UX Design - Finding the Mental Model for Business

  • 21 Apr 2016
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Paoli Design Center (1604 Lancaster Ave, Paoli, PA 19301)
  • 5


  • Member of IIBA and of the Philadelphia Chapter
  • Employee of a Philadelphia Chapter-sponsoring company
  • Not a member of the Philadelphia Chapter
  • Has paid for a year trial membership.
  • Student with current student ID

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Please note, the date for this meeting has been updated from Wednesday 4/20 to Thursday 4/21.


UX Design - Finding the Mental Model for Business


For centuries designers, like architects and graphic designers, have been finding and understanding mental models and using them to create objects, homes and posters. What we call User Experience, or UX, is the first design field to apply those techniques to a non-physicalized object, or abstract concept, such as a business. In the past, businesses iterated on their business models and tested them on their customers. UX doesn't change that but adds another layer. Before iterating on the business model, UX researches and iterates on the mental models of the customer, and that feeds into and informs the business model iterations. Research techniques, like interviews and card sorting, are universal, time-tested and used in many of the social sciences; but instead of using the research to increase our knowledge, designers use it to create.

To be successful, UX Designers must bridge three different fields: social sciences, design, and business. We will talk about how a UX'er is continuously crossing all those bridges to achieve better usability for users, higher satisfaction for customers, and more profits for the business. Social science techniques like interviews and affinity diagrams are used by the UX Designer to create knowledge and empathy, forming the base of the users' mental model. On the design bridge, a UX'er uses the mental model to create personas and user flow diagrams, highlighting the most relevant pieces of the mental model. Business products, like software or models, will be redesigned with this deeper understanding of the user. A successful business will validate the redesigned business model; so the UX'er is back on the social science bridge researching the current mental model of the user. And so the cycle continues, iteration after iteration, redesigning businesses. When this is done well, it creates the best possible experience for users, long-lasting customers, and successful world-changing companies.


5:30 - 6:10 PM - Registration, Refreshments, Networking
6:10 - 6:15 PM - Welcome and Introductions
6:15 - 7:25 PM - Presentation
7:25 - 7:55 PM - Questions and Answers
7:55 - 8:00 PM - Wrap-up

    Presented by:

    Jason Prunty
    Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce
    Philadelphia University


    Jason is an experienced UX designer with a diverse design foundation that includes working in industrial design, showing work in art galleries, and teaching architecture, photography, and user experience.

    Jason currently leads a team of designers at Sungard Availability Services, as they design the next generation of business continuity software. The UX team is successfully integrating SungardAS's user-centered design process into an agile development framework.

    Jason has previously focused on the enterprise space, crafting user-friendly interfaces and business models for large companies ranging from the World Bank to Johnson & Johnson. He has provided insightful digital strategy and design rationale to clients as a consultant and researcher.

    Outside of the office, you might find Jason engineering the perfect soft pretzel, renovating a corner of his 200-year-old row home, or creating a user-friendly Philly outing for his wife and daughters.

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