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Concept models help the project team puzzle through and document the ideas
that form the basis of the web site design. As demonstrated above, this can
be as broad as the overall business process or as narrow as the categorization
structure.
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Since the concept model is used to document underlying structures in the user
experience, the audience will be members of the project team and stakehold-
ers who’ll use the concept models to help understand the basis of the web site
design.
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Though the scope of a concept model is typically limited—showing only a
select set of ideas and detail—the intensive part is developing the concepts.
Since the model informs the rest of the user experience, decisions made here
have far-reaching implications throughout the design.
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Although it makes sense to do concept models at the beginning of the proj-
ect—to establish a common vocabulary for the underlying elements and to
lay the groundwork for the user experience—it can be just as useful to do the
concept model later in the design process. In many cases, it’s difficult to antici-
pate the underlying structure without first having thought through the user
experience. When it becomes clear that the project team has different notions
of the basic assumptions, that’s a good time to take a step back and document
those assumptions.
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A concept map represents a single set of ideas. It usually appears on a single
page and may be included with a larger deliverable, as part of the introduction
to establish the user experience basics.
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