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Knowledge and Mental Models

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May not be correct or may not be the designers model. ... provide access to functionality in a layered fashion. second level of menus ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Knowledge and Mental Models


1
Knowledge and Mental Models
2
Knowledge is represented in memory
  • Analogical picture-like images
  • Propositional abstract and language-like
    statements that make assertion.
  • Distributed are networks of nodes of knowledge.
  • schema

3
What is a mental model?
  • is most commonly used to refer to a
    representation (in the head) of a physical system
    or software being run on a computer, with some
    plausible cascade of causal associations
    connecting the input to the output.John
    Carroll and Judith Olson

4
How do you learn a new piece of software?
5
How do you learn a new piece of software?
  • install it and use it
  • read all the manuals first
  • go through a tutorial
  • trial and error and HELP
  • take a course or workshop in it
  • one on one training

6
Mental Models
  • During the learning process, users build mental
    models of how the system behaves.
  • May not be correct or may not be the designers
    model.
  • Mental models do guide the users experience with
    the software.

7
Pre Heat Oven to 350 degrees
  • Does it get hotter sooner if you turn the oven up
    to 450 ?
  • What is the mental model?

8
Why are mental models important to HCI?
  • It may be possible to predict
  • learning time
  • likely errors
  • relative ease with which users can perform their
    tasks.

9
Styles of Mental Models
  • Metaphors are considered a type of mental model
  • used to explain the way a program works.
  • Networks
  • users knowledge of the system in terms of the
    states in which a program might be and actions
    that change the current state to another state.

10
Principles of user-interface design which allow
users to build better mental models
  • Consistency
  • internal consistency - behavior of the software
  • external consistency-extent to which the software
    behavior matches other things the user already
    knows from other contexts.
  • Providing the user with appropriate metaphors is
    one way to increase external consistency.

11
Completeness
  • must gain experience with system to add to the
    completeness of mental model
  • switching from one system to complete a task,
    complicates mental models.
  • stay within one window for a task when possible.

12
Layering of functionality
  • provide access to functionality in a layered
    fashion.
  • second level of menus
  • deactivating the more complex functions during
    the learning phase.
  • disable functions

13
Useful feedback
  • explanatory error feedback
  • help messages

14
Metaphors
  • convey an abstract concept in a more familiar and
    accessible form.
  • desktops
  • more examples
  • visual metaphors (icons)

15
More examples of metaphors.
  • icons
  • menus
  • windows
  • cutting
  • pasting
  • copying

16
Conceptual models
  • the way users conceptualize and understand the
    system
  • the way designers conceptualize and view the
    system

17
Metaphor problems
  • metaphors are hard to find
  • printer (easy)
  • buying a ticket (hard)
  • setting a format
  • they constrict our thinking
  • tie our interfaces to mechanical age artifacts
  • calendar -- Allan Cooper
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