Role Model Mentors

On Demand Mentoring and tutoring


  • Category:
    OnDemand Services
  • Product:
    Mobile App and Website
  • Services:
    Business strategy, Product Strategy, User Interface Design, User Experience Design UX and Product Management
  • Client:

Role Model Mentors believes self-confidence, empathy, resilience, and social and emotional intelligence are critical to childhood happiness and adult success.

We wanted to help them find mentors and clients to join their community creating positive relationships that support competence, confidence, character, and creativity for our children and our future.

Role Model Mentors started as an analog enterprise matching high-achieving high school mentors with K-8th grade students, based on their academic and extracurricular needs, interests and personalities. Their talented mentors deliver dynamic sessions -- offering tutoring, sports coaching, music lessons, STEM enrichment and more -- that a younger child will look forward to, with someone they can relate to. Through a mentoring relationship, parents will see their child's abilities and confidence soar, while developing a bond that can last a lifetime.

Our goal was to help them scale, optimize their funnel and improve the ability of the mentors and clients to connect and schedule mentoring sessions.

Product Insights

  1. Mentors and Mentees were just using text messages to coordinate and schedule sessions
  2. Schedules would change for both parties seasonally and suddenly the relationshiup would fall part
  3. Feedback was anecdotal and hard to track

Mentors are chosen because they are academically successful and because they possess good communication, social and leadership skills. As a consequence, mentors serve as positive role models for the students, guiding them towards academic and social success.

We realized that we had three major product problems to solve.

  1. Convert and onboard Mentees
  2. Convert and onboard Mentors
  3. Help mentors and clients connect and schedule sessions

Our Approach

For parents signing up their kids for a big ticket item like mentoring they need a special set of motivators. They needed to trust Role Model Mentors immediately. They needed to believe that this would work for their kids specific needs. To optimize this funnel took more than a few attempts and appraoches. Facts were less effective than a quickly directed emotional appeal and the impression that Role Model Mentors was listening to them when they talked about what their child needed. Producing the highest performing funnel required many iterations with direct A/B testing to achieve the perfect balance of information gathering and story reinforcement.

The criteria for mentors was quite high and evaluating them took a lot of time and resources. To bring Mentors into the fold we devised an web based sign up and then built out an onboarding and assessment flow assessment flow that took in all the complicated information required to onboard mentors. This cut te cost of bringing mentors on to the platform by half.

When we turned our attention to connecting mentors and mentees context was everything. We needed a platform that was easy to use, safe, and accountable.

For most of the mentees it would actually be their parents scheduling meetings. The previous dialog between the two groups occurred over text and could be inconsistent and frustrating. We devised an innovative chat experience with specific scheduling and reporting chat modules built into it. Clients could talk to each other and the key events such as scheduling, reporting aand feedback were delivered in graphic, interactive call outs in the chat experience. This centralized all communication and feeback in one place, templatized the communication and provided a history and accountability.

Tackling OnDemand scheduling was another challenge that we created an innovative user experience to solve. One of the learnings from user research was that mentors did not like calendars. They thought calendars were a lot of work. So how could we provide a scheduling experience that was open, informative, intuitive and not a calendar. We ran through multiple sketch sessions devising a light weight visual planner that fit these criteria. In the end we landed successfully on a modern, open weekly view that fit the mobile experience better and empowered at a glance view into session schedules.

We launched the website and app, maintaining and iterating for a year as enrollment grew. In September, Role Model Mentors achieved entry into a prestigious New YOrk EdTech Accellerator.