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Sparking Creativity Through Empathy



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Sparking Creativity Through Empathy

  1. 1. Mental Models Sparking Creativity Through Empathy Indi Young
  2. 2. What have you obtained since you arrived here?
  3. 3. Empathy: Vicarious experience of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another WALL-E Image courtesy of Disney-PIXAR
  4. 4. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Wan
  5. 5. Game from Sesame Street online
  6. 6. Photo courtesy of Editor B “Bart Everson” via Flickr – students at Xavier University of Louisiana
  7. 7. Less Serious About Study Carefully Consider Academic Decisions Lots of Other Life Experience Worried About How to Get In & Stay In
  8. 12. Passionate About the Topic Look Forward to the College Experience Means to an End Exploring Paths Photos courtesy of Lower Columbia College via Flickr
  9. 14. “ Through these doors walk the most outstanding Employees anyone could for.”
  10. 15. Interaction Design Information Architecture Alignment & Gap Analysis Contextual Information Non-Directed Interview Contextual Inquiry Mental Model Ethnography Field Study Diary Generative Mental environment in which things get done Test Interaction Functionality Test Screen Layout Test Nomenclature Test IA Usability Test Log Analysis Search Analytics Customer Feedback Card Sort Evaluative What is understood or accomplished with a tool Visual Design Branding Market Analysis Advertising Campaign Survey Focus Group Mood Board Customer Feedback Preference Interview Card Sort Preference Opinions, likes, desires Uses Techniques
  11. 16. The Theory Behind Empathetic Design Pretend your organization doesn’t exist Pretend you don’t exist Play psychotherapist Build a model (or two) Harness the models for perspective
  12. 17. Pretend Your Organization Doesn’t Exist
  13. 18. W3C team photo, December 2006 Making things better is our passion.
  14. 19. Set up a demographic market segment Study clinical data about what diabetics face daily Know diabetics want an easier life (but not the details) Assume easier insulin delivery is a priority
  15. 20. We have difficulty taking off our employee hat Photo courtesy of Pulpolux !!!, The customer objectives are to increase satisfaction and loyalty.
  16. 22. Photo courtesy of bandita (Alicia) via Flickr
  17. 24. You Pay Them: (Copay) $40.00 Service: 04-Mar-09 Medical Visit At: Prima Medical Group
  18. 25. Data exploration by Stamen Design –, available at
  19. 26. Data exploration by Stamen Design –, available at What and Why?
  20. 27. Transit Times Database + Housing Prices
  21. 28. Pretend You Doesn’t Exist
  22. 29. We are not the target audience
  23. 30. Photo courtesy of Daniel Morris via Flickr,
  24. 33. Play Psychotherapist
  25. 34. 11% of moviegoers see movies alone Photo by Betsssssy,
  26. 35. I like to give the director the attention he deserves, because when I wrote a play in college, people didn't pay attention, and they didn't get the point. Photo courtesy of Katie Kelly Why do you go to movies alone?
  27. 36. Time Tracking I wrote an app that tracks what I’m doing by the minute. I estimate percentages each Friday based on my productivity. I take the 8 hours in my my day and divide them by project.
  28. 37. Age: 29 College Degree: Yes Employed: Yes Car Loan: Yes Savings Account: $5000-$10,000
  29. 38. I feel like I’m finally getting ahead. I just paid off my student loan, and I started a savings account because I thought I could finally start gathering a down payment for a house. But I’ll need help. My parents say they …
  30. 39. “ How can we increase the amount of funds in savings accounts?” Why do people save money?
  31. 40. Yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak You
  32. 41. What’s the emotion behind “finally getting ahead,” plus how did he paid off his student loan? I feel like I’m finally getting ahead. I just paid off my student loan, and I started a savings account because I thought I could finally start gathering a down payment for a house. But I’ll need help. My parents say they … First I’ll ask about the down payment and his need for help, then how he started the account.
  33. 42. “ Finally start gathering a down payment.” What’s the history that lead up to you feeling this way? Oh, well I want to buy a house, and now I can start saving for it. Before, I was still paying off my student loan, and that was a huge part of my monthly salary.
  34. 43. Why do you want to buy a house? Why? Well I just do. I mean everyone does, I guess. In my family, Dad always said that property is the best investment.
  35. 44. Let me verify this. There might be something deeper here. Buying a house is an investment to you? Yes. Sort of. I mean I’m not buying it just to sell it and make money. I want a place to settle down, put down roots. I want to be part of a neighborhood so when I have kids …
  36. 45. Back to the down payment, how are you approaching it? I put the same amount each month that I used to pay to my student loan into a savings account. In this market, I’ll need a huge down payment, so my folks say they’ll loan me half the down payment interest free, so I’ll need to save …
  37. 46. What’s the story behind your parents helping you? They want their grandkids to have a good place to grow up, and to be close, so they told both of us –I have a sister– that they’d help us with down payments. A long time ago they said this, so I’ve always known.
  38. 47. What’s the story behind the savings account, then? Oh, I’ve always had that savings account. Grandma opened it for me with $100 back on my 10 th birthday. We went into the bank together. I remember being a bit scared. But I’ve always had that account. I just haven’t always contributed to it.
  39. 48. I’ll skip the “scared” part since it was so long ago. Nice grandma! So what kinds of things kept you from making contributions? Well, at first I put part of the money from my newspaper route in the account, but then I kind of forgot about it. You know, high school. You forget about a lot of things. Then there was the student loan …
