UX Breakfast Book Club with Indi Young

We’re excited to announce that for our June UX Book Club, Indi Young will be joining us in a live video link-up to explore and discuss her new book, Practical Empathy. For this event, our discussions will be over lattes – as we’re holding the bookclub at breakfast time in the CBD.

Indi is a trailblazer of design strategy, interaction design, and information architecture and was one of the founders of the legendary UX agency Adaptive Path.

We’ll be discussing Indi’s latest book, Practical Empathy and she will be taking part in our discussion.

Indi says: “This book is not about the kind of empathy where you feel the same emotions as another person. It’s about understanding how another person thinks – what’s going on inside her head and heart. And most importantly, it’s about acknowledging her reasoning and emotions as valid, even if they differ from your own understanding. This acknowledgment has all sorts of practical applications, especially in your work. This book explores using empathy in your work, both in the way you make things and the way you interact with people.”

30% Discount for UX Melbourne

The lovely folks at Rosenfeld Media have given us a 30% discount. Just use the discount code UXMPE when you order.

Why not buy the eBook and start reading today? It’s not essential to have read all of Practical Empathy to take part in this event – but of course you’ll get loads more out of it if you do. And you can read it knowing you’ll get the chance to talk to Indi about your thoughts, ideas and questions at this event.

When is it?

Thursday 25th June – gathering at 8.00am. Indi will be joining us by video from San Francisco at 8.15am. We’ll be done by 9.00am.

Where is it?

General Assembly, Level 1, 20 Queen Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

How much does the event cost?

Nothing, it’s absolutely free. 

Can’t make it in person? Join us live online.

You’re welcome to join this event in our live Google Hangout.

Haven’t got time to read it before the meet up?

If you think you might not be able to read Practical Empathy before Thursday morning, here are some quick reads, a quick listen and a fascinating video.

Take a look at some or all of these to get a good understanding of what’s inside Practical Empathy. It will help you get much more out of the event and the discussion.


Central to Practical Empathy is the importance of listening intently. An almost zen-like removal of your own thoughts and assumptions, so that you can really get into the inner thoughts of the person you’re listening to. This except, published on A List Apart, talks about this “New Way of Listening”


If you’re short on time, grab a coffee and watch this 40-minute presentation by Indi and you’ll be in a great place to join the discussion:


Louis Rosenfeld has a quick chat with Indi about Practical Empathy:


Chapter 1: Business Is Out of Balance

How a lack of listening, immature data practices and self-focused thinking can lead to poor design and decision making. “Most of the time professionals are so busy trying to contribute their ideas and get other people to change that they don’t realise they’ve spent zero time understanding those other people and listening to them.”

Chapter 2: Empathy Brings Balance

A definition of the different kinds of empathy, plus an explanation of the important differences between developing empathy and applying empathy. “So empathy is not about warmth and kindness. It’s about listening. It’s about having a frame of mind that’s curious about the deeper flow of people’s thinking.”

Chapter 3: Put Empathy to Work

The stages of developing and applying empathy. How to conduct a listening session. “The best part about listening is that you don’t have to be a ‘good facilitator’ or a ‘skilled interviewer’ to develop empathy. It’s more about just being yourself, in curiosity mode. Kids can do it. What it takes is the ability to let go of your thoughts and really absorb what you hear.”

Chapter 4: A New Way to Listen

Practical and detailed guidance on how to listen well. How to get beneath the surface of facts and opinions to get to the person’s reasoning, reactions and guiding principles. “The key is to find out the point of what the person is doing – why, the reason, not the steps of how she does it.”

Chapter 5: Make Sense of What You Heard

How to create focused summaries from your transcripts (that will be invaluable when you come to apply the empathy you’re developing). “Making sense of what a person said from the transcript provides double the depth of understanding than just simply listening does. The summaries are timeless and will continue to be useful for years.”

Chapter 6: Apply Empathy to What You Create

Applying empathy by looking for patterns and creating behavioural segments from the patterns. How the patterns can be used for collaborative idea generation. “To create something, you benefit from understanding the patterns of how various people reason.”

Chapter 7: Apply Empathy with People at Work

How to apply empathy when you collaborate and when you lead a team. How empathy can help you understand people higher up in the business as well as know yourself better. “It is more powerful to exhibit understanding than competence. The empathetic mindset is not focused on oneself or one’s own abilities.”

Chapter 8: Apply Empathy Within Your Organisation

Applying empathy so you can see from your organisation’s point of view. “If you can clarify for yourself what drives your organisation as a whole, the knowledge can’t help but influence the way you do your work.”

Chapter 9: Where Do You Go from Here?

How to spread these principles and practices. How to explain the empathetic mindset to others and how to begin incorporating the practices in your work. “More than any other thing, practice will steadily bring you confidence and experience. If practice is they key, then demonstrating the empathetic mindset to those you work with is the treasure in the room.”

Coming next

At our August UX Book Club, we’ll be discussing Alan Cooper’s, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. More details coming soon.

March UX Movie Night

Welcome to the first installment of UX Movie Night for 2015!

Join UX Melbourne as we present a talk by Denise Jacobs, Creative Evangelist, author of The CSS Detective and co-author of Smashing Magazine #3: Redesigning the Web. 

