Concept models reflect the target cognitive frames of a system or idea.
“Let’s start by agreeing that a concept model is a visual explanation. I want you to see things the way I do, so I draw a model made of words and pictures so you share the picture in my mind. What if I want you to understand that design tends to wander around exploring options, but don’t worry because eventually we’ll pick something.”
Christina Wodtke a.k.a. /christinawodtke | @cwodtke ★
Models are great for analysis and explanation. Less for designing a future.
“For at least ten years now I have been collecting User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) Maturity Models. I keep hoping to find the perfect one to help executives understand what we do, and what good looks like. Oftentimes my conversations are about how to maximize funding for UX services. Other times the goal may be to help an executive understand just how much further we have to go before we’re really getting the benefits of engaging a UX professional.”
Natalie Hanson a.k.a. /nataliehanson | @ndhanthro ★
Every designer their own model (a.k.a. perception) of what they’re doing.
“We all want to be a part of compelling creative projects—projects that solve business problems and engage users through meaningful and valuable experiences. However, given tight budgets and timelines it’s challenging to create genuinely innovative design, identify gaps in the process, and consider the variety of factors for effective user experience. To solve these common challenges, I researched existing user experience models or frameworks and found that most UX diagrams are confusing, unorganized, complex, or antiquated, making them useless for designers and clients. That’s why I decided to create my own model.”
(Corey Stern a.k.a. @CoreyAStern ~ UX Magazine)
Content collision ahead.
“So go ahead and break your models, test them by running various scenarios using real content. Inspect, then adapt your models because that’s design. This kind of model design is best done early and often, rather than downstream in production where the cost of change is insane.”
(Cleve Gibbon a.k.a. @cleveg)
Content models, schemas and DTDs. Good old skool abstracting stuff. But… what’s a page anyway?
“Recently, we discovered the page description diagram, a method for documenting components without specifying layout. At first, it seemed limited, even simplistic, relative to our needs. But with some consideration, we began to understand the value. We started looking at whether or not PDDs could help us improve our process.”
(Colin Butler a.k.a. @cbutlerUX and Andrew Wirtanen a.k.a. @awirtanen ~ UX Magazine)
A model is what it is: a model.
“In HCI we have witnessed the rise and fall of conceptual modeling in general. The 1980s focused on changing human behavior, which was captured in models to inform designs. Around 1990 a second wave of HCI questioned the usefulness of this type of approach, pointing out how human behavior is contingent and situated, and that human beings actively work around whatever technical solutions exist. In more recent years, this has been supplemented with a focus on emotion and experience. More than ever, this research points away from conceptual modeling.”
(Susanne Bødker, Niels Mathiasen, Marianne Petersen ~ ACM Interactions Sep/Oct 2012)
Seeing how business modelling integrates with design for experiences.
“I’m a big fan of the Lean Startup movement and love the underlying principle of testing, learning, and pivoting by experimenting with the most basic product prototypes imaginable – so-called Minimal Viable Products (MVP) – during the search for product-market fit. It helps companies avoid building stuff that customers don’t want. Yet, there is no underlying conceptual tool that accompanies this process. There is no practical tool that helps business people map, think through, discuss, test, and pivot their company’s value proposition in relationship to their customers’ needs. So I came up with the Value Proposition Designer (…)”
(Alexander Osterwalder a.k.a. @AlexOsterwalder ~ Business Model Alchemist)
Next up, design models for content experiences.
“Information architecture relates to science as its models draw on insights and theories of cognition. And its models relate to art as they aim to create a meaningful experience. Both aspects are important. Only if IA models manage to blend science and art can they touch the head and the heart.”
(Kai Weber a.k.a. @techwriterkai ~ Kai’s Tech Writing Blog)
“A strategic and disciplined approach to content strategy will explicitly support overall business intent, explain how it will do so, and align with annual sales and marketing (and perhaps customer care) objectives. Done well, it could be a source of strategic advantage for the enterprise.” (Christine Thompson)