1. the human


What are mental models, and why are they important in interface design?

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Mental models are the theories people build to understand the causal behaviour of systems. These are often partial, unstable and subject to change. They may be internally inconsistent. They may be superstitious and based on incorrect interpretation of evidence. They are important, as errors can occur if the user's model is incorrect or if the designer has a different model than the user. One way of minimising problems is supporting conventions - another is to make the correct model explicit.

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.1.1 (ans), ex.1.2 (ans), ex.1.3 (ans), ex.1.4 (tut), ex.1.5 (tut), ex.1.6 (open), ex.1.7 (open), ex.1.8 (tut), ex.1.9 (tut), ex.1.10 (tut), ex.1.11 (tut), ex.1.12 (tut), ex.1.13 (tut), ex.1.14 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter