ShadowPath


Project Summary

Goal: Create a way to help students without connections to get experience in their field of interest.


What I did: Conducted independent research and design to create an MVP of a solution to a major problem in education and career development.


How long it took: 3 months.



The Problem

Many students think they know what line of work they want to go into after school, but few have the opportunity to find out what a day in the life looks like for their interest. Even the students who do not know exactly what they want to do would benefit from connecting with someone who does what they think they are interested in, to gain insight into the reality of their idea.



Survey + Validation

• Of the students i surveyed, about half were in college and half were in high school


• 77% said they knew what they wanted to do as a career


• 54% said they do not have experience in the field they are interested in


• 92% said they would be interested in shadowing someone who has a job they are considering


• 84% said they do not have someone in their life whom they could ask to shadow




Who are the users?

Two personas, one is a student who is eager to learn more about their field of interest and make some connections in the process, although they don't have a clear path to do so.


The other is a progressional who's company encourages them to mentor and impact their community, they would like to help others in their field and learn more for themselves in the process.




Information Architecture

After knowing the idea has value and I've identified the types of users, I figure out what the product actually needs from an architectural perspective. I know what kinds of actions I think the users would take, but I tried to keep the platform as simple as I could to prevent any errors or unclear directions.



Sketching out the options

I then sketch out some ideas for both web and mobile of how the platform could look and work, trying to not go too deep into the weeds at this stage, but I usually end up focusing a lot on the details at this point as well.




Beginning digital iteration

After I've sketched out some ideas, I take the mobile patterns I've identified and digitize them for quicker iteration into the UI. The reason why I chose to move forward with mobile is due to competition in the market for web, but nothing for mobile yet. I figured the design can easier be amended to web if needed in the future if I start with mobile as well.




Interface and Prototype

Finally I add color, more specific patterns, and more robust interactions for the prototype. The videos below show the flows for onboarding and some of the other main areas of the product.








Solution and User Benefit

• A service that matches students with a professional in their area who does what the student thinks they are interested in for a career


• Students can gain connections in their area even if they don’t know anyone who does what they want to do


• Allows students to start growing their professional network in their area without having work experience


• Professionals and companies can impact their community by giving students insight into a career they think they are interested in


• Shift the conversation from choosing a career purely based on money or status, to fulfillment and intellectual stimulation


• Give students a taste of different careers even if they don’t know exactly what they want

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