addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwchatcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-crosscrosseditemptyheartfacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgoogleimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinmagnifying-glassmailminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonplusprice-ribbonImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruseryahoo

Empathy, Mental Models, & Design thinking

1. Are you usable?

As UX professionals, we work with clients or internal stakeholders, and we design for their customers – the end users. We spend most of our energy on empathizing with those end users... but what about our stakeholders?

While we're great at solving problems for end users, we often find ourselves struggling to get our clients to understand the value we bring. Staying empathetic, communicative and ultimately usable to our clients throughout a project is just as important as any of the other work we do, but doing this is easier said than done. Heather will help you find out how usable you really are, and she'll give you some practical techniques for empathizing with stakeholders the way we empathize with users.



Meghan Reilly is a project manager and user researcher at Above the Fold, a user experience design agency located in Cambridge, MA. Since joining Above the Fold, Meghan has used her previous experience with Information Services & Technology at Boston University to help bridge the divide between large IT organizations and UXD. She is ITIL foundations certified and has experience working with designers, developers, and decision makers. She also enjoys teaching workshops on usability. Meghan is a graduate of Boston University with a B.A. in English. She is an avid skier, a music lover, and a Red Sox fan.

Linkedin: Meghan Reilly



2. Forging new mental models for a better UX

One of the cardinal rules of thumb in UX design is to leverage existing mental models.

It's no coincidence we have "files" scattered across our "desktop", or we load web "pages". All these metaphors were leveraged in the early days of computing to help users understand brand new concepts using existing mental models. But what happens when you introduce a concept with no easy real world metaphors? When do you break free and forge new concepts in the user's mind?



Dave Wasmer is a frontend developer and UX crafter for Kinvey, a backend as a service startup and TechStars alum right here in Boston. He spends his days building and maintaining the Kinvey web app. He also enjoys helping others learn all about web development; he has taught at General Assembly and the Startup Institute, as well as mentored Lean Startup Machine workshops, Startup Weekend competitions, and DoD hackathons.

LinkedIn: Dave Wasmer



3.  Design Thinking for Business Innovation

Design Thinking is a key capability for revolutionary innovators and a potential source of sustainable competitive advantage in business.

It is a process of continuously redesigning a business using insight from customer intimacy. This talk will be based on the teachings and writings of Professor Jeanne Liedtka, who is a professor at the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Design Thinking can be used for the design of products, prototypes, services, business models, internal processes, customer engagement processes, personnel development processes and social media processes.  We will describe each of the 10 tools that can be used for Design Thinking for Business Innovation.


Hetal Shah has over 10 years of professional work experience in the sales, marketing, operations, and entrepreneurial fields. Hetal’s most recent work included providing billing services to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hetal founded and ran Vox Populi, Inc., a telecommunications-media startup. Prior to that, Hetal worked as a Marketing Strategy Consultant and a Product Manager for two technology startups in Massachusetts. Hetal attained a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Bradley University in Illinois in 1993.

LinkedIn: Hetal Shah



Show Schedule

6:15 - 6:30: Pizza

6:30 - 6:35: UX Opener by Akshat

6:35 - 7:00: Empathy

7:05 - 7:30: Mental models

7:35 - 8:00: Design thinking

8:00+ Beantown Pub (Downstairs)

Join or login to comment.

  • Philippe H.

    Awesome laid back presenters with great real hindsights.

    1 · February 21, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks so much for the presentations. I learned a lot!

    1 · February 20, 2014

  • Stephanie

    Mmmm where are you guys?

    February 20, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      We're at BeanTown Pub now

      February 20, 2014

  • Alwyn Velasquez (.

    Just could not make it in person. See you all soon.

    February 20, 2014

  • Steven T.

    Hi all - we shall be streaming here:

    February 20, 2014

  • Steven T.

    Space will be tight, as Akshat has pointed out, so for those who'd rather their home or office to "attend" we'll have a live broadcast set up on our UX Boston channel:

    For those with other engagements that evening, or who'll be watching from home, please set your RSVP appropriately so we can be a bit more accurate with our pizza order.

    Thanks everyone!

    3 · February 14, 2014

    • Annalisa O.

      That's great. Thank you. As much as I'd like to meet all y'all, my panic in crowds says no. :)

      1 · February 20, 2014

    • Jonah

      awesome. freeing up my spot too :)

      February 20, 2014

  • Veronica

    Watching from work... boss has last minute changes.

    February 20, 2014

  • Erin T.

    I watched online last time (which was great, btw). This time, I plan to be there in person... and have a slice of pizza. See you soon.

    1 · February 20, 2014

  • Chris A.

    Ill be watching it from home. I have update my rsvp.

    1 · February 20, 2014

  • charlene m.

    i too, will not be there physically.

    February 20, 2014

  • Liz H.

    I agree, would it be possible to record it for later viewing in addition to live broadcast?

    February 20, 2014

  • Jesús Zazueta M.

    Ouch. Sorry, swamped with work :(...

    February 20, 2014

  • Jed F.

    Changed RSVP; I'll catch the broadcast. Maybe someone should also record, in case the live feed goes down.

    February 20, 2014

  • Lou S.

    this looks like JUST what the doctor ordered! i'm really excited about this topic and hope to come out and get in on this evening of knowledge and networking :]

    1 · January 23, 2014

    • Mike M.

      yeah this looks sick!

      2 · January 23, 2014

    • Philippe H.

      Hi Lou, will you be speaking at MassArt tonight or are you going to the UX event at UX Boston in the Dockyard? :}

      February 20, 2014

  • Amy G.

    Changed RSVP. I will gladly watch the stream from home. Only a 40+ capacity sitting room?

    February 20, 2014

  • Clemencia H.

    I'll watch from the office, I have a deadline. Thanks for putting this together! Hopefully I can make it in person for the next one.

    February 20, 2014

  • Brian

    I will be "attending" from home. I'll update my response to make room for those that can attend in person.

    February 20, 2014

  • Akshat P.

    Just an FYI, there's only 40 chairs.

    3 · February 14, 2014

    • charlene m.


      2 · February 14, 2014

    • Steven T.

      About 40. So far our max turnout has been 38, even with over 180 claimed attending. It'll like be tight this time, and if it is we'll arrange a new location for the next event.

      1 · February 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I like software

    February 3, 2014

  • Christine C.

    Currently working on technologies for low-income individuals, interested in whether this matters for UX.

    February 2, 2014

Our Sponsors

  • Google

    Generously providing hosting and support for the UXB events.

  • ComplianceChamp

    Generously providing funding and support for the UXB events.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy