February 13, 2003

New Boxes & Arrows

Now at Boxes & Arrows —

The New R&D: Relevant & Desirable

But it’s an equally big mistake to focus our attention solely on users (which is one reason I’ve never particularly liked the term “user-centered design”). At worst, I’ve heard people argue we don’t know anything about designing for users except that which we learn through usability testing.

Focusing exclusively on users like this is just plain wrong — it’s the equivalent of software development’s discredited “build and fix” approach. But more importantly, it’s indicative of dangerous tunnel vision, and it hurts our profession, our businesses and clients, and, yes, our users.

What’s Your Idea of a Mental Model?

To illustrate the consequences of having a mismatched mental model, I describe a person who goes into a buffet restaurant and waits for someone to take their order. The person’s mental model of how that restaurant operates doesn’t match the actual situation, and he would experience confusion and frustration until he modified his original model to include buffets.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (2)

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  1. Johnny says:

    Put a whole lot more succinctly…the person's stupid.

    Posted February 18, 2003 @ 12:05 am
  2. Anonymous says:


    Posted February 21, 2003 @ 7:14 pm

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