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Mental Models, Empathy, and Design

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Wish you had more time to deeply understand customer reasoning before making communication and design decisions? …

Wish you had more time to deeply understand customer reasoning before making communication and design decisions?

Mental models diagrams represent the underlying philosophies and emotions that drive people's behavior, matched up with the ways you support them with your organization's products and services. Empathizing with people's underlying motivations opens up different avenues for supporting their behavior. A true model illuminates the users' world and allows you to generate better ideas and tell a more compelling story to product developers and business executives.

In this presentation, Indi Young, author of Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior, discusses 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 a preference, task, or observation level. But there is so much more to find out about people. Indi addresses how to coax the model toward representing the true roots of people's behavior in order to provide a clear roadmap of where your organization should invest its energies, and also where it shouldn't, allowing you to stretch your limited resources and maximize your precious time. Mental models will also allow you to derive an information architecture from users' tasks that will last 10 years, and get everyone from discordant team members to busy executives on the same page with respect to design and planning. (Presentation given at the August 2012 meeting of a local San Francisco group of designers and writers.)

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  • Not about evaluation of toolsNot about tasks
  • Simon Parker
  • Laura Hansen
  • Judge on the flyMight lead to something in scope
  • Explain reasons for doing thisDeeper goals, motivations, philosophies
  • Two things: leading and vocabulary
  • Transcript

    • 1. Mental Models, Empathy, and Design Supportive Content for Specific FolksIndi Young
    • 2. This Is Generative, Not Evaluative, Research
    • 3. Evaluative ―(adj) determining the significance, worth, or quality‖ ―assessing or judging the value of‖ ―e·valu·a·tive adj. Philosophy expressing an attitude or value judgment‖ ―examining and judging carefully‖Definitions from wordnetweb.princeton.edu, textanalysis.info, umich.edu cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 3
    • 4. Generative ―gen·er·a·tive adj. 1. Having the ability to originate, produce, or procreate. 2. Of or relating to the production of offspring.‖ ―[jen-er-uh-tiv, -uh-rey-tiv] –adjective. capable of producing or creating.‖Definitions from thefreedictionary.com, dictionary.reference.com cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 4
    • 5. Techniques Uses Preference Survey Visual Design Opinions, likes, desires Focus Group Branding Mood Board Market Analysis Customer Feedback Advertising Campaign Preference Interview Card Sort Evaluative Usability Test Test Interaction FunctionalityWhat is understood or accomplished Log Analysis Test Screen Layoutwith an artifact, process, or service Search Analytics Test Nomenclature Customer Feedback Test IA Card Sort Generative Non-Directive Interview Interaction DesignMental environment in which things Contextual Inquiry Information Architecture get evaluated & decided Mental Model Alignment & Gap Analysis Ethnography Contextual Information Field Study Diary cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 5
    • 6. Generative: make a nest, Evaluative: take the ideas paper the walls with outside the nest and see empathy, be creative in how well they actually that place, generate support people supportive ideas (debate about user-centered design: whether or not you invite customers to co-create with you in the nest)NTNU Engineering Sci & Tech BY-NC-SA; Bolt|Peters ―User 06‖ BY cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 6
    • 7. We Often Think WeHave Empathy …
    • 8. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting AugT-shirt created by Todd Wilkens, Dan Saffer, Jesse James Garrett 8 2012
    • 9. The customer objectives are to increase satisfaction and loyalty. This is hard. We have difficulty taking off our employee hat.Conference Table Discussion – Pulpolux !!! BY-NC-NA Flickr cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 9
    • 10. I considered myself a savvy traveler. My own experience was all through my perception of travel. Now I realize I was approaching things from my own point of view. Im looking forward to doing more interviews … feeling the weight [of travel] upon them. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 10
    • 11. Empathy Is Hard to Sell
    • 12. I am not comfortable with risk. Give me proof that our product will be successful. (But don’t spend too much money on proof.) Data is good proof. Data means numbers—things we can measure with accuracy. I want this organization to be data-driven. This is hard for your boss, too. He thinks more about protecting the organization than supporting the customer.Paul Buckle, CEO of Nestle – Flickr 28056346@N06/6263494650/ BY-NC-SA Nestle cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 12
    • 13. “Data-Driven” versus Qualitative A lot of the work that we are trying to do is less quantitative and more qualitative. This ―generative‖ research looks non-numerical. It looks qualitative.Paul Buckle, CEO of Nestle – Flickr 28056346@N06/6263494650/ BY-NC-SA Nestle cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 13
    • 14. Quantitative ―1. of, relating to, or involving the measurement of quantity or amount‖ ―2. of or pertaining to the describing or measuring of quantity.‖ ―… length, height, area, volume, weight, speed, time, temperature, humidity, sound levels, costs, members, ages, etc.‖Definitions from merriam-webster.com, dictionary.reference.com, regentsprep.org cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 14
    • 15. Qualitative ―(adj) involving distinctions based on qualities‖ ―looking for regularities and differences‖ ―1. Referring to the characteristics of something being described, rather than exact numerical measurement. 2. Indicative only of relative sizes or magnitudes, rather than their numerical values.‖Definitions from wordnetweb.princeton.edu, textanalysis.info, umich.edu cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 15
    • 16. “Data-Driven” versus Qualitative Non-directive interviews generate qualitative data that can masquerade as ―data-driven‖ Stories are just data with a soul.The Gifts of Imperfection – Dr. Brené Brown 12-Jun-2010 TEDxHouston cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 16
    • 17. “Data-Driven” versus Qualitative The goal in conducting qualitative research … is to obtain insight, direction, and learning, rather than statistical project-ability. Moreover, the confidence one has in qualitative results comes not from statistical reliability, but from the degree to which the findings are consistent across the discussions.The Gifts of Imperfection – Dr. Brené Brown 12-Jun-2010 TEDxHouston cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 17
    • 18. Define Empathy?
    • 19. EmpathyExperience of the feelings, thoughts, attitudes of another cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 19
    • 20. ―Intelligence is a poor cousin to understanding.‖―Why do I want their words? To become them for a second or two.‖ cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 20
    • 21. Reading Stories to the Snake – Carolyn Wan cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 21
    • 22. Empathy Is Character Acting The point is to understand people deeply— — so deeply you could live their life, walk in their shoes, and make decisions exactly the way they would.Navajo Moccasin – Gary Graves CC-BY-NC-ND Flickr ggraves/2745631003 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 22
    • 23. You Can’t Gain Empathy by Only Analyzing the Steps in a ProcessTesting tensile strength – Argonne National Laboratory BY-SA Flickr argonne/3468640655 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 23
    • 24. You Can’t Gain Enough Empathy Just by Observing ActivitiesYokosuka, Japan, Oct 29, 2002 – MilitaryHealth CC-BY Flickr militaryhealth/7029696503 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 24
    • 25. You Have to Ask People to Know Their Inner Thoughts, Reactions, PrinciplesChat with a friend – Gary Knight CC-BY-SA Flickr garryknight/2919584686 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 25
    • 26. What is hethinking & feeling while … cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 26
    • 27. Introduction toMental Models
    • 28. What are mental models? ―Models people have of themselves, others, their environment, and the things they interact with‖Design of Everyday Things – Don Norman cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 28
    • 29. What are mental models?Models your team has of others cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 29
    • 30. Site Owners Measuring Success - Google Analytics Team, Jeff Veen cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 30
    • 31. Type I Diabetics Coping with Their Condition Daily – Adaptive Path Team cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 31
    • 32. Patrons Deciding What to Order – McDonald’s Menu Team, Jeff Pollard cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 32
    • 33. People Running an Information Center – Omar Sosa Tzec cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 33
    • 34. Buyers Purchasing Merchandise – Macy’s, Mary Piontkowski cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 34
    • 35. Photos from Jeff Patton, Todd Zaki Warfel cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 35
    • 36. Mental SpacesLarge Business Owners Deciding How to Address HR/Financial Processes – PeopleSoft Team cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 36
    • 37. TowersLarge Business Owners Deciding How to Address HR/Financial Processes – PeopleSoft Team cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 37
    • 38. Boxes (behaviors, beliefs, reactions) SupportLarge Business Owners Deciding How to Address HR/Financial Processes – PeopleSoft Team cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 38
    • 39. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 39
    • 40. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 40
    • 41. Model of Capabilities cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 41
    • 42. Large Business Owners Deciding How to Address HR/Financial Processes – PeopleSoft Team cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 42
    • 43. Mental models are in somewhat chronological order cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 43
    • 44. Tower height does not indicate importance cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 44
    • 45. Completeness of the model cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 45
    • 46. How to Include Empathy In YourDesign Process via Mental Models
    • 47. Pin the Tail on the Donkey Game – Motleye CC BY Flickr cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 47
    • 48. My Custom Pin the Tail on the Donkey – jsigharas CC-BY Flickr jsigharas/ cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 48
    • 49. Data exploration by Stamen Design – available at http://www.mysociety.org/2007/more-travel-maps/ cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 49
    • 50. Data exploration by Stamen Design – available at http://www.mysociety.org/2007/more-travel-maps/ cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 50
    • 51. Data exploration by Stamen Design – http://content.stamen.com/mtv_travel_time_maps_are_live cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 51
    • 52. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 52
    • 53. This Feels GoodPlease create this feature. Wow! That is gorgeous! You did a great job! cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 53
    • 54. … But This Is Better … For the Customer Please create this feature. That feature, plus this addition. Our empathy research indicates we should include it, and focus on this perspective. Okay … if it’s not risky. This is gold! Like it was made for ME! cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 54
    • 55. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 55
    • 56. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 56
    • 57. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 57
    • 58. Support People Better
    • 59. People don’t just beat a path toour door anymore. The website wasn’t doing a good job of replacing sales reps, so we needed the mental model as evidence to change it and guide that change. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 59
    • 60. Testing tensile strength – Argonne National Laboratory BY-SA Flickr argonne/3468640655 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 60
    • 61. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 61
    • 62. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 62
    • 63. The mental model showed us how peopletrying to lose weight lived with completelydifferent situations. We decided we had to produce content unique to each of the three groups to be effective. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 63
    • 64. The Resigned cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 64
    • 65. The Sidetracked cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 65
    • 66. The Inconsistent cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 66
    • 67. Match MentalInformation Structures
    • 68. Prospective students, hip to internet use, were turned off by the old organization. It was difficult to find what they wanted to know.Cal State East BayProspective Student Mental Model cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 68
    • 69. Credit to Archive.org cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 69
    • 70. Design by Laura Hansen, India Christman and team, sponsored by Lee Thompson cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 70
    • 71. Less Serious Passionate About About Study the Topic Carefully Consider Look Forward to the Academic College Experience Decisions Lots of Other Means to an End Life Experience Worried About How Exploring Paths to Get In & Stay InStudent photos courtesy of Lower Columbia College via Flickr cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 71
    • 72. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 72
    • 73. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 73
    • 74. Skip WritingRequirements Documents
    • 75. Big Document – Ernie of Ann Arbor, Michigan CC-BY Flickr EAHIV/ cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 75
    • 76. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 76
    • 77. Left: Dan Arganbright, Quixtar; Right: Discussion – *keagy.com of XPLANE CC-BY Flickr *keagy.com/ cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 77
    • 78. DVD Release Dates – Redesign Proposal Towers of Note in Mental Model Get the DVD Buy Special DVDs Track Box Office Track Production Competition Studio News Quotes from Moviegoers Track Box Track Get DVDs as Office Production Gifts Competition Studio News ―I own the extended editions.‖ ―I own a lot of musicals … I have bought Meet Me in DVD Release Top Box Office Links to St. Louis.‖ Entertainment Dates Performers Websites Links to Gross ―I get them as gifts a lot. DVDs … ‖ Income Tracking on Films ―I get DVDs as gifts for other people.‖ Links to Box Office Websites― … tracking the competition between the different movies.‖ ―I keep an eye on release dates.‖― … scheduling strategy … Watching what strategy they ― … upcoming movie tracker that watches as projectsemploy and watching to see how that plays out in the box are developed… I know a lot about movies that aren’toffice is an independent source of entertainment.‖ going to be out for another two years.‖― … tells you a lot about what the studio thinks about the ―I subscribe to different mailing lists where they talkmovie… That interests me too–the whole dynamic of how about what’s coming out.‖studios release and produce movies. There is a whole levelof personal politicking you can find out about through the ― … always read coverage off movie-related stuff inmagic of the internet.‖ the media… there are a couple of websites that I read regularly that are movie related.‖ObservationsThe current application, ―DVD Release Dates,‖ allows people to enter a movie title and by-nc-nd Indi,the upcoming cc it will return STC Meeting Aug 2012 78
    • 79. DVD Release Dates – Redesign Proposal Wireframe Airplane II Releases 1982 25-Jun – Theater Release 1992 11-Sep – Director’s Cut Release Barbarosa 2007 29-Sep – Final Cut Release 2007 05-Dec – DVD Release Cat People Earnings Press Dead Men Don’t Wear PlaidObservationsThe current application, ―DVD Release Dates,‖ allows people to enter a movie title and it will return the upcoming release date.There is a mode people can switch to that shows all upcoming DVD releases for the next three months, much like the board on thewall at your local video shop.The mental model and supporting quotes indicate that people do much more with DVDs. Not only do they look forward to the datewhen a theater release will be available on DVD, either for themselves or as a gift (for which the current application is sufficient), butthey also find entertainment in watching box office competition, research the environment in which a movie came out years ago,watch upcoming studio developments, and look up past films that might be available for purchase as a gift or for a collection.To support these activities, the current DVD Release Dates application could be extended. Because people are browsing filmhistory and the environment of a release, we can list not only DVD release dates, but also the original theater release dates, specialedition release dates, and even release dates by country, since they are separate. Two other categories besides release datescould be included: Earnings reports and other Press about the film, also filtered by country (and thus, language). This informationwill help set the stage for the environment of the film’s various releases. Furthermore, since no film is released in a vacuum, …FunctionalityThe currently selected movie displays as a poster image, along with three category entries: Releases, Earnings, and Press. Filtersacross the bottom default to the country of the user and to a one month period which is the month of the DVD release in thedefaulted country. Films with theater releases, special releases, or DVD releases within that same time period in that countryappear in a scrolling list to the right.Clicking a toggle expands and collapses a list of entries for that category. Each entry is a link to a page displaying the information.(―Information‖ in the case of a Release entry TBD.) Scrolling appears when the expanded lists are too long for display in the verticalspace. cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012The list of co-released films to the right can be toggled on and off. Clicking one of these entries puts it in the primary display location 79
    • 80. We still work with the Mental Model we co-created in 2005. I am pulling it out again this week for a new piece of work. It really has stood the test of time for us.Connie Frenette, Bell / Aliant Canada, October 2011 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 80
    • 81. We gave the advertising agency the mental model as part of the brief. It made the brief so strong and rich that their first work back to us was closer to the mark.Meeting photo courtesy of Jens Vermeersch, storyboard photo courtesy of Just Johnny; http://www.flickr.com cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 81
    • 82. Ensure You Achieve Empathy
    • 83. Focus on the Participant FocusedOnly When You’ve Got the Beard Can You … – Tim Difford CC-BY-NC-ND Flickr timdifford/4117768132 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 83
    • 84. Forget the ClockJust Had a Conversation with My Coworker – CC-BY-NC-SA Flickr slworking/5146190471 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 84
    • 85. Jot Down Their Words to Get Back To (Assuming the conversation is recorded) cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 85
    • 86. Empathy Is Generative, Not Evaluative Reductive Expansive Listening Listening trying to figure just following out what’s along the topics relevantJulian Treasure, 2010 TED Oxford cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 86
    • 87. Use Your AntennaeShran, an Andorian on Star Trek - Blue Movie Reviews Wordpress 08-Apr-2009 blog entry cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 87
    • 88. Take the Time to Ask “Why?”Why – Pierrette Wiseman CC-BY-NC-SA Flickr pjboudreau/4854288925/ cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 88
    • 89. Quit Thinking of the Next Question Panicked & DistractedConcentrate – Glenn Brown CC-BY-NC Flickr launceston_lad/178287398 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 89
    • 90. You Are Not The ExpertJust the Facts – West Point Public Affairs CC-BY Flickr west_point/5163813671 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 90
    • 91. No Words of Your OwnChez Kent 418b – Nathan LeClair CC-BY-SA Flickr nathansnostalgia/444562330 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 91
    • 92. Quell Your Reactions & Judgments Disgust ContemptHmm … – Matt Seppings CC-BY Flickr chumpolo/375892207 cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 92
    • 93. Learn to Recognize Three Things in the Flow of ConversationBehaviorsReactionsGuiding Principles cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 93
    • 94. Never Stop Adding to Your Understanding… in parallel with design & evaluation Brain- Proto- Eval- Design storm type uate cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 94
    • 95. RosenfeldMedia.com Resources: - slides & videos - articles - Q&A’s - templatesSlideShare.net/indi Code: INDI (25% discount) @indiyoung indi@acm.org cc by-nc-nd Indi, STC Meeting Aug 2012 95