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UX Design: Secrets of Conceptual Model Design

Design a great user experience (UX) by designing a conceptual model.
4.3 (37 ratings)
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639 students enrolled
Last updated 9/2015
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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Design a great user experience (UX) by first designing a conceptual model.

Why are some websites, software, apps, and devices easy to use and others are not? Why do users like some products and reject others? Designers of products that are easy to use know the secret -- They design a conceptual model of the product that matches the target audience's mental model of how it should work. In this course you will learn the secret of how to create a conceptual model.

About This Course:

Over 500 very happy students

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Some examples of what's in the course:

  1. How to create a conceptual model
  2. How to connect a conceptual model to the users' mental models
  3. How to decide on major user objects and their "views"
  4. How to make critical conceptual model decisions before you wireframe or prototype a single screen
  5. How to make sure that the conceptual model of what you design fits the users' mental models
  6. How to use the data you have from user research to create your conceptual model
  7. The critical components of navigation and action bar design
  8. How to use card sorting techniques to organize information in a way that makes sense to your audience
  9. Quizzes throughout the course to test your knowledge
  10. Exercises throughout the course to practice what you are learning

and much, much more!

Click the "Take This Course" button at the top right of this page now and get started right away. You don't want to delay learning the secret of using a conceptual model to create products that are a delight and easy to use.

Who is the target audience?
  • User Experience Designers, Web Designers, Business Analysts, Usability Professionals
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What Will I Learn?
How to create a conceptual model
How to connect a conceptual model to the users' mental models
How to decide on major user objects
How to describe the attributes, actions, and views of major user objects
How to create a navigation model diagram
View Curriculum
  • Some experience in the design of technology, such as websites, software, apps, web apps, mobile apps is assumed.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 16 Lectures Collapse All 16 Lectures 01:42:49
Intro And About Mental And Conceptual Models
2 Lectures 19:20

In this lecture you will learn about the course, and about conceptual models how they are important to design.

Preview 02:47

In this lecture you will learn about conceptual and mental models: what they are, how they are related, and why they are so important to design.

Preview 16:33

Mental & Conceptual Models
5 questions
Information Architecture And Navigation
4 Lectures 20:10

In this lecture you will learn about different types of information architecture models and when to use which one.

Information Architecture

Practice identifying information architecture models in this exercise. Send us your results and we'll give you feedback.

Exercise: Information Architecture
1 page

Information Architecture
5 questions

In this lecture you will learn different types of navigation structures, and how to design intuitive and usable navigation.


Evaluate the navigation design of a product. Send us your result and we will give you feedback.

Exercise: Evaluate Navigation
1 page

5 questions
Card Sorting
2 Lectures 13:07

You will learn a technique -- card sorting -- for testing your information architecture decisions.

Card Sorting

Card Sorting
5 questions

A look at some of the online tools that are available for card sorting.

Card Sorting Tools
User Objects And Screen Flow Diagrams
4 Lectures 18:53

User objects are some of the most important design decisions you can make. This lecture shows you what they are, why they are important, and how to decide and document your decisions.

User Objects

Practice making object decisions for a case study project. Send us your results and we will give you feedback.

Exercise: Make User Object Decisions For A Case Study
3 pages

User Objects
5 questions

The magic step between an Object Map and design, this lesson shows you how to merge your user research and your user object decisions to create a screen flow diagram.

Screen Flow Diagrams

Practice creating a screen flow diagram for a case study.

Exercise: Create A Screen Flow Diagram
1 page

Screen Flow Diagrams
5 questions
Applying User Objects To Design And Next Steps
4 Lectures 23:19

In this lecture you will see examples of products with conceptual model problems that you should avoid.

Traps To Avoid

This lecture discusses the order of tasks and how to apply what the course has covered to the products you are designing.

Order And Applying Conceptual Models

How To Apply Conceptual Models
5 questions

Next Steps

If you are planning on taking the UX Certificate exam, you can use this Study Guide for the Conceptual Model Design course to prepare.

Study Guide For The UX Certificate
2 pages
About the Instructor
4.4 Average rating
340 Reviews
10,940 Students
11 Courses

I have a Ph.D. in Psychology and decades of experience as a behavioral scientist, applying psychology to the design of digital products. I'm a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, start-ups, and educational and government organizations.

A client once referred to me as "The Brain Lady", and it stuck. Probably because I like to teach and consult about brain science.

I'm currently the Founder and Principal of The Team W. I consult, coach, teach, and speak about behavioral science, brain science, psychology, design, innovation, and user experience. I've been lucky enough to travel around the world as a keynote speaker.

I am also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin.

My clients include Disney, Amazon, The Mayo Clinic, Zappos, the Federal Trade Commission (USA), and the European Commission.

I like to write books, including: 100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People, How To Get People To Do Stuff, 100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People, and Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? I blog at my own website and I blog for Psychology Today.

My work over the years has included the design of websites, software, medical devices, TV ads, physical devices, experiences, and physical spaces to make them persuasive, usable and motivating.

I live in Wisconsin, USA, with my husband. My two children are grown and “launched”. When not teaching, speaking, writing, or blogging, I perform in community theatre, sing jazz, read books, and I'm an avid movie watcher.

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