Friday, March 06, 2009

In Which a Concept Model Makes Me Giddy

Developing a concept model ...

"About a decade ago, my site maps--a design artifact that describes the structure of a web site--started evolving. They changed from org chart-like boxes and right-angle connectors to networks of circles with straight-line connectors. For some reason, this format really resonated with my clients and colleagues. As I was on the look-out for similar diagrams, I stumbled upon mind maps. In short, a mind map is a means for explaining a set of ideas by showing the relationships between them. It is a group of nouns connected by verbs.

I made one in 2008 as an example for a poster on concept models for the IA Summit: (below)

It's not the best concept model in the world, but it did allow me to demonstrate the idea and a few techniques. (Notice, for example, that some concepts are acting as backdrops for other concepts, and that some concepts are repeated to show different kinds of relationships. Notice also that in this case the concepts are linked to form long sentences. This is appropriate for models with a small number of concepts but could easily become confusing on larger models.)

I'm making a concept model for a project right now and I'm really excited about it. The model covers a broad domain, but with a pretty specific agenda: It describes the role of social networking technologies and practices in the enterprise. Why am I doing this? This particular project is a strategy project, and the model is meant to help the project team develop our ideas further, then communicate them effectively to the client. It's meant to help our clients get past their narrow focus and see the bigger picture."    (Continued via UIE, Dan Brown)    [Usability Resources]

Concept Model - Usability, User Interface Design

Concept Model

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