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Mental Models

Your constantly-updated definition of Mental Models and collection of topical content and literature

What are Mental Models?

Mental models are abstract, inner representations that people have regarding things from the external world. Mental models include your basic ideas of what something is or how it is supposed to work. Designers frequently research to identify users’ mental models and apply these findings into the design framework, in order to build on top of the users’ existing expectations and beliefs.

Literature on Mental Models

Here’s the entire UX literature on Mental Models by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Mental Models

Take a deep dive into Mental Models with our course Interaction Design for Usability .

This course will teach you fundamental usability concepts and methods and will tie them together with interaction and visual design. By completing the course, you will become equipped with the tools required to create products with outstanding user experience and usability. Your newly acquired knowledge will also enable you to reduce the costs, risk, and time required to design and implement such products.

You’ll learn to adopt a user-centered approach to UX design and usability so you can create user-friendly products that people love to use—for example, by allowing for user errors and providing timely feedback messages. More importantly, it is crucial that your entire team—developers, project managers, and product owners alike—adopt this holistic, user-centered mindset. This course therefore aims to provide any team member with just that: it will not only equip you with fundamental usability and design concepts, but also introduce you to lean and agile processes that will allow your whole team to become design-centric.

You should take this course if you belong to a team whose goal is to create a great product—whatever role you play in that. The fact of the matter is that usability experts and UX designers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the people who influence the design of a product. A sound understanding of user-centered design processes is thus greatly beneficial whether you’re a UX designer, developer, or a newcomer to design who wants to be part of a product team one day.

All Literature

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