Indi Young and Mental Models: An Experience in the Making

To finish something is quite delightful. Watching other people — people you admire — finish something is the next-best thing. That’s why I’m duly delighted to report that Indi Young’s first book, Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy With Human Behavior, is in publication and available for purchase from Rosenfeld Media (although I’m not the first to report as much).

The book’s official description:

“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.”

And while part of Rosenfeld Media’s process, as publisher, is behind us for now (save promotion and marketing), the reader experience with the book is just beginning.

John Dewey, in a seminal chapter of the same name from Art As Experience, describes having an experience as a “consummation and not a cessation.” As such, this book is already a compilation of efforts and experiences, most significantly, of course, Indi’s. A bound or a digital copy combines the author’s expertise and experiences with those of the book designers’ visual systems, the production team’s tuning, and the technical team’s building to deliver the content.

There’s no cessation here. The book is already a consummation, and it’s just beginning.

More consummation in the making: We worked with The Heads of State who crafted a cover series theme. They did simply remarkable work. Pictured here is an exploratory color palette for the series.

Because this was the inaugural book for Rosenfeld Media, the team worked to build a process, a design system, and an editorial process all while publishing the first in the series. While the team’s experience in creating the book had its own flow that’s come to an end for now, the consumption experience for potential readers is just about to start.

As you decide whether or not to purchase the book, participate in the seminars, check out the images on flickr, submit corrections, blog about it, whatever you decide to do — these messy and overlapping activities will all start to contribute to your own beginning with the book. And even after the single book has been read and shelved, your experience with it very well may continue on.

I hope your experience uncovers something new for you, stirs up something in you that you hadn’t known about process, about people, about perceiving. And while this isn’t a philosophical statement about the practical boundaries of a book, it is interesting to note that those boundaries are less tangible than the aspects — physical or digital — that we might immediately attribute to a text. Whether you’re a publisher, an editor, an author, a reader, or just a book admirer, your experience with a book is never really done. And that’s a good thing.

Congratulations to Indi most of all, but also to Lou, Karen, Allison, Fred, Jason, MJ, and Wesley on a great beginning!

If you choose to do so, you can purchase a copy from Rosenfeld Media. Get 10% off with code: FODANZ10. Those who purchase from the site get a digital version for free.