Overview & Vision
I co-founded Menti with my friends as a nonprofit initiative dedicated to providing educational resources to young adults entering college, the workforce, or simply looking to grow. Our vision is to create a one-stop learning hub and community that is engaging and accessible to support every youth in developing the skills and knowledge needed to achieve their fullest potential and enjoy their adulting journeys.

Our Solution
Our solution is to design an online resource platform that provides mentorship in the form of easy-to-read articles, blogs, and convenient guides to young adults. 

We started with populating our learning hub with clear paths to articles in different topics within personal finance, career growth, and personal growth. We are constantly working on new content/features to add to our platform, like our recent Career Tasting Experience and Community Library to expand the opportunities through Menti. 

Co-founder, Creative Lead

Project Duration
Nov 2020 - Present

Project Type
Brand Identity, UI/UX Design, Content Strategy, Website Architecture, Social Media Marketing

Co-founding Team
Tal Roded, Sandy Lam, Jessica Yang, Tiff Yeh, Angela Tang

We began with asking the right questions

Before we started exploring art directions, we first asked ourselves some branding questions. 

What is the story or message? 
We want young adults and students to know that it's normal to feel lost at their age. Menti is here to provide a support system and foster a learning community that helps each other to succeed. Unlike other education platforms, we also want to promote the importance of personal well-being besides focusing on professional growth. We hope to provide the right tools for young adults to start their adulting journey on the right foot. 

What problem(s) does the brand hope to solve?
Menti offers a one-stop hub with curated professional/personal learning resources for young adults who are struggling to find the right resources or the right path to achieve their goals and enjoy their learning journey. 

Who are we trying to reach?
Overall students or young adults. Specifically targeting high school junior/senior and college freshman/sophomore students.    

We want our audience to feel...
Confident, curious, inspired, driven, motivated, open-minded, and hopeful.
Research phase: survey and personas
Before we dived into our website experience design, we sent out a research survey to multiple high schools and college groups to find out what resources and content young adults want to learn the most. After reviewing the survey poll of 100+, we had a clearer understanding of how to define high school seniors to college sophomores personas and their need for personal finance, independent living, and job applying tips and knowledge. Here's a quick overview of the survey results
Personas created by Claire Liang
Behind the brand exploration process
At the end of our exploration, our team liked the mountain logo concept matched with a modern rounded typeface the best. The logo and colors offer Menti a hopeful tone in helping students get over their hurdles and reach their peak potential as stated in our mission statement. We felt that option A from our color exploration is the most suitable to convey what we want our audience to feel when they see our brand. We later incorporated these mood and tones into our brand color names. As for the brand's font, we wanted to make sure the type combination is easy to read for online articles, plus feel professional but not too formal so it shows a bit of fun personality.
Ideation phase: how can we make learning experience more fun and enjoyable for young adults?
From studying other learning resource platforms and the feedback from our research survey, we found a couple of pain points in current people's resource-searching experience such as:

• Most young adults or students go to school counselors or family for career and personal development, but find it not extremely helpful or do not know what to ask.
• Most young adults think it is very hard to seek and understand the information they need when searching online.
• Some young adults do not feel the need or motivation to take action on developing their personal or professional growth. 

We then ideated a few design solutions to tackle these problems:

Make learning experiences more fun and enjoyable by turning them into "learning worlds" to explore. 
We first started with the idea of maps. Then in the iteration phase, we found that "world" makes more sense to use as our language to explain our content design system. Each learning world (ex. Personal Finance) branches out to different maps (Ex. Credit Cards), which are topics under the main category or world. Each map leads them to a reading path that includes different articles with tips and resource on that particular topic (Ex. Why do Credit Scores Matter?). 

Organize the website information architecture to be easy for user to find the resource they want to learn about. 
Based on our "learning world" concept, we can organize our learning content into three main worlds: personal finance, career jumpstart, and personal growth. Each world will have its own page discussing the essential topics people like to learn. User can track his/her learning progress with our handy PDF world tracker, offered in each world's page.  

For young adults who feel lost or do not know what they should learn, we want to let them know that they are not alone and help them relate to what others at their stage of life are trying to learn too. 
Our goal is to make Menti as inclusive and accessible as possible. We offer to take feedback and questions directly on the current website platform. However, our next goal is to build a goal-mapping feature, as well as an active learning community with social tools like Discord, Facebook group, and Instagram. We want young adults and students to expand their knowledge and network with one another. 
Web design exploration:
As the creative lead and designer, I explored how to convey Menti's mood and tone through welcoming illustration style, content design, and photography usage. Connecting with the brand identity's mission of guiding young adults in their learning journeys, the overall website theme uses visual elements that relates to paths, maps, exploration, navigation, and growth. Here are a few concepts:
Iterations to results:
After rounds of iterating and feedback, some of our ideation concepts became concrete solutions as part of our website experience. Here are some highlights:
Landing page: We landed on this landing page as we thought the illustration really connects with our themes of growth and learning. Our overall tone of the website content is to be encouraging and to highlight the message of how knowledge can make a big difference in one's journey and experiences in life. 
How it works: Following the landing page, we want to guide learners to first understand how our content organization works. This simple content system can help learners find resources faster and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed from looking at all the available resources at once. 
Resource organization: Learning topics are made into worlds to explore
Resource recommendation: Letting users know that feeling lost is normal. This section is designed to offer some ideas on where to get started and make them feel more relatable to other young adults. 
Link to About Us/Our Story page: We want to make sure our audience feel included and involved with our process in building Menti. Throughout the website, we try to add action buttons to encourage users to offer us feedback or simply ask us questions that they have. 
Footer: We plan to build an audience base through newsletters and social media platforms. 
Maps Tracker PDF: These handy PDFs below includes hyperlinks to all the readings under each map within each world. Learners can download this PDF on each learning world's page so they can take breaks in between their readings and easily go back to where they stopped with this tracker. 
Other initiatives
Other new features and initiatives after our launch included the Career Tasting ExperienceCommunity Library, and social media content
The Challenge
Designing for yourself is the biggest challenge for a designer. This nonprofit means alot to my friends and me, so it was quite difficult to nail down on the brand name, logo, and identity at first. Once we agreed on our mission statement and vision, I had a better direction in the design explorations. Another challenge as a co-founder is needing to strategize areas outside of design in order to grow Menti. I've learned so much in areas I never knew I would need to know - such as leading initiatives in outreach, marketing, and content creation.
Menti's launch had a great turnout of 800+ unique visitors and 1.9k page views according to our analytics. Menti's social media also has an increasing growth with 140+ followers within the first month. We plan to focus more on our outreach and social media marketing to increase our educational platform and grow our learning community. I will also continue to gain user feedback to iterate and improve the website's learning experience. 

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