In her talk, Reviving Creativity, Denise reflects on how we use creativity in traditionally non-creative roles giving us an insight into her process to revive the creativity that lay dormant within us all.

What happens on the night?

Come down early to enjoy a chat and a drink before settling in for the main event at 6:30pm.

After the movie we will have a group discussion sharing thoughts, insights and experiences about what makes us creative and how it shapes User Experience.

Not a big talker? Every story needs an audience! Come along and work your active listening skills. 🙂

How much does the event cost?

Nothing, it’s absolutely free. All we ask is that you buy something from the bar in thanks of their support of UX Melbourne.

February UX Bookclub – Gamestorming

Welcome to 2015 and the first UX Melbourne event!

February’s book is Dave Gray’s classic reference, Gamestorming; an essential for any UX library. The book explores the use of games as a tool for innovation and creative thinking.

The first part of the book establishes a framework to use games to solve problems. The second part is a menu of over 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies.

What do I need to do?

The book is not designed to be read from cover to cover. Instead, we suggest reading chapters 1-3 and then exploring the games at your leisure. Alternatively, the games are all also available at <a></a>

For discussion, spend a moment to think about how have you have personally applied games as part of the UX process. How did they help to facilitate research or design? What has worked, and what has not?

Where do I get the book?

O’Reilly have offered us a 50% discount code (DSUG) for the eBook (it will work for the book too, but shipping is from the US). For the cheapest hardcopy, refer to booko.

How much does the event cost?

Nothing, it’s absolutely free. Just turn up and buy something from the bar to thank them for their support of UX Melbourne.

6.00pm for a 6.30pm start.

UX Movie Night – Mike Monteiro: How Designers Destroyed the World

Mike Monteiro is the co-founder and design director of Mule Design, an interactive design studio. He has gained notoriety for expressing strong (and often incendiary) opinions on design and the designer-client relationship, as on “the most popular CreativeMornings talk of all time”, F*ck You, Pay Me. He is also the author of two books on the design profession, Design Is a Job, and You’re My Favorite Client, and a host on Let’s Make Mistakes, a podcast about design.

In this talk, Mike talks about the consequences of bad design, and how designers should be held responsible for those consequences. Come to be challenged by his ideas, and for a chance to exchange your own ideas with other designers at the event.

October UX Bookclub – Practical Ethnography

It’s time for the October UX Melbourne bookclub! For the next event, our book is ‘Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in The Private Sector’ by Sam Ladner.

Watching people in their natural habitat is one of the most insightful research techniques in a UX-ers toolkit. Sam identified that many of the current books on the topic are focused on academic audiences. In this new book, the author explores how to utilise ethnographic research within a business context, where time and stakeholder buy-in is likely to be minimal or non-existent.The book provides step-by-step guidance covering core methods, research design, using the latest mobile and digital technologies, project and client management, ethics, reporting, and translating your findings into business strategies.

The Australian distributor, Footprint Books, has generously offered us a 15% discount and free delivery! Please use the discount code PE15.

Do I have to read the book?

We do welcome everyone but research* shows that people who read even some of the book will get 80% more out of the night!

When is it?

Tuesday 21st October; 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start

Where is it?

To be announced. We know we keep moving; we are just trying to find the perfect space for our events!

How much does it cost?

Nothing, it’s absolutely free. Just turn up and buy something from the bar to thank them for their support of UX Melbourne.

I can’t wait that long, what do I do in the meantime?!

Get chatting on Meetup discussions.

See you there!

*Not based on rigorous research.

UX Movie Night – An innovation center within a clinic

Health care is an area that requires constant improvements, thus innovation is crucial for the development of modern medicine. But how can we stimulate innovation in a sector that is highly controlled? How can we try new experiences to improve the work of doctors? Big companies such as Apple, are currently exploring new products that could revolutionize the world of health care.

However the Mayo Clinic, based in Minnesota (USA), didn’t wait for the next revolution. They have created an innovation centre within the clinic to stimulate innovation and improve every services of the clinic. In this video you will discover how the design thinking process is currently improving the work of thousands of professionals in health care. You will also discover the passion of a designer trying new experiences while working hand in hand with doctors.

August UX Bookclub – 100 Things Every Designer Should Know About People

For the August installment of the UX Melbourne bookclub we are going to look at Susan Weinschenk’s book ‘100 Things Every Designer Should Know About People’. It’s less than a month away so there’s never been a better time to start reading!

About the book:
“We design to elicit responses from people. We want them to buy something, read more, or take action of some kind. Designing without understanding what makes people act the way they do is like exploring a new city without a map: results will be haphazard, confusing, and inefficient. This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs. With it you’ll be able to design more intuitive and engaging work for print, websites, applications, and products that matches the way people think, work, and play.”

The publisher PeachPit has given us a 35% discount code. To claim the discount just select the books you wish to purchase and use ‘USERGROUP’ as the discount code. 

Do I have to read the book?
All welcome, even if you haven’t read the book.

When is it?
Tuesday 19 August
6.00pm for a 6.30pm start

Where is it?
The Loop Bar
23 Meyers Place
Melbourne VIC 3000

How much does it cost?
Nothing, it’s absolutely free. (Just turn up and buy something from the bar to thank them for their support of UX Melbourne.)

I can’t wait that long, what do I do in the meantime?!

You can join the UX Melbourne discussion group to participate in the conversation.

See you there!