Assume that I need to get from Cologne to Munich, in order to sign a sales contract there.
When one of my coworkers is not focused on UX or his family, he uses teeny-tiny rails to construct the track for his model railway's teeny-tiny locomotive. It sounds crazy, even to us, but this man has managed to create a section of a picture-perfect town out of nothing but miniatures. And so he briefly escapes the daily chaos that we UX designers experience in the real world.
Such models are not only there for physical play, but can also be used in a theoretical way. Typically, it’s not hobby locomotive drivers or UX designers who busy themselves with such things, but scientists. In science, a model is an attempt to create a simplified representation of reality.
- A model is a representation. It's not the truth. Thus it is comprehensible: it makes connections tangible, that we otherwise wouldn't be able to touch or see in their entirety.
- A model is condensed. It is reduced to the bare minimum. Thus it is sustainable: it provides precisely the level of detail from which we can infer reasonable conclusions about our own behavior.
- A model is pragmatic. It is versatile. Thus it is sustainble: we can reuse it repeatedly in various situations without having to start from scratch each time.
Thankfully, psychology already provides broad models for how people behave. However, it's still a little challenging to handle in design contexts. It’s like building a model railroad using grippy Duplo bricks, rather than using detail-oriented construction kits. But don’t worry: I took care of the transfer work for you. I've finished my master's thesis after three months and many sleepless nights, but it was worth it! Here are the 5 elements that will enable you to judge user behavior more accurately in the future.