Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior

October 27, 2011


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.


There’s a passion for mental models in this book which is contagious, even to an existing supporter of the concept. –Joanna Bawa, Usability News

I think it is a must read for design teams. When using Indi Young’s mental models in your process you will without a doubt improve the quality of your products for the target audience. –Jeroen van Geel, Johnny Holland

Those in the social sciences will revel in its qualitative and intuitive approach, yet those in the hard science will appreciate its straightforward and simplistic tone. –Marisa Peacock, CMSWire

About the Author

Indi’s work spans a number of decades, from the mid-80’s when the desktop metaphor was replacing command line and menu-based systems, to the mid-90’s when the Web first toddled onto the scene, to now, when designers are intent on crafting good experiences. After 10 years of consulting, Indi founded Adaptive Path with six other partners in 2001, all hoping to spread good design around the world, making things easier for people everywhere. Indi’s mental models have helped both start-ups and large corporations discover and support customer behaviors they didn’t think to explore at first. She has written a book about the mental model method, Mental Models – aligning design strategy with human behavior, published by Rosenfeld Media. She is now consulting independently, conducting mental model workshops, and mentoring.