Class notes: User cognition

Today in class we talked about:

  1. mental models, as defined by Cooper. It is important to remember the distinctions between user, system/impementation, and represented model, as well as the relationships with them. What are the implications? How does understanding mental models help you create better interfaces? Blog post idea: Find an example of a good/bad represented model.
  2. theories that explain how users find information online – it is important to remember there are several explanations, but that the most popular theory is information foraging theory, developed in 1995 by Pirolli & Card. Some important aspects to remember:
    • assumptions about rationality: bounded rationality/satisficing
    • assumptions about human behavior: maximize benefits, minimize cost, preserve energy
    • explanations about information searching behavior: foraging
    • key concept: information scent. Blog post idea: Find examples of weak/strong information scent.
  3. the use of usability principles for heuristic evaluation – which leads into the presentations for the next two weeks.

Do you feel these class notes are useful, or would my time be better spent elsewhere? Please let me know by rating, liking, or commenting.

  1. Hi Dr. V! Yes I find it definitely useful since I don’t have so complete notes and this reminds me a lot of the class and also a good place to retrieve any information if I want to double-check. Thanks for your effort=) But I don’t mind if you want to post more about other interesting stuff anyway!!!

  2. I agree, these posts are useful! Not only do I think of them as good material for us to respond with on our blog, but it also as a refresher of the material we learned through the course. I appreciate that you take the time to write them.

  3. Thank you for letting me know!

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