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!

Thoughts on Interaction Design
by Jon Kolko | Book Site | Amazon | Jon’s Interaction10 Keynote
Meeting Details
When: Wed, August 25, 2010 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: Red Tettemer - 1 South Broad Street, 24th Floor - Philadelphia, PA 19107
RSVP: EventBrite
We’ll be meeting on Wednesday August 25th at Red Tettemer, located at 1 South Broad St. Doors open at 6pm, Jon Kolko will be joining us via Skype at 6:30pm. Please try to be on time.
Refreshments will be sponsored by our friends at MissionStaff.
Recap
Check out UXBCPHL co-organizer Jamie’s recap of the discussion

Thoughts on Interaction Design

by Jon KolkoBook SiteAmazon | Jon’s Interaction10 Keynote

Meeting Details

When: Wed, August 25, 2010 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

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

RSVP: EventBrite

We’ll be meeting on Wednesday August 25th at Red Tettemer, located at 1 South Broad St. Doors open at 6pm, Jon Kolko will be joining us via Skype at 6:30pm. Please try to be on time.

Refreshments will be sponsored by our friends at MissionStaff.

Recap

Check out UXBCPHL co-organizer Jamie’s recap of the discussion

Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences
by Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff and Darrel Rhea | Amazon | Shedroff’s Interaction10 Keynote
Meeting Details
When: Wed, March 31, 2010 from 6-8pm
Where: IndyHall - 20 North 3rd Street, Unit 201 - Philadelphia, PA 19106
RSVP: EventBrite
Please feel free to bring a snack or a drink to share. This event will have limited capacity, so please only RSVP if you are sure you can make it! 
This just in: Stick around for drinks with PhillyCHI immediately following at Triumph Brewing Company, located at 117 Chestnut St.

Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences

by Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff and Darrel Rhea | Amazon | Shedroff’s Interaction10 Keynote

Meeting Details

When: Wed, March 31, 2010 from 6-8pm

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

RSVP: EventBrite

Please feel free to bring a snack or a drink to share. This event will have limited capacity, so please only RSVP if you are sure you can make it! 

This just in: Stick around for drinks with PhillyCHI immediately following at Triumph Brewing Company, located at 117 Chestnut St.

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.

Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
by Don Norman | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: Sun, Oct 4, 2009 from 1-3pm
Where: Rittenhouse Square - 18th and Walnut (rain location: Naked Chocolate on 18th Street)
RSVP: Facebook

Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

by Don Norman | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Sun, Oct 4, 2009 from 1-3pm

Where: Rittenhouse Square - 18th and Walnut (rain location: Naked Chocolate on 18th Street)

RSVP: Facebook

Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
by David Bayles & Ted Orland | Amazon
Meeting Details
When: Thurs, June 25, 2009 from 6:30-8:30pm
Where: P’unk Avenue - 1168 E Passyunk Ave
RSVP: Facebook

Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

by David Bayles & Ted Orland | Amazon

Meeting Details

When: Thurs, June 25, 2009 from 6:30-8:30pm

Where: P’unk Avenue - 1168 E Passyunk Ave

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

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