…t product strategy?” That mindset prevented me from seeing the value in asking Why for a long time. By asking Why you are getting down to the root problem that you are hoping to solve. Want to redesign that website? Have a design for a flashy new sign up form? Ask yourself Why until the true problem is clear.
… the represented model—Cooper helped me see this—is that it’s the only part a designer can control. We can’t control the implementation model, because a good engineer will use abstractions in the codebase to make it maintainable and safe. And we can’t control our user’s mental model, since it’s shaped by their culture and dozens of other unknowable factors.
And, no wonder. At work, you’re expected to have intelligent opinions and propose smart solutions to problems. But, when you’re working on something that is very complex, it’s intimidating and exhausting to have opinions on the biggest challenges. It’s so easy to focus your attention on the issues that are easy to grok and which won’t (literally) blow up in your face if you’re wrong. So, it’s understandable that people schedule meetings about the roof of the bike shed so that they can voice their opinions and feel useful and heard.