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Part II: Tier 1: Structure > The Conceptual Model: Selecting a Fundamental Moti...

Chapter 4. The Conceptual Model: Selecting a Fundamental Motif

“Knowledge is what we get when an observer… provides us with a copy of reality that we can all recognize.”

Christopher Lasch
“Journalism, Publicity, and the Lost Art of Political Argument”

Gannett Center Journal

As the first layer of any user interface, the conceptual model has the crucial role of placing the interface’s overall function and operation into a context that the user can recognize. For example, in the same way that a movie genre sets expectations for plot, character, and setting, the conceptual model of an interactive product sets expectations about the product’s capabilities and operation. In other words, the conceptual model answers the most fundamental questions on a user’s mind: “What is this thing? What can it do and how do I operate it?”


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