  40. 49. What was your thinking around the student loan? I actually did a calculation. I figured if I got a degree from a well-known school, I’d get a higher-paying job right away and that calculation was how many extra years it would take to pay a bigger loan down versus the bigger salary.
  41. 50. Tell me what the calculation convinced you. That it was worth it –worth the more expensive school since it would not take me longer to pay it off, and I’d still have the same part of my salary left over afterwards. Oh, it didn’t exactly work out that way, but it was a good way to make a decision.
  42. 51. Oh? How did it work out, then? It turned out the salary wasn’t as high as I thought I’d get. So it took longer to pay it off, because I didn’t want to totally sacrifice my monthly salary. I mean, I want to go out and have some fun, too.
  43. 52. Right! So, what did you do then? I just figured out how many more months it would take to pay it off and did it. I did pay a couple of extra payments when I got a holiday bonus, though. That helped.
  44. 53. How did you decide to do that with the bonus? I had heard it was better to do that than to spend it on presents to myself.
  45. 54. Who said that? I read it in an article in this magazine. It was an article about this cyclist who would put his race winnings towards his student loans.
  46. 55. How do you feel about being in this position? In this position?!?! … Well, I’m glad I’m finally done with the student loan and moving on to the down payment.
  47. 56. Is there anything else behind that emotion? Just curious. Why are you glad? Because it’s gone. I don’t have to pay it anymore. (Duh!) … I have a friend who has two student loans and he isn’t even close to paying them off. He’ll end up living in an apartment until he’s 40! That would suck.
  48. 57. The Hallway Test Photo by yksin via Flickr What is she thinking while walking down the hallway?
  49. 58. The Hallway Test Photo by yksin via Flickr What is her intent? direct implied conscious unconscious
  50. 59. Practice, Practice, Practice Yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak Fascinated, curious Comfortable to tell stories Stop thinking of your next question!
  51. 60. Build a Model (or two)
  52. 61. A Mental Model Is: <ul><li>“ … a mental representation of how something works.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ … the model a person makes of the workflow of software application.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ … a conceptual representation used to help a person understand and interact with the world.” </li></ul>
  53. 62. A Mental Model Is: Underlying reasons that drive people's behavior Ways you support people with your product Intentions Experiences with meaning & value
  54. 63. Analysis
  55. 64. Atomic Task ID Quote We will buy in advance (over the internet … for movies we expect big crowds for, like a new release Buy Tickets in Advance to Ensure I Get In 105 We prefer not to go because it’s too crowded. You can’t choose your seat or you have to get there early to choose your seat. Choose Later Screening to Get Good Seats 105 It’s extra hassle standing around waiting for them to let you into the movie theater. Avoid Waiting in Line to Get in the Theater 105 we want it to be as easy an experience as possible … don’t have to think about any part of the experience … just go and relax. Watch a Film to Relax 105
  56. 65. Atomic Task ID Quote Discuss Film Afterward My friend really likes talking about the movie, so we’ll end up talking. Discuss Film Right After Seeing It 105 I like to have someone to talk with afterwards. What we like or dislike, whether it was good or not. 110 They’ll have a comment. I’m interested in hearing it after. 113 We do that a lot over lunch. We’ll talk about movies we have seen over the weekend. Discuss Film with Friends Later 103
  57. 66. <unnamed> <unnamed> Discuss Film Afterward Let the Movie Linger Write a Review Track Production Studio/Box Office News Get Toys, DVDs, Books, Soundtracks Wish that a Film Could Change How I Act Investigate Story from a Film Afterwards <unnamed> Have a Date Night Watch Films Regularly Organize a Group Attend Films with Others Watch Film Alone Immerse Myself in a Film Watch Certain DVDs Alone Attend Films Alone
  58. 69. Courtesy of Mary Piontkowski, for Macy’s
  59. 70. Photos by Roger Edwards, Rough Notes
  60. 71. Rough Draft 1 Day, 1 Conference Room, Lots of Coffee & Chocolate
  61. 72. Convert to a Content Model
  62. 73. Slot the Content Model Under the Mental Model <ul><li>Which towers does each box support? </li></ul>
  63. 75. Harness The Model for Perspective
  64. 76. Photo by Motleye,
  65. 77. Photo by jsigharas,
  66. 78. Photo by jsigharas,
  67. 79. We want our content to meet consumers’ needs more directly. We need to write “stickier” instructions that will truly change end-user health behavior. I strongly believe in the potential of information therapy to support sound decision-making. How can I translate that into products flexible enough to meet all needs?
  68. 80. Cope With A Health Problem Afford Health Care Prevent Health Problems Cope With Death Have A Baby
  69. 82. Figure Out How to Handle an Attraction
  70. 83. Get a Better Sense of a Person
  71. 84. Go Out With a Person for the First Time
  72. 90. Courtesy of
  73. 91.
  74. 92. Justify Priorities “ Is this worth building?” “ Can we trump competition in a different mental space?” “ What’s the value of this to the user? To us?” “ How feasible/fast is it to build this? Are there dependencies?” Photos by Roger Edwards,
  75. 93. Left photo courtesy of Dan Arganbright, Quixtar; right photo by * of XPLANE, Flickr
  76. 97. Photo from Ernie (Ann Arbor, MI) Flickr photostream (EAHIV)
  77. 99. Focus first on what it’s like to be these people, and then focus on what you have to give them. With this vision, creativity tumbles forth. Photos courtesy of Lower Columbia College via Flickr
  78. 100. Mental Models (blog, how-to, slides, videos, images, scripts, models) Scroll Magazine: Intelligence vs. Understanding A List Apart: Look At It Another Way Discount Code: WEBVISIONS09

Editor's Notes