Midwest UX 2012 Evolving Mental Models

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We're all familiar with the concept of mental modeling, but why do we typically only use this practice in the design of a system? We obviously think about content when we’re starting to brainstorm a design and we think about content when we interview our users, but why don't we leverage the mental models we’ve created when we take on a new digital project when we plan the content and materials that eventually populate that system?

I believe mental models can work harder and can be a key driver for creating a content strategy that can evolve with our users.

This talk will present an alternative (or extension) to the traditional mental model by focusing on the material that populates our digital experiences. We’ll cover how to add content specific inquiries to the information gathering process used to inform traditional mental models; and how to modify them to inform everything from story mapping, content planning and long term governance of digital systems over time.

This type of mental modeling will be illustrated via case study.

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  • How we perceive things varies on anything from the temperature in the room to how much sleep we got the night before and our contexts are ALWAYS shifting, whether that’s situational, behavioral or through some other combination of factors. \n
  • Men have six and a half times more gray matter (partly responsible for information processing) than women do. Conversely ladies have10 times as much white matter -- the part of the brain that's I partially responsible for connecting information processing centers (that’s why women typically are better multitaskers).\n
  • We can do things like \n
  • The content map includes all functionality that already exists and is planned for your solution. Your content map should include all the ways you serve people, including things like monthly account statements or yearly awards banquets, registration for training courses, or a mortgage calculator. Anything that has to do with your relationship with those you serve should be included in your content map.\nFor Young, the “content map” structure makes little difference to the mental model. The important thing is that the boxes will fit underneath the towers that will ultimately be a part of the solution. My approach differs a bit from Young’s in that I find it much more beneficial to the user experience team if I build the “content map” in the form of a mental model as opposed to the traditional content inventory or visual map that she highlights in her book.\n\n
  • Keeping these processes independent of one another is dangerous because it creates potential pitfalls for context. \n
  • Keeping these processes independent of one another is dangerous because it creates potential pitfalls for context. \n
  • Even if it’s uncomfortable, these processes must be brought together, for the sake of context and user empath.\n
  • Contextual inquiry is basically a structured field interviewing method, based on a few core principles that differentiate this method from plain, journalistic interviewing. I want to STRESS that inquiry is more a discovery process than an evaluative process; more like learning than testing. It should be completed by UX/IA and the person responsible for content planning. \n
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  • This was generated from a combination of in site side search analytics, stakeholder interview and cafe testing. \n
  • Get To Work\n
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  • This is really, really painful at first, and takes massive amounts of organization and time depending on the size of your organization, scope of your project.\n
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  • Midwest UX 2012 Evolving Mental Models

    1. 1. EVOLVING MENTAL MODELSMidwest UX 2012 - June 2, 2012 | Daniel Eizans
    2. 2. Hi. I’m Dan. > ME (DANIELEIZANS.COM) > WORK (TEAMDETROIT.COM) > PASSION (CONTENTS MAGAZINE) > MICROTHOUGHT (@DANIELEIZANS)@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    3. 3. I REALLY LIKE THESE@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    4. 4. But I’m Not A@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    5. 5. BRAINS ARE TRICKY@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    6. 6. SO ARE THEIR SYSTEMS@danieleizans | #MWUX12 6
    7. 7. WE CAN MODEL THE MIND@danieleizans | #confab12 7
    8. 8. THE MODEL VS. MAP Diagrams: Copyright Rosenfeld Media (CC BY-SA 2.0)@danieleizans | #confab12 8
    9. 9. THESE ARE BAD@danieleizans | #MWUX12 9
    10. 10. THESE ARE BAD Content Mapping@danieleizans | #MWUX12 9
    11. 11. THESE ARE BAD Content MappingUX/MentalModeler@danieleizans | #MWUX12 9
    12. 12. HUG IT OUT. GET TO WORK@danieleizans | #MWUX12 10
    13. 13. CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY Interview Contextual Inquiry Observation (Influenced by (Influenced by (Influenced by end Designer/Strategist) designer, user and user) strategist)@danieleizans | #confab12 11
    14. 14. ELEMENTS OF CONTEXT@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    15. 15. ELEMENTS OF CONTEXT BEHAVIOR@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    16. 16. ELEMENTS OF CONTEXT BEHAVIOR SITUATION@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    17. 17. ELEMENTS OF CONTEXT BEHAVIOR SITUATION ENVIRONMENT@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    18. 18. PERSONAL-BEHAVIORAL CONTEXT DOING environmental factors, Physical Emotional FEELING physical activity, psychological state, stress habits, disabilities, level, desires, wants, needspreferences, sensory stimuli Cognitive LEARNING cognitive assumptions, learning ability, education } CONTEXT DRIVEN PERSONAS@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    19. 19. PERSONAL-SITUATIONAL CONTEXT Task Need Task Task Situation Task Need Need Task Task Task Task SCENARIO REQUIRING CONTENT@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    20. 20. SITUATIONAL-BEHAVIORAL CONTEXT Task Need Task Physical Emotional Task Situation Task Need Need Cognitive Task Task Task Task CONTEXTUAL CONTENT STRATEGY@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    21. 21. START WITH HYPOTHESIS EXPLORE OPTIONS (Browse options and understand qualifications OVERCOME FEAR PLAN AND IMMERSE (Via testimonial, Use Cases, Financial (Browse an expert, Understand Tools) Examples) TAKE ACTION (Apply for pin, Download Forms, Contact Advisor)@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    22. 22. WORKING ADULT - SEEKING FINANCIAL AID@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    23. 23. COMMUNICATION FOCUSED MODEL@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    24. 24. PLAN AND EXECUTE@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    25. 25. THIS HURTS AT FIRST@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    26. 26. THANKS.Web: http://danieleizans.comTwitter: @danieleizansSlideShare: http://slideshare.net/danieleizansLinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/deizansE: daniel.eizans@teamdetroit.com@danieleizans | #MWUX12
    27. 27. References (Slide 5) Sleeping Woman - photographer: Subtle Mistakes (Slide 6) Man Thinking - photographer: Panther1619 (Slides 7-8) Diagrams: Copyright Rosenfeld Media (CC BY-SA 2.0) (Slide 9) Silos -photographer: Gnuru (Slides 13-15) Personal Behavioral Context and Situational Context Graphics: Modified from original concept created by Andrew Hinton Note: All Photos Used were used with permission via a Creative Commons License or with expressed written permission of owner.@danieleizans | #MWUX12

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