentor she was able to provide so many materials, during our weekly calls she took her time to answer my questions and gave more insights to my thoughts.
I became convinced I could do it, for this task for the first time I learned how to use google online form where I wrote questions I would love to ask young ladies of my age to help with my research, and posted it on social media accounts like WhatsApp, Twitter, etc, when I got responses I made a qualitative and quantitative analysis, I also went ahead to carry out one on one interview with a few volunteers via video call. Wow! I have never interviewed anyone before the experience was so cool. Carrying out this task I was able to understand what a user persona and customer journey map meant. A user persona is a fictional character used to represent a user, I created two user persona for my period tracker, while a customer journey map explains how a user uses a product from one stage to another and what they feel about it. Read about my research here.

Image from my research carried out on period tracker

Storyboard and sketching

I learned that a storyboard is a representation of sketches done with paper and pencil, arranged together to visualize a story. A storyboard helps to communicate a concept by visualizing user interactions and shape the user journey while using a particular product. It also helps to focus on a person’s experience while using your product.
During the process of this learning path, I made a sketch that showed how a troubled young lady found a solution to her menstrual problem.

Image from google presentation on storyboard

Collaboration with a team member to build a project

For the final month, I and my accountability partner were asked to work on any health application. We started by deliberating on what kind of problem we should solve in the health sector.

We finally came up with an idea to help students in higher institutions solve medical issues by using a mobile application.
This mobile health application enables students to have access to quality health care online which includes communicating and booking appointments with doctors and purchasing drugs online. We started by gathering a mood board. I got to understand that — a mood board is a visual representation that communicates concepts and visualizes ideas. It is also a well- thought- out and planned arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. that is intended to be used on a project in a particular style following an existing concept. We made a presentation of what we gathered and what we intend to work on, how we want to go about it, the typeface, the colors and the unique features our application will be having, to our mentor during our weekly call.
Going forward we made an information architecture that serves as a comprehensive explanation and layout on how a user will navigate through our application, making this information architecture made me understand that drawing out a plan to design for users is better and easier than just moving into designing screens, we came up with user personas and also user flow.
Furthermore, I and Funmilayo individually made sketches of what we want our mobile application to look like, after then we went on to make wire-frames, low fidelity, high fidelity prototypes and we also made a case study; click here to view.

Somewhere along the line, we faced a roadblock of trying to come up with a name for our app, but eventually, we did, we also had some misunderstanding concerning our preferences, this made me understand the true meaning of teamwork, “we agree to disagree”, overall I enjoyed working with my partner and the fact that we’re able to accomplish our task is something I’m proud.

CONCLUSION

This past three month has been a challenging, exciting, edifying, and eye-opening experience for me. For every task given I was made to present my screen via a google meeting and explain what I have done to my mentor and other mentees, I was able to learn how to manage time, this was a top-notch experience for me.
I’ve learned how to be creative, how to design, think, work with a team member,google presentations, how to use numerous software but most of all, I’ve learned that this is a career I love and I want to go into full-time, I have also grown a lot both in technical and non-technical skills.

My sincere appreciation and shout out goes to my amazing, ever ready to help and zealous mentor Ms. Ademorin Ajepe, my beautiful and intelligent accountability partner Oluwafunmilayo Obasa, my fellow mentees, and the entire team at She Code Africa for making all these possible.

Thank you for reading!