Silicon Valley IxDA Event :: Mental Model Diagrams: Sparking Creativity Through Empathy :: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto
25 Mar 2011 - 8:58pm
Please join us for our next Silicon Valley IxDA event! Indi Young will speak about mental models. When: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 Socializing: 7:00-7:30 pm Program: 7:30-9:30 pm Where: Nokia Research Center 955 Page Mill Road Palo Alto, CA 94304
Mental Model Diagrams: Sparking Creativity Through Empathy Indi Young
Mental models are diagrams that represent the underlying philosophies and emotions that drive people's behavior, matched up with the ways you support them with your product. Rather than just knowing: "I like to go to movies alone," you'll dig down to the myriad reasons why. For example: "I like to give the director the attention and respect he deserves, because when I wrote a play in college, people didn't pay attention very well, they didn't get the point, and I felt frustrated." Knowing the motivating philosophy opens up different avenues for supporting the behavior. You could, for example, offer additional means for this type of moviegoer to get the point of the movie. Mental models are useful as structures for attaching these ideas to sets of philosophies and for generating new ideas in places where there are gaps.
In this presentation, Indi Young, author of Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behaviordiscusses how to make sure this model truly represents the root of what is driving your users' natural behavior. It is easy to make assumptions; much research stops at this preference level. But there is so much more to find out about people. If you learn to listen and notice where you make assumptions about what people are saying or doing, you can learn to dig deeper. Stop yourself and ask what is really behind something—Indi calls this The Hallway Test. Indi addresses how to coax the model toward representing the true roots of people's behavior.
Knowing the philosophies and emotions that drive people's behavior helps you understand and serve them better. A true model illuminates the users' world and allows you to tell a more compelling story to product developers and business executives.
Indi Young is a user experience consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area. When not researching mental model diagrams, teaching workshops, or writing, she consults for non-profits, corporations, startups, agencies, and universities around the world. She is passionate about bringing empathy into the design process. One of the founders of Adaptive Path and the first Rosenfeld Media author, Indi gives energy to the growing interaction design and experience strategy communities. Her work is available on SlideShare. You can find out more about her book on the Rosenfeld Media site.
This event is co-sponsored by IxDA (Interaction Design Association) Silicon Valley and BayCHI.