We meet several times a year in Philly to discuss a book about user experience (UX) or a related topic. We hope you can join us for the next meeting!

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Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
by Indi Young | Rosenfeld | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: May 3, 2011 from 6-8pm
Where: IndyHall - 20 North 3rd St, Unit 201 - Philadelphia, PA 19106
RSVP: EventBrite
Indi plans to join us since she’ll be in Philly for the J. Boye Conference! Feel free to attend the meeting even if you don’t finish the book or read it - the more the merrier!
Refreshments will be provided by our friends at MissionStaff.
Use the discount code UXBOOKPHILLY for 30% off your Rosenfeld Media purchase of Mental Models or other products. Thanks to our friends at Rosenfeld Media for the discount!
If you don’t have time to read the book, the UIE Spoolcast is a good listen.
Recap [Live Tweets]
Working with engineers and task analysis inspired @IndiYoung at first. State machines weren’t enough — “people have emotional reactions”
One thing still missing is the ability to click a “tower” in a mental model & hear the quotes from participants that support it.
Scoping MMs can be challenging. You have to find the affinities — where you’re hearing the same things from many people.
Creating a “meta mental model” can help identify appropriate scope. Craft a clearly written essay question to gather data in ~1wk
Can also use past research or your own knowledge about people as a start to narrow down scope and where affinities may lie.
Make sure the top section of a MM is focused on people and tool agnostic — the bottom is for your business goals and services.
The important thing about generative research is to forget about your product — try to think about before your product existed.
How do you keep designers and others from defaulting to existing product? Gentle but firm teasing! Though depends on the team.
It’s all about empathy — try being an actor, making everyone on the team speak in first person, present tense.
Getting into a semantic debate — MMs are built from “tasks” but “goals” seems like a better term for some. @IndiYoung uses “tasks” less now
Rather than dealing with “task” baggage @IndiYoung has moved to saying “behaviors” “motivations” “beliefs” “decisions” “emotional reactions”
We don’t talk to people about *our* goal — we talk to them about *their* situation…and the emotions involved.
Don’t trash the emotions in the search for “tasks”! It’s all important, finding the level of granularity can be challenging.
The diagram is not a method in itself - it’s a way to tell a story better. Print diff. parts at diff. times to tell diff. stories 
Be careful (especially in English) to tell apart opinions from beliefs. Beliefs are often implicit, and more desirable in MMs.
How to get to the root of a mental model in interviews? Practice. @IndiYoung keeps putting her fingers up like antennae :)
Practice asking yourself “Do I really understand the situation?” and don’t stop probing until you can really answer in detail.
Use the idea of the toddler who always asks “Why?” past the point of irritation. Be that 4yo, but stop at Irrational Land.
Total strangers will totally open up to you the moment they know you’re paying attention to them.
Stay with the “Why?” and “How come?” — avoid “How?” since people know you’re a researcher and may default to your product. 
Terry Gross on “Fresh Air” is one of @IndiYoung’s fav examples to show generative questions versus leading (for entertainment, in that case)
RT @livlab: “Practice interviewing and getting to core of a story by listening to radio and see where you diverge from interviewer.”
Scary for most people to talk to strangers, but harness your curiosity about what makes people tick.Start slow & build confidence
Be sensitive to interview environment. You don’t talk about finances in public. Can’t talk about your boss in the cubicle farm.
Attendees have had lots of experiences getting great quotes from participants *after* leaving the formal interview.
Time to play: @IndiYoung interviewed some cats and has brought some mental models for us to explore.
Check out the Cat Mental Models example and lots of other great supplements to the book over at the Rosenfeld site. Thanks again for joining us, Indi!

Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior

by Indi YoungRosenfeld | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: May 3, 2011 from 6-8pm

Where: IndyHall - 20 North 3rd St, Unit 201 - Philadelphia, PA 19106

RSVP: EventBrite

Indi plans to join us since she’ll be in Philly for the J. Boye Conference! Feel free to attend the meeting even if you don’t finish the book or read it - the more the merrier!

Refreshments will be provided by our friends at MissionStaff.

Use the discount code UXBOOKPHILLY for 30% off your Rosenfeld Media purchase of Mental Models or other products. Thanks to our friends at Rosenfeld Media for the discount!

