Ben Crothers

Principal Design Strategist, Atlassian

Closer to the customer

Bugfixing your mental model

Are you constantly feeling like you’re doing lots of customer research, yet you still seem to know so little? Does it seem like research results never ‘land’ properly with stakeholders, or you’re having trouble seeing eye-to-eye? Or are you worried about blind spots in your information about customers?

These issues are often caused by different people in the team unknowingly having different mental models of the same thing: your customers. Your mental model is like an invisible product you ship to yourself, informing your decisions every day. And, like all products, it often needs bugfixing and improving. In this talk, Ben Crothers will show you some techniques for using simple drawing that anyone can use to get a common mental model across the team, and to accelerate a shared clear understanding about why they’re doing what they’re doing. Ben will also show how Atlassian’s mental model of its customers has changed over the years, and how to bugfix and tune your mental model together.

About Ben Crothers

Ben Crothers is on a mission to help teams be just as good at the whiteboard as they are at the keyboard, to think better, solve problems better, and generate ideas better. He’s been in the digital industry from when putting ‘Under Construction’ banners on websites was seen as the right thing to do. These days, Ben is a design strategist, coach and group facilitator at Atlassian, helping Agile teams with techniques for problem-solving, envisioning, prioritising, and team health. Ben is also the author of Presto Sketching: The Magic of Simple Drawing for Brilliant Product Thinking and Design and Draw in 4!

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