Why Get a Book Signed?

Why Get a Book Signed?

Signed title page of "David and Goliath"

Signed title page of Malcolm Gladwell’s book: David and Goliath.

When I was a new author, one of the more disorienting experiences was the first time someone came up to me with their copy of my book and asked me to sign it. I was happy to do it. I was also bemused–not that I wasn’t familiar with the behavior, but why would a person ask me to sign their copy of my book? It seemed to be a habitual thing: people who have a hardcopy of the book with them when they encounter the author ask for a signature. I was curious about this decision. What was going on in that person’s mind? My curiosity grew when another fellow said sadly, “Oh. I bought an electronic copy. I guess I can’t have your signature.” (This point is probably part of the ongoing discussion out there about digital rights and value.) Read More

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Recruiting Across Behaviors

I received an enthusiastic, but bewildered cry for help from a UX designer in South Africa, Jeanne Marias. She wrote, “I am pioneering a service design project, part of which I’m wanting to do a Mental Model of ‘The New Member Journey.’ I’ve charged ahead and gotten the whole team excited about mental models, but after reading the section of your book about defining task-based audience segments, I’m feeling quite daunted and out of my depth! Especially when you speak about the Story, Craft and Companionship continuum.”

She wanted to know if there was an easier, friendlier way of creating the audience segments, similar to the comic strip explaining mental models. (Never mind that we don’t know what industry this is for–”new members” appear in lots of difference scenarios, like insurance or teachers unions or book clubs. So don’t worry about which industry she’s talking about.)

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Journeys, Experiences, & Mental Spaces

The other day a university student named Maria Hernando wrote to ask me my opinion about the relationship between User Journey Maps, Customer Journey Maps, and User Experience Maps … and how a mental model diagram might relate to any one of them.

I told Maria that I think of the maps as the same, or similar enough. The maps try to represent an actual example of how a person (or persona) went through and did something they wanted to do. The maps are generally chronological, moving forward through the hours of the persona’s actions one stage at a time. I told her that I think the phrase “experience map” came about because we want to be agnostic of whether the persona was using digital tools or not, or a combination to tools. The map represents the journey a person takes from the idea of accomplishing something to having accomplished that thing in the end. We want to see how it all hangs together from the persona’s perspective.

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Picking Out Guiding Principles

Picking out an actual “guiding principle” (something that guides how I make
a decision) from a transcript is difficult. There is so much “brush” we need to clear away before we can see the “specimen trees” for what they are. Here is a perfect example.
It’s a page from an architecture firm’s web brochure. The page is titled “Our
philosophy.” http://www.philippetimmerman.com/ (You have to click “Philosophy”
in the navigation to get to this page.)

Philippe Timmerman Architecture - the firm's philosophy.

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