Archives for the ‘Apprenticeship’ Category

Demystifying Mentoring

I just found the article “Demystifing Mentring” from Amy Gallo on the Harvard Business Review. She points out the following “myths” about mentoring and follows up with some useful do’s and don’ts. Here’s my thoughts on her Myths. Myth #1: You have to find one perfect mentor I agree, this one’s a myth! You will […]

Let’s talk about apprenticeship at IxDA’11

If you’re going to the Interaction Design Association conference, Interactions ’11, I’d love to meet you!

How do we grow the next generation of UX talent?

How can we create work that’s appropriate for a new interaction designer as they gain the full compliment of skills? I’ve observed that there’s often a mismatch between academic programs and the demands of employment in the field. As an employer of interaction designers, I’ve had difficulty finding people who have a work-ready skill set right out of school. Most often, it takes a couple years working in a professional environment before someone picks up the necessary combination of design thinking skills, tools use, collaboration and facilitation skills, client interaction and project management, and general knowledge of how the business world works. When evaluating an applicant, I want to see their process and approach as well as finished work. Most junior level jobs only expose someone to pieces of a project, and don’t provide opportunities to experience the end-to-end process of finding insight, creating a concept, constructing a prototype or other artifact and validating that with actual users. It’s even less common that someone’s had that chance to do that work as part of a collaborative balanced team.

What if we could treat apprenticeship as a form of entrepreneurial exercise? The apprentice creates a portfolio piece that follows an idea from research and concept identification to visualization and validation. With that as a basis, we’d just have to figure out how to extend that individual practice into an ability to participate as a part of cross-functional team. Ideally, we could create cross-functional teams and mentor THEM, but would that still be considered apprenticeship, or an incubator?

Boon Chew on “why we need UX apprenticeships”

While I was in London a few weeks ago, I had an excellent chat (in an excellent pub) with Ian Fenn @ifenn and Boon Yew Chew @jaremfan about the importance of mentor/apprentice relationships. We’re all exploring these issues in our own practice, so it was a real pleasure to talk to other people who are […]

Are mentors outdated?

In a recent HBR article, Priscilla Claman writes that mentors are old-fashioned and recommends you form a “board of directors for your career, a group of people you consult regularly to get advice and feedback.” Is this true, or has the role of the mentor simply changed, along with changes in the nature of the work we do?