We tend to carefully create our HTML and CSS, and meticulously place every pixel to our designs. We plan exactly where our content should be placed on a particular site. Among many other decisions we need to make, we always keep in mind to craft a great experience for all our users. But how do we know what our users really want?
One way is to understand the motivations that drive users in general. A mental model diagram can be created to do just that—to dive deeper and discover what users are trying to accomplish, and then create solutions that match.
In this comic, Indi and Brad introduce mental model diagrams to us and how we can use them to build better websites. You can also view a larger version of the comic here1.
Feel free to share your thoughts on mental model diagrams in the comments section below.
- 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/mental_models_v61.jpg
- 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/mental_models_v61.jpg
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Indi Young and Brad Colbow
When not researching mental model diagrams, teaching workshops, or writing, Indi Young consults for non-profits, corporations, start-ups, agencies, and universities around the world. She is passionate about bringing empathy into the design process. One of the founders of Adaptive Path and the first Rosenfeld Media author, Indi energizes the growing interaction design and experience strategy communities. Her work is available on Slideshare and on her book site.
Brad Colbow is a web designer living and working in Cleveland Ohio (USA). He is also the creator of the weekly web comic "The Brads" about two web designers trying to start a small company. You can follow him on twitter here.