Conventional product development focuses on the solution. Empathy is a mindset that focuses on people, helping you to understand their thinking patterns and perspectives. Practical Empathy will show you how to gather and compare these patterns to make better decisions, improve your strategy, and collaborate successfully.
There is no single methodology for creating the perfect product—but you can increase your odds. One of the best ways is to understand users’ reasons for doing things. Mental Models gives you the tools to help you grasp, and design for, those reasons. Adaptive Path co-founder Indi Young has written a roll-up-your-sleeves book for designers, managers, and anyone else interested in making design strategic, and successful.
Indi’s recommended books
If you are passionate about understanding others and seeing from new perspectives, then these books may be of interest.
Deepen your understanding of people
- Listening Well – William Miller
- Difficult Conversations – Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen
Seek the bias, discrimination, and weaknesses causing harm
- Weapons of Math Destruction – Cathy O’Neil
- Technically Wrong – Sara Wachter-Boettcher
- Design for Real Life – Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Eric Meyer
- Mismatch – Kat Holmes
- Race After Technology – Ruha Benjamin
Explore how to build knowledge
- Mixed Methods – Sam Ladner
- Contextual Design – Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt
- User and Task Analysis for Interface Design – JoAnn Hackos and Janice Redish
Slow down, take time
Bring Indi to talk to your
I have different presentations that cover different aspects of Mental Models and Practical empathy.
- Listening deeply
- Better data analysis
- Synthesizing data
- Mental model diagram usage