Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

Indi Young – Innovation With Mental Models

A presentation given at Web Directions North, Vancouver Canada, January 31 2008.

Presentation slides

Session description

In his recent book, The Myths of Innovation, Scott Berkun argues that
innovation does not happen in a flash of inspiration. Instead, it takes
years of research to deeply understand a problem space. A designer who
methodically examines, adopts, or discards various hypothesis about the
topic is the one who comes up with the best solutions.

In this talk, Indi Young will present a methodical (but rapid!) approach to
invention. Using a mental model diagram depicting the behavior of a customer
segment, she will show how to recognize when your current offerings could do
better at matching needs and how to synthesize new ideas.

With the ideas in this presentation, you will be able to think up new
product ideas and improve upon old product features in a guided, strategic

About Indi Young

Indi Young PortraitIndi began her work in Web applications in 1995 as a consultant in interaction and navigation design. A founding partner of Adaptive Path in 2001, she has worked with an impressive collection of clients, including Visa, Charles Schwab, Sybase, Agilent, Dow Corning, Microsoft, and PeopleSoft. Since 1995, Indi has constructed over 30 interview-based research projects, 22 of which included mental model diagrams. She considers this methodology she has developed another good way to be a “problem solver.”

Indi is the author of the soon-to-be-released Rosenfeld Media book Mental Models:
Aligning design strategy with human behavior

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Thanks for an amazing few days Web Directions. So many great themes of empathy, inclusion, collaboration, business impact through design, and keeping our future deeply human.

Laura van Doore Head of Product Design, Fathom

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