If you don’t have time to read the book, the UIE Spoolcast is a good listen.

Recap [Live Tweets]

Check out the Cat Mental Models example and lots of other great supplements to the book over at the Rosenfeld site. Thanks again for joining us, Indi!

Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design
by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks | Rosenfeld Media | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: Wed, March 2, 2011 from 6-8pm
Where: Happy Cog - 109 South 13th Street - Third Floor (Unit 3 South) - Philadelphia, PA 19107
RSVP: Eventbrite
Use the discount code UXBOOKPHILLY for 30% off your purchase. This discount applies to all products at Rosenfeld Media. (Thanks to our friends at Rosenfeld Media for the discount!)
Refreshments will be sponsored by our friends at MissionStaff.

Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design

by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks | Rosenfeld Media | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Wed, March 2, 2011 from 6-8pm

Where: Happy Cog - 109 South 13th Street - Third Floor (Unit 3 South) - Philadelphia, PA 19107

RSVP: Eventbrite

Use the discount code UXBOOKPHILLY for 30% off your purchase. This discount applies to all products at Rosenfeld Media. (Thanks to our friends at Rosenfeld Media for the discount!)

Refreshments will be sponsored by our friends at MissionStaff.

Back of the Napkin
by Dan Roam | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: Wed, June 6th, 2010 from 6-8pm
Where: Red Tettemer - 1 South Broad Street, 24th Floor - Philadelphia, PA 19107
RSVP: EventBrite
Jonny Goldstein and the VizThink Philly crew will be on hand to lead some visual activities related to the book!

Back of the Napkin

by Dan Roam | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Wed, June 6th, 2010 from 6-8pm

Where: Red Tettemer - 1 South Broad Street, 24th Floor - Philadelphia, PA 19107

RSVP: EventBrite

Jonny Goldstein and the VizThink Philly crew will be on hand to lead some visual activities related to the book!

Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide
by Todd Zaki Warfel | Rosenfeld Media | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: Thurs, January 28, 2010 from 6-8pm
Where: messagefirst - 230 N 2nd St. Suite 2C - Philadelphia, PA 19106
RSVP: Facebook

Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide

by Todd Zaki Warfel | Rosenfeld Media | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Thurs, January 28, 2010 from 6-8pm

Where: messagefirst - 230 N 2nd St. Suite 2C - Philadelphia, PA 19106

RSVP: Facebook

Designing Gestural Interfaces: Touchscreens and Interactive Devices
by Dan Saffer | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Wed, December 2, 2009 from 6-8pm
Where: IndyHall - 20 North 3rd Street, Unit 201 - Philadelphia, PA 19106
RSVP: Facebook
Will Evans of Semantic Foundry will be joining us to share some design examples of gestural interfaces.

Designing Gestural Interfaces: Touchscreens and Interactive Devices

by Dan Saffer | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Wed, December 2, 2009 from 6-8pm

Where: IndyHall - 20 North 3rd Street, Unit 201 - Philadelphia, PA 19106

RSVP: Facebook

Will Evans of Semantic Foundry will be joining us to share some design examples of gestural interfaces.

A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making
by Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: July 29, 2009 from 6-8pm
Where: Happy Cog - 109 South 13th Street - Unit 3 South (Third Floor) - Philadelphia, PA 19107

A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making

by Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: July 29, 2009 from 6-8pm

Where: Happy Cog - 109 South 13th Street - Unit 3 South (Third Floor) - Philadelphia, PA 19107

Beautiful Evidence
by Edward Tufte | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: Sun, April 19, 2009 from 2-5pm
Where: Upstairs at Naked Chocolate Rittenhouse - 30 S. 17th Street
RSVP: Facebook

Beautiful Evidence

by Edward Tufte | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Sun, April 19, 2009 from 2-5pm

Where: Upstairs at Naked Chocolate Rittenhouse - 30 S. 17th Street

RSVP: Facebook

Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design
by Bill Buxton | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: Sun, Feb 1, 2009 from 2-4pm
Where: Cosi Sandwich Bar - 17th & Market Street
RSVP: Facebook

Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design

by Bill Buxton | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Sun, Feb 1, 2009 from 2-4pm

Where: Cosi Sandwich Bar - 17th & Market Street

RSVP: Facebook