October 23rd Meeting

  • 23 Oct 2008
  • 6:00 PM - 8:29 PM
  • Conference Center on the 51st floor of the Two Union building in Seattle, (601 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101-1176)
Meeting Details


Mental Modeling - A passion for catering to the human condition with Lad Decker

Come for networking and food at 6:00—the presentation will begin at 7:00 (with announcements following the presentation). 
The meeting will be held in the Conference Center on the 51st floor of the Two Union building in Seattle, (601 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101-1176).

Abstract: Lad will present an overview of mental modeling and talk about several case studies highlighting techniques for making something out of nothing while moving the mark, guerilla UX, and her personal experiences working with major clients and navigating project politics. All levels of experience and interest in the field of human-computer interaction are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Bio: Laura “Lad” Decker:  In the 1990s just as the economy began to pick-up and after following her passions in art without thought of a future income (Lad earned a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Kansas City Art Institute), Lad began seeking ways to fund her art and to promote her work to the public. Initially thinking small, she merely wanted to learn how to develop and manage her own website. Beginning with an internship at the Universal Press Syndicate in their brand new UClick department, Lad joined a team which designed and managed content and properties for Dear Abby, Garfield, Doonesbury, Calvin and Hobbes, Foxtrot and other syndicate creators. After paying her dues by designing web banners and homepages, and managing ecommerce, she decided to pursue the challenge of affecting the whole user experience and working more strategically.

In 1998, with prompting by a mentor who recognized her natural strengths for organizing the abstract, she started and built the Information Architecture department at an interactive start-up in Kansas City. A few years later when the Internet bubble burst and 9/11 stunned the nation, Lad survived the downturn by moving in-house at a healthcare IT company. At the same time she began practicing the mental modeling techniques she learned at Adaptive Path. When the economy rebounded Lad returned to the fast-moving world of an interactive agency. There she worked as an UX architect with large corporations who were seeking better methods for guiding their long-term Web strategies and predicting user behaviors using mental models.

Recently, Lad chose to become an independent UX consultant and to spend more of her time working as an artist. She is currently partnering on projects with Indi Young, the inventor of mental modeling.  Indi published her first book on the subject in 2008: “Mental Modeling: Aligning design strategy with human behavior”.

Lad lives in Seattle and has a studio in West Seattle. Visit her personal website to see photos of her drawings and paintings at www.deckerfoundry.com . Her LinkedIn profile is at www.linkedin.com/in/ladimus .

Lad’s past clients include: Microsoft Security, Microsoft Dynamics, Windows Live, Microsoft Next Generation, ACNielsen, GroupM/MEC, Sprint, National Science Foundation, Cerner Corporation, and the American Cancer Society.
The meeting will be held in the Conference Center on the 51st floor of the Two Union building in Seattle, (601 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101-1176).

Basically, it's like going to the Union Square Grill but continuing on up the escalators to the elevator banks in Two Union Square and going to the 51st floor. Directions from the parking garage follow:

* Take the Union Street exit
* Turn Left on the Seventh Avenue Drive-thru (first light just after the Union Street exit)
* The Seventh Avenue Drive-thru travels under Two Union Square. The Garage entry is mid-block on the right. There is a fee for parking in the garage.

* Take the Seneca Street exit
* Turn right at the first light onto Sixth Avenue
* Take a soft right at University Street (Be careful to stay left of the concrete divider separating University Street from the freeway onramp. Turning hard right will put you onto the Freeway)
* University Street curves left and becomes the Seventh Avenue Drive-thru behind Union Square. Look for the sign indicating the parking garage entrance on your left. There is a fee for parking in the garage.

* Park near the East garage elevators. Take the East elevators to the Lobby. Walk to the bank of elevators on your right that go up to the 51st floor (If the gates are closed, walk around the back of the elevators and someone will be there to let you in). Take the elevators up to the 51st floor.

parking is free after 6:00pm in downtown Seattle. 

Other parking is available nearby in the main Convention Center Parking Garage.  Please note the closing time of other area garages, as our meetings often end after 8:00 pm. 

The Convention Center's main parking garage is located within the facility. The main entrance is on 8th Avenue between Seneca and Pike Streets. The garage is open to midnight. Take your parking ticket with you and pay before returning to your vehicle.   For more information about directions and parking, go to the WSCTC's Directions, Parking and Maps page.

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