- Exploring Mental Models for Application in Networking Applications, Telephony and Environments
design was introduced by Norman under the heading of “cognitive engineering” in
1986. Central to conceptual design is the concept of users’ models, i.e.
users’ mental models of how an application works. The closer users’ models match
how the application actually works, the more effective will users be able to use
the application. Users form their users’ models through interacting with the
system image (user interface, manuals, training etc.), and on the basis of their
previous knowledge and experience. Conceptual design is about bridging the gap
between the system image and the users’ models. In order to achieve this, Norman
suggests designing the system image on the basis of a clear and concise design
model. The design model should attempt to minimise the gap between users’
intentions and how these intentions are executed in the system. It should also
take users’ previous knowledge and experience into account
Hear it from the horse's mouth
A textbook giving good guidance on how to do conceptual design
Norman, D.A. (1986). Cognitive Engineering. In D.A. Norman & S.W. Draper [eds.] User Centred System Design. Hillsdale, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
A case study applying conceptual design to a small Internet application
Newman, W. M. and M. G. Lamming (1995). Interactive System Design. Harlow, England, Addison-Wesley.
A thesis on conceptual design and mental models in HCI
Clark, L. and M. A. Sasse (1997). Conceptual Design Reconsidered - the Case of the Internet Session Directory Tool. HCI'97, Bristol, Springer.
Last changed by L.Sheeran@cs.ucl.ac.uk on 30 August 2000