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Mental models


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Short presentation on the origination of mental model in UX and Information Design...

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Mental models

  1. 1. Mental Models Joel Kline Texas Tech University May 23, 2007
  2. 2. If I give you my keys…could you drive my van?
  3. 3. Mental Model Theory <ul><li>Originates from Scottish Psychologist Kenneth Craik’s work that suggests the mind constructs &quot;small-scale models&quot; of reality (1943). </li></ul><ul><li>Mental models can be constructed from perception, imagination, or the comprehension of discourse. </li></ul><ul><li>They normally underlie visual images, but can also be abstract and represent situations that cannot be visualized. </li></ul><ul><li>Mental models have structure that is analogous to the structure of what they represent. </li></ul><ul><li>Resemble the “picture” theory of language described by Ludwig Wittgenstein in 1922. </li></ul><ul><li>Critics of the theory argue that the mind uses inference rules not models as the basis for deductive reasoning. </li></ul><ul><li>Donald Norman and Richard Young (independently) were the first to devise a terminology for Mental Models for use in HCI around 1983 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Definition <ul><li>Representations of systems and environments derived from experience. </li></ul><ul><li>A mental model is accurate when the real and imagined outcomes correspond </li></ul><ul><li>Two Categories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Models of how systems work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Models of how people interact with systems </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Good Design Occurs… <ul><li>Results when designers have an accurate view of the system (easy) and an accurate view of the user’s interaction with the system (hard). The designer then designs a system interface that merges both models. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Designers can learn the user: <ul><li>Through personal use of the system </li></ul><ul><li>Laboratory testing (usability, focus groups) </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Observation of users </li></ul>
  7. 7. Where do we “get” models? <ul><li>External interface conventions - come to your interface with the users </li></ul><ul><li>Internal interface conventions - build or break trust </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>For both interface users and media developers </li></ul><ul><li>Print model has 600 years behind it </li></ul><ul><li>Build trust with consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency can evolve </li></ul>Consistency is Contextual
  9. 9. MM Examples <ul><li>Automobile </li></ul><ul><li>Doors with knobs that don’t turn </li></ul><ul><li>Any computer interface device. Have you ever tried a Dvorak keyboard? </li></ul>
  10. 10. InDesign Examples <ul><li>Folios </li></ul><ul><li>Right to left reading </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent Hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent use of bold, italics, and underline </li></ul><ul><li>Typically an issue with longer documents </li></ul>
  11. 11. InDesign Interface MM
  12. 12. When you have no MM?