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Mental Models

Book Description

There is no single methodology for creating the perfect product—but you can increase your odds. Mental Models gives you the tools to help you grasp, and design for, users' reasons for doing things.

Table of Contents

  1. Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
  2. Dedication
  3. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
  4. How to Use this Book
    1. Who Should Read this Book?
      1. Product Strategists & Executives:
      2. Team Managers:
      3. Evangelists:
      4. Project Managers:
      5. Practitioners:
    2. What’s in the Book?
    3. What comes with the Book?
    4. Here’s How You Can Use Mental Models
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. What is a mental model?
    2. What if I don’t have a big budget?
    3. What do you mean by “task?”
    4. What are task-based audience segments?
    5. How do I uncover the root task?
    6. What do you mean by a content map’s “content”?
    7. Does a content map show every detail of my solution?
    8. How can analyzing gaps in a mental model show me innovative ideas?
    9. How can mental models help me make sense of all my web properties?
  6. Foreword
  7. I. What, Why, When, and Who?
    1. 1. What and Why? The Advantages of a Mental Model
      1. What is a Mental Model?
      2. Why Use Mental Models?
      3. Confidence in Your Design
        1. Leverage Luck + Intent
        2. Distinguish Among Solutions
        3. Assemble Original Ideas
        4. Validate That Ideas Match Needs
        5. Avoid Politics
        6. Derive Architecture
        7. Stop Spending All Your Time Re-Architecting
      4. Clarity in Direction
        1. Pay Attention to the “Whole Experience”
        2. Use Design as a Business Advantage
        3. Evolve Your Organization
        4. Adopt the Customer’s Perspective
        5. Adopt the Customer’s Verbs
      5. Continuity of Strategy
        1. Rely on Mental Models to Change Slowly
        2. Keep the Knowledge, Shift the Team Members
    2. 2. When? Using Mental Models with Your Other Work
      1. Determine Your Research Method
      2. How Mental Models Hook into Other UX Techniques
        1. Input: Diaries
        2. Input: Field Visits
        3. Output: Personas
        4. Output: Scenarios
      3. Shortcuts and Other Ways to Use Mental Models
        1. When the Project is Almost/Already Finished
        2. When You Have Little Time and Money
        3. When You Don’t Have Enough Influence
    3. 3. Who? Mental Model Team Participants
      1. Project Leader
      2. Project Practitioners
      3. Project Guides
      4. Project Support
  8. II. The Method
    1. 4. Define Task-Based Audience Segments
      1. Task-Based Audience Segments
        1. Step 1: List Distinguishing Tasks
        2. Step 2: Group the Tasks
        3. Step 3: Name the Groups
      2. Set Research Scope
    2. 5. Specify Recruiting Details
      1. Estimate the Tally
      2. Write the Screener
      3. Coordinate Schedules
      4. Recruit Participants
    3. 6. Set Scope for the Interviews
      1. Set Research Goals
      2. List Interview Prompts
        1. Assemble Topics
        2. Prepare Reminders
        3. Easily Flustered?
    4. 7. Interview Participants
      1. Chat by Telephone or Face-to-Face
      2. Do Not Lead
        1. Six Rules for Mental Model Interviews
        2. 1. Behaviors and Philosophies, not Product Preferences
        3. 2. Open Questions Only
        4. 3. No Words of Your Own
        5. 4. Follow the Conversation
        6. 5. Not About Tools
        7. 6. Immediate Experience
        8. Bolster Your Confidence
        9. Be Considerate of Your Participant
        10. What Goes Through My Head While Conducting an Interview
        11. Ghosts and Ownership
        12. Popular Tricks for Getting Through an Interview
      3. Plan Your International Interviews
        1. Make Transcripts
    5. 8. Analyze the Transcripts
      1. Comb for Tasks
        1. Good Examples of Tasks
        2. Task Examples That Need Work
          1. Compound Tasks
        3. Formatting Tasks
        4. The Powerful Verb
      2. Get Some Practice
      3. Answers
    6. 9. Look for Patterns
      1. Group Tasks into Patterns
        1. The Order of Steps
          1. Shifting Patterns
        2. Formatting Towers and Mental Spaces
        3. Decide If You Need More
      2. Plan Your Logistics
        1. Comb Early and Often
      3. Congratulate Yourself
    7. 10. Create the Mental Model
      1. Build the Model Automatically
      2. Build the Model Block-by-Block
        1. Split the Model into Multiple Diagrams
      3. Review the Diagram with Project Guides
      4. What Did You Learn?
      5. Decorate the Diagram
      6. Ask for Feedback
    8. 11. Adjust the Audience Segments
      1. Compare Results to Original Hypothesis
      2. Clarify Segment Names
      3. Adjust Segment Definitions
      4. Use Audience Segments for Other Projects
      5. Transition from Research to Design, Verbs to Nouns
  9. III. Applications
    1. 12. Alignment and Gap Analysis
      1. Draw a Content Map of Your Proposed Solution
      2. Align the Content Under the Mental Model
      3. Consider the Opportunities
      4. Share the Findings
      5. Print the Diagram
      6. Prioritize the Opportunities
    2. 13. Structure Derivation
      1. Derive High-Level Architecture
      2. Provide Vocabulary for Labels
      3. Test Your Structure and Labels
      4. Generate Features and Functionality
  10. A. Acknowledgments
  11. B. About the Author
  12. Index
  13. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
  14. Copyright