Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
A full-day workshop with Indi Young
There are plenty of workshops that teach you how to design well. There are more that teach you how to test and improve your offerings. But there are very few workshops that teach you what to design.
In this workshop, Indi Young, author of Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior, will teach you the skill of building mental model diagrams--a powerful tool to help you create products and services that do a better job of meeting the real needs of your users.
Based on interviews, mental model diagrams give you a deep understanding of people's motivations and thought-processes, creating empathy for the people who buy and use what you build.
To create a mental model diagram, you talk to people about what they do, look for patterns, and organize the patterns into a model of how people make decisions, think things through, and react to situations. This forms the top half of the diagram, which is really the "mental model" part.
In the bottom half of the diagram, you align your offerings--features, services, processes, and information--with the elements above. This makes it easy to see where your offering supports people's needs, where it needs improvement, and where there are opportunities for innovation
Models can be relatively simple or incredibly complex, depending on the breadth of the design problems you're trying to solve. Either way, they're a powerful tool.
What Mental Models Do for Organizations
Who uses them?
Mental models diagrams have helped organizations large and small--nonprofit and for-profit, universities, government agencies, and internal departments--improve their designs and product strategies. A few examples of organizations and what they used the models for:
What will you learn?
My book spells out the process in detail; this workshop will give you guided, hands-on practice. At the end of the day, you'll be able to conduct effective interviews, recognize which data should be included in a diagram, and sketch a mental model of your own.
Who should attend?
This workshop will benefit almost anyone involved in the creation of a product or service: