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.)