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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 …

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, …

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 …

How to Wield Empathy

At at recent workshop, I conducted a spontaneous interview as a demonstration of what I mean by “create a scope perimeter within which any conversation can happen.” I asked for a volunteer and for a topic. The volunteer was Daren. The topic was air travel. I scoped the topic down to “planning and booking air …

Who Can Believe the U.S. Unemployment Figures?

The letter begins, “You may have read in the newspaper–or heard on the radio or television–the official government figures on total employment and unemployment issued each month.” (The writer of the letter added to em-dashes to make sure we notice they are using new-fangled media channels. I assume the template for this letter was written …

Get Better at Interviewing: Look At How You Did

One of my clients, who has spent her career getting to know customers, is in the midst of conducting a series of generative interviews. Under time pressure to finish (and analyze) these interviews in a less-than-ideal length of time, she is setting up all sorts of tools to help her get great results quickly. She …

Audience Segments As Characters

I was recently helping a few people create audience segments for their projects. It’s so hard to get outside the normal way of thinking about people by title or role or demographic. As a way of getting past that, and additionally as a way of emphasizing that audience segments are merely a way to help …

Try the “Lightning Quick” Mental Model Method

When I was making a lot of mental models in the get-it-to-market-yesterday dot com boom of the late 1990′s, I used a technique that resulted in a mental model plus gap analysis brainstorm in the course of one day. Now that it’s the not-in-this-economy post economic slump, I think it’s time to put this technique …