FW: Defining the mental model

24 Feb 2005 - 8:22am
719 reads
Robert Reimann

Hi Austin,

I like your definition, but I think you're missing something
in it: objects. Actions are performed on objects, and the
way a user conceptualizes the objects they are acting on to
achieve goals is an important part of their expectation of
what the results can or will be. So I would say:

Goal + Action(s) + Object(s) = Expectation

You could collapse Actions and Objects into the term Message
that you use, however, I dislike this because it seems to reduce
interaction to communication (or behavior to meaning, as I've seen
some IxD theorists do). That isn't (IMHO) appropriate,
because taking actions on objects can change both the objects
and the actions. The real world is directly affected, beyond any
communication that takes place.

My two cents.



Robert Reimann
Manager, User Interface Design

Bose Corporation
The Mountain
Framingham, MA 01701

-----Original Message-----
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com] On Behalf Of Austin Govella
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 2:57 PM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Defining the mental model

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted

I'm fleshing out a structural definition of "mental model," and I've
posted what I have so far:
* http://thinkingandmaking.com/entry/48/

If any of you are particularly interested in the subject, I'd love to
hear some feedback on whether you think I'm dead-on, dead-wrong, crazy,
or have muddled things when I was trying to make them clear.

Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
austin at grafofini.com _______________________________________________
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